How To Treat Sciatica – Effective Home Exercise Progression For Sciatic Nerve Pain

Sciatica is pain, numbness, or tingling down the back of your leg that originates in your back and travels down your leg. Oftentimes exercising and moving in certain ways can help to minimize these symptoms. This is a progression of the best physical therapy exercises to help you treat your sciatic nerve symptoms.







(Below we’ll discuss sciatic nerve pain as related to the most common cause – a bulged or herniated disc. If your sciatica is coming from a different source, this may not be the best exercise progression for you. You’re encouraged to consult with your doctor or physical therapist for an individualized treatment plan.)

As a doctor of physical therapy, spine injuries are the most common condition that I treat.

It seems like at one time or another low back pain or neck pain inflicts all of us. To a degree, almost all of us will experience some degree of low back or neck pain.

Depending on the cause of your low back pain, you may experience the accompanying symptom of sciatica. This  is characterized by pain/numbness/tingling down the back of your leg. It can travel to your glute, hamstring, or (in more severe cases) down into your calf and ankle.

Today I wanted to share with you the best exercises for treating sciatic nerve pain. This method of treatment is it clinically proven and backed by dozens of research studies to be the most effective exercise treatment for a common cause of sciatic nerve pain.

The simplest way to promote extension through your spine is to lay down prone on your stomach. This will create a natural curve to your back and vertebrae which will push the disc in the right direction. Gravity also works on the disc in this position to draw it closer to the center.

I recommend people start here until they can lay in this position for 2–3 minutes. When this becomes comfortable and there is no increase in your sciatic nerve symptoms, progress to Phase 2. 

Bring your elbows directly under your shoulders and lift your chest up off of the floor. Your hips/stomach should stay in contact with the floor. In this position we promote increased extension through your lower back and draw the disc a little more aggressively back in the place.

Hold this position on your elbows for about 10 seconds, then lower your chest back down to the floor for 10 seconds, then repeat. This prone on elbows extension activity should be repeated 10 times for 10-second holds two times a day.

When prone on elbows becomes comfortable and there is no increase in your leg symptoms, progressed to Phase 3.

Now bring your hands directly under your shoulders. Lift your chest up off of the floor by extending your elbows approximately halfway. Once again, your goal is to keep your stomach and pelvis in contact with the floor and promote extension through your lower back.

Hold this position for 10 seconds and then return to the full prone position with your chest on the floor. Rest 10 seconds and then repeat.

Perform 10 reps of 10 second-holds two times daily.

When Phase 3 becomes comfortable with no increase in symptoms in your legs or pain in your back, progress to Phase 4.

A full prone press up is performed in a similar manner to the half press-up; the difference now is that your goal is to fully extend your elbows. Try to keep your pelvis/stomach in contact with the floor as your extend your elbows fully and raise your shoulders as high as they can go.

Perform 10 reps of 10 second-holds two times daily.

When Phase 4 becomes comfortable with no increase in symptoms in your legs or pain in your back, progress to Phase 5.

The standing back bend is performed by leaning over as far as you can backwards from a standing position. This is a little more aggressive than those I previously showed because it is in a weight-bearing posture and you do have to engage some muscles to keep from falling over. However, this is a great exercise to work some of your disc material back into place and minimize those sciatic nerve symptoms.

Try holding this position for 5 seconds, come forward for 5 seconds, and then repeat that 10 times.

Properly treating sciatic pain with the right exercises at the right time can be a very effective, non-invasive form of treatment for these symptoms.

What do you think?

Written by madmin


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  1. I had a severe lower back pain, unable to move even a little for 2 or 3 weeks. Then automatically it cured, but after a week started having sciatic nerve pains behind knee and thighs. After a week pain increased near butt area, joints and muscle. So in video it is said that pain moving up is good, but if it brings back that unbearable back pain then it's not good news. What should I do ? Any suggestions welcome.

  2. I am 27 and suffering from sciatica for a couple of months. Tried everything but didn't got any relief. Just saw your video and tried some of these exercises. I felt instant relief doing so. Really thankful to you for posting such a detailed video. I got tears in my eyes coz i was literally terrified by thinking about the future and what else I would've gone through carrying this pain.

  3. I have been suffering with sciatica nerve pain for awhile and have been given pain shots….to no avail. I have also been referred to a neurologist…they won't see me without some kind of insurance.
    I am 55 years young and there are days when I feel 155 due to the chronic pain in my back then sciatic tract that causes immobility for a few days exercise or not.
    What am I doing wrong to have this reoccurring sciatica nerve pain?
    Oh, before I forget, I was told that I have arthritis flare ups as well as bulging and herniated discs.

  4. Found your videos and I appreciate the details of why, how before going into the exercises. I have this exact problem since Sunday. Pain radiating down to my calf in right leg. Doctor on Monday gave me ibuprofen and muscle relaxer. Now Wed and no relief. The leg pain is constant and I dont want to take pills for days on end. If starting these exercises, how long til I can find relief, better yet full recovery. I cant sit and it's been 3 full days.

  5. I have not tried this yet, just watched the video. Anxious to try it. But must say its opposite of what I e been told to do. Hope it helps I have herniated disk L4, L5. Have lived with this pain for years.

  6. Hi. Thank you so so so so so so so much . I had exact symptoms and i was in so much pain, no other exercise videos helped but this one worked magically…i feel great and the rule you told is also 100% accurate, if one feels further pain, that exercise can't be the right one…this exercise is the only one which reduced my pain not increase it while i did it and I don't have words to thank you..

  7. I was diagnosed with herniated disc L4 L5 . this pain radiates and painful to the front that's the inner part. ot is more painful when lying down . how long will I get relief or should see a results. this is for years. need a physical therapist.

  8. Hi, I have siatica pain traveling from my back to both the legs, especially when I sleep it gets worse. Could you please tell how many times a day we need to do these exercises?

  9. Thank you, I’m going to try this. Seems like since I’m turning 50 my body is starting to have this pain. This is exactly what I need. I will try it and let you know, plus I have to get back to exercising

  10. I use to have pain so bad very bad, but weeks that left but I stayed with this back left numb hamstring and this had been at least 7 years I been dealing with it it use to bother me but I guess I'm use to it but I wish it would go away because I feel it causes numbness in my genital area and makes things difficult for me

  11. Hi, well explained about the issue and causes.
    I’ve a question: the exercise you told for the disc bulge is due to bending down and creating bulge on the back side, however, what would be the exercise for the bulge on the front or any other side. For example, I have disk bulge due to excessive sittings which is causing Sciatic Pain in my right leg. Can you please help me a good exercise for the same. Further, please let me know if we can discuss my issue further. Appreciate your support.

  12. I was desperate to relieve my pain. After I watched this video, I tried the exercises and the majority of the pain is gone. I couldn't believe it! Thank you so very much. Please keep posting!!

  13. Yeah You WOULD FEEL GREAT, YOU EVEN HAVE YOUR CURLED. WHY WASNT THERE A PATIENT IN Sciatica pain trying out these exercises JUST do we at home can see how she or he FEELS AFTER this and then show if long term healing??

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