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Sciatic Pain Relief Exercises

By Traci Joy ; Updated July 27, 2017

The sciatic nerve runs along the body from the rear hip area all the way down the legs. Sciatica is a term that refers to pain along this nerve area. Several conditions can cause sciatic pain, including a herniated disc or muscular inflammation. If you are experiencing sciatic pain, see your physician to determine the underlying cause. Sciatic pain usually disappears on its own in six to eight weeks, depending on the cause, but in the meantime the following simple exercises may help alleviate the pain.

Get into comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.

Lie on the floor or another hard surface.

Keeping your lower back to the floor, extend your leg that is not experiencing pain, and raise the painful leg, bending it at the knee.

Pull your knee gently to your chest and the opposite side of your body. Hold for 10 seconds if possible; the goal is to eventually work your way up to 30 seconds. Repeat with nonpainful leg.

Lie on your back, keeping your feet flat on the floor and your knees raised.

Place a towel under one knee and pull that knee gently toward you with the towel. If you do not have a towel, use your hands but try not to bend too far forward.

With your knee as close to your chest as you can get it, slowly straighten the leg as far as you can. Your goal is to get the bottom of your foot to face the ceiling. Hold this position for 10 seconds, eventually working up to 30 seconds over time.

Repeat with other leg. Be sure to stretch only one leg at a time.

Lie flat on the floor with knees bent.

Keeping your feet flat on the floor, lower your knees to one side, and then the other. Your lower back should remain as still as possible.

Continue rocking your knees from side to side for 30 seconds.


Make these stretches part of a daily routine to relieve sciatic pain and keep it at bay.


Check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. When doing these stretches, do not bounce the body or the legs, as this can cause further pain.

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