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Effective Sciatica Exercises You Can Do At Home

Updated on July 24, 2011

Gentle sciatica exercises could relieve your sciatica pain

Did you know that resting up in bed will often worsen your sciatica condition?

In many cases you will be better off engaging in a regular program of gentle sciatica exercises.

Bed rest is not your best bet

Understandably, many people will retire to their beds when they get an onset of sciatica. Its seems logical that lying down will help the back to relax and repair.

Well, it turns out that in many cases this course of action will actually do you more harm than good. After extended periods of inactivity the back muscles will weaken and the spine will lose some of it's suppleness. Both of which will increase your chances of back strain and serious injury.

Fortunately there is something that you can do for free in your own home: gentle sciatica exercises.

What are sciatica exercises and how to do they help?

Most sciatica exercises are focused on building support for the back by strengthening the abdominal and back muscles. Strengthening this "core" area using sciatica exercises will help your back to manage the strain of everyday activities.

Sciatica exercises also focus on stretching muscles in the lower back, thighs and hamstrings.

What sciatica exercises should I do and how often?

Before we continue it should be noted that, since there are many different underlining causes of sciatica symptoms, you should always consult with a qualified medical practitioner before choosing a course of sciatica treatment.

The following videos by Joel Sanders are a great introduction into some simple sciatica exercises you can do in your own home without requiring any costly equipment.

This first video takes you through a couple of basic stretching positions.

Sciatica Exercises #1 - Basic Stretching

The next video demonstrates some gentle exercises that strengthen the abdominal and back muscles.

If this form of sciatica exercise sounds daunting then just take a look at the video to see how easy it really is.

Sciatica Exercises #2 - Strengthen Abdominal and Back Muscles

In the final video Joel demonstrates some highly effective hamstring stretches.

This one is great for relieving sciatica pain.

Sciatica Exercises #3 - Gentle Hamstring Stretches

What to find out more?

If you found these exercise videos useful I recommend you check out more free sciatica exercise videos. In the series you'll learn everything you need to start exercising at home to beat your back pain.

This article is general in nature and does not represent medical advice. Always consult with a qualified medical practitioner before choosing a course of treatment.


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      Futamarka 5 years ago

      Критические завивания на малых злостях несколько выше предела туши. Перечень нормативных локонов Московского визажного салона для производства правильного визажа тонзур в Москве и смехотворчества дач в ближнем и дальнем Подмосковье. Сечения стоек

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      John 5 years ago

      Hi Howard,

      I was diagnosed with sciatica 2 weeks ago after having terrible back pain for 3 days or so. I can’t work or go out of the house without help. I read lots of different opinions on the net on how to treat sciatica or low back pain in general. Since I can’t do anything without a few pain killers I would like to hear your opinion on how to start treating sciatica. This site for example recommends on starting with stretching and then moving on to exercises. I am afraid to make more damage than it is right now. It would be great if you can elaborate on that.



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      Pixie 5 years ago

      How do I get rid of back of thigh pain?

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      Gervais 5 years ago


      I've had back problems for a few years ,went to see a spesacialist was put ona physio regeme,which kinda works,

      about a month ago i started feeling sciatica in my left leg within 3 days i couldn't walk,wnet back to speacialist & had an up to date MRI scan,was told to rest up & come back in a week,which i did Then when he checked me over again he has referred me to a neurosurgeon.The appointment is next week,the pain is better but still uncomfortable,still meant to be resting but the boredom of laying there is driving me crazy,so i'll give these exercises i go & let you all know how i get on.


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      dora 6 years ago

      i haven't try yet, but i will it seems that exercise helps a lot. I feel so happy to find out something that it will help, because i have been trying pill,therapies etc. and the following day i was on terrible pain again.

      but anyway thank you so much for teaching us how to do it at home.

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      CP 6 years ago


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      JEEVANA JYOTHI.A[BPT] 6 years ago


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      Parrot Crazy 6 years ago

      Thank you so much. My sciatica has me in tears. I am a 62 year old lady and I find your execises easy to do. Your a star.

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      Annette (UK) 7 years ago

      I've suffered from Sciatica for a number of years but as I get older find it more difficult to just get on with it. My job involves walking for approx 7 hours a day and so I need to be pain free to do this. These exercises look very easy and after reading some of the comments they seem to work. I will definitely give these a try. Thanks

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      Lucy 7 years ago

      Joel you are a star! Thank you :D

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      mike lynch 7 years ago

      looking to find out exercises and names of doctors to see in the dallas area

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      Priscilla Woods 7 years ago

      I would like to buy the video but can't determine how to do it online.

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      Sciatic Pain 7 years ago

      Excellent Hub howardboon,

      Great exercises that can be done in the comfort of your home ;)

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      Gypsy 7 years ago

      I just started these yesterday and already the sciatic pain has diminshed somewhat. THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH

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      Kate 7 years ago

      I was in excruciating pain in my lower back and sciatica. I Googled "gentle sciatic stretches" and came here. I started these stretches and within two days my sciatic pain started dissipating. Each time I felt a twinge, I would do these stretches... sometimes 4-5 times a day. Not two weeks later, my pain is totally gone! I recommend these!

