Tightness in your hamstrings, buttocks, and calves can worsen the pain along your sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back to your feet. At Goodyear Chiropractic Health Center, we can help you overcome this discomfort! To loosen and strengthen those muscle groups and ease your sciatic pain, perform these four easy stretches:
Scissor Hamstring Stretch
Tight hamstring muscles can put pressure on your pelvis, increasing stress on your lower back and irritating your sciatic nerve. To target your hamstrings, do the following stretch:
- Stand with your right foot about three feet in front of your left foot.
- Face your hips and shoulders forward. Make sure your right hip isn’t more forward than your left hip.
- Place your hands on your hips. You can put a hand on a chair off to the side for balance.
- Bend at the waist, folding your torso forward over your front leg. Keep your back straight and most of your weight over the front leg.
- Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, then repeat stretch with the other leg.
Standing Calf Stretch
Calf muscles are easily overlooked, but their tightness is often associated with sciatic pain. To loosen these muscles, follow these steps:
- Stand facing a wall, about two steps away from the wall.
- Put your right foot forward, slightly bending your right knee. Keep your left heel grounded to the floor.
- Bring your upper body slightly forward, using the wall for stability. You should feel a stretch in the back of your calf.
- Hold this stretch for 10 to 20 seconds.
- Next, bend the knee of your back leg slightly. You should feel a stretch in another part of your calf.
- Hold for 10 to 20 seconds.
Carefully step out of the stretch, and repeat it with your left leg forward and right leg back.
Supine Piriformis Stretch
Stretching the piriformis muscle, a small muscle located deep in the buttock behind the gluteus maximus to help relieve pain along the sciatic nerve. To stretch this muscle group, follow these steps:
- Lie on your back with your legs extended straight.
- Cross your left leg over your right thigh, planting your left foot on the outside of your right knee.
- Grab your left knee with your right hand, gently pulling your leg toward the right side.
- Once you feel a stretch, hold for 30 seconds. Try not to lift your hip off the ground during this stretch.
- Slowly return to starting position.
Sitting Spinal Stretch
Sciatica pain is triggered when the vertebrae in the spine compress the sciatic nerve. To help create space in the spine, perform this stretch:
- Sit on the ground with your legs extended straight out with your feet flexed upward.
- Bend your right knee and place your foot flat on the floor on the outside of your opposite knee.
- Place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee to help you gently turn your body toward the right.
- Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three times, then switch sides.
Why Choose Goodyear Chiropractic Health Center
Interested in other ways to help improve your sciatic pain? Goodyear Chiropractic Health Center can help! Our chiropractic specialists can create a treatment plan designed specifically for you! To schedule a free consultation, click here!