Best At-Home Exercises for Sciatica Pain

woman stretching

In the lower back area, five nerves combine to produce one nerve that travels down the buttocks and the leg. This is the sciatic nerve, the longest and thickest nerve in the body. Sciatica is the medical term for sciatic nerve inflammation. It may result in discomfort that radiates down the leg or is searing or shooting in the buttocks, and the pain typically only affects one side.

Sciatica is often treated in a variety of ways, depending on the symptoms, causes, and past medical history that you are experiencing. Strength training and stretching are frequently beneficial aspects of many patients’ treatments. Working with a physical therapist is an excellent option to make sure you are accurately diagnosed and have a treatment plan that is unique to you and tackles whatever is causing the sciatic nerve to be irritable.

Stretching generally aims to relieve pressure on the nerve root and relax the tissues contributing to discomfort from spasms and blood flow restriction in the surrounding area. But specific stretches are ineffective for treating sciatica, and others may even be dangerous.

Even if the pain is a symptom of something wrong, sciatica can be really difficult to diagnose. Sciatica frequently manifests as hip or buttock pain that radiates down the leg. However, this pain can also indicate a herniated disc.

Stretching and exercising while having a herniated disc is a guaranteed method to increase pressure on the disc, making it worse or damaging the other discs in the spine.

The following exercises can relieve pain by reducing muscular tension, relieving sciatic nerve compression, addressing core stability, and enhancing posture. Each exercise should be performed within a pain-free range, and if any discomfort is felt, the person should cease right once.


Most lower back exercises are used to treat sciatica. Before attempting these workouts at home, see your doctor first:

1. Knee-to-Chest Exercise: This easy stretch relieves lower back discomfort by focusing on the lower buttock and upper thigh region, reducing the low back nerve compression.

  • Lie on your back with both your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Using your hands, gently pull one knee toward the chest while keeping the lower back and other foot pressed to the floor.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side. On each side, aim for at least 3 repetitions. To make the workout a little more challenging, keep one leg straight on the ground while raising the other to the chest. Both knees can simultaneously be brought to the chest.

2. Standing Hamstring Stretch: This stretch can relieve sciatica-related hamstring tightness and pain.

  • Put your right foot on a chair or other elevated surface. Your leg should be straight and your toes pointed up. Maintain a modest bend in your knee if it tends to hyperextend.
  • Lean slightly forward while maintaining a straight back. The stretch gets deeper as you get farther.
  • Hold the stretch for up to 30 seconds and breath as you maintain the position. Repeat on the opposite side and aim for 3 repetitions for each side.

3. Pelvic Tilt Exercise: The pelvic tilt stretch is commonly suggested because it is simple to carry out and might bring about relief immediately.

  • Lay on your back with your body flat on the ground to start.
  • Bring your feet closer to your torso to raise your knees while keeping them firmly planted on the ground.
  • Then, as you exhale, contract your abdominal muscles, tuck your belly button under, and flatten your lower back. Maintain this tense posture for 20 seconds, then release it. Perform 10 repetitions of this workout.

4. Glute Bridges: The glutes are a set of muscles in the buttocks. Sciatica may result from them being too tight and pressing on the sciatic nerve.

  • On the ground, with your back flat, your legs bent, feet shoulder-width apart, and your arms at your sides relaxed.
  • Lift your hips by pressing through your heels until your body is straight from your knees to your shoulders.
  • Hold the posture for a short while. Bring the hips down to the floor gradually. Then carry on. Try not to round or arch your back. Try to achieve two or three sets of 8-10 repetitions.

5. Lying Deep Gluteal Stretch: If you lack flexibility, you may need to modify this exercise slightly.

  • Lay down on your back. Place your right foot on your left knee and bend your left leg.
  • Grab your left thigh and pull it in your direction. Keep your hips straight and the base of your spine firmly planted on the floor. Your right buttock should feel stretched out.
  • Hold for a minimum of 20 to 30 seconds while inhaling deeply. Perform 2 to 3 repetitions, switching the legs.


The support system for the spine, which anatomically can be compared to your internal spinal brace, comprises a large part of the abdominal and spinal muscles. When carefully executed and guided by your physical therapist, these five low-impact exercises can help strengthen your spine and improve its flexibility and range of motion. Exercise can help strengthen the structural elements of the spine, which may assist in lessening discomfort and hasten recovery even while you cannot stop the consequences of degenerative disc disease.

Additionally, exercise triggers the release of endorphins, substances that interact with pain receptors in the brain to lessen the experience of pain.


Since sciatica can have a number of reasons, not everyone responds well to a particular exercise program. Never force yourself to finish an exercise that doesn’t feel right to you. Instead, look for ones that work with a physical therapist from Pt Link. As you improve, you might be able to execute certain motions that weren’t effective at first. But maintaining your plan is more important than stepping up the challenge.

If you have any other medical conditions, you should speak with your doctor before doing these exercises for sciatica. Additionally, if your discomfort worsens after working out, talk to your PT Link physical therapist right away.

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