Whether you have some minor discomfort from overuse or you are struggling with the extreme back and hip pain of sciatic nerve irritation, stretching to increase your flexibility and strengthening supporting muscles will help.
Stretching is one of the chief ways to decrease back pain. In order to keep your back strong and able to withstand your lifestyle, you want it to be flexible enough to support everyday movements. Sciatica stretches help you maintain the flexibility you need so basic lifting doesn’t cause you to pull your back muscles. Stretching is the way you get that flexibility, so get started to prevent lower back pain and hip pain.
1. Camel Pose
A popular yoga pose, camel is a supported back bend that starts with you kneeling, knees hips-width apart on the floor. Place your hands palms forward on your lower back. Gently push your hips up and forward. Listen to your lower back and only go as far as you can. Take the pose even further by bringing your hands either one at a time or together to grasp your heels, peeling your shoulders down and away from your ears.
2. Wide Forward Fold
You can do this pose either sitting or standing. To do it sitting, sit on the floor with your feet apart as far as you can go comfortably, knees straight. Rounding from your back, reach forward with both arms, being careful not to scrunch your shoulders into your ears. Relax your neck. To do this pose standing, stand with your feet as far apart as they go comfortably. Hinge forward at the hips, bringing your hands to the floor, if possible.
3. Frog Pose
Position yourself on all fours. Then, spread your knees as far as you can, keeping your feel together. Press gently down with your hips, bringing your chest and head to the floor, if possible.
4. Wide Side Lunge
Take a wide standing stance with your toes pointed forward. Bend forward and put your fingers on the floor. Walk your hands over to one foot and start bending the corresponding knee while turning the opposite foot so the toes face the ceiling. Continue until you’ve reached a full lunge. Straighten up and repeat the process on the other side.
5. Butterfly Stretch
One of the most common sciatica stretches that we learn from a young age is the butterfly stretch. Simply sit on the floor with your knees spread wide and your feet touching at the soles. Straighten your back completely. You can grab your feet and press your knees down gently with your elbows for a deeper stretch or you can simply press your knees down with the palms of your hands.
6. Forearm Extensor Stretch
Roll your shoulders back away from your ears and let the blades almost touch across your upper back. Put one arm straight out in front of you with the hand flexed down. Cup the back of this hand in your other hand and gently pull it back towards your body. You’ll feel the stretch in your forearm, making your grip stronger for lifting safely.
Do you have sciatic pain? Tell us about your strategies for coping in the comments section and pass the useful article on to your friends and loved ones now – they will thank you for it!