Did you know that tight, neglected muscles could be the cause of your sciatica or low back pain? It’s true! Yet so many pain sufferers still rely on over-the-counter and prescription medication and even surgery for relief! Instead of risking becoming addicted or injured even more, try these four stretches to target the muscles responsible for your sciatica and low back pain:

Lying Piriformis Stretch

If you’re having severe sciatica pain, the problem could very well lie with your piriformis muscle. This muscle is situated deep within the buttocks underneath the gluteus maximus, so it often gets neglected. To stretch the piriformis, try the exercise below:

  1. Put your back on the floor with your legs stretched out.
  2. Pull one leg toward your chest, holding the ankle with your opposite hand and your knee with the other hand.
  3. Stretch your knee toward the opposite shoulder until you feel some tightness, then hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat this stretch two or three times with each leg.

Long Adductor Stretch

The long adductor runs from the front of the pelvis to the femur. Also known as a groin stretch, the long adductor stretch is a must for sciatica pain relief. Try the stretch below:

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs as far apart as possible and knees unbent.
  2. Lean forward with your hands on the floor, dropping your elbows to the ground, if possible. Stop leaning forward when you feel the stretch working.
  3. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds.
  4. Repeat as necessary.

Short Adductor Stretch

The short adductor stretch works the muscle of the inner thigh. This stretch—often called the butterfly stretch because of the shape of the legs in this position—adds a great deal to sciatica and back pain prevention:

  1. Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet together and pull your feet toward your groin.
  2. Apply pressure to your knees with your elbows to get a better stretch.
  3. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and release. Staying in that position, flap your legs like wings and repeat.

Hip Extension Exercise

While not technically a stretch, this hip extension exercise works both strength and flexibility in the thigh and hip muscles. If your job requires you to sit for long periods at a desk, your muscles and tendons in your hips are probably shorter than they used to be. This can lead to poor standing posture, which is one common cause of low back pain. Try this stretch to alleviate your pain:

  1. On a flat surface, get on your hands and knees with your shoulders directly over your hands.
  2. Shifting weight as necessary, lift one leg toward the ceiling while keeping the knee bent. Lower the leg back to starting position.
  3. Repeat this movement 10 to 20 times per leg.

While the above stretches might help you relieve some of your sciatica and low back pain, no home treatment option can compare to the care of a professional, especially for those with limited mobility. Chiropractic care and spinal decompression are tested and proven treatments that you can rely on to give you the relief you need. Schedule a consultation or appointment with Dr. Michael Newman, DC today if you want to say goodbye to sciatica and low back pain.