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Sciatica: walk vs. rest

Sciatica: walk vs. rest

The natural instinct when pain hits you hard is to take medications and then sit or lie as still as possible and wait for the worst discomfort to abate.

With the right level of support for sciatic pain, rest can certainly bring relief.

However, there is a strong body of opinion that this should also be accompanied by gentle exercise such as walking, especially with recurrent sciatica that interferes with daily living.

Steps to relieving sciatic pain

Walking is actually one of the most often overlooked remedies for problems with the sciatic nerve. Especially as this is a medical issue that often manifests itself as searing pain in the leg, and even numbness in the foot.

In fact, low impact aerobic exercise – such as a gentle walk – can be more beneficial than long periods of bed rest and keeping your body immobile.

This is partly as it avoids the discomfort that can originate from keeping your limbs still for long periods! The benefit is also because walking helps release endorphins, a hormone with proven ability to reduce inflammation around your sciatic nerve, so alleviating the pain you feel.

That’s not to say walking always works, as it can worsen your symptoms if you do it ‘wrong’!

It helps if you are careful with your posture. For example, as you ‘perambulate’, keep your body upright and try to let your whole body be part of the forward motion. Scrunching over or holding yourself stiff as you walk could worsen symptoms or add new issues!

Start by going for short walks to alleviate your sciatic pain too and go further if you feel you have the energy and confidence.

In praise of rest

The same attention to how your body is supported applies to resting to help remedy sciatic pain of course. For instance, curling or leaning incorrectly compresses the areas around the sciatic nerve, making it more likely to hurt!

Our Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion is designed to help when you’re driving or working, but also when resting.

No single way of managing sciatic pain works equally well for everyone. The trick is to explore various remedies to find one or a combination that brings you relief.

So step forward or sit down and aim for good posture.


  1. David Jones on November 18, 2019 at 8:12 am

    I Cannot agree more I got very bad sciatic pain after taking a miss step off a pavement. My pain was so bad that I blacked out the first night when I tried to get up for the Loo, & found myself on the floor, getting up was a slow an VERY painful process. I rested most of the following day in a chair with a hot wheat bag and my legs slightly elevated. The pain persisted, and I had a very bad night! The following day I got up early because of the pain and forced myself to gently go about my normal Sunday routine , Breakfast, load washing machine /Dishwasher, cook Dinner for the family. Although everything took twice as long as normal the pain changed from severe to just sore and I got a better night after that. So far since that I have kept active just doing normal things, avoiding climbing the stairs more than necessary, all be it more gingerly than normal I find that my pain although by no means gone has become much less severe. So thankyou for the advice to just keep moving it has REALLY helped me

    • SPRC on November 18, 2019 at 9:49 am

      A really useful post for anyone who is experiencing sciatica David. Thanks for sharing. What you describe is a very common progression for many people. Keep moving and improving.

  2. Naheed Maliky on February 11, 2020 at 8:53 am

    I am also suffering from sciatica for many years in the begining it was too worse but then I took some medications and cautions which helped me more. the more good remedi for sciatica is not lift heavy things and load and weight and other is normal casual walk for some 20 or 30 minuts avoid eating red meat and sour fruits like lemon and keno and vinegur. when pain or inflammation starts take rest and dont move a lot. dont try hard excercises which fall pressure on your nerves and try to take injections for sciatica pain. and always keep moving. one most effective remedi is turmeric which really heals sciatica. every third day take one tea spoon full turmeric dissolve in milk you will feel a lot difference in you pain.

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