If you experience numbing, tingling, irritation and pain in one of your legs then you must be probably suffering from sciatica. I’m pretty familiar with the pain because it’s tormenting me for a couple of years and physical therapy exercises helped me a lot in relieving the pain. Although, before performing any exercise, you have to ask your physical therapist about the underlying cause of your sciatica.
Doctor Mark Kovacs (strength and conditioning specialist) says that the best way to alleviate sciatic nerve pain is to do any stretch that can externally rotate the hip to provide some relief.
And the following stretches are the best way to achieve relief from this excruciating sciatic nerve pain, and you can try it at home using just a yoga mat.
1. Reclining pigeon pose
Image Credits: Reclining pigeon pose
– Lie down on your back on a mat. Keep both your knees flexed, and feet flat on the floor.
– Flex your left knee, and place your left shin on your right knee.
– Lift your right leg off the floor, place both your palms on the back of your right thigh and pull the right knee close to your chest.
– Place your left palm on your left knee. Push your left knee, and pull your right thigh.
– Hold it for 10 seconds.
– Do the same on the other side as well.
2. Sitting pigeon pose
Image Credits: Sitting pigeon pose
– Sit on a mat with your knees flexed. Lean back and support your upper body by placing your fingertips on the mat diagonally behind you.
– Lift your right leg and place it on your left knee. Make sure your right ankle is on top of your left knee.
– Gently sway your left leg from left to right.
– Do this 10 times before switching legs.
3. Forward pigeon pose
Image Credits: Forward pigeon pose
– Assume the Table Pose.
– Bring your left ankle close to your right wrist. Slide your right leg back. Make sure your toes are pointing out.
– Bring your lower left leg close to your groin.
– Taking the support of the floor, straighten your back.
– Inhale and exhale 10 times before releasing the pose.
– Do this on the other side as well.
4. Knee to opposite shoulder
Image Credits: Knee to opposite shoulder
– Lie on your back with your legs extended and your feet flexed upward.
– Bend your right leg and clasp your hands around the knee.
– Gently pull your right leg across your body toward your left shoulder. Hold it there for 30 seconds. Remember to pull your knee only as far as it will comfortably go. You should feel a relieving stretch in your muscle, not pain.
– Push your knee so your leg returns to its starting position.
– Repeat for a total of 3 reps, and then switch legs.
5. Sitting spinal stretch
Image Credits: Sitting spinal stretch
– Sit on the ground with your legs extended straight out with your feet flexed upward.
– Bend your right knee and place your foot flat on the floor on the outside of your opposite knee.
– Place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee to help you gently turn your body toward the right.
– Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times, then switch sides.
6. Standing hamstring stretch
Image Credits: Standing hamstring stretch
– Place your right foot on an elevated surface at or below your hip level. This could be a chair, ottoman, or step on a staircase. Flex your foot so your toes and leg are straight. If your knee tends to hyperextend, keep a slight bend in it.
– Bend your body forward slightly toward your foot. The further you go, the deeper the stretch. Do not push so far that you feel pain.
– Release the hip of your raised leg downward as opposed to lifting it up. If you need help easing your hip down, loop a yoga strap or long exercise band over your right thigh and under your left foot.
– Hold for at least 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.
Image Credits: Fitnesslifestylehealthclub