From pregnant women to the UPS driver who is delivering your packages, many people are regularly plagued with sciatica. Sciatica is back or leg pain that radiates in the posterior thigh and often to the groin and even down into the toes. Sciatica can also be accompanied by numbness and tingling in the affected extremity. Check out these three stretches that can help relieve sciatica back pain.
Lying on your back, knees bent, cross your affected leg at the ankle over the opposite knee. Pull the knee of the affected leg across your chest until a stretch is felt through the buttocks. Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat 3-5 times. This stretches the piriformis muscle, which is a small muscle that runs through the buttocks. The sciatic nerve passes either through or near this muscle. When the piriformis becomes inflamed, sciatic nerve pain can be a result. Stretching the piriformis can help to relieve the pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Single Knee to Chest Stretch
Lying back, bend the knee of the affected leg and pull it towards your chest until a gentle stretch is felt. Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat 3-5 times.
The pigeon stretch is a more advanced stretch than the previous two. If you are unable to perform this stretch, begin with the previous stretches and work up to the pigeon stretch. Start with affected leg forward, bent at the knee and the opposite leg behind you straight in a lunge position. Cross the front leg over your body towards your opposite hand and drop it to the floor. Making sure to keep your hips square, lean your chest forward on top of your leg until a gentle stretch is felt. Hold for approximately 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
Many things can cause back and sciatica pain. Fortunately, performing these easy stretches can help to alleviate sciatica back pain.