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Stretches For Sciatica

Stretches for Sciatica

Sciatica is an uncomfortable, sometimes painful, condition that results from a pinched nerve in the spinal column. Pinched nerves usually heal on their own with time, rest and conservative treatment methods, but sometimes sciatica can linger, especially if the nerve is pinched for prolonged periods. Before turning to medications or invasive surgeries to correct sciatica, try these safe and beginner-friendly stretches to alleviate pressure on the sciatic nerve. 

Pigeon Pose


  1. Begin on the floor on your hands and knees. 
  2. Bend your right leg in front of your body. Your lower leg should be horizontal to the rest of your body with your right foot in front of your left knee .
  3. Stretch your left leg out behind you on the floor.
  4. Shift your body weight from your arms to your legs. You may use your arms to support some of your weight if needed for modification. 
  5. Breathe for 30 seconds, leaning your upper body over your front leg.
  6. Repeat on the other side.

Sitting Spinal Twist


  1. Begin on the ground with both of your legs extended straight 
  2. Bend your right knee and place your foot flat outside of your left knee
  3. Place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee, and gently turn your body to the right.
  4. Breathe deeply for 30 seconds. 
  5. Repeat on the other side. 

Cobra (or modified cobra)


  1. Begin lying on your stomach with your legs extended behind you. Place your palms on the floor by your chest and bend your elbows. 
  2. For modified cobra, push through the arms and partially straighten elbows to lift chest slightly off the floor
  3. For full cobra, fully straighten the elbows, lifting the chest completely off the floor. 
  4. Breathe deeply for 45 seconds. 
  5. Repeat 5 times. 

Standing Hamstring Stretch


  1. Stand up tall near a table, elevated ledge or chair. 
  2. Lift your right leg and rest the heel on the table, elevated ledge or chair. 
  3. Keep your right knee straight and bend at the waist until you feel a stretch in the back of the leg.
  4. Breathe deeply for 30 seconds. 
  5. Repeat on the other side. 

Daily stretching can help alleviate pain and pressure in the spinal column. Never push yourself too hard during stretching or you may cause more harm to your soft tissues. If stretching and other conservative methods fail to relieve your sciatica pain, schedule an appointment with Brain2Spine Institute for a personalized treatment plan.

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