Sciatica Stretches

Sciatica Stretches and Exercises

What stretches and exercises are the best treatment for sciatica?

One of the last things you feel like doing when you're experiencing sciatic pain is getting up on your feet and doing sciatica stretches. Stretching those muscles sounds unappealing, but a gentle movement is actually one of the best things to do to help you get better, faster.

Anytime we're in pain, our natural instinct is to rest and take it easy. Our bodies, as well as our minds, tell us to lie down and rest. In some ways, that's right. You do want to avoid any strenuous activities like heavy lifting or anything that makes your pain significantly worse. But extended periods of rest lead to weakened muscles and that can only increase the possibility of further complications. Staying as active as possible is good for your circulation and for your mood. But sciatica stretches are one way we want to help you re-consider your usual pain-management routine and is one of the best treatment for sciatica.

Gentle exercises that stretch your muscles without placing additional strain on your joints or back, like sciatica stretches, will help strengthen your abdominal core, your back, and your leg muscles. This will help support your spine and bring relief from pain and muscle spasms.

While doing these sciatica stretches, it's very important to move slowly. Avoid quick, bouncing movements. Never jerk your body. Jerking and rapid twisting or bouncing motions while doing sciatica stretches could injure or tear muscle tissue. You should not experience any pain while completing sciatica stretches. Don't force yourself into uncomfortable or difficult positions. Almost everyone can benefit from the type of gentle stretching that's recommended with sciatica stretches.

Tendons, ligaments, and muscles, as well as your spine, can benefit from sciatica stretches. Over time, you will notice increased mobility, flexibility and decreased pain. And you will notice this, not only on your back. Sciatica stretches are one of the best treatment for sciatica, and when done correctly and routinely, can improve your posture and decrease tightness and tension throughout your musculoskeletal system.  It improves blood flow, bringing oxygen to tissues and removing toxins. Sciatica stretches encourage and promote healing.

It's important that you start slowly and gradually increase your number of repetitions. Remember, easy does it with sciatica stretches. You can find many stretching programs to help with back pain and sciatica. We've listed a few popular stretches for sciatica to get you started.

Sciatica Stretches: Mobilizing stretch

Sciatica stretches like this one are great for the sciatic nerve and the muscles in the back of the thigh (hamstrings).

Starting position: Lying on your back with a small folded towel under your head. Your legs are bent at the knees; feet are flat on the floor and about a hip-width apart.

  • Relax your upper body, tuck in your chin slightly
  • Unbend your right knee and bring it up towards your chest
  • With both your hands, grasp your right upper leg above your knee, on your hamstring muscle
  • Without pressing your lower back into the floor, slowly straighten your knee as far as you can. Stop right away if you feel any numbness, tingling or pain
  • Hold this position for a count of 20, taking slow, deep breaths
  • Slowly return to the starting position
  • Repeat with the left leg
  • Repeat three times, alternating legs

Sciatica Stretches: Back extensions

Sciatica stretches like this one increase the backward flexibility of the spine

Starting position: Lying on your abdomen. Lengthen your spine by propping yourself up on your elbows. Keep your neck forward and your shoulders back

  • Keeping your neck long and forward, and your hips grounded, push down on your hands and arch your back as far as is comfortable possible
  • Do not bend your neck backward. You should be able to feel gentle stretching in your abdominal muscles
  • Breathe in and hold for a count of 5 -10, relax
  • Return to the starting position
  • Repeat 10 times

Sciatica Stretches: Standing Hamstring Stretch

Sciatica stretches like this one is wonderful for the hamstrings. It lengthens and stretches them.

Starting position: Standing upright, next to a step.

  • Place your left leg up onto the step
  • Keeping your left leg straight and your left toes pointed straight up, lean forward. Remember to keep your back straight; don't arch your back
  • Only stretch forward as far as is comfortably possible. Hold for a count of 10-20 while breathing slowly and deeply.
  • Return to the starting position and relax.
  • Repeat with the right leg
  • Repeat 2 or 3 times, alternating legs

Sciatica Stretches: Lying deep gluteal stretch

The piriformis muscle is in your lower buttock area. Sciatica stretches like this one lengthen and strengthen it.

Starting position: Lying on your back. Place a small folded towel under your head.

