Stretches for sciatica
* These stretches are designed to stretch the muscles and joints surrounding the sciatic nerve. However it should be noted that some sciatica symptoms can be very severe. These stretches may be uncomfortable to do but they should not cause you an increase in pain. If you are experiencing numbness, pins and needles or weakness in your leg or an increase in pain when doing these stretches please STOP and consult your Osteopath or Doctor. *
Sitting neural mobility and hamstring stretch
- Sit on the edge of a table with feet hanging and your back in neutral position (You can do it on a chair with your feet resting on the floor).
- Place your hands on your lower back and straighten one leg without letting your lower back slouch.
- If you can straighten your leg completely without pain, you can then pull your toes toward you until you feel a gentle stretch.
- Maintain the stretch, return to the initial position and repeat with the other leg.
- Make sure your back stays slightly arched at all times.
Laying on your back neural mobility and hamstring stretch
- Lie on your back and hold knee of affected side from behind with both hands and pull towards chest.
- Gently straighten leg by lifting foot towards ceiling until a light stretch is felt while keeping your buttocks to the ground.
- Slowly return to initial position.
- NOTE: Since this exercise mobilizes neural tissue (nerves) it is recommended to hold for maximum 3 X of 10 seconds or 10 slow repetitions.
Stretching glutei and piriformis muscles.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent, place one foot (affected side) over the opposite knee.
- Grab behind the leg that is on the ground with your hands and pull it toward you until you feel a gentle stretch.
- Maintain the position and relax.
- NOTE: Push on your knee to increase the stretch.
Pelvic tilt mobilisation of spine and pelvis
- Kneel down on your hands and knees with your knees directly under your hips and your hands directly under your shoulders.
- Keep your chin tucked-in while you make your lower back as round as you can (tilt your pelvis forward).
- Return to neutral position and then arch your back as much as you can (tilt your pelvis backward).
- Return to neutral position.