Helpful Information

Four Stretches to Relieve Sciatica

Sciatica is pain that runs along the sciatic nerve. It happens when one or more of the nerves that make up the large sciatic nerve are irritated or pinched, causing pain in the buttocks, back of leg and, sometimes, the foot. 

According to Healthlife, one of the best ways to alleviate sciatica pain is to do stretches that externally rotate the hip, including the four stretches below.

Figure-4 Stretch

There are multiple versions of the figure-4 stretch. For sciatica relief, we recommend lying on your back and bending both knees. Then, cross your right foot over your left thigh and pull your knees towards your torso. From there, let gravity do the work! After two-three minutes, repeat on the other side.

Pigeon Pose

Like the figure-4 stretch, there are many variations of pigeon pose, each of which has their own benefit. For sciatica, we recommend the forward pigeon pose. In this pose you will lay down on your stomach and move your right (or left) leg to the front of your body, with your right knee directly behind your left wrist. Lay your back leg all the way down on the floor behind you, then place all of your weight on the front, bended leg. Once you feel complete on the first side, repeat on the other.

Standing Hamstring Stretch

Also known as pyramid pose, a standing hamstring stretch is something you can do nearly anywhere. This stretch can help ease pain and tightness in the hamstrings, which can cause sciatica pain. Start by placing one of your feet at or below hip level on an elevated surface, like a staircase or chair. Flex the foot and keep a slight bend in your knee. Then, begin to fold toward your front foot. Hold for at least a minute and repeat on the other side.

Seated Spinal Twist

Sciatica pain can also be triggered when vertebrae in the spine are compressed. The seated spinal twist helps create space in the spine, relieving pressure on the sciatic nerve.To get into this post, sit on the ground with your legs straight in front of you and your feet flexed. Then, bend one knee and place that foot on the floor beside the opposite knee. From there twist the opposite elbow to the outside of the bended knee and twist. Hold for at least a minute and repeat on the other side.

If you’re experiencing sciatica and would like to come in for an appointment, give us a call at 251-607-6117 or request an appointment online.


Dr. Bendt P. Petersen is an orthopaedic and neurospine surgical specialist with over twenty years in operative clinical practice. He is a fellowship-trained surgeon whose practice is the only one in the Mobile-area devoted exclusively to the treatment of your spine.

The Center for Spine Health employs the most advanced operative and non-operative therapies in concert with the most highly-trained physical therapists and other advanced ancillary practitioners to help you live the life you want to live.

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