Sciatica is a condition which can be alleviated to some degree by exercises which are intended to strengthen potentially weak muscles and stretch those which are tight. In this article we look at three stretches, which depending on the cause of an individual’s sciatica, could help to address symptoms.
Now these stretches are for individuals who are experienced in stretching, maybe are experienced yoga practitioners and fairly flexible. If like me you look at the image of the young woman and just think never in a million years you probably want to go to our blog about some really simple and easy to do stretches for sciatica most people could do. If you want something more advanced then read on.
1. Forward pigeon stretch
This is an excellent stretch for the glutes, which can be tight in sciatica sufferers. In particular, if the sciatica symptoms are linked to piriformis syndrome or deep gluteal syndrome. The pigeon stretch can help open up the muscle. If this is too much for you may want to start with the seated pigeon. To start, you kneel on all fours, before taking the left leg and moving it in front of the body, with the outside of the thigh and calf against the floor. The right leg stretches out behind you as you slowly shift the body weight from the arms to the legs, breathing deeply and leaning gradually over the front leg. Repeat, switching legs.
2. Standing hamstring stretch
Performed by joggers and runners all over the world, this is a great way of loosening the hamstrings and relieving sciatic discomfort. Place the left foot on a surface which is elevated at around hip level. This could be a step, a fence or a bed. Then flex the foot so your legs and toes are as straight as possible. Bend forward, deeper into the stretch, but below the pain threshold. Hold the pose for 30 seconds, breathing in a controlled fashion. Repeat, switching legs.
3. Sitting spinal stretch
The spine is another possible source of sciatic pain when vertebrae compress. This is a good way of creating space in the spine. Sit on the ground with legs extended out and toes pointed upwards. Bend your left knee and place on the outside of your right leg. ‘Hug’ your left knee with your right elbow and gently twist to the left. Hold for 30 seconds while breathing deeply. Switch sides.
Those are three stretches which can be performed daily in order to provide sciatica relief and improve a range of motion. Remember to drink lots of water and exercise regularly, too!