If one of your sciatic nerves gets irritated, you’ll experience severe pain shooting through your lower back and down your leg. Sciatica is usually caused by compression in the spine, typically disc herniation or stenosis. It’s also possible, though not confirmed, that the piriformis muscle can put pressure on the sciatic nerves. Should you experience possible sciatica, it’s a good idea to consult a physician. But there are also some stretching exercises that may help reduce the pain.
Two of these exercises target the piriformis muscles. In the “standing piriformis stretch,” you stand up straight and put one foot over the opposite knee. Then you lower your hips as if you were going to sit on a chair. Hold this pose until you feel your muscles stretching. Repeat this on the other side. The “lying piriformis stretch” is much the same, except that you do it lying down, pulling the leg your foot is resting on toward your chest.
The “hip stretch” involves lying on your back, bending one knee so it points at the ceiling and then turning it such that it’s above the other knee; try to have your upper body pointing up while you do this. Do it again but with the other knee up. The “hip lift” is very very easy: balance on all fours and lift a leg out behind you so the heel is pointing toward the ceiling. Repeat about five times and then switch legs.
In the “sink stretch,” you sit on your knees and stretch one leg straight out behind you and then let your lower body lean forward. The “crotch stretch” isn’t as bad as it sounds: sit on the floor, spread your legs as wide as you can, lean forward until you feel stretching and hold that position. Finally, the “sitting stretch” involves sitting on a chair and lifting one leg so that the heel goes past the knee and then leaning forward.
For more details, check out the videos posted below and let us know if any of these exercises helped. Be sure to like and share, too!