4 Best Sciatica Exercises To Do At Home (Pain Relief)

4 Best Sciatica Exercises To Do At Home (Pain Relief)

Sciatica pain can be painful and debilitating but there are some great sciatica exercises to do at home that you can start using today to relieve your pain. The radiating pain that travels from your back down through your hip and into your leg is the signature pain associated with sciatica which impacts about four in ten people at some point. If you’re currently experiencing sciatica pain, these home sciatica exercises can help you to start feeling better today.

In this video, Dr. Blake, Jane, and Ashley will demonstrate and explain exactly how to do the 4 best sciatica exercises to do at home for pain relief. These sciatica exercises won’t take much time at all and they’ll provide you with instant pain relief.

What is Sciatica Exactly?

Sciatica isn’t actually a condition, it’s simply what we call the pain caused by the irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body and because it covers so much area, there are lots of opportunities for it to become irritated. Sciatica is usually caused by a compressed nerve in the lower spine and the pain it produces can range from rather mild to very severe. It’s estimated that up to 40 percent of people will experience sciatica at least once in their life and if you’re one of those people, you know it can be very painful and annoying.

Some people confuse general back pain with sciatica but sciatica isn’t limited to just the back. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down the legs, ending just below the knee and pain can radiate from any of those areas depending on where the irritation occurs. It’s important to note that the pain can occur at any point along the course of the sciatic nerve depending on where the irritation exists and it doesn’t have to run the full length of the nerve.

Sciatica is easily recognized by its telltale pattern where the pain radiates from the lower (lumbar) spine to the buttock and down the back of the leg all the way down to the calf. This pattern typically only appears on one side of the body and can have a tingling or burning sensation that accompanies it. This pain can feel like a mild, dull pain or, when it’s more severe, like a strong painful jolt. Sciatica occurs on a spectrum from mild to severe so don’t discount your pain just because it isn’t extreme. If you are experiencing the radiating pain we described, you likely have sciatica.

Sometimes, sciatica creates numbness in the leg along the nerve and a tingling pins and needles sensation in one foot. It can be accompanied by numbness in the leg, pain while standing, difficulty breathing, and even anxiety symptoms.

Sciatica varies dramatically from person to person so we take a very personalized approach to treating it. Many of our patients that come to us with sciatica pain are able to find instant relief with dry needling. By placing needles into and around the trigger points we’re able to release the tension and reduce the pain. While the name may sound intimidating or painful, dry needling causes minimal discomfort if any. Our patients compare dry needling's effectiveness to that of multiple deep tissue massages, but in a fraction of the time.

If you have sciatica pain treat the source of the pain with the multiple tools we have available at our Towson office including dry needling, soft tissue release, physical therapy, and chiropractic adjustments. But sometimes coming into the office just isn’t possible and that’s when at-home sciatica exercises can help you relieve your own pain.


Sciatica Exercises to do at Home

When coming into our office isn’t possible, or you need sciatica pain relief immediately, make use of these sciatica exercises to do at home. The only equipment these at-home sciatica exercises require is a foam roller and a lacrosse ball.

  1. Glute Foam Roller: You can do this at home stretch with a simple foam roller. As you’ll see in the video above, Ashley is using the foam roller to roll over her left glute with her left leg extended. You want to focus on one glute muscle at a time so you can use the force of your full body weight to press down onto the foam roller. Spend 30 seconds to a minute on one side and then switch to your other side.
  1. Piriformis Stretch: As you can see in the video, Jane pulls her left knee toward her opposite shoulder in order to release tension in the piriformis muscle. If the piriformis muscle is tight, it can put pressure on the sciatic nerve resulting in sciatica pain. Spend 15-30 seconds per side on this stretch but be sure to avoid the bad stretch posture that Jane demonstrates. It’s important to keep the hips down on the ground and pull the knee to stretch the piriformis and avoid stretching the back.
  1. Piriformis Release with Lacrosse Ball: In the video, Jane places a lacrosse ball under her piriformis and while still lying on the floor, rolls it over the piriformis muscle. When doing this sciatica exercise, feel for tight and sore spots as you roll the ball. When you find one of these spots, stop rolling the ball and allow your body weight to put pressure down onto the ball. This simple stretch takes just 30 seconds to a minute per glute.
  1. Phase 2 Dead Bug: While lying flat on your back with your legs flat on the floor, raise your right arm and your left knee and lower them. Then, switch to raising your left arm and right knee. If having your legs flat on the floor is too difficult, you can put your feet flat on the floor so that your legs are in a sit-up position. While doing this stretch, keep your core muscles tight and make sure your knees don’t go past your hip sockets. Ashley demonstrates what an incorrect version of this at home sciatica stretch looks like so you can avoid it. Aim for three sets of 5-10 reps on each side to relieve sciatica pain. This exercise will also help you build up your core muscles so they better protect your back.

If you’re currently experiencing sciatica pain, give these 4 sciatica exercises to do at home at try. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well they can relieve sciatica pain quickly and easily. If your sciatica pain continues, give us a call or click here to schedule an appointment so we can get you feeling better faster.

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Kalkstein Chiropractic
200 East Joppa Road #300
Towson, MD 21286
(410) 296-7700