Sciatica can be horrendous, as you may know. It can stop us doing the most simple of tasks and stop us in our tracks in milliseconds! Nobody wants sciatica to stay around, and we definitely want is to disappear as fast as possible when it does turn up!!
So we've come up with 3 simple exercises to do at home, which will help reduce your pain and get control of your sciatica to help you manage it.
1. Sciatic Nerve Flossing
This exercise aims to loosen the friction of the nerve on your tissues. Start by sitting upright with your knees bent. Place your hands under your bum and slump over. Slowly straighten one leg out in front of you. Now bend your ankle to point your toes away from you and at the same time, bend your head down to your chin. Next, bring your ankle back up towards your shin at the same time as moving your head to look at the ceiling.
The only things moving should be your head and your foot, the rest of your body should stay in the same hunched position.
If you could imagine a shoelace (the sciatic nerve) passing through a plastic straw (your body). The shoelace is running from your head to your foot and by bending them, we are 'flossing' the nerve through your body to reduce any friction along the way.
You may only start with a small range of motion, but the more you do it the easier it will become and your pain should reduce.
2. Piriformis Stretch
This stretch can be done either stood up or sat down (or both).
To perform it standing, cross one foot over the standing leg just above the knee. Sit back into it slightly whilst pushing your knee out and down. You will feel a stretch in your bum. To make it harder, sit into the stretch more.
To perform it sitting, sit with your legs out straight, again with one leg crossed over just above the knee of your straight leg. Pull your bent knee towards the opposite shoulder. You should again feel the stretch on the outside of your bum. To make it harder, pull the knee with more force to your shoulder.
3. The Pigeon Stretch
Begin on the floor. Bend one knee and cross the leg underneath the other so that your knee is around hip height and the foot is just below the opposite hip, where a trouser pocket would be. Keep the other leg straight out behind you. Gently lower yourself, pushing the bent leg towards the ground. You should feel a stretch on the outside of the hip that is stretching. The more force you put into your knee creates a deeper stretch. You can also adjust the height of the foot until you feel the desired stretch.
Over to You!
These 3 exercises will reduce your pain and should help you management your symptoms. The most important thing is to keep moving as much as possible, but stop anything that might be aggravating your condition.
Have you purchased our sciatica rehabilitation programme yet? It's full of information on how to manage your condition, what is best to do to reduce the pain, how to stay positive, along with a daily exercise programme and pain and progress trackers to keep you on track. Take a look below.