4 Stretching Exercises to Do to Reduce Sciatic Nerve Pain – Our Guide
Are you experiencing sciatic nerve pain? We understand that it can be so excruciating that you don’t even want to move. While there are many causes for this kind of pain (spinal stenosis, injuries, and the likes), there are also plenty of things you can do to help relieve the pain.
One of the best things you can do to reduce the pain is stretching. Here are four stretching exercises to do to reduce sciatic nerve pain:
1. Opposite Knee to Shoulder
One of the simplest stretches you can do is to bring your knee close to the opposite shoulder.
To do this, lie down on your back and extend your leg outwards. Bend one of your legs and grasp it with your hands. With that done, gently pull it towards the opposite shoulder. For example, if you’re holding the right leg, pull it close to the left shoulder.
If done correctly, you should feel a sense of relief and stretching muscles, not pain. Repeat the process at least three times on each leg.
2. Reclining Pigeon
The reclining pigeon pose is one of the most common poses in yoga.
Lie down on your back, and slowly bring one of your legs up with the knee bent in a 90-degree angle. While holding the leg in place, bring the other leg close, placing the ankle behind the knee of the bent leg. Then, grasp the thigh of the first leg and pull in gently, holding the position momentarily. Repeat the same process on the opposite leg.
You might feel pain in the beginning, but that’s normal. This pose stretches the muscles that are prone to inflammation and press against your sciatic nerve. Over time, you will feel less pain as you continue with this stretching exercise. When you feel no more pain from this pose, you can move on to either sitting or forward pigeon pose.
3. Sitting Pigeon
The sitting pigeon is the same concept as the reclining position. The difference here is that you’re sitting down this time.
To do the sitting pigeon, first, make sure you’re sitting straight up with legs stretched out in front. Then, bend one of the legs close to you with the feet planted on the floor. Pull the opposite leg close and place its ankles on top of the knee of the first leg. With that done, lean forward closer to your legs and hold it for up to 30 seconds for maximum effect.
4. Forward Pigeon
The forward pigeon is perhaps the hardest one to do of all the pigeon poses, as it requires plenty of flexibility.
To do it, kneel on the floor with your hands and knees on the ground. Move one of the legs forward in front, placing it in front of you. The other leg should remain behind and stretched, meaning that only the foot is touching the ground. With that, slowly place all your weight on your legs while sitting up. Once you’re fully seated up with legs in contact with the ground, slowly breathe in and lean against the leg. When exhaling, bend forward and remove some weight off your legs by leaning on your hands.
These exercises will help you relieve some pain by stretching the muscles that are responsible for sciatic nerve pain. By doing these stretching exercises daily, coupled with the help of a doctor, your road to recovery will be as painless and quick as it can be.
If you’re looking for sciatica physical therapy in NYC, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.