Health Blog

Top 3 Exercises For Sciatica and Pinched Nerve

back pain

Sciatica pinched nerve…what a pain in the butt!

For most people, it means pain going down the back of their leg.

And the usual cause is a problem in the back or pelvis pinching or irritating the sciatic nerve.

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body.

It starts from the lower back, courses into the buttock, runs down the back of the thigh and splits into two behind the knee. Both branches then run down to the foot.

Sciatica can cause shooting pain, numbness, tingling, “dead leg” feeling or a feeling like a leg is going to sleep.

To learn more about what’s causing your sciatica and pinched nerve, attend our FREE Lower Back Pain and Sciatica Workshop at one of the following locations. CLICK ON THE LOCATION OF YOUR CHOICE FOR MORE INFO AND TO REGISTER:

Here’s the first exercise – Flossing

Sit up nice and straight.

Straighten the affected leg or the leg with pain.

Stretch that leg out. Then look up at the same time.


As you’re doing this and if you’re doing it right, and you’re doing it on the painful leg, it can actually make the symptoms travel down your leg.

That’s OK. We’re putting a stretch on the nerve.

Hold this for 5 seconds.

Then bend your knee and look down.


Hold this for 5 seconds. Alternate between both positions 10 times each way.

The next exercise is called – The Slump Stretch.

Same idea here. We’re stretching the sciatic nerve.

As you’re doing the exercise, you’ll experience increased symptoms down the leg.

Outside of the Flossing exercise and the Slump stretch, no other exercise you’re doing should increase the pain down the leg.

Everything else should decrease the pain in the leg and centralize the pain in your lower back.


Sit with your feet against the wall, knee straight, fingers interlocked behind your head.

Slump forward. Bring your elbows in.

This should cause a pretty sharp pain down the back of your leg.

It’s ok to feel increased symptoms down the back of the leg.

Hold this for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.


Now if that’s too painful, or you feel that’s too advanced…

Here’s what you can do:

Put your arms behind you. Hands flat on the table. Elbows straight.

Sit up and arch your low back.

Rock your pelvis forward.


It will do the same thing as the slump stretch but it’s less intense.

Same duration. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.


The 3rd exercise for sciatica and pinched nerve depends on what’s causing your symptoms.

The 3 most common causes are :

Herniated Disc.

Stenosis or Arthritis.

Pelvis or SI joint.

The 3rd exercise is any of 3 exercises that address the cause of your sciatica.


Interested in learning more about Sciatica and finding long-term relief?

Contact our team at Orthopedic & Balance Therapy Specialists and an expert physical therapist can help identify the source of your Sciatica and provide meaningful results.

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Best therapy place around. I would recommend this place to everyone. They have the best group of therapists around.
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My first experience with OBTS was very positive. During the course of my 13 therapy sessions I worked with many different therapists and all of them were professional and competent. They were able to help me effectively control my pain without medication using their therapy program. Unfortunately, they could not get my physical condition back to the same ability as before. However, this is due to the fact that it was later determined by my doctors that I required surgery. I plan on returning to OBTS for my post-op physical therapy and have already scheduled my evaluation appointment. Scheduling seems to be a challenge sometimes but that's probably an indication of their patient's satisfaction and good reviews. Thank you OBTS!
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15:58 22 Jun 18
Everyone that worked with me was helpful. I enjoyed watching the staff interact as they worked as they laughed and smiled making me feel that it was fun to exercise. My knee pain is less and I look forward to having the same results with my back.
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I’ve had an incredible experience here at OBTS. In just two and half weeks I’ve seen and felt remarkable results. My hip mobility has improved by 30%. I credit the excellent physical therapists and the deep tissue laser therapy for my gains. I’ve gone from walking with a limp and pain everyday to walking normally and know that I’ll be back to running in the future. Every single person is warm and friendly here. Great place!
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