How do I Stretch the Sciatic Nerve in the Left Leg?

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The condition sciatica comes from the body's longest and largest nerve, which is called the sciatic nerve. This nerve runs from the lower back down the back of the legs. The sciatic nerve sends signals to the brain and commands the movement of muscles in the legs and thighs. The condition sciatica is caused by the nerve becoming inflamed and irritated. This condition affects, most commonly, people 30 to 50 years old. The pain from sciatica is usually located down one side of the lower back area and in one leg. Occasionally, pain may continue down to the foot and toes, and for some this condition is quite debilitating.

Things You'll Need

  • Loose, comfortable clothing
  • Yoga or exercise mat
Pain from sciatica is usually to be found on just one side of the body.
Pain from sciatica is usually to be found on just one side of the body.

Hamstring Stretch: Sitting

Step 1

Sit on floor with left leg extended straight in front of you. You can use a yoga or exercise mat to sit on to make yourself more comfortable and to give your body a bit of support.

A yoga mat will give good support for floor exercises.
A yoga mat will give good support for floor exercises.

Step 2

Place your right foot against the left knee. This exercise is for the hamstring muscles which begin at the pelvic bone and attach to the tibia bone.

Leg stretching exercises can ease sciatica.
Leg stretching exercises can ease sciatica.

Step 3

Lean forward. Reach toward your foot until you feel a very slight pull in your hamstring muscles. The hamstring is made up of three muscles; biceps femoris, semitendinosus and semimembranosus. This exercise should stretch all three muscles.

The hamstring is made up of three different muscles.
The hamstring is made up of three different muscles.

Step 4

Hold this position for 30 seconds and then change sides and repeat. Hamstring muscles respond well to low repetitions and strong movements.

Excercising every day will improve general fitness.
Excercising every day will improve general fitness.

Hamstring Stretch: Lying

Step 1

Lie flat on your back. Use your yoga or exercise mat again for support.

Step 2

Raise your left leg up above you. Doing these hamstring exercises regularly should help sciatica, as sciatica pain is associated with the hamstring muscle tightening and subsequently causing tension in the nerve.

Keeping yourself fit will aid good health.
Keeping yourself fit will aid good health.

Step 3

Take hold of your leg and then pull up slowly until you feel a minimal pull on your hamstring muscles.

You should feel only slight resistance in your hamstring while exercising.
You should feel only slight resistance in your hamstring while exercising.

Step 4

Hold this position for 30 seconds and then change sides and repeat the process. Keeping these muscles flexible should reduce sciatica pain.

Keeping muscles flexible will reduce pain.
Keeping muscles flexible will reduce pain.

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Tips & Warnings

  • Regularly do these exercises to keep muscles flexible.
  • Do the exercises gently and slowly.
  • Check with your doctor before you start an exercise program.
  • Sciatica pain is reduced more by exercise than bed rest.

References

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