Stretching for Sciatica
Bronagh (Limerick ) on 07/06/2014: Wow - I just did your second exercise there for 20 seconds each and all the tightness disappeared. Thanks so much!
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Jana (Bountiful, Utah Usa) on 06/24/2011: For sciatica, try crossing your legs while standing up and then bend over. This action stretches your hamstring and helps with the sciatica. Hold for about 10 seconds and then repeat with other leg.
Elle (Traverse City, Mi) on 12/23/2010: Thank you so much, I've had sciatica on and off frequently for several years. It would just pop up and sometimes it would last a few days, sometimes weeks. Well, I've been dealing with it for a couple days now, so sore it was painful to walk. And I just tried the plank and upward facing dog stretch and it was immediately gone! Thank you thank you thank you! I'm so excited that I don't have to deal with it anymore! I just did each position 4 times alternating back and forth and then a second set and it was 95% better after that!
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Piratejenny23 (Sussex, Nj) on 08/16/2009: 2 Simple Stretches to Relieve Sciatica
I was doing some exercises that were supposed to help increase energy, and I accidentally discovered this simple exercise sequence that cured my sciatica.
I suffered from sciatica for at least 15 years, once or twice a month, for 3 or more days at a time. I tried chiropractors & all sorts of stretching, supplements, etc; nothing helped. I always felt if I could just "pop" that little gumball-sized spot in my pelvis where all the pain started, I would feel great relief.
So all you do is this: a plank position (like a push-up position) with your feet about 12" apart. Hold for several seconds (it may be difficult). Now look up to the ceiling and lower your pelvis until it's just hovering over the floor, and again hold for several seconds. This position is also known as upward-facing dog in yoga.
Just switch between plank & dog several times. ( I believe the article recommended 3 sets of 4). You can rest by doing downward-facing dog.
If you are not strong enough for this, or can't get down on the floor, you could try this bracing yourself against a wall (remember wall push-ups from gym class?).
It may not "work" immediately. I think it took a couple of weeks, then one day as I was getting into my car, my back "popped"! And I have been sciatica-free for years. If I ever feel that tension starting to build, I just do this a couple of times; I truly truly hate push-ups, but it's worth it.
I gave this remedy to a stranger that I was chatting with at a juice bar, and a couple of weeks later we ran into each other again. I didn't recognize her right away, but she almost knocked me over in her eagerness to give me a hug and thank me! I like to pass this along whenever I can...I hope it helps!
Debbie (New Plymouth, Idaho) on 01/24/2009: I have been dealing with sciatica and restless leg syndrome as well as fibromyalgia for quite awhile. My job requires a lot of heavy lifting which irritates everything including my lower back. It is very important to stretch every night before bed to keep the hamstring muscles from tensing up. A couple of stretches that work are
1.- sit on the floor. Cross on right leg over the other with the heel lined up with the knee of the left leg and then twist towards the right. Balance with your arms. Hold for a few seconds and then do it with the other leg;
2.Sit on the floor or in a chair. Clasp your hands over the right knee (leg is bent) and push against your hands and hold. Then put your hands on top of your bent knee and push up against your hands. It seems to align the bones in your hips and work the muscles that are irritating things. Of course you repeat on the other leg.