Good exercises to relieve sciatic nerve pain include knee-to-chest stretches, back extensions, sciatic mobilizing stretches, standing hamstring stretches and lying deep gluteal stretches, according to NHS Choices. Other exercises to relieve sciatic nerve pain include the figure four stretch and the pigeon stretch, according to Healthline. Exercises help mobilize the sciatic nerve and improve the flexibility of the low back.
Doing stretches that externally rotate the hip help to provide relief, states Healthline. A person should start slowly to get used to the movements. Doing the exercises at least once in a day and complementing them with swimming, cycling and walking improves the condition. If the pain continues, a patient is advised to stop the exercises. Seeking medical advice is necessary before starting the exercises.
To do the figure four stretch, the patient should lie down flat while facing upward, raise the right leg to form a right angle and then lock the leg on the thigh with fingers of both hands, explains Healthline. Then, he should lift the left leg and put the ankle on the right knee to stretch the small piriformis to alleviate inflammation and pain and then switch sides.
To perform the pigeon stretch, the sufferer should kneel on all fours with the toes facing downward and extend the left leg behind, states Healthline. The patient should then move his body weight from the arms to the legs slowly, and raise his head upward and backward while breathing out. He should be careful not to position the upper body in a right angle because this may cause backache.
The patient can also do the pigeon stretch by sitting on the floor, and with the legs flat on a surface and stretched out in front, bend the legs and place the right ankle against the left knee, according to Healthline. Then, he should move the body forward and relax the upper body on the thigh, maintain the position for about 30 seconds, and then repeat the process by switching sides.