How Do You Release A Sciatic Nerve?
The shooting pain and burning sensation of the sciatica can be so intense that it can even keep you from getting off the couch. It is a relatively common condition in middle aged and elderly people – with a lifetime incidence of 10-40 %.
The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body that begins in the lumbosacral region (at your lower back) and travels down the hips, buttocks, thighs, and ankles of each of your legs. Sciatica pain and associated symptoms happen when there’s a compression or trauma to the nerve anywhere along this pathway.
Medicines (such as painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs) can reduce the intensity of the pain. However, most certified strength specialists and chiropractors believe stretching exercises are the best and side effects free way to release a sciatic nerve and alleviate most sciatica pain. Following are some of the most effective and recommended exercises to relieve sciatica pain.
Reclining pigeon pose
- It is one of the best poses to release sciatic nerve compression and relieve pain. It helps stretch the hip rotator and piriformis muscle – and release the pressure on the sciatic nerve.
- Start by laying straight on your back. Fold your right leg up to a right angle (90 degrees). Bring both hands behind the folded knee and lock your fingers.
- Now lift your left leg and bring it back towards the abdomen. Bend it inwards at the knee joint and place the left ankle on the top of the folded right leg.
- Hold this position for at least 1-2 minutes and then release. Repeat on the other side.
Scissor hamstring stretch
- Tightness of the hamstring muscles can increase stress on your back and pull on your pelvis, which can trigger sciatica. This standing stretch targets your hamstrings and helps release sciatic nerve compression.
- Stand still, with your left foot in front of right. Maintain a distance of 2-3 feet apart.
- Face your shoulders and hips forward (keep your back straight) and place your hands on hips.
- Now fold your torso by bending forward at the waist. Keep your weight over the front leg and try to maintain your back in a straight position. Hold this position for as long as you feel comfortable (at least 10 seconds). Perform the same on the alternative leg and do 3 to 5 reps.
Sciatic nerve glide exercise
This exercise is one of the best seated exercises for sciatica pain relief. Clinical trials have shown that it helps desensitize sciatic nerve and prevent future sciatic nerve compressions.
- Sit on a chair while keeping your back straight. Keep one foot flat on the floor and straighten the other knee.
- Bend your ankle (inward) slowly so they are pointing towards you. Keep this position for a while and then bend in the opposite direction (pointing away). Continue bending them back and forth.
- Do this for 10-15 times and then repeat on the other leg.
Studies have shown that these gentle stretches target the intense muscles of the hips, lower back and thighs and can help reduce compression on the sciatic nerve. This further reduces the sciatica pain, builds strength in the lower spine, and helps improve range of motion.