What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is the term used to describe nerve pain in the buttocks, legs and feet. It is caused when the sciatic nerve – the longest nerve in the body – becomes compressed or irritated. If you’re suffering with pain that radiates down the back of your leg and into your feet, it could be sciatica. We’ve complied a list of the 12 best sciatica stretches below. According to National Centre for Biotechnology Intervention:
Often, a common mistake is referring to any low back pain or radicular leg pain as sciatica. Sciatica is specific to the pain that is a direct result of sciatic nerve or sciatic nerve root pathology. The sciatic nerve is made up of the L4 through S2 nerve roots which coalesce at the pelvis to form the sciatic nerve. At up to 2 cm in diameter, the sciatic nerve is easily the largest nerve in the body. Sciatica pain often is worsened with flexion of the lumbar spine, twisting, bending, or coughing.
What is the Sciatic Nerve?
The sciatic nerve starts at the lower spine before running through the buttock, down the back of the thigh and into the foot. It’s an important nerve that sends signals from the spinal cord to the entire lower body. People can also suffer from Lumbago with Sciatica. Lumbago is generally pain in the lower back. Sciatica stretches can alleviate the pain, and would be a much better medium to long term solution than painkillers or injections.
Because of its location and length, the sciatic nerve has a variety of functions. That’s why sciatica can result in pain throughout the entire lower body, and can even lead to coughing, sneezing and muscle contractions.
What Causes Sciatica?
There are a number of potential causes for a compressed or irritated sciatic nerve. Some of the most common include:
- Slipped disc. If the outer casing of a disc in your spine becomes herniated, the interior of the disc bulges more than it should. This can lead to compression of the sciatic nerve, resulting in pain and discomfort.
- Spinal injury. If you injure your spine, or the muscles that support the spine, inflammation can press on the sciatic nerve.
- Spinal stenosis. Sometimes the passage holding the spinal cord can become narrowed – often due to large ligaments. In some cases, this can cause compression on the sciatic nerve. Spinal stenosis often results in pain in the lower back.
- Spondylolisthesis. This is a condition where a vertebra moves more than it should. It can either be caused by ageing or repeatedly bending the spine in an unnatural way.
- Spinal infection. This is less common, but is a potential cause of sciatic pain.
The amount of pain, loss of sensation or tingling can vary depending on how much the nerve has been compressed or irritated. The location of the nerve compression can also affect where the pain radiates.
How Long does Sciatica Last?
Sciatica is intermittent. An acute episode may last between one and two weeks and usually resolves itself in a few weeks. It’s fairly common to experience some numbness for a while after the pain has subsided.
What Causes Sciatica to Flare up?
Sciatica triggers vary from person to person. Some people also find that they will have multiple triggers. Knowing these triggers is crucial in avoiding and managing flare ups. If you can identify what causes sciatica to flare up, you’ll know how to avoid the flare ups. Here are some common triggers that you should look at closely to see if they cause inflammation, and how they affect your body.: stress, sitting for long periods of time, foods you’re eating (foods like bread, sugary drinks, and popcorn are known to cause inflammation), heavy lifting, tight shoes, depression and negative emotions.
How is Sciatica Treated?
Each cause of sciatica requires a specific treatment plan to effectively reduce compression on the sciatic nerve and eliminate pain.
Traditional treatment for sciatica usually involves a combination of pain-killing medications and rest. This can sometimes be effective at reducing pain in the short-term. The problem is that it only treats the symptoms of sciatica, meaning the pain often returns at a later date.
Physiotherapy exercises and sciatica stretches are another common treatment. Unlike pain-killing medication, these exercises treat the underlying problem – but it’s vital that the right exercises are performed for a specific cause of sciatica. The wrong exercises can worsen pain and increase the time taken for recovery.
In his article, Ian Hart, a back pain specialist, explains how he has helped thousands of people break free of back pain without medications or surgery. Click here for the article.
Here's 12 Sciatica stretches to relive nerve pain
The first line of intervention for sciatica should definitely be physical therapy. These exercises (sciatica stretches) are also helpful for people with lower back pain (lumbago) and lumbago with sciatica. Here’s our full article on Lumbago>>>
Simple Seated Sciatica Stretches
- Sit in a chair and cross your sore leg over the knee of your other leg.
- Keeping your spine straight and bend your chest forward slightly. If you don’t feel pain, bend forward slightly more.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Repeat this stretch with your other leg for 30 seconds
Standing Piriformis Sciatica Stretches
If you’re having trouble balancing with this stretch, stand with your back against the wall and your feet about 2 feet from the wall for extra support. This exercise will open the hips and make you more flexible.
- Standing up, place the leg that’s causing you pain over the knee of your other leg, making the shape of the number 4 with your legs.
