Stretches and Exercises That Can Relieve Sciatic Nerve Pain

Updated on April 13th, 2020
Exercises for Sciatic Nerve Pain

The sciatica pain starts initially from the lower back and then spreads towards the leg and often affects your feet too. You must have suffered from an excruciating pain that makes you immobile, while others might experience a tingling effect in the legs and feet with numbness and fatigue.

According to the reports(1), almost 10% of the people in the age group of 25-45 years and 40% of the total population in the USA face this issue. Moreover, this problem becomes chronic with age and can become a severe health ailment if not treated properly. While you are suffering from this pain, many types of stretches can provide relief. You can try these exercises for sciatic nerve pain that can soothe your pain.

5 Stretches to Curb Sciatica Nerve Pain

With proper exercises, especially stretches, you can get help. Here are the types of stretching that can help you to get relief from sciatica pain.

1. Reclining Pigeon Pose

Reclining Pigeon Pose

It is one of the sciatica pain relief exercises and involves poses that work fabulously on your hips and lower back. Here are the steps you should follow to do this exercise correctly

  1. Lie on your back and put your right leg up in the air.
  2. Hold the lifted thigh and lock your fingers behind it.
  3. Now, lift the left leg. Again, place the right ankle on your left knee.
  4. Maintain this position for a few seconds.
  5. Repeat this stretching exercise with the other leg.

Practicing this stretching every day can relax the piriformis muscles, which often get stressed and cause inflammation resulting in sciatic nerve pain.

[Also Read: Yoga For Sciatica Nerve Pain]

2. Sitting Pigeon Pose

Sitting Pigeon Pose

If you find the reclining pigeon pose easy enough, you can try the Sitting Pigeon Pose. Here are the steps to follow

  1. Sit on the ground and stretch your legs straight in front of you
  2. Bend right leg so that you can put the right ankle on your left knee
  3. Bend forward. Now, make sure the upper body is close to your legs
  4. Maintain the position for 10 to 20 seconds and then change your position
  5. Repeat it with the other leg

This stretching can relax your lower back and lower the intensity of sciatica pain.

3. Knees to Opposite Shoulder

knees to opp shoulder

To get relief from sciatica pain, you can also try the steps of this stretching exercise. Here are the steps you can follow-

  1. Lie on your back on the ground
  2. Lift the right leg and hold it above the left knee
  3. Now, pull your leg towards your left shoulder, across your body, and hold the position for half a minute
  4. Relax and do the same with left leg
  5. If you feel pain while doing it, lessen up the force you are putting in

By relaxing the piriformis and gluteal muscles, this stretching exercises relief sciatica pain.

[Also Read: Massage for Treating Sciatica Pain]

4. Standing Hamstring Stretch

Standing Hamstring Stretch

This is another effective way to stretch your body and say goodbye to sciatica. Know how to do it-

  1. Use a chair or a sturdy stool (below the hip level) for it
  2. Put your right leg on the chair and keep your foot and fingers straight
  3. Now, bend your body towards your toe, stretching as much as possible. Avoid pushing too hard
  4. Push your hips downwards
  5. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat with another leg

You can get quick relief from tightness around your hamstring through this exercise.

[Also Read: Benefits of Acupuncture for Sciatica]

5. Sitting Spinal Stretch

Spinal Twist yoga

Last, but not least, this stretching can help you a lot. Here are the steps-

  1. Sit straight on the ground and stretch your legs outwards
  2. Now, bend your knee as much as you can so that you can put your feet on the floor, across your opposite knee
  3. Turn your body gently to the back while putting the left elbow on your right knee to get the support
  4. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat this with the other leg

This stretch can help heal an affected spine.

Best Exercises for Sciatica Nerve Pain

Apart from the stretches, there are lots of other exercises that you can practice if suffering from sciatica.

  • Sciatic Nerve Floss

To reduce lower back pain, this exercise is effective. It relaxes your muscles and makes your sciatic nerve stress-free.

  • Cat and Cow

Cat Cow Pose for belly fat

When sciatic nerve pain impedes your movement, practice cat, and cow pose to improve your mobility. Also, this exercise can strengthen your spinal cord.

  • Half Cobra

Half Cobra pose

Amongst all the exercises, these exercises for sciatic nerve pain in buttocks make your spine stronger and also lower the other symptoms of sciatica(2). For relieving lower back pain and hip pain, this exercise is quite effective.

Exercises to Avoid in Sciatica

Not all exercises are effective in reducing sciatica nerve pain. These are the exercise you should avoid when suffering from sciatica.

  • Double Leg Lift

Double Leg Lift

Exercises that involve lifting both legs together could stress your sciatic nerve more. Such exercises are good for strengthening your abdominal core, but not good when you have sciatica.

  • Bent-over Row

Bent-over Row

Though this full-body exercise is good for your arms and back, it involves improper postures. Any improper postures while having sciatica pain can make the situation worse.

  • Leg Circles

    Lifting Your Legs

Those exercises for sciatic nerve leg pain that require you to move your legs to make a full circle tend to exert pressure on your hamstring. This can tighten your hamstring, and cause pain. Avoid doing this stretch.

So, try these exercises for sciatic nerve pain. While doing any workout, you should consult your doctor about the effectiveness of these. Also, practice these under an expert’s guidance.


1. Should I continue to exercise with sciatica?

You should consult your doctor and know which stretching exercises for sciatic nerve pain you can do. Strictly practice only those.

2. Should I rest with sciatica?

You should not go for complete bed rest as it can make your muscles more fatigued.

3. Does sciatica ever go away?

It depends on the treatment methods. Sometimes, it may last longer, while times, it can get relieved after a few treatments.

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