For most people with sciatica, one of the best ways to get pain relief is to get up and exercise.
These videos from our site demonstrate common exercises that have helped patients live with less pain.
Keep in mind that it is important to always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
- For more on nerve pain, see Types of Sciatic Nerve Pain
1. Sciatica exercises for piriformis syndrome videos
These stretching exercises may help if your sciatica pain is caused by piriformis syndrome, a condition characterized by the piriformis muscle becoming tight and/or spasming and placing pressure on the sciatic nerve.
2. Gentle hamstring stretch for sciatica pain video
Tight hamstrings can also cause sciatica pain. Tightness in these muscles places additional pressure on the low back and surrounding tendons and muscles.
Watch: Wall Hamstring Stretch for Sciatica Relief Video
Stretching the hamstrings opens up space in the low back and can relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. The basic stretches presented can be incorporated into any routine and do not require any special equipment.
The hurdler stretch isn't the only type that will help. We just added 16 new hamstring stretch videos here. Try all of them and find one that is best for you.
3. Sciatica exercises for spinal stenosis video
Spinal stenosis can also cause sciatica pain.
Spinal stenosis irritates or impinges the sciatic nerve causing radiating pain down the leg while walking, but not when sitting down. Exercises for spinal stenosis focus on bending forward.
This action increases the size of the spinal passageways thus easing the irritation or impingement on the sciatic nerve. The exercises outlined in the Sciatica Exercises for Spinal Stenosis Video are selected to help patients decrease leg pain and disability so they can get back to doing their daily routines.
4. Sciatica exercises for degenerative disc disease video
Degenerative disc disease can cause a disc to impinge on a nerve root in the low back, thereby causing sciatica pain. Dynamic lumbar stabilization exercises are typically recommended in these cases. The exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles supporting the spine. In this video, the emphasis is on finding a neutral spine position and building strength through progressively challenging exercises.
Many HealthRcovered readers have told us about their successes with physical therapy for helping alleviate sciatica symptoms; others advocate the benefits of water therapy, which is less stressful on the body. Regardless of the mode of treatment, staying active is key. Long periods of sitting or inactivity often bring about the most pain. A physical therapist, certified athletic trainer, chiropractor, or other spine specialist will be able to recommend specific exercises that are best suited to your condition.
Most importantly, keep moving!