- Lower your hips at a 45-degree angle until they reach the ground. Bend the leg you’re standing on as needed.
- As you bend forward at the waist, start reaching your arms down to the ground while keeping your spine straight.
- Hold this for 30-60 seconds.
- Switch legs when finished for another 30-60 seconds.
Supine Piriformis Sciatica Stretches
This exercise should relieve sciatic nerve pressure in the glutes area.
- Lie down with both feet on the floor and bend your knees upwards.
- Cross the affected leg over your other leg.
- Hold your knee with one hand and your ankle with the other hand. Pull the bent leg across your body until your glutes are pulled tight.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute and release.
Outer Hip Piriformis Sciatic Stretches
This stretch will open your hips and ease pain in hip and lower back area.
Groin/Long Adductor Sciatic Stretches
- Sit on the floor and stretch your legs diagonally out in front of you, spread as far apart as possible.
- Put your hands on the floor next to each other while bending your torso forward toward the ground.
- Lean forward and rest your elbows on the ground. If it hurts, stop.
- Hold the position for 10-20 seconds.
Inner Thigh/Short Adductor Sciatic Stretches
- Sitting on the ground, put the soles of your feet together in front of your pelvis.
- Hold your ankles with the opposite hands (left hand – right ankle and vice versa).
- Gently push downward with your knees with the effort to touch the ground with them. You need to stop right before any pain occurs, which means that if you feel pain, get back an inch or two and stay there.
- Hold for 30 seconds, release, and flutter your legs in that position (like a butterfly) for 30 seconds.
Want to get even deeper stretch? Push your knees down with your elbows or bend your torso forward while keeping your back straight.
- Lie down on the side of your body that isn’t in pain.
- Bend your legs back, holding one foot over the other and keeping your legs parallel to each other. You should be creating an “L” shape.
- Keeping your feet together, lift up the top knee while keeping the rest of your body in the original position.
- Slowly bring your knee to the initial position.
- Repeat 10-20 times.
8. Kneeling Hip Extension for Sciatica
- Get on the ground on all fours, making sure your hands are in line with your shoulders and knees aligned with hips.
- Raise your affected leg upward slowly with your knee bent toward the ceiling.
- Gradually lower your leg until it’s nearly touching the ground.
- Repeat 15 times.
9. Knee to chest sciatic stretch
Start position: Lie flat on your back on a mat or the carpet. Place a small, flat cushion or book under your head. Bend your knees and place your feet straight and hip-width apart. Keep your upper body relaxed.
Action: Bend one knee up towards your chest and hold it with both hands. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds with slow deep breaths.
Repeat 3 times then alternating legs. You can vary this up by doing a double knee to chest stretch, holding both hands under the knees instead this time. One of the best sciatica stretches – can really feel the buttock muscles stretching out.
10. Sciatic Mobilizing Stretch
Start position: Lie on your back. Place a small, flat cushion or book under your head. Bending your knees, keep your feet straight and hip-width apart. Keep your upper body relaxed.
Action: Bend one knee up towards your chest. Hold the back of your upper leg with both hands, then slowly straighten the knee. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, while taking deep breaths. Bend the knee and return to the starting position.
Repeat 2 or 3 times, alternating legs.
- Don’t press your lower back into the floor as you stretch.
- Only stretch as far as it is comfortable.
11. Back Extensions
Start position: Lie on your front and rest on your forearms with your elbows bent at the sides. Keep eyes towards the floor and keep your neck straight.
Action: Keeping your neck straight, arch your back up by pushing down on your hands. You should feel a gentle stretch along the stomach muscles. Breathe and hold for 5 seconds. Return to the starting position.
Repeat 5 to 10 times.
- Don’t bend your neck backward.
- Try keep your hips on the floor.
12. Reclining Pigeon Pose
Pigeon pose is a common yoga pose. It works to open the hips and stretch the pirrformis around the sciatic nerve. There are multiple variations of this stretch. The first is a beginner version known as the reclining pigeon pose.
- While on your back, bring your right leg up to a right angle. Hold both hands behind the other thigh, locking your fingers.
- Lift your left leg and place your right ankle on top of the left knee.
- Hold the position. This stretches the piriformis muscle, which sometimes becomes inflamed and presses against the sciatic nerve, causing pain.
- Alternate with the other leg.
Once you can do the reclining version without pain, work with your physical therapist on the sitting and forward variations of the pigeon pose.
Why Conventional Sciatica Treatments Often Don’t Work…And Could Even Make Your Pain Worse
Chronic sciatica can be a frustrating condition to cure. It’s common for people to try multiple types of treatment – often spending a lot of money in the process – without noticeable results.
