Sciatica, or sciatic nerve pain, can have many different symptoms from nerve pain and numbness to tingling and weakness. The pain is most often felt in the buttock area or in the back of the thigh and calf. These sciatica stretches and exercises should help ease the pain.
The first stretch is called the pelvic tilt. You will roll back onto your back with your knees bent. You want to imagine pushing your belly button into the ground, or push your back flat onto the ground like you are squishing something. You can put your hand under the curve of your back, and try to push your back into your hand. Hold these for about 3-5 seconds.
Now you will do bridging. Push your bottom up off the ground, but try to do this slowly, and do one segment of your back at a time curling upward. Then slowly go down the same way, one segment at a time.
Next will be a piriformis stretch. Cross the leg that is hurting over into a figure 4 position. Pull the good leg up towards your chest by grabbing underneath the knee. You can use a belt or leash to help pull the leg up if your hips are not very flexible. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do three on each side.
Now you will do a sciatic nerve stretch/glide. Bend the knee of the injured side up, and grab your leg around the back of the thigh to support it. Pull your toes up like you are tightening your calf muscles. Slowly straighten your leg up towards the ceiling until you feel tension, but not pain. Then slowly come back down. This is a continuous movement, and you only want to do 10 a day.
The next stretches/glides will be sitting in a chair. The first movement will be a combination movement. Bend your head back into extension and kick your leg straight out at the same time. Then bend your head forward into flexion, and bend your knee back down. Alternate this movement 10 times.
Finally, you will prop the injured leg up on a small stool. Keep your leg straight, and try to keep your toes pointing the ceiling. Your leg might try to rotate, but try to keep it straight up. Then keeping your head in a neutral position and looking forward, sidebend to the opposite side. Make sure you are doing the correct technique with this, and only do 10.