Sciatica is a symptom of pain in the lower back, or buttock, that typically radiates down the leg to the ankle or foot. This pain is commonly caused by a herniated disk in the lumbar spine, and not as often from the muscles deep within the buttock. These small muscles are the piriformis muscles, and the sciatic nerve runs very close to – or even through – this muscle. Even when the origin of the pain is not due to these muscles, sufferers still find it beneficial to stretch them and the surrounding area when experiencing sciatica. Many experts agree that stretching the piriformis muscles and the hamstring muscles have success in alleviating pain. The following five stretches are among some of the most recommended to achieve pain relief.
Seated Chair Hamstring Stretch
Pain from sciatica is most commonly felt in the area of the hamstrings. Although the hamstrings are not the muscles causing pain, it is still important to keep them stretched. Start this stretch sitting up tall with a straight back (applying perfect posture) on the edge a chair, with hands on the hips. The knees and hips should both be at ninety degrees. One foot is then extended straight forward, placing the heel on the floor, attempting to point toes backward. While gently continuing to point the toes backward, begin to bend forward at the waist. Continue downwards till a good stretch is felt. Hold for twenty seconds then alternate to the other leg. Repeat three times, each time attempting to go a little deeper.