8 Stretches That Can Help Ease the Pain of Sciatica




Are you one of those who deal with numbness or shooting pains from sciatica? The sciatic nerve stretches from the lower part of the spine down the back to each leg, and when it gets pinched, it causes discomfort.

It can be caused by a pelvic fracture, slipped disk, tight muscles in the lower back, hips, and legs, and pregnancy. Regardless if you feel the pain after longer period of sitting or standing, or at night, the most efficient way for a relief are the following 8 yoga poses.

1. Figure Four6 Figure-Four

Figure Four is a Pigeon variation which affects the tight piriformis muscle.

  • Lie down on your back and put your legs in the air. Put the right ankle on the left upper thigh. This shape resembles that of number 4, only upside down.
  • Grab your left hand with your right one through the created open space by your right leg. Bend your left knee carefully towards the chest. At this point, you will feel a stretch on the outer right hip.
  • Remain this pose for 5 breaths, and then switch sides.

2. Seated Spinal Twist

The pressure from the sciatic nerve can be relieved with some twisting poses that will create certain movement in the spine. Moreover, this pose also targets the piriformis muscle.

  • Start by sitting on a mat with extended legs in front of you. Then, bend your knees and put your left heel the closest you can to the right sit bone. Cross the right foot over the left knee and put it on the ground while your outer right ankle is right next to the left knee.2 Seated Spinal Twist
  • Stretch your right arm backwards, and put you palm on the ground. Carefully strengthen the twist by crossing the left elbow over the outer right thigh.
  • Make sure your eyes are focusing behind you and over your right shoulder for about 5 breaths. After that, release the twist, stretch both legs in front of you and perform this pose with your left knee pointed upwards.

3. Open Lizard

3 Open-Lizard

This variant of the pose Lizard, will open another part of your hip, and will provide good stretch for the hip flexor- another potential contributor to sciatica pain.

  • Make the Downward Facing Dog position, and then put your right foot between your hands. While your hands are still on the mat, lower the left knee to the ground to point your toes.
  • Carefully lower your right knee towards right, making sure you are resting on the outer part of your right flexed foot. Your arms should be kept straight, pressing the chest forward as in the position of Upward Facing Dog. Your hips will thus lower, strengthening the stretch.
  • Look forward, and maintain this pose for 5 breaths. Do the same thing with the other side.

4. Locust

4 Locust

You can relieve your sciatic pain by strengthening the back muscles.

  • Lie down on your stomach and with legs put together. Your arms should be placed by your sides with your palms facing up.
  • While you are breathing out, elevate your legs, upper body, and head off the ground. Support with your hands on the ground. While you breathe, pull the crown part of your head away from the toes, stretching as much as possible through your spine.
  • Remain in this position for 5 breaths, and then return back to the mat.

5. Pigeon

5 Pigeon

Do the Pigeon pose as deeply as you want to reach the discomforting areas if your thighs, hips, and lower back.

  • Do the Downward Facing Dog pose and step your feet together. Put your right knee between the hands in a way that the outer right leg rests on the floor/mat. When your hips are more open, move the right foot away from you. Don’t forget that your left hip should be always pointing downwards.
  • Remain the pose while your hands are resting on your right leg or hips, or pull out your hands in front of you, so that your torso could rest over the right knee.
  • Keep this pose for at least 5 breaths. Then put your hands on the mat/floor in front of you, fold your left toes, and pull your right foot back. Then switch sides.

6. Reclining Big Toe Pose

7 Reclining-Big-Toe-Pose

This is a Reclining Big Toe variation done with a bent knee for better focusing on stretching the lower back as well as the raised leg’s hamstring.

  • Lie on your back, and slightly bend the left knee to put your foot on the mat. Lift your right leg in the air, while your pelvis remains grounded. Then hold your lower thigh of the raised leg, or put a strap over the foot’s arch.
  • Make sure your torso is relaxed, and hold this position for 5 breaths. Do the same thing on the other side.

7. Half Wheel

9 Half-Wheel

Many will feel relief from engaging the hamstrings and glutes, so try this back-bend too.

  • Lie on your back and place your arms along your sides with your palms facing down. Then, bend the knees and put your heels as closest possible to your bum.
  • Press your palms and feet onto the floor, and raise your hips. Keep your palms on the floor or you can clasp your hands together and place them under your pelvis. Also, you can bend both elbows and rest your hands on the lower part of your back. Moreover, you can hold your ankles if your feet are close enough.
  • Remain this position for 5 breaths, while lifting your hips as high as possible.

8. Half Moon

Half Moon

If you experience sciatica symptoms after longer periods of standing or sitting, stretching the outer leg can provide immediate relief.

  • Position yourself in a Downward Facing Dog. Put your right food between your hands, and rise your body in a Warrior 1 position. Open your chest, arms, and hips into Warrior 2 position.
  • Put your left hand on the left hip, and then stretch out your right arm ahead, forming length through your body’s right side. Shift your weight on the right foot, and then raise your left foot. Place the right palm flat on the floor underneath your shoulder.
  • Shift your weight evenly between your right foot and hand. Raise your left arm while watching towards your left hand. Try to hold this position for 5 breaths, and then return to Downward Facing Dog. After this, do the Half Moon pose on the left side.

Via Pop Sugar

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