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Yoga Exercise For Sciatica Pain

Why Yoga Is Important For Sciatica Pain Treatment

Four Stretches to Prevent & Relieve Sciatic Pain | David O Yoga
  • There are yoga poses for sciatica problem which can help with the back pain and leg pain.
  • Yoga stretches can actually help to make your sciatica condition much better and to get relief from Sciatica Pain.
  • According to the research, yoga asanas can help to ease the katishool when a sciatica patient bends forward.
  • Other sciatica symptoms related to sciatica-like tenderness or rigidity as well as trouble walking can be eased after practising yoga asanas and stretches.

The Basic Piriformis Stretch: Ardha Matsyendrasana

A simple half spinal twist gives the piriformis a mild stretch that encourages it to release and lengthen, and the intensity can be progressively increased as you approach the full pose. Stretching the muscle too aggressively can provoke sciatic pain, so its important to proceed carefully, using the following variations and adjusting the pose so that you feel minimal discomfort. The descriptions are intended to stretch the piriformis in the left hip be sure to repeat on the other side.

Well That Doesnt Sound Like Fun

Pain is never funespecially if youve just started yoga to get rid of pain in the first place!

When I first started learning yoga, I accidentally gave myself a hamstring injury that took over a month to heal. I was new and excited. I was young and determined. And, I had a teacher who was more concerned with her workout than with mine.

Unfortunately, I moved too deeply into a pose and hurt myself.


It was over five years later that a good friend of mine finally convinced me to give yoga another try. This experience was quite different.

This teacher taught me that its not what you do, its how you do it.

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Knee To Chest Stretch

The best stretch is the kind that you can do without even getting out of bed, and the knee to chest stretch fits into that category. Doing this stretch before you go to bed at night and when you wake up in the morning can set you up for hours of lessened sciatica pain.


  • 1Lie on your back, arms resting comfortably at your sides.
  • 2Bend the knee of one leg, drawing it toward your chest. You should feel tension in the hip joint as you do this. Pull in enough to feel the stretch, but not that you feel pain. Remember to keep breathing through the stretch, even though your abdominal area may be slightly compressed due to the positioning of your leg.
  • 3Hold for 5-10 seconds, repeat on the other side. Repeat 10 times.
  • Variation: Pull both knees toward the chest, hold for 5-10 seconds, repeat 10 times.

    Benefits Of Yoga For Sciatica Nerve Pain

    Yoga Stretches for Back Pain Relief, Sciatica, Neck Pain ...

    In 2019, the Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University ran a clinical trial to see how successful yoga asanas were with managing sciatica.

    The result? The asanas were pretty damn useful for managing sciatica.

    Scientifically speaking, out of the 30 patients in the trial, they noted a 76.8% relief in pain, 80% relief in stiffness, and 79.5% relief in pricking sensation.

    How did they do this? The asanas helped relieve the spasms and pain by relaxing the spine and associated muscles thereby reducing the signs and symptoms of sciatica.


    Need more proof? Two other studies also evaluated the effects of selective yoga techniques alone and the combined effects of selective yoga techniques and hot oil massage for managing sciatic pain. In both groups, the studies showed significant positive results in alleviating the symptoms of sciatica.

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    Yoga Poses To Relieve Sciatic Nerve Pain Top 10 Home

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    Find The Cause Of Your Sciatica

    The presence of sciatic pain often leads doctors to look for a herniated disk in the lumbar spine, which may be pressing against the sciatic nerve. This is a significant problem, and its especially important to have your disks checked out by a doctor if you are experiencing pain in your mid-lower back, painful electric shocks down your sciatic nerve, and/or tingling, burning, weakness, or numbness in your legs or feet. These can be signs that an acute herniated disk is pinching the nerve, which is a bigger problem than sciatic pain alone.


    Sciatica can also be caused by a small but significant muscle deep within your hipthe piriformis. In fact, another 2005 study in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine showed that nearly 70 percent of sciatica cases are caused by this muscle. The piriformis is one of a few small deep hip rotators that you use to turn your thigh out. It also extends your hip when you walk, and abducts the thigh when your hip is flexed. The sciatic nerve is sandwiched between the piriformis and the small hard tendons that lie against the bone of the sacrum and pelvic bone. If the piriformis is tight , it exerts pressure on the sciatic nerve and pushes it against the tendons beneath it, which can cause excruciating pain this is known as the piriformis syndrome.

