Best At-Home Exercises for Sciatica or Lower Back Problems

Working from home has changed our workspace and workstations. The result is more than likely a rise in musculoskeletal pain, more specifically lower back and sciatic pains. The limited access to physical therapists and doctors can compound to leave you feeling helpless. But don’t worry, with just a few minutes and the following exercises, we can help limit that pain and possibly kiss it good bye!

Before getting started it is important to remember that sciatica has many underlying causes. Focusing on the underlying cause, if known, will help alleviate the pain. Common causes include disc herniations, spinal stenosis, piriformis syndrome and degenerative disc disease. Other causes include, but are not limited to, tight muscles, a lack of core strength and poor biomechanics.

 

Nerve Flossing/Gliding
Helps to mobilize the nerve and may help increase range of motion and relieve pain

 

Supine Pigeon (piriformis stretch)
Pose helps to stretch the hip flexors, proximal hamstring and hip rotators thereby releasing tension and improving hip flexibility

 

Supine pigeon twist
Helps to stretch the glutes and obliques thereby improving spinal mobility; this is great to help counter prolonged sitting and keeping a hunched posture for work

 

Clamshells
Helps target glute medius, a small muscle that is crucial for stabilizing the pelvis

 

Kickbacks (Quadruped Hip Extension)
Targets the core for stability, challenges you to maintain a neutral spine and builds glute strength

 

Bird dogs
Helps to increase core control, strength and stability

 

Dead bugs
Helps to increase core strength and stability

 

For more tips, exercises and program, check out Exercises for Sciatica.

Do you think you have sciatica? Take this self-assessment.

 

 

Wazim Buksh, MD, MPH, CAQSM, is board certified in both sports medicine and internal medicine. He currently practices both specialties as the lead physician for Primary Care at Novartis, an Atlantic Health System’s practice, in New Jersey. He has worked with the New York Jets and the athletic departments of Seton Hall and Drew Universities, respectively. In addition, he has provided sports coverage for a multitude of high schools in the New Jersey area. Dr. Buksh practices with a focus towards prevention – keeping you healthy to enjoy life’s journey.