Persons suffering from sciatic nerve pain know how unbearable it can be. If a flare up occurs, there are simple moves that ease the pain, and it is done by targeting one of the most common cause: Piriformis Syndrome. Chicago-based physical therapist David Reavy says: “This happens when the piriformis, a small muscle deep in your hips, becomes tight and compresses the sciatic nerve, often leading to burning pain and numbness on one side of your butt and down the back of your leg.
That’s why it’s so important to stretch, stretch, stretch the hips—once you release the piriformis muscle, you take the pressure off the nerve, which can lessen the pain and keep it from coming back. Foam rolling the hip rotator can also help to release some of that tension and minimize pain.”
3 times a week is appropriate to begin with. Once the pain is gone, continue with exercises at least once a week, to prevent the pain from coming back.
Take the runner’s lunge pose, with your right leg forward, knee over ankle, and left knee on the ground with top of your foot flat on the mat. Lift your torso slowly and put your hands on right thigh. Slightly lean your hips forward while keeping your right knee behind toes, and stretch your left hip flexor the more you can. Hold in that position, or if you need deeper stretching, raise arms over your head. Again, hold that position, and repeat on the opposite side.
Take a runner’s lunge pose with your right leg forward, right knee over right ankle and back leg straight. Walk right foot over toward left hand, then drop right shin and thigh to the floor, making sure to keep right knee in line with right hip. Rest your left leg on the floor with your left foot facing down. Hold in that position, or hinge at hips and lower torso toward floor, allowing your head to rest on forearms. Stay in that position for at least 30 seconds, and then repeat on the opposite side.
Get down on your hands and knees, with your palms on the floor. Slowly widen your knees until you feel a comfortable stretch in your inner things keeping the inside of each calf and foot in contact with the floor. Keep your ankles in line with your knees. Lower down to your forearms and hold that position for at least 30 seconds.
Reclined Pigeon With Prep Stretch
Lie face down and bend your knees so your heels are right under your knees. Grab your thighs with your hand; slide them to the spot where your legs meet your pelvis. Lift your right leg up and cross over the left. Grab the back of your thigs and push your legs into your hands, away from your face. Hold the pose, take several deep breaths and repeat on the other side.
Reclining Cow’s Face Pose
Lie on your back and cross your left leg over your right. Raise both legs off the floor, flex both feet, and reach up for the outer ankles. Hug your legs towards your belly. Spread your toes, your feet flexed, and hold the pose while taking several breaths. Switch to the other side and repeat the exercise.
Foam Roll for Hip Rotator
Use your foam roller: sit on it with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lean back and put your right hand on the floor, while shifting your weight into right hip and crossing right ankle over left thigh. Put your left hand on your left thigh. Use your supporting foot and hand roll from the bottom of the glutes to the pelvic bone. Keep rolling back and forth for 30 to 60 seconds.