    How can you tell if the problem originates in the piriformis? Here are a few indicators:

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    Yoga For Sciatica # : Standing Twist

    • It is one easy but definitely a rewarding yoga pose to ease sciatica pain.
    • Start by placing a chair or dice against the wall.
    • Stand straight in a manner that your right hip is next to the wall, and youâre facing the chair.
    • Place your right foot on the chair by keeping the knee in a bent state.
    • Your left leg should be straight and now press the wall with your right hand to maintain balance.
    • Now, slowly lift up the heel of your left foot and twist your body towards the wall by using your hand for support.
    • Keep the heel lowered and maintain the twist for a few seconds.
    • Return to the normal standing posture, relax. Now repeat the same for the left leg.

    Use: Standing twist yoga pose for sciatica improves the flexibility of the spine and improves the muscular tone of arms and legs.

    How Exercise Can Hurt Sciatica

    Yoga exercises for sciatica/ low back pain

    Keeping active can loosen tight muscles and help you feel better. However, some activities and movements can put pressure on the lower back, hips, and/or thighs and make symptoms worse. Here are examples of the types of movements that can cause sciatic pain:


    • Bending forward with straight legs
    • Lifting both legs off the ground while lying down
    • Running, jumping, or other high-impact activities
    • Squatting
    • Twisting or rotating the torso

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    Prep For Spinal Twist

    Sit on the corner of a folded blanket with your knees bent and your feet on the floor in front of you. Take your right foot under your left knee and around to the outside of your left hip. Your right knee should point straight forward. For the mildest hip stretch, place your left foot on the floor to the inside of your right knee, so that the left foot is roughly in line with your left hip for a stronger stretch, place your left foot to the outside of your right knee. Its likely that your left sit bone is now lighter on the floor than your right. Lean onto your left sit bone to balance the weight between the two hips this is the beginning of the stretch. Steady yourself by holding your left knee with your hands, and from this balanced foundation, inhale and lengthen upward through your spine. If the stretch is too intense or if you feel pain radiating down your leg, increase the height of the padding under your hips until the stretch is tolerable.

    If you dont feel a stretch in your left hip, gently pull your left knee across the midline of your body toward the right side of your chest, keeping your sit bones equally grounded, and resist your thigh slightly against the pull of your hands. This action will help keep your sit bone grounded and increase the stretch to the piriformis.

    Yoga Exercises For Quick Sciatic Nerve Pain Relief

    Sciatic nerve pain causes an immense discomfort that can be worsened by the simple act of walking.

    It is a condition that is defined by the pain felt on the nerve of the same name, pain that stretches from the lower back, all the way down to the foot. Typically, it targets only one side of the body.


    But luckily, the best way to get rid of sciatica for good does not require any surgical intervention.

    This is why today we bring 6 basic yoga for sciatic exercises that you can do every day to ease nerve pain:

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    Is Sitting Bad For Sciatica

    If you are suffering from sciatic nerve pain right now, you may find sitting on certain chairs very painful. Sitting for long periods of time is actually one of the primary causes of sciatica.

    Many people experience their first bout of pain after a long flight where the nerves are compressed into a tight position for hours on end.


    If you have a job where you sit for most of the day, try to take breaks every 20-30 minutes to stretch your legs and hips and aim to change position frequently.

    If you are able to perform the yoga poses for sciatic nerve pain below during your work day, they will help immensely. Another option is to use an exercise ball instead of a chair as much as possible. It is also a great workout for your core.

    King Pigeon Hip Stretch

    5 Yoga Poses For Sciatic Nerve Pain That Work Instantly ...

    Raja kapotasana is the strongest of the piriformis stretches. Bring yourself only to the edge of the stretch, so that you can remain there, breathe, and allow the piriformis to release. Start on your hands and knees. Bring your right knee forward and out to the right. Bring your right foot forward as well, until your heel is in line with your left hip and your shin is at about a 45-degree angle. Keep your foot flexed to protect your knee. To stretch the right piriformis, lean your upper body forward, tuck your left toes under, and slide or walk your left leg straight back, allowing your right thigh to rotate out passively as your hip descends toward the floor. Keep your hips level to the floor and square to the front of the mat dont let your pelvis turn or fall to one side. Support your right hip with a blanket if it does not reach the floor, and remain in the pose for anywhere from several breaths to a minute. Experiment with leaning your upper body forward over your shin, and with bringing your torso more upright to vary the stretch to the hip.

    If you find this pigeon pose stretch too intense or difficult, try a variation: Place your right leg up on a table and lean forward, using your hands on the table for balance, as you walk your left foot back.

    This article originally appeared in the Fall 2009 issue of Yoga International

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    How Can Yoga Help With Sciatic Pain

    Yoga therapy has a far-reaching effect on the body and mind through regular practice. I know, thats kind of a general statement. To get more into the weeds, yoga asanas relieve tension from muscles and bones and make the systems in our body function more smoothly.

    Various research shows that a protein called PGC-1alpha plays a role with muscles in exercises such as yoga, and suppresses a broad array of inflammatory responses. In non-science-y terms, yoga proved to help with pain intensity and functional disability.