  • Bend your right leg at the knee
  • Now, rest your left foot on your right thigh
  • Keeping your hips and pelvis straight and your tailbone on the floor, use your hands to pull your right thigh towards your chest
  • Taking slow deep breaths in and out, hold the position for a count of 10-20.
  • Return to the starting position and relax
  • Repeat with the opposite leg
  • Repeat 2 to 3 times with each leg.
  • If you can't hold onto your thigh, use a towel to grasp it

Sciatica Stretches: Knee to chest stretch

Sciatica stretches like this one improve flexibility in the lower back area

Starting position: Lying on your back with a small folded towel under your head. Your legs are bent at the knees, feet are flat on the floor and about a hip-width apart.

  • Relax your upper body and slightly tuck your chin in. Remember to stay relaxed, especially through your chest, shoulders, and neck throughout the stretch.
  • Bring your right knee up toward your chest and, grasping it with your hands, continuing stretching it in towards your chin as far as you comfortably can
  • Breathing slowly and deeply, hold this position for a count of 20-30
  • Relax and return to the starting position
  • Repeat with your left leg
  • Repeat 3 times, alternating legs.
  • As a variation, press both knees towards the chest at the same time
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Questions & Answers
Q:
What is the best way to treat permanent back and neck pain and stiffness?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Use a telephone headset

Never hold a phone between your shoulder and your ear. Use a headset or other hands-free system to talk on the phone and avoid abusing your neck and spine.

Neck Pain Tips: Exercise your neck muscles

One of the best neck pain tips is using the chin tuck. You can do this often throughout the day. In addition to helping strengthen the muscles that hold the head in alignment over the shoulders, it also helps strengthen the scalene and sub-occipital muscles.

Read more tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers
Q:
What is the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder Pain?
A:

One of the best treatment for neck pain and shoulder pain is exercises:

Neck Pain Exercises: Neck Extension

  1. To begin this neck pain exercise, sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the palm of your hand on the back of your neck, at the base of your head
  4. Apply slight forward pressure with your hand, while resisting the forward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

Neck pain exercises: Side bend

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place your left hand, palm down, on the left side of your head (around your ear)
  4. Slightly push your head to the right side with your hand, while resisting the sideways motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat 5-10 times
  7. Repeat the neck pain exercises with the other side.

Neck pain exercises: Neck flexion

  1. Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Looking straight ahead, tuck your chin slightly (starting position)
  3. Place the tips of your fingers on your forehead
  4. Slightly push your head backward with your fingers, while resisting the backward motion of your neck and head
  5. Hold for a count of 5 and return to the starting position and relax.
  6. Repeat the neck pain exercises 5-10 times

More exercises here: Neck Pain Exercises

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers
Q:
How do I reduce the shoulder and neck pain?
A:

Here are some tips:

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep with a cervical pillow

Orthopedic or cervical pillows are made with special contours to support the space beneath the neck and head. They are also more concave for the head and provide more support to the neck.

Neck Pain Tips: Sleep on your back

The best position to lie to sleep is on your back. If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, make sure your pillow is not too thick. It should raise your head no more than 4 to 6 inches. This will keep your neck and head from turning to either side.

Neck Pain Tips: Position your computer screen at eye level

While you are working at a computer, sit comfortably in your chair with your computer in front of you. Close your eyes and then open them. When you open your eyes, you should see the middle of the computer screen. If your gaze is not in the middle of the screen, adjust the height of the screen using items like books.

To keep your head from gradually drifting forward, take frequent breaks to stretch. Getting up to walk around at least once every half-hour is one of the best neck pain tips.

Neck Pain Tips: Carry weight evenly

Many people make the mistake of carrying a heavy briefcase or their purse on their shoulder or on one side of their body. Doing this causes strain in the muscles and leads to pain.

Remove non-essentials from your briefcase or purse. Consider using a backpack to evenly distribute the weight across your shoulders. If you choose to carry a purse or backpack, keep your shoulders level while carrying it.

Neck Pain Tips: Maintain a proper posture

The most common posture contributing to neck pain is the “head-and-shoulders-forward” posture. In this position, the neck slopes forward, putting the head in front of the shoulders.

In this position, the head pulls the upper back forward also in a slumped position. This places a strain on the entire spinal column.

More tips here: Neck Pain Tips: Sleeping, Posture, Exercising, Hydration & Prevention

Read more
Temed Holdings
4 answers