Sciatica refers to pain that branches down your lower back, through your buttocks, hips and legs. Sciatica is caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve that compresses the nerve and causes acute pain. In most cases, sciatica only affects one side of the body at a time. Luckily, sciatica pain is something that can be alleviated with stretching and exercises. If you aren’t able to see a physiotherapist or personal trainer, don’t fret, because these sciatica stretches and exercises can be done at home. The best exercises and stretches for sciatica are ones where you increase lower back and hip flexibility. Some sciatica exercises include: pigeon pose (with a few variations), seated spinal twists, standing hamstring stretches, and knee-to-chest stretches. If you want to know more about these stretches, read through to get a clear idea.
1. Knees to Chest
Before we get into how to treat sciatica and how to relieve sciatica pain at home, it’s important to remember that if any of these stretches cause or increase your pain, stop doing them immediately. So, the easiest stretch to do at home is a simple knees to chest stretch to help with lower back flexibility. Begin by lying on a mat or carpet, on your back. Then, bring your knees as far to your chest as you can. If you have some – ahem- flexibility issues, just bring your knees as far up to your chest as you can. If that’s too hard, lie on your back near a chair and put your bent legs up on the chair. For those of you who are very flexible, bring your knees to your chest and have a partner lightly press on your knees. Again, the main focus for this exercise is lower back flexibility.