But here’s the good news. Sciatica can be extremely painful and even debilitating, but it’s very rare that the sciatic nerve is permanently damaged.
This means that even if you’ve been dealing with sciatic pain for years, there is a high chance that you can completely recover and live a pain-free life. Sciatica stretches, as shown above, can go a long way towards relieving sciatica.
Not only that, but many people can recover from sciatica much faster than you could ever imagine – sometimes in as little as seven days – with the right treatment program.
The key is to find a treatment that addresses the underlying cause of your pain.
Why Conventional Sciatica Treatments Often Fail
If you visit a doctor about your sciatica, he or she is likely to prescribe pain-killing medication. This can be useful as a short-term fix and may also reduce inflammation.
The problem is that medication doesn’t address the underlying cause of sciatica. If you have a compressed or irritated nerve, drugs often just hide the problem without resolving what’s really causing your pain.
Many pain-killers – especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – are also not suitable for long-term use. They can cause stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea and other nasty problems.
The worst part? If something you are doing is causing sciatica…such as putting excessive load on the spine during certain movements…then masking the pain with drugs could cause you to keep repeating the action and make your pain worse.
This is a big problem with the modern approach of pain management. It’s also why many people suffer for years with sciatic pain even though they are receiving traditional medical treatments.
Can Chiropractors Eliminate Sciatic Pain?
Another common treatment for sciatica is chiropractic manipulation. There is some low-quality evidence that this can provide relief for short-term sciatica…but there is little or no evidence that it can work for chronic sciatic pain.
There have also been reports that sciatic manipulation can cause a condition called cauda equina syndrome – a serious problem that can lead to loss of function in regions of the lower back. It can even result in sexual dysfunction or loss of bladder control.
Considering there isn’t much evidence to suggest that chiropractic manipulations can reduce sciatic pain, it’s hard to recommend it as a treatment when it’s potentially linked to more serious problems such as cauda equina.
What Are Some Effective Treatments for Sciatica?
If conventional treatments may not reduce your sciatic pain – or can even make the problem worse – what can you use instead?
There are a number of alternative treatments available. These include home remedies, tailored exercise programs (see sciatica stretches above), sleep therapy and many more. Alternative treatments have helped thousands of people overcome their sciatic pain without expensive or dangerous therapies.
To read about how one man cured his sciatic pain using a completely natural treatment program, click here. It’s a bizarre but amazing story – and holds the key to solving your sciatic pain for good!
How to Cure Sciatica at Home
If you’ve had enough of sciatica pain ruling your life, don’t despair!
In this article, I’m going to show you three of the most common home sciatica treatments – and how you can use them to reduce pain quickly.
The best part about these treatments is that they can cure sciatica – not just cover up the pain.
So, let’s get started…
1. Home Exercise Program
Exercise programs are an important component of any sciatica treatment plan. By stretching and strengthening parts of your body that may be causing irritation of the sciatic nerve, you can reduce pain and speed up recovery.
The most effective exercises depend on the underlying reason you are suffering from sciatica. Sciatica caused by a herniated disc, for example, is not treated with the same exercises as sciatica caused by spinal stenosis. Generally, regular sciatica stretches will alleviate pain. To find out the best exercises for any cause of sciatica, click here.
It’s also important to keep your body relaxed to allow it to heal. A great way to do this, without aggravating your condition, is brisk walking. Other light activities can have a similar effect, but if something hurts then stop immediately.
Bonus tip: It’s essential that you don’t become completely bed bound due to pain. Lying in bed for more than two days has been shown to make sciatica worse, as your muscles become tight and weakened.
2. Balance Your Diet
Curing sciatica permanently often means treating more than just the physical cause. You also need to improve your diet to prevent the pain from reoccurring.
One of the easiest ways to reduce the pain associated with sciatica is to drink more water. When you’re dehydrated, parts of the spine become deflated. This can cause extra pressure on the sciatic nerve.
If possible, you should also try to avoid anti-inflammatory foods. There are far too many inflammatory foods to list in this article, but anything with high sugar content can potentially lead to inflammation and increased pain.
3. Home Remedies
Home remedies can make a big difference to your sciatica pain – and often relatively quickly. The great thing about home remedies is that they don’t require a prescription or expensive ingredients.
One of the simplest home remedies is peanuts. This is because peanuts contain lots of magnesium which is crucial for allowing muscles to relax.
By eating a small/medium portion of peanuts each day, the muscles surrounding the sciatic nerve are more likely to loosen up and reduce compression.
Choosing the Right Home Cure for Sciatica
Each of these home treatments can be effective – but you shouldn’t just choose random treatments for your pain. Instead, it’s important to choose the right treatment for the underlying cause of YOUR sciatica, or your pain may worsen or at best – not improve at all.
