3 Stretches to Try if You’re Struggling With Sciatica

Too much of anything is never a good thing, and that includes sitting. If your job involves you perched behind a desk for most of the day, you might be familiar with a pain shooting down the back of your leg. That, dear friends, is sciatica. 

Caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve which runs from your lower back and all the way down your legs, the sensation can also result in numbness. Suffice it to say, it’s not the most comfortable condition. If sciatica is stressing you out, try some of these stretches. 

Cobra Stretch

  1. Lie on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders and your elbows tucked in close to your body.
  2. Inhale as you press into your palms. Slowly extend your arms as you lift your head, chest, and shoulders. Keep your elbows slightly bent and your chin lifted at all times.
  3. Tighten the muscles in your core and thighs.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds before lowering yourself slowly. That’s one rep.

Glute Bridge

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Allow your arms to rest straight at your sides, you’re your palms facing down.
  2. Tighten your core, drawing in your belly button toward your spine.
  3. Press your arms into the floor and push through your heels to raise your hips toward the ceiling. Your body should form a straight line from head to knees, with minimal arching in the lower back. Squeeze your glutes while doing so. 
  4. Hold the position for 5 to 30 seconds, and then slowly lower back down. That’s one rep.

Bird-Dog

  1. Start on all fours with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips.
  2. Engage your core by drawing in your belly button toward your spine. Look straight ahead and down slightly to avoid putting stress on your neck. 
  3. Lift your left arm straight out in front of you and extend your right leg straight behind you. You can either do this at the same time, or one at a time if that’s easier. Make sure that the stretched-out limbs are in a straight line with your back.
  4. Pause for a few seconds, and then lower your hand and leg. Check that your back is still straight. 
  5. Repeat on the other side with the other leg and arm. That counts as one rep.

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