    You might be thinking, okay cool, but what actual results can I expect from this?

    Well, heres the basics on how certain yoga poses can help with sciatica pain:

  • Help align, straighten, and strengthen the lower back, the source of the sciatic nerve.
  • Help relieve pain from compression of the sciatic nerve.
  • Help lengthen and loosen the hip muscles, as time and activity could have made these muscles tight, applying pressure on the sciatic nerve.
  • Simple yoga stretches also greatly ease the pain along the entire sciatic nerve.
  • Can Stretching Make Sciatica Worse

    As always with any kind of exercise, consult with your doctor before trying something new and stop if your pain worsens or you dont feel well.

    While these yoga stretches might not feel comfortable as they stretch your piriformis out, they should not hurt. Stretching properly and gently should not make your sciatica worse. Do not be tempted to push harder to release the tension, as you might overstretch your muscles.

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    Is Yoga Good For Sciatica

    Regular yoga practice can improve your body and mind in so many ways. And one way is to help you reduce lower back pain caused by the sciatic nerve. Yoga uses slow, methodical movements to strengthen and stretch your body. The poses focus on correct body posture and strengthens core muscles. This all will help improve your sciatica pain and create overall body awareness.

    Yoga offers many of the same benefits as traditional stretching exercises for sciatica.

    Precautions While Performing Yoga

    Yoga for Sciatica Pain Relief – 10 Min Stretches and Exercises to help you feel better!

    If you take sedative medication or have a medical condition that causes your ligaments and joints to be more flexible than normal , yoga must be avoided or practiced under the guidance of a therapist.5

    Yoga can be an effective, low-impact way to find sciatica relief. Often, a particular pose may help one person, but it may not work for others. You may need to try out different poses to find the most effective yogic stretch for relief from your sciatica.

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    Stretching Your Lower Back

    Many think their tight back is causing their Sciatica or Back Pain, and take steps to become more flexible in that area. In reality your tight back is often a symptom not the cause of your pain. Stiffness in the hamstrings, back and butt muscles are often because of an irritated disc and/or Sciatic nerve. You are not going to stretch the pain away. Think of your lower back more like the foundation of your house. You want it to be strong, stable and secure! When you start adopting this mindset, and learn the proper way to move and exercise you will finally get the relief you have been looking for.

    Words of Wisdom: Certain stretches can actually be beneficial for back pain, but the focus is more on adopting positions that help reduce a disc bulge or take pressure off the Sciatic nerve. For instance, we will often prescribe simply lying flat or propped up on your forearms while on your stomach.

    Rounding your back while stretching might bring some temporary relief because of a stretch reflex, but the increased pressure placed on the disc and nerve actually cause more harm than good.

    Some Yoga Poses For Sciatica That You Must Avoid

    It is important to listen toyour body because there are some yoga poses for sciatica thatare really good for you but there are some yoga poses that you need to avoidbecause they can make your symptoms even worse.

    That is why it is advisable tofirst consult a yoga expert and you medical expert before doing yogaposes for sciatica. And, then check what are the yoga poses are not givingyou comfort.

  • Try to avoid Downwards FacingDog pose Make sure that while you are sitting or standing your posture iscorrect. This can lead to more pain or stress in the pelvis and lower back.
    • Instead, do forward bends: This yoga posefor sciatica is good. Forward bend with supine position helps to support your lower back and hips muscles.
    • However, sciatica pain in the one side of your lower body, so there are some yoga poses for sciatica that you can easily do from one side and that is completely fine. A pose which involves bending your knee, can be practised easily, and in case you feel discomfort in a seated position, you can also place cushions under your knee.
    • Pregnant women: Pregnant women must avoid yogaposes that put pressure, strain or compress your stomach. It iscrucial to void yoga poses that include twists, strong backbends, and posesbecause this will put pressure on your belly area. You can use soft pillows andbolsters to modify your yoga poses.

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    Supine Lower Back Stretch

    This stretch isn’t just great for relieving sciatica pain it’s also excellent at improving digestion. Doing the supine lower back stretch first thing in the morning can be a great way to get your day started.

  • 1Lie on your back on a firm surface, such as a yoga mat. The supine lower back stretch does not work well on a mattress, as you need firm support.
  • 2Bend your knees, keeping your legs together and your feet flat on the ground.
  • 3Allow your knees to fall to the right side of your body, keeping a 90-degree angle.
  • 4As your knees rest to your side, straighten your upper body, and work to keep both shoulders on the ground.
  • 5Extend your left arm, allowing your upper body to fully expand as your knees remain on one side.
  • 6Hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat on the other side of the body. Repeat 10 times.
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