How To Get Rid of Sciatica Pain

If sciatica nerve pain is negatively impacting your life, you’ll be glad to hear you can keep it from robbing you of comfort, mobility, anquality of life. By knowing how to deal with sciatica, you can significantly reduce the time it takes for the pain to subside.

Sciatica is generally caused by a pinched sciatic nerve with radiating pain on one side of the body gathered information about what sciatica pain is, how to get rid of it, and what causes it.

What Is Sciatica Pain?

Sciatica, also called lumbar radiculopathy, is defined as pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve (the largest nerve in the human body). This nerve originates from the lumbar spine, descends the lower back, vertically crosses through the buttocks (over the hips), runs down each leg, and ends just below the knees. Sciatica will typically affect only one side of your body. Common symptoms include:

  • Inflammation of the affected hip and leg
  • Radiating pain down the hip and leg
  • Pins and needles sensation
  • Burning
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness
  • Electric-like jolt
  • Hip pain
  • Pain when sitting, standing, or both

Sciatic nerve pain shares several symptoms with meralgia paresthetica. To understand how these conditions differ, read

Sciatica Pain Relief

Relief from most sciatica pain can be found through stretches that externally rotate the hip and frequent massages. If you are familiar with Yoga, the following stretches will also be familiar to you. If not, it will take very little time to get used to them. Consider the following stretches and massages:

Reclining Pigeon Pose – This is the first of the pigeon poses used to open the hips. Begin by lying flat on your back, then:

  1. Raise your right leg up, bent at the knee to form a right angle, and clasp your hands behind the thigh to hold your leg in place
  2. Raise your left leg with your foot flat on the floor, placing your right ankle upon your left knee
  3. Hold the position for a minimum of 30 seconds
  4. Repeat the stretch with the left leg

Sciatic nerve pain relief using the reclining pigeon yoga pose

This pose helps to stretch the piriformis muscle, which can become inflamed, press against the sciatic nerve, and cause pain.

Sitting Pigeon Pose – For this and the following pigeon pose, you may want to work with a physical therapist until you are comfortable with them on your own. Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs stretched straight out in front of you, then:

    Sciatic nerve pain relief using the sitting pigeon yoga pose

  1. Bend your right leg outward, resting your right ankle on top of your left knee
  2. Slowly lean forward and allow your upper body to descend toward your thigh.
  3. Hold the position for 30 seconds
  4. Repeat the stretch with the left leg

This stretch targets the lower back and glutes. If you feel that you need back support for this stretch, begin by sitting with your back to a wall or your sofa.

Forward Pigeon Pose – For this pose, kneel on the floor on your hands and knees, use a mat to cushion your knees, then:

  1. Lift your right leg and move it forward on the ground in front of your body. Your left leg should be on the ground, horizontal to the body. Your right foot should be in front of your left knee with your right knee to the right.
  2. Stretch the left leg out behind you on the floor, with the toes tucked under your foot.
  3. Shift your body weight gradually from your arms to your legs so that your legs are supporting your weight. Breathe in and sit up straight with your hands on either side of your legs.
  4. While exhaling, lean your chest forward over your left leg. Support as much of your weight as possible with your arms
  5. Repeat the stretch with the left leg

Watch the following video demonstrating the forward pigeon pose.

Seated Piriformis Stretch – For those who have found extreme difficulty in doing floor stretches, here is one you can do in a chair:

  1. Sitting in a chair with your back straight, cross your sore leg over the knee of your other leg
  2. While keeping your back straight, bend your chest forward
  3. If you don’t feel pain, bend forward a little more
  4. Hold this position (as far forward as you can go) for about 30 seconds
  5. Repeat the stretch with your other leg

Watch this video to see a variation of this stretch.

Massage – One of the most beneficial results of having a massage is the relief from tension and discomfort caused by pinched or compressed nerves. The following techniques may help you overcome the debilitating pain of sciatica:

  • Reflexology (uses pressure points in the hands and feet to effectively treat the pain and relieve the compression or irritation on the sciatic nerve)
  • Neuromuscular (combines deep tissue pressure and friction)
  • Swedish (uses flowing, kneading movements)
  • Hot Stone (uses heated stones to promote relaxation and ease tense muscles)
  • Myofascial Release (relieves pain stemming from your myofascial tissues)
  • Deep Tissue (slow strokes with deep finger pressure)

Note: While experiencing severe or debilitating pain, it is highly recommended to consult your primary care physician and physical therapist before resuming a regular fitness schedule. Some repetitious exercises may exacerbate the pain and discomfort caused by sciatica.

What Causes Sciatica?

Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is pinched. The following are some of the conditions that frequently lead to sciatica:

  • Blood clot
  • Pregnancy (causes pressure and stress on the pelvic region, hips, and lower back)
  • Herniated or ruptured disk (can compress the sciatic nerve)
  • Bone spur (on your vertebrae)
  • Tissue or tumor growth (can compress the sciatic nerve)
  • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal column)
  • Degenerative disc disease (conditions or medications that weaken vertebrae)
  • Spondylolisthesis (when a vertebra slips forward)
  • Osteoporosis (weakening of the bones)
  • Piriformis syndrome (the inflammation of the piriformis muscle located in the buttocks)

Some of the common risk factors include:

  • Obesity
  • Occupation
  • Diabetes
  • Bad Posture
  • Prolonged sitting
  • Physical inactivity

Sciatic nerve pain caused by obesity and poor posture

Regular exercise and proper sitting posture are two of the ways you can protect your back and potentially prevent sciatica.

Read more about posture at

Sciatica Treatment

Most people can recover from sciatica without medical treatment. However, sciatica can potentially leave you with permanent nerve damage. Seek immediate medical attention if you:

  • Have a high fever
  • Feel weak in the affected leg
  • Lose feeling in the affected leg
  • Lose bladder or bowel function
  • Have a recurrence of sciatica (after successful treatment)
  • Develop back pain and have a history of cancer

Note: The majority of treatment for sciatica pain is nonsurgical. That said, it is strongly recommended that you and your primary care physician develop a plan for recovery (including over-the-counter pain medication and physical therapy). All while eliminating potentially grave contributors to your condition.

Getting Rid of Sciatica Pain

In this article, you discovered what sciatic nerve pain is, stretches to alleviate it, what causes it, and when to seek medical attention.

By using simple stretches and knowing when to seek medical help, you can avoid permanent nerve damage and chronic pain caused by sciatica.

Allowing sciatic nerve pain to go unchecked or untreated may result in the unnecessary prolonging of suffering and, in worst-case scenarios, permanent nerve damage with chronic pain.


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