Stretching and exercise can help relieve compression on the sciatic nerve root, which leads to sciatica pain. However, many stretches and exercises are too challenging for older adults. Here are 4 effective stretches and exercises that are gentle on the body and easy to perform—and most importantly, can help ease your sciatica pain.
While this stretch works better on a yoga mat, you can perform it on a firm mattress if that’s easier for you.
Watch: Sciatica Exercises for Spinal Stenosis Video
Be sure to rely on your core muscles—and not to push with your legs—when you tilt your pelvis.
The bridge is an exercise similar to the pelvic tilt.
View Slideshow: 9 Exercises for Sciatica Pain Relief
As your strength develops, work toward the goal of completing 2 sets of 10 bridges.
Tight hamstrings can worsen sciatica pain. Increasing the flexibility at the back of your legs can help ease—and further prevent—the pain. You can do this stretch while seated in a chair:
Stretching your hamstring muscles is one of the most effective and simple steps you can take for managing sciatica pain.
See Hamstring Stretching Exercises for Sciatica Pain Relief
The prone leg raise is a stabilizing exercise that is particularly helpful for people with sciatica pain from degenerative disc disease.
Watch: Sciatica Exercises for Degenerative Disc Disease Video
As your strength builds, try to do 2 sets of 10 leg raises.
The above stretches and exercises won’t alleviate sciatica pain for everyone. But they are worth trying and discussing with your doctor or physical therapist.
Physical Therapy and Exercise for Sciatica
What You Need to Know About Sciatica
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.