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
Hamstring Stretch: Sitting
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.
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.
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.
Hold this position for 30 seconds and then change sides and repeat. Hamstring muscles respond well to low repetitions and strong movements.
Hamstring Stretch: Lying
Lie flat on your back. Use your yoga or exercise mat again for support.
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.
Take hold of your leg and then pull up slowly until you feel a minimal pull on your hamstring muscles.
Hold this position for 30 seconds and then change sides and repeat the process. Keeping these muscles flexible should reduce sciatica pain.