Good morning all.
Can anyone recommend any self help treatments for sciatica.

Should I use ice or heat?
Do nerve stretches help or should they be avoided?

What about back strengthening excises?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


  • I'm no expert, but I did have problems with this myself.

    Do you know what's causing the problem - is it tight muscles in the hip or problems with the back?

    Postural exercises like Pilates are good anyhow. There are also stretches (the figure four one for example) if it's caused by a tight piriformis.
  • Its the misses problem, not sure whats causing the problem but aggravated it in bed!!!!!

    An anti-inflammatory has helped this morning.
  • It could be a prolapsed disk (don't panic - I just remembered that was another cause, it wasn't when you said it happened in bed!).

    I'd suggest the some sort of physio if the problem persists, but it might well calm down if it was just a temporary jarring type thing.
  • Sub 4 Fruity Reindeer.

    More info on the stretch please. I too suffer from this problem and am trying to put together some stretching excercices to help
  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭
    There's a fair amount about this on the forum - do a search for sciatica.

    Briefly - my experience is that it's often posture-related. The stretch that relieves it for me is to lie flat on my back and bring my knees up to my chest. Hold for 10, then repeat as necessary. I can feel it stretching and loosening the muscles around the sciatic nerve area. Doesn't mean it'll work for you, of course, but worth trying.

    Like I say, there's a fair amount on old threads. Happy hunting!
  • Troy:

    1) Lie flat on your back
    2) place feet flat on the floor a foot or two from your bum, so the angle at the knees is about 90 degrees
    3) Put one foot over the opposite knee - so the ankle rests on the thigh just above the knee
    4) Reach through the "hole" and grab the back of the thigh that has the ankle resting on it
    5) Pull that leg in while trying to keep the knee as far away fro the torso if possible

    Another one which i like, but may be getting at a subtly different muscle, is the Cow pose shown here:

    Cow Pose
  • Thanks for the info.
    Will give these a try tonight after running
  • RaquelRaquel ✭✭✭
    When I had the same problem I used a different yoga stretch - I don't know what it's called but it worked for me.
    1. Sit with legs outstretched.
    2. Bend R leg and place R foot flat on floor to the L of L knee.
    3. Turn upper body to right so that L elbow touches outside of R knee. Place R hand on floor behind and to R of R hip.
    4. Push L elbow and R knee against each other, while turning head and body as far as possible round to R.Hold for 30 seconds or so.
    5. Repeat on other side.

    Much harder to explain than to do !
  • Thanks Raquel. Hopefully the doing is easier than the explaining
  • I'm just returning to training after injury. I had lower back pain, pain around the hip and buttock. After 6 weeks with no real solution, 2 sessions at the physio seems to have solved the problem. I was given the following stretch to strengthen the muscles in the problem areas.

    1) From crouching position, bring left leg out behind you fully stretched, bring the right leg across under your body almost as if you are sitting on it, so that the outside of your right foot is against the floor and the foot is somewhere in the region of your left hip. Now bring your body down towards the floor and you should feel it stretching the muscles around from under the buttock up into the lower back.

    I found this one has similar results to the one mentioned above. Hope you understood that, I didn't realise how difficult it was to try to explain in words. Hope you haven't tied yourselves in knots trying it out.
  • Ah yes - that's another yoga one! It's quite advanced but if you can do it it's enormously effective!

    The further forward (i.e. away from the groin) you can move the front foot, the more of a stretch you'll get, but even with it under the groin it's hugely effective.
  • Ah I'm chuffed now that someone managed to fathom out my directions. I was considering putting a health warning on the bottom as I have visions of people doing themselves an injury just trying to read my instructions. I'm still getting the hang of it myself but I'm sure it's working and hope to start training again tomorrow night.
  • Is it like the 2nd/3rd/4th pics on the page below?

    Pigeon Pose
  • Oh i SEE
    i thought you had to balance while crouching
  • Hippo & me!! Right have to try it tomorrow......
  • Do-little did the physio do any other types of treatment like ultra sound or just massage and give you the stretches ?I have a similar problem which I would love to have treated .I have tried all the stretches I can but they don't seem to help.Maybe a couple of sessions with a good physio will pay dividends.
  • akinallover - I am suffering the same problem and have done for some months now, having a chat with the physio tomorrow to see if I can get over this once and for all. If anything comes to light I will let you know.

  • thanks I had a problem with an ankle injury before the marathon and they sorted that out although I do wonder whether the minor injuries sort themselves out with a little time ,my cynical nature I guess .My hip ,back groin problems would be more of a challenge ,let me know how you get on .
  • Will do - ironically lot better this morning - always the way, seems worse when I am driving, it is affecting my right side but it is always there when I am running and would like to be able to run without the discomfort - was particularly bad on Tuesday after speed training so went home and sat on an ice pack, not very comfortable and did not seem to help.
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    Tried that Pigeon pose last night. Wow, it really hit the spot. It stretched EXACTLY the bit I've been almost managing to stretch for ages.

    Thanks guys!
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    Boing for FAJ.
  • I thought that was called the swan in Yoga?

    I dunno!
  • I've had problems in the past with Piriformis syndrome so regularly perfrom stretches designed to calm the muscle. Apart from those mentioned above, I find one stretch in-particular really gets to the parts that matter. It's difficult to describe so look at the following url:
    Apologies is this exercise has already been suggested. It really does work!!

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