Exercises for Sciatic Nerve Pain

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Sciatic Nerve Pain, often referred to as sciatica, is essentially a symptom of a problem with your sciatic nerve. This may be due to a back injury or a disc displacement, but it will generally be a pain that runs somewhere from your buttock through your leg. It can be rather dull to quite severe, and should be examined by a health professional. Once you have an idea of the cause of your sciatic nerve pain, there are some exercises that you can do to alleviate some of the discomfort. Not all of these exercises are appropriate for everyone, so consult your physician before performing any exercise.

Things You'll Need

  • Yoga mat
  • Yoga strap (or belt)
  • Chair
  • Loose, comfortable clothing

Reclining Big Toe Pose

Lie down on your yoga mat with your legs fully extended and shoulders comfortably resting on the floor.

Bend your leg at the knee and draw it toward your chest. If you need to use your hands to assist you in drawing your knee close to your chest, you can do so at this time.

Wrap your yoga strap (or belt) under the arch of your right foot, making sure you have a hold of both ends of the strap.

Inhale and straighten your knee while you push the bottom of your foot toward the ceiling. Your leg should now be perpendicular to the floor.

Hold this position for a couple of breaths and release, bringing your right leg back to rest next your left.

Repeat Steps 2 through 5 for your other leg.

Seated Twist

Take a seat on a chair (a folding chair will work well for this exercise) and make sure that your feet comfortably rest on the floor.

Rotate your entire body to the right so that you are now seated "sideways" on the chair. Your knees should be lined up and with your hips.

Straighten your back, and as you exhale, twist your torso to the right while you keep your hips planted.

Place your hands on either side of the back of the chair to support the hold.

Remain in this position from a few breaths and release, returning your torso back inline with your lower body.

Repeat Step 1 through 5 for the other side of your body.

Downward-Facing Dog

Come down on your hands and knees, making sure to position your knees directly below your hips and your hands just in front of your shoulders.

Tuck your toes under so they are planted on the mat.

Lift your knees off the floor as you press your toes into the ground, extending your legs until they are straight (don't lock your knees). Your body should look like an upside-down "V."

Press your hands into the floor and let your head hang down slightly so your neck and spine make a straight line.

Hold this position for a few breaths and release, bringing your knees back to the floor.

Bridge Pose

Lie on the floor so that your back and legs rest on the yoga mat, positioning yours arms so they are at your sides.

Draw your feet into you, bending at the knees, until your heels are fairly close to your buttocks and the bottom of your feet are planted on the ground.

Press your arms and feet into the floor as your raise your pelvis toward the sky. Your thighs will end up somewhat parallel with the floor while your knees and ankles will be in line with one another.

Press your shoulders into the ground. Your back will arch slightly.

Hold this position for a few breaths and release, allowing your buttocks to come back to rest on the floor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure to consult a medical professional before performing any of these exercises, as your sciatic nerve pain may be a result of an injury that may be exacerbated by one or more of these exercises.

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