How to Improve Your Sciatica With Exercising and Stretching

How to Improve Your Sciatica With Exercising and Stretching

Sciatica causes radiating pain along your buttocks or down one leg because of pressure on your sciatic nerve. That pain traveling down your leg can interfere with your quality of life, causing discomfort when you move, pins and needles, or numbness. 

Fortunately, getting relief from your symptoms doesn’t always have to be complicated. In fact, Dr. Jonathan D. Carlson has helped many sciatica patients get relief with stretching and exercise. Plus, if conservative treatments like those don’t work, he can explore more involved options like muscle relaxants, corticosteroid injections, and beyond. 

Ultimately, Dr. Carlson and our team at Hawai’i Pain and Spine, on the Windward side of O Ľahu in Kailua, are here to help you find relief.

To start, Dr. Carlson recommends trying exercise and stretching.

Stretches for sciatica

Certain stretches can alleviate the pressure on your sciatic nerve, easing your symptoms. You can try these stretches.

Reclined figure four

This stretch is also called the reclined pigeon,and you do it while lying on your back. Bend your knees and put your feet on the floor. Pick up your left leg and put your left ankle on your right thigh. Reach behind your right thigh and pull your legs gently toward your chest, keeping your low back on the floor. To help protect your knees, keep both feet flexed. 

Hold for at least 30 seconds and breathe, then repeat on the other side. 

Scissor hamstring stretch

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step your right foot forward about three feet. Hinging at your hips, fold forward over your legs. Try to keep your hips square, which means bringing your left hip forward and pulling your right hip back. Keep a small bend in your knees.

Hold for at least 30 seconds and breathe, then repeat on the other side. 

You can explore other stretches for sciatica to find what works for you. Or, to get a targeted care plan, talk to Dr. Carlson. He can recommend the right regimen for you based on your symptoms and what’s causing your sciatica. 

Sciatica and exercise

While your sciatica pain might make you want to sit on the couch, regular exercise makes a big difference in the way you feel. It encourages better blood circulation, which is important for your body’s healing processes. It also helps to reduce stiffness and support bone and muscle health, all of which play a role in your sciatica discomfort. 

Steer clear of strenuous exercise, especially pounding exercises like running. Don’t bike, either, because the motion of cycling can aggravate sciatica pain. Instead, try gentle exercises like walking for 30 minutes a day or slow-moving yoga. 

Again, if you talk with Dr. Carlson, he can recommend an exercise program that’s right for you. 

You don’t have to live with continued sciatica symptoms. To explore stretching and exercise — along with other options — to find relief, call our office to schedule your appointment today.

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