Is your lower back in pain? Does your pain feel like it’s also burning its way down to your hip? People who answered yes to these two questions are likely dealing with sciatica.
Sciatica is a condition where one of the sciatic nerves is being pinched or irritated, and it’s estimated that up to 5% of Americans develop this condition every year. The most common symptom of sciatica is a burning or shock-like pain that starts in the lower back. The pain often feels like it’s radiating down through the buttock and hip into the back of your calf.
A virtual physical therapy session can do a lot to help people reduce their sciatica symptoms. One way a virtual therapy specialist can help is to show you stretches that can reduce lower back and hip pain from sciatica. Two of the stretches your physical therapist could demonstrate are:
- Seated piriformis stretch
One stretch that your virtual therapist could show you to reduce sciatica-related lower back and hip pain is the seated piriformis stretch. The piriformis muscle is one of the buttock muscles, and it can easily irritate the nearby sciatic nerve when it’s too tight. The goal of stretching these muscles is to decrease pressure on the sciatic nerve and reduce your pain.
How to do the seated piriformis stretch
- Start by sitting up straight in a chair with no arms.
- Cross the affected leg over the knee of your other leg. Rest your ankle on the opposite knee and let the affected leg relax out to the side, forming a figure 4-type shape. You may feel a stretch just sitting in this position.
- Slowly bend forward from the waist while keeping your spine straight.
- Stop when you feel a stretch in your butt and hip.
- Hold this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Switch legs and stretch your other side.
- Knee-to-chest stretch
Stretching the lower back and glutes can also help reduce lower back and hip pain common to sciatica. A stretch that virtual physical therapists often use to target these areas is the knee-to-chest stretch.
How to do the knee-to-chest stretch
- Lie down on your back on a bed or yoga mat on the floor.
- Bend one leg up until your foot is resting flat on the floor.
- Clasp your hands behind the thigh of your bent leg.
- Slowly pull your knee up toward your chest until you feel a stretch in your buttock and lower back.
- Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Return to the starting position, and then repeat the steps with the opposite leg.
Discover more stretches for lower back and hip pain from Agile Virtual PT
Keen to learn more stretches and other ways to decrease lower back and hip pain from sciatica? Our Agile Virtual PT team is ready and willing to help you get the care you’re looking for. We can assess your symptoms and movement to confirm that your pain is being caused by sciatica. Additionally, our certified physical therapists can build you a personalized therapy plan that can reduce your pain. This plan can include stretches as well as:
- Condition education.
- Tips on doing normal daily activities with less pain.
- Information about how much resting and moving you should do.
- Answers to questions you have about your condition or symptoms.
Contact our team today for more information about how we can help decrease your pain or to schedule an initial appointment.