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5 Effective Exercises for Sciatica You Can Do At Home

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If you’re suffering from sciatica, it’s likely that all you want to do is lie in bed and hope the pain goes away. While complete rest is recommended to give your body time to heal, studies have shown that exercise can actually help speed up the recovery process and reduce symptoms, like pain and stiffness. Here are five effective exercises for sciatica you can do at home if you want to get moving and on the road to relief!

Side-Lying Hip Extension

Lie on your side, and lift both legs upward keeping them straight. Pause, and then lower them back down. That is one rep. Complete 15 to 20 reps per set, 2 to 3 sets per day. Maintain proper form throughout by keeping your hips square with each other and ensuring that you are not overextending at either hip joint. Remember, always consult a physician before performing any exercise program if you have pre-existing injuries or conditions.

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Backward Bend

One of the best ways to relieve sciatic pain is through stretching, and one of the best stretches is a backward bend. Start by sitting up straight with your legs out in front of you. Slowly lean back onto your hands, keeping your hips and chest off of the ground, then lower yourself as far as you can go without feeling any pain. Hold that position for 30 seconds or so, then sit back up to return to a seated position. If you have trouble balancing, repeat on all fours instead.

Cobra Pose

While sitting on your mat, stretch your arms out in front of you and lean back so that only your feet are touching the floor. Drop your head down between your hands, and press into your feet to lift up into a cobra pose. While doing so, press into your tailbone and don’t allow it to rise up off of the floor. Remain in cobra pose for about a minute before slowly lowering yourself back down to the ground (and giving yourself a nice pat on the back!). Repeat three times.

Another great read: 10 Vitamins and Minerals That Support Cardiovascular Health

Supine Bridge Pose

Lie on your back with both legs bent and feet planted firmly on the floor about hip-width apart. If that’s too difficult, try resting each leg on a block or stool. Pressing down into your heels, lift your hips off of the floor and keep them parallel to one another. Hold for 20 seconds before slowly lowering yourself back down. Repeat 10 times total.

Another great read: 8 Ways to Improve Your Health

Hamstring Stretch With Resistance Band

Stretch your hamstrings using a resistance band.

Here’s how: Stand up straight and hold one end of a resistance band in each hand. Step forward with one foot until you feel tension on both ends of your band. Slightly bend your front knee and lean forward, keeping your back knee straight. Lean until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings (back of thighs). Hold for 20 seconds and repeat with other leg.

Summary

In sciatic pain, pressure on a spinal nerve causes pain that radiates through your hips, buttocks and leg. In most cases, sciatic pain can be treated effectively with non-surgical treatments such as rest, stretching exercises and over-the-counter medications. But if you’ve already tried those treatments and your sciatic pain is still flaring up—or if you want to prevent it from happening in the first place—try these six effective exercises. If you’re unsure about any of them, ask your doctor for guidance before beginning them. And remember: Depending on what’s causing your sciatic pain, some of these exercises may not be appropriate for you or may need to be modified in order to be safe.

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