What is the best exercise for sciatic nerve pain?

Before we get into the best exercise I’d like to make sure you have a better understanding of the condition called sciatica. Treatment hinges on proper diagnosis.

The sciatic nerve runs from the end of the spine down the legs all the way to the end of your toes. Some of you may be surprised to learn that it’s the longest nerve in your body. Those of you that are or have suffered from a condition called sciatica may have already known these to be true. This condition is often caused by bulging disks in the spine. In some cases there is no pain from the bulging disks, but when the pain does hit it’s quite severe and usually only occurs on one side of the body.

Because the sciatic nerves cover such a large area sciatica is often over-diagnosed. So many regular back pains are diagnosed as sciatica. Back and leg pain can be caused by so many different things and it’s not always sciatica. There is no arm in getting a second opinion to ensure that your condition is or isn’t sciatica and it’s always better to be sure it’s not something else causing the pain.

If you haven’t already done so book an appointment with your doctor and ask them to run necessary test that will isolate the causes and ensure it is sciatica and not some other ailment. Proper treatment hinges on an accurate diagnosis that reveals the true cause of back and leg pain. In any case seeking proper medical attention is always best for any pain you’re experiencing.

Medication is all too often what people turn to for treatment or cures. Many of them actually work and are a great way to treat and even cure some conditions, but they come with potential side effects. When some side effects include death even in rare cases it’s a much less attractive option. The human body also adapts to prescribed medication by building a tolerance and dosage increases are often required. If the medication option is something you’re willing to try than just be sure your diagnosis is accurate before seeking the medication.

Although pharmaceuticals have proven to be effective they are not the only option. So many people today are turning to natural remedies or herbs to help deal with pain. One such natural remedy is exercise. Low impact exercises are less likely to put stress on the nerve. Regular stretching exercises will keep the body flexible and increase circulation which in itself could reduce pain.

If your condition is severe enough you may undergo Physical therapy to reduce flareups. Don’t be fooled by the term physical therapy, this can be done by a professional or if you chose to do it on your own pilates and yoga will have the same effect. Stretching is key during any physical therapy session and will serve a key role to loosen the muscles and prevent your disk from bulging. When selecting stretches for sciatica its best to focus on those that target legs, buttocks and back are best.

The key to treating the pain is to do something and whatever method(s) you select will be better than sitting and dwelling on the pain. Sciatica doesn’t have to ruin your life. There really are so many options out there. Once you’ve tried a few methods and the pain subsides you’ll be glad you did something.


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11 thoughts on “What is the best exercise for sciatic nerve pain?

  1. I had severe back pain at one point in time. I don’t know if it’s sciatica or not…but it was always on the right side…down to my right quad. I have know idea why it stopped. I lifted weights and strengthened my back muscles…did lots of stretching also. But I still can’t honestly tell you what worked.

  2. Dale,

    you’re absolutely right. I went for years being treated with medication and following exercises for Sciatica. I saw no improvement it wasn’t until I asked for a second opinion that I found out it was inflamed muscles caused by repetitive motion and a slight misalignment of my hips. Then I actually used Pilates and I’ve been pain free for over a year. Its funny my wife’s story is the exact opposite she was diagnosed initially with inflamed muscles and it later turned out to being Sciatica. She finally found relief with a combination of yoga and an herbal treatment of wild lettuce. We laugh now but it wasn’t funny at the time.

    Thank you,

    John and Katie

    • Thank you John and Katie.

      All the best to both of you. I myself have just started on yoga and finding the stretches just amazing. Never realized it was so intense.

  3. Hello,
    My wife has suffered for a long time sciatic nerve pain and I showed her this article and she was very happy and found your post very useful.
    This is the kind of post we wish have seen long before.
    We have bookmarked your page now and it will be part of our reading.

  4. Nice article. I had lower back pain back in my early 30s and the chiropractor thought I may had have sciatica. Thankfully, an MRI proved that wrong but I did have a couple of bulging lower discs. The chiropractor gave me a couple of exercises to alleviate the pain, as well as telling me to do a lot of walking. The worst of the pain was gone in 6 months. I occasionally feel the pain again and do those exercises.

    • Thank you for the feedback. It’s funny, I was so afraid of chiropractors before. I’ll never forget my first appointment, I kept staring and the table with all the levers. It was freaking me out and I swear sweat was dripping down my forehead. One appointment is all it took. I was so amazed.. Years of pills equated to no long term relief, yet this chiropractor gave me a physical and in less than 10 min he had an idea of the pains location and cause. One month of regular visits and the issue was fixed and I mean really fixed. Not only that but he told me the activity that caused the issue in the first place. Years and years of medication for what so the doctors can get their cuts. I’m so glad I stayed for that first appointment

  5. Good review on sciatica nerve pain, I can honestly say that I can’t remember hearing about it. Now I know and can be aware of this condition thanks very much.

  6. Liked your article on sciatica nerve pain, it was very informative. I think to often we give in to taking pain medication for relief. You hit it right by an alternative way by exercise. Most times exercise will solve many of our problems. It seem like you got it right. Good article

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