11 Stretches to Reduce Sciatica, Hip, and Lower Back Pain
Nowadays, it seems every other person is suffering from lower back pain or sciatica. The pain and discomfort are not something anyone would want to feel, and the worst part is that there are not so many things we can do to reduce them.
But, exercises and stretches are probably the best and most effective way to alleviate your lower back pain naturally even though they won’t cure it. Still, you should consult a chiropractor, physical therapist, or a medical professional before trying out any exercise.
Here are some of the best exercises and stretches for lower back pain.
1. Supine Piriformis Stretch
This stretch helps alleviate sciatic nerve pain, back pain, hip pain, and knee pain.
Lay down and bend your knees. Cross your right leg over the opposite side, place the right hand on your right knee, and the left one over the right ankle. Then, pull your knee towards the left shoulder until you feel stretch in your glutes.
Lift your left leg, put your hands behind your left thigh and pull forward. Stay in this position for half a minute, and repeat with the opposite side.
2. Standing Piriformis Stretch
Start in a standing position and put your right leg above the opposite knee. Then, lower your hip slowly while bending your chest upfront. Stretch your arms to make sure they are parallel to the floor, and keep your spine straight.
Stay here for 30 to 60 seconds and do the same thing with the opposite leg.
3. Outer Hip Piriformis Stretch
Start this stretch by lying down on your back and bringing your right leg up. Put the right foot behind your left knee and roll your body to the left until your right knee touches the floor.
Place your left hand on top of your right knee, raise your right arm and slowly lower it to the floor so that your right shoulder touches (or nearly touches) the floor. Stay there for 20 seconds and come back to center. Then, do the same movements with the opposite side.
4. Long Abductor Stretch
First, sit down on the floor with legs wide apart. Then, put your arms in front of you to support your upper body while bending it forward. Stay here for 20 seconds.
5. Short Adductor Stretch
Get into a seated position and bend your knees until your soles touch one another. Grab your right ankle with the left hand, and your left ankle with the right hand. Push your knees towards the floor and make sure you keep your spine stretched.
Finally, wave quickly with your legs while in this position for about half a minute.
6. Side-Lying Clam
Lie down on the left side and position your legs in a way that they form the letter L. Place your right foot on top of the left one, so that your legs are parallel to one another and your spine stretched.
Then, start raising your top knee and remain in that position for a couple of seconds. Do this stretch 15 times.
7. Hip Extension
Get down on all fours with hands parallel to your shoulders. Then, take your right leg back and upwards, making sure your right foot faces the ceiling and your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Lower your leg slowly and do 15 repetitions.
8. Supine Piriformis Side Stretch
Start by lying down on your back with legs stretched. Then, bend your right knee so that your right foot lies flat on the floor but on the outer side of the left knee. Keep your hips and shoulders flat on the floor.
Stay here for half a minute and then do the same movement with the opposite leg. Repeat three times.
9. Bottom Stretch for the Piriformis Muscle
Put your hands and knees on the floor, bring the right foot underneath your torso so that the right knee is on the outside of the torso. Then, stretch the opposite leg behind you and push your hips towards the floor.
Lean on your forearms, and you’ll feel a stretch in your left leg. Remain here for half a minute and repeat three times.
10. Seated Stretch
Sit on a chair and cross your right leg over the opposite. Just make sure you keep flat back throughout the exercise. Breathe deeply, and once you relax bend forward slowly. Stay here for half a minute and then do the same thing with the opposite leg.
11. McKenzie Press Up
Lie down with your face facing the floor trying to relax your entire body. After a few minutes, lean on your forearms with your elbows right under your shoulders.
Take a few breaths and once your body relaxes even more, put your hands on the floor parallel to the shoulders, and push your torso as far as you can. Keep your legs, hips, and pelvis relaxed. Return to the initial position and rest for a few minutes.
Note: If your pain worsens or you’re not responding from these stretches, stop doing them and consult a medical professional.
Global Health Corner