5 Stretching and strengthening exercises that can help treat and prevent sciatica. These three exercises are gentle but effective. Make sure you ease into each one gradually and do not force yourself to work harder than is comfortable.
Reclining spinal twist
This exercise opens up your spine and gives it a gentle twist; it’s one of my favorites as it feels great. After doing this, my back feels loose and limber, and any residual back tension just melts away. Don’t worry if you can’t twist as far as the yogi in the video; just go as far as you feel comfortable. Ease into it and relax, not forgetting to breathe.
Exercise instructions: Lie on your back with one leg bent and one leg straight. Reach across and put your hand on the opposite bent knee. Pull the bent knee gently over to the side and twist your spine. Try to keep your shoulders flat on the floor.
Sit down on our glutes and we can start with our legs extended just to neutralize. We’re gonna bring one knee underneath. The opposite knee is going to stretch over that front knee kind like a pretzel.
From here you’re gonna gently take the opposite hand and bring it over that knee gently exhaling your way into a twist.
Keep both glutes on the floor if you can. If this is too difficult for you we just extend one leg bring it over the knee the same way and now stretch in the opposite direction. Feel free to do whatever works best for you.
I personally like bending the bottom knee because I get a nice stretch in my hip flexors and glutes as well. Gently exhale as you twist staying nice and upright pressing that back nice and tall breathing in deeply into this pose. This pose is most effective with deep breaths so, breath deeply for a few deep breaths in one direction and then gently come back to center.
Yoga’s cat cow stretch is a good way to mobilize your spine and pump your bulging disk back into place. You may find that, initially, you have limited movement in your spine. But, after a few repetitions, you should loosen up and start to feel some pain relief. Move slowly from one pose to the next, and remember to breathe in time with your movements.
Exercise instructions: Kneel on all fours with your hips over your knees and your shoulders over your hands. Lift the middle of your back up to the ceiling and lower your head toward the floor. Next, look up to the ceiling and lower your abdomen down toward the floor. Keep alternating between this positions for several repetitions.
This is a great pose but we’re gonna be gentle moving into this. So begin on your hands and knees from here extend one leg back lift that knee up to extend one leg back lift that knee up to it on the floor.
We’re gonna begin with half pigeon just from right here nice and upright position. Make sure that your hips are straight they’re not open. It’s okay if you can’t reach all the way to the ground, use your hands to just support your weight. From here open the hips and your chest nice and tall, breathe into it. If you need to feel free to bend forward a little bit into that half pigeon pose maybe on your elbows or maybe just bringing your hands forward slightly in front of you. If you feel like there’s a little pressure on your knee feel free to fold a towel under your knee or even fold a yoga blanket underneath your hips for a little extra support.
Hold this pose for a few deep breaths and then you can gently either tilt out of it tucking that toe pressing up coming back. You also want to make sure you switch sides. So really important to keep those hips nice and straight towards the ground really support yourself so that your back is straight. Lifting that back lifting the head and breathing nice and deeply. Again if it feels more comfortable feel free to come down into half pigeon. Hold that for a few deep breaths on each side and then you’re good to go.
Child’s pose is a relaxing way to correct poor posture and place your spine into a mild extension, reversing the slump and slouch so many of us adopt for most of the day. This will help prevent poor posture and keep your disks from bulging against your sciatic nerve.
Exercise instructions: Kneel down with your arms extended in front of you. Shift your hips backward and lower your chest and arms toward the floor. Imagine melting your chest into the ground. Keep your spine long throughout.