Physical therapy focusing on stretching the piriformis muscle can effectively reduce nerve pain from the back to the legs, reports Spine-health. If the pain is caused by a herniated disk, exercises focused on back bends and strengthening the lower back can treat sciatic nerve pain and prevent future injury.
Pain radiating from the lower back to the buttocks and legs is often caused by inflammation of the sicatic nerve, reports Spine-health. This commonly occurs when a tight piriformis muscle presses upon the nerve as it leaves the spine, or when a herniated disk presses upon the nerve. Effective treatments vary depending on the cause of nerve pain. When tight piriformis muscles aggravate the sciatic nerve, stretching of the hip joint is the most important treatment. Patients may lay on their back and pull their knee to their chest to stretch the hip, or lay upon a bent leg to stretch their buttock. At first these stretches may aggravate nerve pain, as they place pressure on the sciatic nerve, but over time these exercises take tension off the muscle, relieving pain.
When a herniated disk causes sciatic pain, back extensions are a critical exercise for recovery, adds Spine-health. Stretches, such as cobra pose, increase the amount of space between vertebra and allow for the injured disk to return to its proper place. This relieves nerve pain. In addition to these stretches, strengthening exercises for the lower back are recommended to prevent future herniations.