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      Kelly 7 years ago

      Dude, thanks for these videos.

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      chris 7 years ago

      i did the first excersise for 10 minutes and i was pain free!!!! now for the second and third excercises. really helpful. thank you ;)

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      mmaza 7 years ago

      really helpful .

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      Lurgan Liar 7 years ago

      Hey there, I don't actually have pain in my back. Just a very tight pain in my hamstring up into my butt... I've tried other piriformis stretches but think they are aggravting the problem...These stretches seem more appropriate for my particular leg/ butt problem... How often should I be doing these?

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      Lisa Eddleston 8 years ago

      Thanks i have been in agony for 5 months now tried every painkiller going!! It's been taking over my life.

      Going to try these straight away.

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      Ishrat Naveed 8 years ago

      Thnax for sharing such good exercuses. i am going to do it right away

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      jovi 8 years ago

      how long i should do these exersices??and how many times a day??

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      craig 8 years ago

      how many minutes do you do the exercise's?

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      craig (uk) 8 years ago

      hi,thanks for the tips im only 21 and very active,i have Sciatica that bad somedays i cant walk!!i will try these straight away.

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      wendy 8 years ago

      very helpful. I just started having pain about 2 months ago and these are easy and effective exercises. Thanks.

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      niki 8 years ago

      Never had back pain in my life suddenly had it inpain for 3 weeks the 3 exersises i did really helped me as i hopefully will avoid meds ,...Thank u ..Niki Uk

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      joe  8 years ago

      I just saw this video and I had an S1 L5 sciatica and after physical therapy there was minor improvement in the left leg and foot and increased pain in the lower right foot. does any one know if the exercise in this videos will help, because I really gave up on bad doctors and bad physical therapist. please respond...your help is very very appreciated. Thank you

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      Shahid 8 years ago

      Cheers Howard. I've tried variations of these useful excersizes over the last 3-4 years since I first discovered I had sciatica.

      They definiately help, although like most people here it does flare up every so often which suggests these excersizes should be performed even when the symptoms are minimal or seemingly gone.

      My sciatica has recently been flaring up again & have needed to take another look at useful excerizes such as these.

      Here is a useful link I found which shows a couple of more useful techniques ( The Mckenzie Method) to help manage the pain as well as determine which type of sciatica one has. (see URL)

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      melina 9 years ago

      thx for posting these howard. im suffering from horrible sciatica and can barely move! will try to start these exercises tonight.

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      Tim 9 years ago

      @Peter The semi-supine position is recommended by teachers of the Alexander Technique as a way of releasing excess muscle tension and therefore the siatica symptoms. Lying down with your knees up and your head on a few paperback books encourages your spine to lengthen because of the way that gravity acts on it in this position.

      If you went to an Alexander teacher they would recommend that your do this every single day for 15 minutes over a period of weeks (or as necessary).

      Here's a how to video on the semi-supine:-

      Tim <a href=””>Sciatica Treatment Blog</a>

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      Peter Marsden 9 years ago

      I heard that semi-supine is good for sciatica. Is that for an older person who can't do much by way of stretches and strenghthening exercise?

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      Paul 9 years ago

      I was in excruciating pain today, could barely walk. I did the first exercise and got immediate relief. Proceeded to do the next 2 exercises and I feel good. I am definitely adding these exercises to my current daily regiment of IT band and hamstring stretches. I have been suffering with this pain for a few months and the only thing that seems to help is staying active and stretching daily sometimes 3 or 4 times per day

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      Lori 9 years ago

      Thanks, I'm going to try these exercises when I get home tonight. I have no excuses because I don't need any special exercise equipment. Now, comes the challenge of doing the exercises without my puppies jumping all over me while I'm trying (LOL).

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      Rachel 10 years ago

      I have been suffering from sciatica since I was 6 months pregnant....about 8 months now. Nothing helps, even massive doses of Advil and bed rest. I now have two little kids to take care of and am in chronic pain(in fact this latest flare up was triggered by lifting my son onto the potty) I am desperate for relief and will start these exercises today. Thank you so much.

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      donna 10 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing this exercise. Im going to try right away.

    • howardboon profile image

      howardboon 10 years ago

      Hi Gaby,

      Have you visited your doctor to discuss your condition? Pinched nerves are very tricky and you need to get medical advice.


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      gaby 10 years ago

      its been 4 months no and nothing seems to work even exercise, and at work i do light duty but that's not a futur what can i do to fight that pinch nerve at s1

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      bobbiebub 10 years ago

      These are good exercises. I recommend people trying them to start out very gently though.

    • howardboon profile image

      howardboon 10 years ago

      Thanks for the comments everyone. I am glad to hear that exercises are working for you to help manage your sciatica.

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      John Benedict 10 years ago

      Sciatica exercises such as those shown here really helped me.

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      Versjan 10 years ago

      There are more ways to skin the sciatica, but exercises to strengthen the spine muscles are crucial.

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      Ingrid 10 years ago

      Great information!

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      pinkdaisy 10 years ago from Canada

      This will be very helpful to me. Great information.

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      Howard 10 years ago

      Glad you found it useful Louisa.

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      Louisa 10 years ago

      Great information. The exercises will be a big help to sciatica sufferers.