Sciatica is an intense pain which emanates from the lower back region and radiates down to the buttocks and the back of both legs.
Symptoms may include pain between the lower back and the butts, numb thighs, tingling sensations in the legs, but to mention a few.
Also, Sciatica can be caused by several things, but the most common causes include prolonged sitting, incessant carrying of heavy loads, injury, excess fat, diabetes, etc.
Although, there are lots of medical treatments and therapies for reducing lower back and sciatic pain, but yoga is one of the effective means, and that’s what you are about to learn in this article.
This article consists of 10 effective yoga stretches to relieve sciatica and lower back pain, and the good news is that each move is pretty easy to do.
So, what else? Let’s get going!
Here are the best yoga stretches for relieving that sciatic and lower back pain under a few minutes.
1. Cow Face Variation
It stretches your piriformis to a great extent, which is capable of relieving any pressure it might be posing on your sciatic nerve.
Lie flat on your back while your knees are bent and each thigh over one another.
Now, bring your knees in just towards your chest while holding onto your knee. If you want the stretch to be deeper, you can hold on to your feet
Remain here for about 10 slow breaths or for a minimum of 1 minute on each side
2. Prone Reverse Clam
This exercise works great for people with their thighs in external rotation.
It will help your slightly turned out thighs back to parallel, which will in turn ease the pressure external rotation puts on your piriformis.
Lie flat on your stomach with your elbows bent to the sides and allow your forehead to rest on your hands
Now, bend your knees and let both legs move out toward either side of your hips and rotate your thighs from the inside so as to bring them to parallel.
Do 5-10 reps total.
3. Press Ups
This move decompresses the spine and makes space for the nerve, which makes it an ideal stretch for preventing sciatica aches.
Start by lying on your stomach and place your palms on the ground, a little bit in front of your shoulders and a few inches to both sides
Inhale; and, while you exhale, push into the ground very gently with your hands in order to lift yourself into something like the low Cobra Pose
When inhaling next, return to starting position and Repeat 10 to 15 times.
4. Walking Backwards
As simple as this stretch may look, it is one of the most effective and easy-to-do move for easing sciatica symptoms.
It is very helpful in bringing the low back move into a more natural extension, and can also improve your body balance.
Firstly, you need to find an open space and make sure there are no obstacles that may cause you to fall or stumble
Now, just walk backwards for at least 100 yards, and regularly check to make sure your chosen path is free of obstacles
5. Pigeon Variation
This is another deep stretch for the piriformis. This pose can help you feel a release of tension in the entire butt, as well as the low back.
“The traditional Pigeon Pose, where the back leg is stretched out straight behind you, is too hard on many people’s knees,” says Elmer. “In this modified version, we stretch the piriformis while also keeping it safe for most people.”
Starting in a lunge position put your right foot in front and your left knee and both hands on the ground
With your right foot, walk over toward your left hand and drop your right shin as well as thigh on the ground
While your left thigh bone remains out to the side, bend your knee slowly bring in your left foot toward your butt
Now, lean over your front leg as well as thigh, keep your fingertips on the ground, and then breathe deeply for 10 slow breaths
Lastly, switch both sides and repeat.
6. Staff Pose (Dandasana)
This pose is a basic, seated one. It stretches the lower back and promotes blood circulation in the affected areas, and releases the sciatic nerve of a significant pressure.
Sit on a mat and outstretch your legs right in front of you
Now, put both hands at your sides and let your palms be touching the floor
After that, flex your feet forward so as to stretch your legs
Pull your back up, and stretch your spine so as to lengthen it
Take deep breaths and remain in this position for about 20 to 30 seconds.
Relax a bit, and then repeat the workout for about 5 to 10 times
7. Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)
It is well known for its gentle stretching effect on the lower back as well as the major buttock muscles.
This will help improve flexibility and ease movement in the aching areas. It also improves blood circulation so as to stimulate the recovery process of any body organ.
The first thing is to lie down on your back and bend your knees while your feet are planted on the floor
Gently pull in your heels close to your butts and after that, place your arms and palms down right at your sides
Exert great pressure on the while using your feet and palms as a support
Now, breathe deeply and slowly lift your hips from the ground
In a conscious manner, push your tailbone up toward your public bone. By now, your shoulders, neck as well as your head are out to stay on the floor, while your lower back is elongated, and your knees should be afar from each other
Remain in this position for about 10 to 15 seconds, exhale and come back down.
Lastly, repeat this workout for something around 5 or 10 times.
8. Knees-to-Chest Pose
This pose helps in stretching out the lower back as well as the piriformis muscle in the buttock. Fortunately, it is very easy to perform, just follow these simple steps:
Start by lying flat on your back, straighten your legs, let the back of your knees be touching the ground, and flex your feet
On exhaling, put your knees in a bent position and slowly bring your thighs right to your chest
Hug your arms around your knees such that your back becomes flat against the ground
Remain like this for about 1 to 2 minutes.
On exhaling, slowly return your legs back to their original position right on the ground
You can repeat this process as long as you are comfortable
9. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
This yoga will stretch both your spine and lower back, which in turn will relief the pain caused by a slipped disc – one of the common factors leading to sciatica pain.
Lie on your stomach while your legs are lengthened out and fold your elbows upward by placing your palms on the ground underneath your shoulders
Now, begin to press your thighs, navel as well as the toes into the ground.
Gently raise your upper body (head, chest and stomach) using your arms as a support and take a deep breath
Bring both shoulder blades together in a close range.
Remain in this position for about 15 to 30 seconds before lowering your upper body to the ground with your hands placed beside you
Take a short rest [ideally a minute]and repeat the exercise for 5 to 10 times.
10. Reclining Big Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana)
This basic hamstring stretch opens up the buttock and eliminates back pain and sciatica pain.
It also works the legs, calves in particular, and improves blood circulation somewhere around the area below the torso.
To start with, lie flat on your back, bend your left knee, and then gently pull it in toward your chest
Hold an elastic strap, firmly secure it around the ball of each foot and lift your left leg toward the upward direction [facing the ceiling]
Now, stretch your leg while your feet remain open and flexed, as well as your butts pressing to the ground
Take a deep breath and remain in this position for 10 seconds.
After that, begin to lower your left knee back toward your chest, and then place your leg back on the ground
Change to the right leg and repeat the exercise
Interchange the legs 5 to 10 times