Sciatica Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Sciatica Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo


Hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo, and today I’m going to show you some stretches and exercises for sciatic pain. So let’s get started. You guys ready? Yeah! So the space kitty scared off pups, and we’ll start off lying down on the ground. The first exercise is just going to be the pelvic tilt, so propping your knees up. With the pelvic tilt you want to actually rotate your hips almost like you’re trying to flatten out your back on the ground. So just going this way. Almost like you’re pushing your belly button down to the ground and flattening it out. So if i had my hand here I try to be squishing it like that. Tightening up those core muscles. So just a pelvic tilt flatten it out to the ground, hold it for about three to five seconds, relax, and do 10 of those. And you should really be tightening up those muscles. I call it almost like you’re fake laughing “hahaha,” it tightens up those core muscles. So holding it there, three seconds do about ten. tThen you’re going to go up into a bridge, so lifting the bottom up off the ground and trying to get your body in a pretty straight line. So coming up here, pretty straight doesn’t have to be super straight, but you don’t want to try and go past it. And then slowly come down one segment at a time. So you’re not just plopping back down, it’s a really controlled coming back down. So again doing about 10 of those as well, nice and slow. Then you’re going to go into a piriformis stretch to stretch out that piriformis muscle down here, which is where the sciatic nerve goes underneath that muscle and sometimes when it’s really tight it pushes on that sciatic nerve. So the next one is just a figure 4 stretch. Take the leg that you want to stretch and cross it over where your ankle is just on top of your thigh. Then take your hands and grab the other leg and pull up towards you, holding a stretch. And you should feel that stretch right through there. Now sometimes people might not be quite flexible enough to grab right here, so if you have a belt or strap, you can wrap it around your leg and then pull it up as well. And so you’re going to hold that stretch for 30 seconds and do it three times. And make sure you do both sides even if the other side is not really bothering you, if you have some back issues going on, you want to keep each side pretty equal to each other so make sure you’re stretching both sides. So 30 seconds, three times and you can alternate back and forth to give each one a break. Then you’re going to go into a sciatic kind of stretch / glide, some people will call it that you’re just stretching the nerve. Some people say that you’re gliding, it it doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s the same movement. So now grab underneath the leg that you want to stretch, pull your toes up towards you, tighten it up and you’re just going to raise your leg until it gets tight and then slowly come back down. So this is going to be a continuous movement. So see I’m stretching out that nerve and coming back down, or some people might say it’s gliding a little bit. You want to go til you feel some discomfort, but you don’t want it to be pain. You don’t want it to be shooting stabbing pain because if you’re stretching that nerve, those nerves are pretty fragile vessels, so you don’t want to over stretch them, or you’re just going to irritate them a little bit more. So just do about 10 of those and then that’s it. And then i’m going to show you some stuff sitting down in a chair. The next one is neural flossing of the sciatic nerve, so again this one you’re really kind of trying to move that sciatic nerve, so you don’t want to over stretch it. You don’t want to be to where it’s pain, you just want it to be kind of flossing back and forth. So what you’re going to do, is you’re going to extend your head back and kick out at the same time, and then flex your head forward and bring your knee back down. So it’s going to be a kick-out, look up and forward back in. Up. Forward. So you’re just kind of taking that nerve and flossing it back and forth. It doesn’t have to be a super fast movement, just nice and controlled and again not to the point of pain. You might feel a little bit stretch, you might feel a little bit of tingling if it’s really irritated, but you don’t want to be pain. So just do about 10 of those. Now the last exercise is one where you don’t want to do a lot again, but you want to make sure you’re doing it right. So you’re going to take a stool, something that you can prop the side that you want to work up on the side, so just prop it up. Now the key to this is to make sure that your leg doesn’t roll in because if you have a sciatic nerve issue, when you’re doing the exercise, if you roll your leg in, you’re taking the slack off of that nerve, so then you’re not actually really getting the movement that you want to. Try and keep your leg straight forward and try and keep your neck in a neutral position without going back or without going forward because again, it’s all connected so that affects the sciatic nerve as well. So keep your upper body nice and upright, like pretty straightforward, arms down by the side, and then you’re going to side bend or lean to the opposite side of your leg, but again try not to make your head or neck going in a different position. Not your leg and different position. So just kind of going over this way. Now this is one that you really want to make sure that you’re doing that good technique where you want to make sure your physical therapist sees it first, and even when you do at home you might want to do it in front of a mirror the first time to make sure you’re doing that movement correctly. I’m gonna do the other side so you can see it. So leg straight out, foot forward, head up, and just side bend to the other side, so opposite side. You don’t have to go very far because again if that nerve’s irritated or pinched somewhere, you’re going to feel it maybe even just propping your leg up, so just start off with about 10 of those, and then that’s it for the day. So there you have it, those were your stretches and exercises for sciatic pain. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section. If you’d like to check out some other videos, go to askdoctorjo.com. And remember be safe, dont let Remy bite your fingers off, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.