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These Are the 3 Best Exercises for Sciatica Pain, Expert Says

These expert-backed moves can help relieve your pain.

If you endure sciatica pain, you know how absolutely debilitating it can be. We're here for you and spoke with Dr. Mike Bohl, Director of Medical Content & Education at Ro and certified personal trainer about the absolute best exercises for sciatica pain. Read on to learn more, and next up, don't miss The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

Here's what can help relieve sciatica pain, in addition to physical therapy, exercise, and stretching

physical therapy for sciatica pain
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According to Mayo Clinic, sciatica pain can be caused by many things and travels along the sciatic nerve. This nerve runs from your lower back to your hips, glutes, and down along each one of your legs. Many times, sciatica will only compromise one of your sides. It typically happens when a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or a bone spur on your spine irritates the sciatic nerve. Any of these conditions can result in pain, inflammation, and numbing to your leg.

Dr. Bohl shares with us several exercises for sciatica pain. Since there are several causes of this type of pain, be aware that not every exercise will relieve every situation. Dr. Bohl warns, "Sciatica can't always be fixed with just the right healthy habits, and some people may require surgery or other interventions to correct sciatica." He adds, "In addition to physical therapy, exercises, and stretching, other things that can help you deal with sciatica include medications (such as Tylenol and anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil), hot and cold packs, spinal injections, and surgery."

Dr. Bohl recommends speaking with your physical therapist or a medical professional to determine the best exercises to benefit your sciatica.

Related: The Worst Exercise Habits That Are Aging You Faster, Trainer Says

Hamstring stretch

man doing hamstring stretch, exercises for sciatica pain
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In a standing or sitting position, straighten one of your legs out in front of you on a raised surface. Keep your back straight as you lean forward until you feel a good stretch. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side.

Related: The Top 3 Yoga Moves For Relieving Lower Back Pain, Expert Says

Knee-to-chest stretch

knee to chest stretch for sciatica pain
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Begin this exercise by lying flat on your back. Bring one knee to your chest, hugging it close to your body with your hands. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side.

Pelvic tilt

woman doing pelvic tilt
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For this final exercise, you're going to lie down flat on your back, bend your knees, and keep your feet on the floor. "Rotate your pelvis forward by flattening the arch of your lower back onto the ground while slightly lifting your buttocks up," Dr. Bohl instructs. Hold this position, then relax. Repeat several times.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more
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