Exercise is important, but not as important if you’re experiencing back pain. In the case of sciatica, you might have extreme pain pressing on your sciatic nerve (which affects your lower back through, hips, rear, and down each leg).
Between 13 and 40 percent of people are affected by sciatica. It’s not a fun time, and can definitely affect your everyday movement, from simply waking up in the morning to going to work.
So instead of exercising, if you’re experiencing intense pain, you’ll want to try stretching. Stretching out your muscles is one of the best ways to relieve pain from sciatica, and most other types of back pain as well.
There are lots of easy ways to stretch to help relieve pain. Here are 7 examples of simple stretches you can do any time, anywhere, and finally say goodbye to pain!
Standing bent leg stretch
Stand up straight with your arms and hands by your side. Slowly lift the leg that’s causing the most pain and place it over your other leg’s knee as you lower your hips to the ground. As you bend the knee of you standing leg, lean forward slightly and extend your arms out in front of you. Hold for 30-60 seconds and then try it on the other leg.
Laying bent leg stretch
This is similar to the above, but you’ll be laying down. Lay down on your back with your legs out in front of you. Bend your knees upwards and cross the leg that’s causing the most pain and place it over your other leg’s knee. Using your hand on the same side, grab your knee, and then grab your ankle with your opposite hand. Pull your leg towards you gently towards your opposite shoulder and feel that stretch. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
Laying outer hip stretch
Lay on your back with your legs out in front of you. Bring your affected leg upwards, and tuck your foot/toes behind your opposite knee. Then turn to your side so that your knee touches the ground. Take your opposite hand and place it over your knee, and raise your opposite arm and open up so your chest is open to the ceiling. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then switch sides and perform on the opposite leg.
Sit up straight in a chair up with a flat back. Bring your painful leg over your other leg’s knee, making sure to keep your back straight. Bring your chest forward slightly while bringing your leg/knee in and hold for 30 seconds. Then switch sides and perform on the opposite leg.
Laying side stretch
Lay on your back with your arms by your sides and your feet out front. Place one leg over the opposite knee, and pull it gently with your opposite hand. Hold for about 30 seconds before switching to the opposite side.
Sit on the ground in “butterfly” position (with the soles of your feet together in front of you). Cross your arms in front of you to grab the opposite ankle with your opposite hands. Let your knees push down so that you’re stretching your abductor. You can flutter your legs to mimic butterfly wings or hold for 30-60 seconds.
We can’t forget the booty. Place your hands and knees on the ground and bring your affected knee underneath your body to the opposite side. Side your forearms down to the ground so your forehead touches the ground and stretch out that bent knee. Hold for 30-60 seconds before switching to the other side.
Will you try any of these stretches? How do you stretch for back or sciatica pain?