Stretching for Sciatica


The pain of sciatica can be nightmarish: tingling and numbness in the lower extremities, pain and stiffness in the lower back; it can be difficult enough just to stand up out of bed. What if there was a way to quickly alleviate some of the pressure from your sciatic nerve so you could get on with your day? Stretching is the most reasonable answer, and there are specific stretches that can be done from your bedroom to help you start off the day or wind it down and get to sleep. As with any stretching routine, the emphasis should be on consistency: repeating these stretches regularly helps to condition the tissues surrounding the issue to combat stiffness and pain. 

When your muscles are tight, such as the piriformis, which runs under the glutes, it can cause impingement to the sciatic nerve. Through stretching, we can release these muscles and thus, the sciatic nerve, from tension.

1. Lie supine with legs extended and lift your right leg in the air, supporting it with your hands. 

  • Pull your right knee across your body toward the opposite shoulder.
  • Once you reach a point of resistance, hold for 30 seconds and release.
  • Switch legs, 3 reps per leg. 

2. Lie supine with knees bent and feet flat. 

  • Lift the right leg and cross the ankle over the left knee.
  • With both hands, pull from behind the left knee, lifting your legs toward the chest while simultaneously pushing the right knee away from the chest. 
  • This motion should create a resistance; don’t push unto pain. 
  • Hold 30 seconds, then release.
  • Repeat 3 times with each leg.

Muscle tension is an unavoidable reality as we get older. However, if it is causing you sciatic nerve pain, it is worth doing something! Sciatica can be caused by a number of conditions including subluxation, herniated disc and muscle strain. At Espinosa Family Chiropractic, we are experts in helping people fight back against the incursion of sciatica in their life; give our office a call and schedule an appointment to find out how we can help you today!

Dr. Raymond Espinosa, D.C.