How to ease sciatic pain. A pinched nerve can be an excruciating experience as those who suffer from sciatic pain know all too well. There can be several reasons for this debilitating pain, but a very common one is when your piriformis is tight (hint, small muscle found in your hips). So this the cause I will be focusing on. The problem is that people tend to focus on just that one area when they really need to be looking at the surrounding muscles as well. Generally tight hip flexors don’t help the issue, so they need to be released as well. The good news is that the solution is a lot of stretching and exercises you can do at home, in addition to whatever program your doctor or physio might have you doing.
HOW TO EASE SCIATIC PAIN
Foam Roller. A foam roller or a foam ball are probably my two favourite tools for giving yourself a good deep tissue massage. Sitting on the roller/ball with your feet flat on the floor, lean back and to the right. Roll back and forth over your glutes. To make this more challenging try crossing your right foot over your left thigh. Roll for about 30-60 seconds then repeat on the other side.
Low lunge with twist. This stretch is a two parter. First, start in a deep lunge with your right foot flat on the floor directly below the knee. Stretch your left leg out behind you. Now slowly lift your torso to a vertical position while pressing your pelvis forward. You should feel a deep stretch in your hip flexors (front of the hip). Tip, if you are having problems balancing, do this stretch next to a wall. Place a towel beneath your knee if it hurts to have it on the floor. Hold for 20-30 seconds, more if you can. Now for the second part of this stretch. Place your hand on the floor next to your right foot and rotate your body so that your left hip is touching or almost touching the floor. Try to relax your body and feel the weight of your hip pulling toward the floor. Hold for an additional 30 seconds. Switch sides.
Supine cow face pose. Lying on your back, bend you knees and cross your legs. Keeping your feet in a flexed position, grab your ankles and pull your legs in toward your chest. Hold for 30 seconds.
Supine pigeon prep. Lying on your back, place your right foot on the floor and cross your left ankle over your right thigh. With your left hand reaching between your legs pull them toward you. If you don’t have the flexibility to hold this pose, simply place your right foot on a wall at a 90 degree angle to the floor. You can also gently press you hand on your left thigh. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Pigeon. Sitting on the floor, bend your right leg so that your foot is touching your left thigh or is in a parallel position in front of you. First, sit up straight opening your chest to the ceiling. Hold for 20 seconds. Then, slowly hinge your body forward and if you can, reach your arms out on the floor in front of you. Hold for 20 seconds and switch legs.
As I said, there are a number of reasons why you may be having sciatic pain and because some can be more serious than others, it is a good idea to get them checked out with a physiotherapist first. That being said these are great stretches to do even if you don’t have any pain but have tight hips. Being proactive never hurt anyone, right?
Do you have any hip releasing exercises that you love?
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