Sciatica is pain, tingling, or numbness produced by an irritation of the nerve roots that lead to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is formed by the nerve roots coming out of the spinal cord into the lower back. It goes down through the buttock, then its branches extend down the back of the leg to the ankle and foot.
Stretches and Exercises
In addition to practicing yoga, there are many stretches and exercises that can do on your own to improve your condition and flexibility.
Piriformis Super Stretch
Begin in the hand and knees position, if you have sciatica on the right, rotate both legs to the left and extend your left leg straight back, if you have sciatica on your left, rotate both to the right and extend your right leg straight back.
- Slowly lower your trunk down as far as you comfortably can.
- Hold for 8-10 seconds.
- Slowly come out of the stretch and repeat.
Hip Flexor Exercise
- Begin standing, placing one foot comfortably in front of you, shoulder width apart, holding on to a chair or rail for support.
- Slowly bend both legs lowering the back knee to the ground. All the work will be done on the front leg so be sure to perform this exercise on both sides.
- Hold for just a moment and repeat 10-15 times on each side.
Lying Glute Stretch
- Begin lying on your back, cross one leg over the opposite knee and slowly bring the foot that is still on the floor up and towards your chest. When it is close enough, hold your knee from under the leg that is crossed.
- Hold for 3-5 seconds.
- Repeat 5-8 times, both sides, at least once per day.
Lying Outer Hip Stretch
- Begin our your back, knees bent. Take the affected leg and bring it over the non affected leg, keeping shoulders on the ground, applying gentle downward pressure to the knee, allowing the hip to stretch as much as you comfortably can.
- Hold 3-5 seconds.
- Repeat 5-8 times, at least once per day.
Seated Figure Four Stretch
- Begin sitting. Bring the affected leg up and over the opposite knee.
- Then stabilize the bent leg with both hands, one hand on the foot keeping the leg in position then push down on the knee of the bent legs with the other hand while at the same time leaning your trunk forward. Only go as far as you comfortably can, come out of the stretch and repeat only on the affected side.
- Begin in a kneeling position. Drop your butt toward your heels as you stretch the rest of your body down and forward.
- Rest your arms in a relaxed position along the floor, rest your stomach comfortably on top of your thighs. You should feel a mild stretch in your shoulders and buttocks and down the length of your spine and arms. Don't force your bottom to move any closer to your heels than is comfortable.