Effective Sciatica Exercises include movements that not only stretch out the lower back but also the gluteal and piriformis muscles, and also the long muscles of the legs.
However, before undertaking any of the exercises below it’s important to understand the difference among the following conditions that could cause sciatica-type symptoms:
Active Myofascial Trigger Points
Without understanding these different potential causes one might spend time stretching or exercising in ways that are not beneficial for your particular problem.
Pain felt in the lower back or in the buttocks and down the leg is often instantly thought of as “sciatica” which involves a compression spinal nerve.
But very often the pain is being caused by tight muscles in the
legs and buttocks. If after reviewing the links above you believe that
muscular tightness may be the root of your pain then by all means
proceed with the following exercises.
The hip flexor muscles (psoas & iliacus, aka iliopsoas, the primary hip flexors) are key to sciatica exercises because of the powerful influence of the iliopsoas on the position of the lumbar spine.
Also see Iliopsoas Syndrome.
When the hip flexors are chronically tight the position of the pelvis can become distorted resulting in distortion of the spine. This can lead to compression of the intervertebral discs.
Compression of the intervertebral discs is one potential cause of true sciatica.
One of the most common causes of sciatic-type symptoms is nothing more serious than extreme tightness in the gluteal and piriforimis muscles.
If you've have ever attempted to stretch these muscles out but without success I urge to you read my article about the difference between static stretching and Active Isolated Stretching. Active Isolated Stretching is my preferred method to recommend to my clients especially in cases of very stubborn muscle tightness.
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Neuromuscular Therapist & Pain Relief Researcher
Lower Back Pain Answers
POSTURAL BLUEPRINT FOR CORRECTING PELVIC TORSION: The Complete Guide To Restoring Pelvic Balance (2022)
STRETCHING BLUEPRINT FOR PAIN RELIEF & BETTER FLEXIBILITY: The Complete Guide to Pain-Free Muscles Using Active Isolated Stretching (2020)
HEALING THE HIDDEN ROOT OF PAIN: Self-Treatment for Iliopsoas Syndrome (2013)
FREE MINI COURSE: Introduction to Active Isolated Stretching