I always thought there wasn’t much I could do when my sciatica flared up. But now that I’ve found the following routine, I know there’s an answer. These 6 simple exercises help relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve, and can be performed from the comfort of your own bed.
Sciatica is an intense and searing pain, sometimes experienced as numbness or tingling, that can be felt around your lower back and shoots all the way down to your legs. This routine was developed at the University of Washington’s Physical Therapy Department, by Jennifer Howe. It’s especially designed to target herniated discs, bone degeneration and tight hip muscles, all of which cause sciatica. Even if you don’t know which of the three factors is causing your pain, try all the stretches and see which one helps.
Tight hip muscles
The following stretches will loosen the muscles in your hips. They might be pressing on your sciatic nerve, causing your pain.
Knee to opposite shoulder
Lie on your back with your legs extended and your feet flexed. Raise your right leg and hold your hands behind your knee. Pull your right knee gently across your body until it reaches your left shoulder. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat once more. Switch to raise your left leg to your right shoulder. Hold this position twice.
The Figure-4 Stretch
Lie on your back with your knees bent and place your feet flat on the bed. Cross your right ankle over your left knee forming a 4-shape, as seen in the photo below. Hold your hands behind your left knee and gently pull your legs towards your chest while pressing the right knee away from your chest. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat it another 3 times. Switch legs and repeat the exercise 4 times.