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Posted 05/30/2023 by Amelia Grant

How to Relieve Sciatica Pain with Exercises


How to Relieve Sciatica Pain with Exercises

When the pain pierces the body, all you want to do is lie down and be still. Many victims of sciatica go to bed because any movement causes acute intolerable pain. But sitting or lying down for a long time is one of the worst things you can do.


You need to look for exercises that will help to cope with the pain. A sciatica pain specialist can help you choose such exercises, he will show exercises that help relieve tension and limited mobility. They also pay attention to exercises that strengthen the muscles of the back and abdomen. Well-trained muscles act like a corset that supports and stabilizes the spine. If pain is provoked by a tense piriformis muscle, in addition to exercises for stretching it, exercises are added to relax neighboring muscles.

Lengthening of the Piriformis Muscle

  1. Lift your right leg and place your right ankle on your left knee. Hold on for a minute. This helps stretch the tiny piriformis muscle, which sometimes tenses up and presses on the sciatic nerve, causing pain. Do the same exercise with the other leg.


  1. Sit on the floor. The leg that doesn’t hurt is extended. Grasp the ankle of the injured leg and pull it as close to your chest as possible. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Repeat the exercise twice.


  1. Look for stretching exercises that focus on the lower back and legs. If you find a stretch that is particularly pleasurable, try holding it for half an hour or more. Stretching every day is also a preventative that sciatica victims should use as part of their daily routine. If the pain seems to be concentrated in the lower back, buttocks, or thighs, be sure to stretch your legs properly as the sciatic nerve runs all the way to your toes.

Daily Exercises to Relieve Pain During Aggravation Episode 

  • Lying on your back, bend the knee to the opposite shoulder and hold for a few seconds; repeat the exercise several times.

  • Sitting on a fitness ball, gently slide down, then return to the starting position.

  • Lying on your back, bend your legs and stand on the floor with your feet, strive to lift your buttocks up, standing on a half-bridge and lingering in this position for about 1 minute. Repeat the exercise several times.

  • Get on all fours; on an inhale bend up, on an exhale lower your stomach and head down (the cat position).

  • Lying on your back, alternately raise your legs ten times and slowly lower them, if possible, without touching the ground. Firmly press your hands to the floor and pull your chin to your chest.

  • Training the abdominal muscles on a fitness ball is good for sciatica, it also helps to strengthen the muscles of the lower back, abdomen, arms, calves, and thigh muscles (flexors). Hold the position, placing your ankles on the fitness ball and palms on the floor. It's like lying on your back but leaning on your arms and legs. Repeat this exercise twice, hold the position for 30 seconds.

  • Place your right leg bent on the tabletop so it’s on one level with your waist and the other leg is as stable as possible. Gradually shift your body weight forward.


Once the sciatic nerve is not pinched anymore and there is enough space for it, the pain symptoms will gradually disappear. In the future, avoid some bodybuilding exercises, especially squats and leg presses. Systematically check your posture - when sitting, walking, and standing.

The bottom line

A carefully selected exercise therapy doctor and a properly performed set of exercises will help you quickly cope with the manifestations of sciatica. Remember that pain is not a contraindication to movement. Only in case of severe pain, you can take a short break and drink an analgesic. But even in this case, physiotherapeutic exercises should be started as soon as possible. In the long run, stretching and exercise are your best supporters in the fight against sciatica.


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