Hopefully the last blog post cleared up some confusion as to what sciatica actually is! Here are my top 4 exercises to help relieve some of your sciatic pain. Keep in mind that these exercises are to be used as a guide only and if your CAUSE of sciatica is undiagnosed, it is important that you determine the reason you are experiencing sciatica before attempting!
  1. McKenzie’s Extension Exercise img1 Start by lying on your stomach like you are about to do a push up, with your hands near your shoulders. Gently straighten out your arms to lift the chest off the floor, making sure you keep your hips on the floor. Only extend as far as you are comfortable and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 3-5x. This exercise is used to CENTRALIZE your leg/sciatic pain, so you may feel and increase in lower back pain while performing this. If this exercise INCREASES your leg pain – STOP. Please consult your practioner BEFORE trying this as it is NOT indicated for all sciatic issues!
  2. Sciatic Nerve Glide
  3. Piriformis Trigger Point releaseimg2
    • Place a lacrosse/spikey ball under your butt (on the painful side).
    • Bring your knees up to the chest (hip flexion) and spread your feet apart (hip internal rotation).
    • Roll around, attempting to find tight/painful points in the back of the hip/piriformis region.
    • Can do contract/relax – tighten up the muscles in the hip – hold for 5 seconds, then relax.
    • If this INCREASES your pain – STOP!
  4. Quadratus lumborum stretch img3
    • Place a rolled up towel under the OPPOSITE side to where you have the pain and lie down on your side.
    • Bend up the bottom leg and straighten out the top leg.
    • Reach up over your head with the top arm.
    • You should feel a stretch along the side of your back, between the bottom of the ribs and your pelvis.
    • If this INCREASES your pain – STOP!

These are by no means a one-fits-all guide and definately isn’t meant to diagnose an injury. Get yourself to a good physio, osteo, chiro – and figure out what’s wrong before you try and treat yourself! Keep in mind that things such as prolonged postures (especially sitting/driving), bending forwards and sudden twisting movements will increase sciatica pain so try and avoid these if you can. Remember that with any lower back/pelvic injury that improving your core strength will be vital (read more about this here: Core stability and Crossfit).

2014-07-10 08:29:14