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What Stretches and Exercises Help Sciatica ?

In my experience the BEST way to ease Sciatica is to STOP stretching and instead focus your attention on understanding why your sciatic nerve is unhappy in the first place.

Stretches and exercises are focussing on the symptoms.

A far superior approach is to do the work understanding why the nerve is getting compressed, tensioned or over cooked ? and learning how to move in such a way that you unwind the tension, decrease the compression and soothe the nerve.

Now - there are no recipes for this. You can try your luck on Youtube and you may hit the jackpot, or you may make yourself a lot worse. It's a lottery and sometimes we are all desperate enough to try our luck.

Each person’s sciatica is unique to them.

Sciatica is a broad term to describe referred pain down the leg.

It tell’s you where the pain is - but little about what the cause is.

Having said all of that - some really common patterns I observe.

  1. Most people with sciatica have their foot turned out away from the midline, and their Piriformis muscle (in which the nerve runs) is shortened.

  2. Most people with Sciatica are also loading the painful leg more than the non-painful leg.

So - without being prescriptive - some things to play with or explore -

  1. Are you loading your two feet equally ? is your pelvis centred on your feet equally ? between left and right and front and back ? and don’t say yes without really feeling into your foot pressures. If you say yes - I call Bullshit. You may feel like you are - but if we put you on force plates and measured the weight distributions I almost guarantee you will be unequally loading.

  2. Does the pain ease or escalate if you turn your foot in or out more ? Play with this concept. Turning the foot in - stretches the muscle, but also increases tension in the nerve - so it can increase pain if the issue is nerve tension, but it can decrease the pain if the muscular element is more pronounced. Your sciatica may desire for your foot to turn out even more, for a short period of time - walking like a duck VS walking like a pigeon. Ask it ? It will certainly let you know.

There are thousands of these movement hacks to play with and they are easy when someone shows you how…..

And of course, if one is open to exploring the pain from a deeper level, you can spend hours in self exploration by reading about the emotional and spiritual connections here. Often when pain is intense it needs a combination of mental, physical and emotional guidance to heal.

That is our speciality @ Movement Solutions.

Holistic solutions designed to help you THINK, MOVE and FEEL better.

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