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How to Stretch the Sciatic Nerve


Sciatica is a term that many have heard of, but few truly understand. Characterized by pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg, sciatica can be both debilitating and frustrating. The discomfort can range from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation or even excruciating pain. Often, it can feel like an electric shock. But did you know that stretching the sciatic nerve can offer relief?

Understanding Sciatica

Before diving into the stretches, it’s essential to understand sciatica’s root causes. Sciatica typically occurs when the sciatic nerve is pinched, often by a herniated disc in the spine or by an overgrowth of bone (bone spur) on the vertebrae. Other times, the nerve can be compressed by a tumor or damaged by diseases like diabetes.

Stretches for the Sciatic Nerve

Reclining Pigeon Pose

Lie on your back and bring your right leg up to a right angle. Clasp both hands behind the thigh and lift your left leg. Place your right ankle on top of the left knee and hold the position. See How.

Knee to Opposite Shoulder

Lie on your back with your legs extended and your feet flexed upward. Bend your right leg and clasp your hands around the knee. Gently pull your right leg across your body toward your left shoulder. Hold it for 30 seconds.  See How. 

Spinal Stretch

Lie on your back and extend your arms out to the side in a “T” shape. Bend your right knee and place your right foot on your left knee. Slowly twist to the left, letting your knee fall toward the ground. Hold for 20-30 seconds. See How. 

Remember, while these stretches can provide relief, they should be done gently and never forced. If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop immediately.

Seeking Professional Help

While these stretches can offer temporary relief, chronic sciatica pain indicates a deeper issue that needs professional attention. At The Spine Pro, we specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the spine, ensuring you receive the best care possible. If you’re experiencing persistent sciatica pain, don’t wait. Reach out to Dr. Hooman Melamed at The Spine Pro to discuss your symptoms and get on the path to recovery.

Click here to request an in-person or telemedicine/televideo virtual appointment or call 424-21-SPINE.