What Are Some Exercises to Ease Sciatic Nerve Pain?


Quick Answer

Exercises to relieve sciatic pain include strengthening the back and abdominal (core) muscles and stretching, explains Spine-Health. The choice of specific exercises depends on what is causing the sciatica, such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. Bed rest is not recommended. A physical therapist or a physiatrist can prescribe exercises that are appropriate for a particular condition.

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What Are Some Exercises to Ease Sciatic Nerve Pain?
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Full Answer

The sciatic nerve, the largest in the human body, is comprised of branches of the roots of the lumbar spinal nerves. Anything pressing on those nerve roots can cause sciatic pain, explains the University of Maryland Medical Center. Sciatica can also be caused by the piriformis muscle pinching the sciatic nerve. While exercise is not recommended for acute pain, it is advised for chronic pain lasting more than four weeks. Low-impact exercises such as swimming, bicycling or walking strengthen muscles in the abdomen and back without causing additional strain. Lumbar extension strength training works the core muscles that support the lower back and improves flexibility in the hips, hamstrings and tendons in the back of the thighs. Flexibility exercises and stretching complement strength training. Yoga, tai chi and chi kung are low-impact exercises that are designed to improve balance and could be helpful in preventing future episodes of sciatica.

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