​5 Easy Exercises for Sciatic Nerve Pain

​Sciatica is very painful to experience, and there are many different ways to ease the pain. When you are in pain, you generally don’t want to get up and move, but getting up and moving around can actually be an excellent thing for you to do. When you experience sciatica, your body can be experiencing muscle spasms, and relieving those spasms will help to ease the pain. Without proper exercise, your body stops being able to support itself, especially in your back and abdominal regions, which is the source of most sciatic nerve pain.

Sitting down for hours at a time will make matters worse when it comes down to sciatic nerve pain, especially if you have a bulging disc or other back pain. Exercising will
relieve that pain and will help encourage your body to repair itself, due to the nature of how exercise is.

​1. Cardio

Doing cardio is a great way to not only get rid of sciatic nerve pain but also to feel better in general. Cardio releases tons of endorphins which will help to get rid of any pain that you might be feeling. Another benefit is that your body is getting more oxygen when it is working out, which will help your muscles repair themselves and ease the pain. The stretching and movement of the muscles in your legs and lower back when you are running are great ways to relieve the pain of sciatica.

​2. Hamstring Stretches

Hamstring stretches and exercise will relieve some of the pain that can be felt in your legs. Part of the sciatic nerves is found in your upper legs and hamstrings, so it is crucial that you stretch out your hamstrings. There are many different kinds of hamstring stretches, but there are also some easy ones.

Simple Hamstring Stretch
The simplest and easiest hamstring stretch that you can do is just sitting down with your legs stretched out in front of you. Then, reach your hands out and try to touch your toes. Hold this position for between fifteen and thirty seconds, then relax back into your starting position. Repeat this until you feel like you have done it enough (around three times).

Laying Down Hamstring Stretch
Another simple hamstring stretch is the laying down hamstring stretch. For this one, you lie down on your back with your legs straight out. Then, you bring up your right leg and hold it perpendicular to your waist, keeping your hands around your hamstring. Hold it there for around fifteen seconds, then slowly bring your leg back down. Repeat, alternating legs as you go.

​3. Ab Workouts

Core muscle workouts also tend to help the lower back. These workouts will help to build muscle in your core, which will decrease the chance for injury in your lower back. These workouts will build strength in your abdominal muscles, lower abdominal muscles, and your oblique (outside) muscles.

To start, lie on your back with your legs bent and arms folded across your chest. Then, using your abdominal muscles, raise your back off of the ground, to about fifteen degrees and hold it there for roughly five seconds. Then slowly lower your body to the floor. Repeat as needed.

Pelvic Tilt
To do this, lay down on your back with your knees bent and arms to the side. Then, tighten your lower abdominal muscles, pulling your navel and lower back towards the floor. Try not to use your leg or buttocks muscles. Hold your body here for around five seconds, then slowly release. Do this for about three to five repetitions.

4. Lower Back Exercises and Stretches

Lower back exercises are another great way to get rid of the pain of sciatica. Exercising and stretching your lower back helps to relieve a lot of the stress that is felt during sciatica. A lot of the stretches and exercises that you do will also stretch out your hamstrings.

Standing Toe Touches
Standing toe touches are pretty self-explanatory, but can help relieve back pain and help to stretch out your lower back. Doing them you just stand straight up, and curve your back, reaching your hands out in front of you, trying to touch your toes.

Hyperextensions require either a piece of exercise equipment that can be found at your local gym, or you can do them with just any old regular bench. To do these, lay down on your stomach on the bench and have your torso area hanging off of the bench. Fold your arms across your chest and dip your body forward, then bring it back up. Continue repeating this as many times as you feel necessary.

​5. Yoga

Doing yoga is a great way to exercise and stretch all of the muscles in your body. Finding a yoga instructor to help you or doing it on your own will help you relieve any pains that you might be feeling. Yoga teaches your body to breathe better and more efficiently and opens up pathways that will allow your muscles to get more oxygen. This will relieve lots of nerve pain and tension that you may be feeling.

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