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Yoga Poses to Soothe Sciatic Nerve Pain in 15 Minutes

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The sciatic nerve is the widest and longest nerve in the body.

It begins near the spine in the lower back, runs deep through each buttock and travels down along the back of each leg.

A shooting pain often so severe it makes standing up seem like an impossible task, sciatic pain can be an excruciating experience. Ironically, it hurts more when one is sitting down, making this painful ordeal all the more unbearable.

Symptoms of sciatic pain can vary. However, it most commonly occurs on one side of the lower back and extends to the rear, legs and often down to the feet.

Some people report a searing pain in one area of the leg or rear while feeling numb in the other regions. Often, the aching leg may feel cold and weak.

Other symptoms may include weakness in the lower back or leg; numb thighs; burning or tingling sensations in the legs, rear and feet; and loss of bladder or bowel control.

Any condition that puts pressure on the lower back will result in sciatic pain. Spinal disorders such as spondylitis, a damaged or ruptured disc, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), degenerative disc disease and any other lower back injury can put pressure on the sciatic nerve and induce pain.

Some people might suffer from sciatic pain frequently, while others might not. However, if left untreated, symptoms can get worse with time.

Sciatic pain usually starts slowly. It may be worse during the night; when laughing, sneezing or coughing; when sitting, standing or walking for long durations; and after bending backward or forward.

While there are many medical treatments and therapies for lower back and sciatic pain, many strength and conditioning specialists swear by the beneficial effects of any exercise that involves stretching for reducing sciatic and lower back pain.

One highly effective, specialized and advanced stretching technique for sciatic pain is yoga.

People with moderate to serious back pain who alternated between yoga sessions and regular care (including pain-alleviating medication) reported a significantly greater reduction in the intensity and frequency of pain after yoga than after regular care, according to a 2009 study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.

yoga poses for sciatica pain

Here are a few yoga poses that can reduce sciatic pain in less than 15 minutes.

NOTE: Please consult your doctor before performing these yoga exercises.

1. Staff Pose (Dandasana)

staff yoga pose (dandasana)

This is a basic, seated pose. It will stretch your legs, flex your lower back, promote blood circulation in the aching areas, and release pressure from the sciatic nerve and give it room to breathe.

  1. Sit on a mat with your legs outstretched in front of you and your hands at your sides with your palms touching the floor.
  2. Stretch your legs by flexing your feet forward.
  3. Pull your back up, and stretch your spine, lengthening it.
  4. Take deep breaths, maintaining this position for 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Relax, and repeat the exercise 5 to 10 times.

Beginner’s tip:

Roll up a blanket, or use any other form of padding, and place it under your buttocks for support.

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2. Locust Pose (Shalabhasana)

Locust yoga pose (shalabhasana)

This yoga exercise will strengthen your lower back and promote blood circulation to your lower hips.

Blood circulation in the lower back and areas below is often compromised due to pressure that builds up for a number of reasons, resulting in sciatic pain. Better circulation promotes healing and provides pain relief.

  1. Lie face down and place your arms at your sides with your palms outwards. Your toes should point downward, touching each other, while the heels should be apart.
  2. Make sure your chin touches the ground, your neck is elongated and your pubic bone is pushed down.
  3. Take a deep breath and raise your legs, arms and chest simultaneously. Your knees should be lifted off the ground, your shoulders should come close together, and your neck should be straight.
  4. Once you’ve lifted yourself up, exhale and stay in that position for 5 to 8 seconds. Stretch your back gently.
  5. Go, maintaining that position, inhale and spread your legs apart, then exhale and bring them back in. Repeat this exercise 5 times. This is an addition to the traditional locust pose, which is especially effective in reducing sciatic pain.
  6. Gently bring your body back down to the floor, fold your hands under your forehead and rest, face down, for 1 minute.
  7. Repeat the exercise 5 to 10 times.

Beginner’s tip:

Keep a rolled up blanket under your abdomen and thighs for support.

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3. Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

This is an incredibly effective yoga pose for gently stretching the lower back and major buttock muscles. Doing so will improve flexibility and allow movement in the areas where pain is made worse by constriction and inactivity.

supported bridge pose (Setu Bandhasana)

It will also improve blood circulation that is critical to the proper functioning and recovering of any organ of the body.

  1. Lie down on your back, with your knees bent and your feet firmly planted on the floor.
  2. Draw in your heels close to your buttocks and place your arms, palms down, at your sides.
  3. Exert pressure on the floor with your feet and palms for support, take a deep breath and gently lift your hips off the ground. Consciously push your tailbone up toward your pubic bone. Your shoulders, neck and head should stay on the floor, your lower back should be elongated, and your knees should be away from each other.
  4. Maintain this position for 10 to 15 seconds, exhale and come back down.
  5. Repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times.

Beginner’s tip:

Place a bolster or block under your lower back, below the region right above your tailbone, for support.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

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13 thoughts on “Yoga Poses to Soothe Sciatic Nerve Pain in 15 Minutes”

  1. I had the same type of pain starting from right buttock and radiated pain to the right leg.after doing exercise along with tab neurobion fort two times a day,my pain had gone.now i m fit and fine.

  2. I have three bulging disc and it go into my left hip and it’s so very painful I just want to cry and standing make it very hard so now I am in a wheelchair melissa

    1. My husband had three bulging discs. Doctors where talking about surgery. He had a few sessions of acupuncture and she gave him some gentle excercises which he did every morning. Before getting out of bed he pulls his knees into his chest he does this religiously before getting up. He does four mornings his routine, on his back gentle rocks with knees bent and does the excercises shown. It took him away till he could do all completely. He now does bike riding up mountains with no pain. Start off doing a little at a time. Doing little bounces on the gym ball helped in the beginning something about getting the discs lubed. It worked.

  3. My sciatic pain is also in my elbows, they are called the funny bone but radiate the same type of excruciating pain momentarily, I find that if I press down real hard on the nerve itself & then slowly release the pressure, it begins to relax & then then pain goes away, not for good but, for at least 2 hours now, I actually have now begun to like the pain that pressing on it produces & now it doesn’t hurt so much each time I do it!

  4. My spondylolesthesis grade 1 is become worsen after I was operated last March 20 1994. I suffered all kinds of pains that I can’t explain. I thought it was a normal already that I will suffering through my life. Till I read this about sciatic pain. One thing I commit big mistake I never go to a doctor before to seek advise about my pains because of big discouragement of the doctors who perform my operation because they can’t explain why this happen after my surgery. One more thing happen I was operated twice because of the stainless at my lumbar 3 & 4 was taken off. But it was not successful maybe the damaged was there already. I was lamenected too. Please can I ask into your good heart please advise me. I’m begging your big help I’m already 62 years old and still suffering a shooting pain right now. Hope you understand my grammar…

  5. These moves really do help.. I have been doing them when my sciatic pain bothers me and this has helped me rid my pain..

  6. This is my problem,thank you so much for sharing these videos,i will try to do these moves and see if it is going to help me.

  7. Comment: I have pain in my back and my left leg buttock through down to the my foot. Thanks to your advise. I will start tight away and I will give feedback. am in Kenya.

  8. My Lumbar Disc L4/L5/S1 My Sciatic Pain For 4 Years,This Year I Go For My Exercises,Swimming, Out Door Cycling I`m Also Take Garlic&Fish Oil Supplements My Pain From 100% To 30%

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