Fortunately, a sciatica expert has recently released an online program teaching you how to cure sciatica pain in less than seven days, from the comforts of your own home. The course also contains a list of the seven most powerful home remedies to naturally eliminate sciatica pain and comes with an iron-clad full money-back guarantee! Click here to find out more
Sciatica SOS Review: Your Guide To Eliminating Sciatica Pain In 7 Days Or Less – Guaranteed!
If you’ve spent time researching sciatica cures, you’ve probably already heard about Sciatica SOS™ – a treatment program that guarantees to eliminate pain in just 7 days.
But what’s included in the program? And can it really resolve your pain that quickly?
I spent some time researching Sciatica SOS™ to find out the truth. Here’s what I found.
Overview of Sciatica SOS™
Sciatica SOS™ is a program created by Glen Johnson – a former sciatica sufferer whose pain became so bad he couldn’t even do the grocery shopping…he had to rely on his wife to do all the work.
After years of struggling with pain that was becoming increasingly worse – and trying every conventional treatment, such as pain medication and regular visits to a chiropractor – Glen realized it was time to try something new.
That’s when he was introduced to a different way of treating sciatica by a family friend. The treatment, originally developed in Ancient Nepal, gave Glen almost instant pain relief. And within five days, his sciatica pain had disappeared completely.
In Sciatica SOS™, Glen reveals the exact treatment program so you can follow along and achieve similar results.
What’s Included in Sciatica SOS™?
The course starts with a useful section explaining the most common causes of sciatica. It also helps you identify the underlying reason for YOUR pain.
This is essential because there are many potential causes of sciatica, and they need to be treated differently (this is also a big reason why Googling generic treatments doesn’t work and will likely make your sciatica worse).
Once you’ve completed this section, the real meat of the program begins. Glen guides you through each of the following types of treatment, and tells you exactly which to use depending on the underlying cause you discovered earlier:
Home remedies (page 26) – seven of the most powerful remedies you can make at home to eliminate sciatic pain.
Exercise program (page 29) – specific exercises to resolve any underlying cause of sciatica.
Sleep therapy (page 62) – an essential, but often overlooked, component in treating sciatica.
Diet (page 64) – simple, easy alterations you can make to your diet to quickly resolve pain and prevent sciatica from returning.
For most people with sciatica, these four treatments will be enough to resolve pain quickly. But for those who need a little extra help, there are also advanced sections about “Trigger Point Therapy” and how to “Reorganize Your Skeletal System.”
Does it Work?
At this stage, you’re probably thinking that the program sounds powerful – but can it really work?
I don’t blame you for being skeptical. I was too. But that’s when I started to read some of the success stories with the program – and the transformations are incredible.
Here’s an example from Jane Eddington, Minnesota:
“Thank you so much for this Glen! After 3 months struggling to get a good night’s sleep due to the pain, I was searching online to see if there was something out there that could help as pain killers and NSAIDs just weren’t cutting it.
When I ran across your site my first thought was it sounded too good to be true, but gave it a try anyway seeing that you had a money back guarantee in place.
I could hardly believe it; literally the next day the pain was gone and I was able to get a proper night’s sleep. You’re a life saver.”
And another, from Michael Pierce, Ireland:
“I can’t thank you enough Glenn!
I was a sciatica sufferer for years and had wasted thousands of dollars on all kinds of therapies and medications, from epidural injections to chiropractic treatments. I’d get temporary relief but after a few days the pain would be back.
It had gotten to the point where tying my own shoe laces had become a pain-staking 10 minute task.
A friend of mine sent me a link to Sciatica SOS on Facebook and barely 5 days later the pain was gone completely and I have my mobility back. One month later I am still completely pain-free. This should be a must to anyone with sciatica.”
These are just a few of the success stories – there are many at the Sciatica SOS™ website. Click here to check them out.
Conclusion – Is Sciatica SOS™ worth buying?
Sciatica can make even basic tasks such as sleeping or unloading groceries painful. It’s also a condition that the medical profession often doesn’t take seriously – which can be incredibly frustrating for those affected by it.
Glen understands these frustrations, and has designed Sciatica SOS™ to provide rapid pain relief without dangerous medicine, expensive treatments or hours of therapy.
The program also doesn’t rely on covering up pain or temporarily reducing it. Instead, the four treatment sections are designed to eliminate sciatica permanently.
My opinion? This is an excellent program that is a bargain at this price.
In fact, if you’re suffering with sciatica pain, I recommend purchasing Sciatica SOS™ today and trying the program immediately. If it works– great! And if it doesn’t, Glen offers a full money-back guarantee for 60-days, so you have nothing to lose. So don’t delay another minute to benefit from this amazing offer!