Yoga for Sciatica
- Written by Staff Therapist
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Sciatic nerve pain can be uncomfortable and may affect your quality of life and your activities.
Flares in sciatic pain can be debilitating. Often times the lower back and hips can contribute to sciatic pain. Try these yoga stretches for some relief.
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or a physical therapist for an individualized session and exercises.
Here are some stretches you can do at home, at the gym, or at the park to keep your sciatic nerve pain at bay and enjoy your day pain-free.
Figure 4 Stretch
- Begin by lying down comfortably on floor or bed with one knee bent and foot on floor/bed and other foot resting on opposite knee.
- Strap or hands are wrapped around bottom knee.
- Relax low back and shoulders.
- Gently bring both arms to bring bottom knee to chest to stretch opposite glute/hip.
- Keep shoulders relaxed and keep back flat on bed/floor hips even.
- Stretch for 30 seconds - 1 minute, and repeat 2-3x on each side. This stretches the piriformis muscle.
Seated Single Leg Stretch
- Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out straight in front of you.
- Place the right ankle on top of the left thigh, or place the sole of the right foot along the inseam of the left thigh.
- Lean forward and allow your upper body to reach toward your thigh.
- Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. This stretches the glutes and lower back.
- Repeat on the other side.
Outer Hip and IT Band Stretch
- Begin by lying down comfortably on floor or bed with both knees bent and feet on the floor.
- Relax low back and shoulders. Relax low back and shoulders.
- Wrap the hands around the back of the right knee, or loop a yoga strap around the ball of the foot.
- Straighten the leg towards the ceiling and slowly swing the leg across the body, across midline to the opposite side.
- Use arms for control and stability. Keep knee soft, NOT locked.
- Stretch for 30 seconds - 1 minute, and repeat 2-3x on each side. This stretches the abductors of the hip and the fascia of the IT Band.
- Sit on the mat with your legs extended straight out in front of you.
- Bend your right knee and place your foot flat on the floor on the outside of the left knee.
- Wrap your left forearm around the outside of the right knee to help you gently turn your body toward the right.
- Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times, then switch sides. This twist tractions the spine, which may reduce tension on the sciatic nerve.
Seated Forward Fold
- Begin in a seated position, with both legs in front of you
- Keeping your spine long, hinge forward, feeling a stretch behind both legs.
- Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times. This stretches the hamstrings which can add tension to the hip and low back area.
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