Here is a simple stretch that can be used to relieve sciatic pain, or pain in the low back that tends to extend down into the legs. Sciatic pain refers to discomfort that radiates along the path of your sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks. Please do not do any part of this stretch if it causes pain in your body.
Lie on your back on the floor. Bend your knees and notice any tightness in your low back. Is your low back in contact with the floor or is it bowing away?
This example is being shown for sciatic pain on the right side. Bend your right knee and cross your right leg over your left, flexing your right foot to protect your knee joint from strain.
Now, bring your arms to clasp behind your left thigh and draw your left leg gently towards your chest. You may not be able to draw it very far, or at all. That’s okay. Just do what you can with where you are.
You will begin to feel a stretch through your right hip and into your right buttock. Now, this is the very important part to open your hip and relieve the pinching of the sciatic nerve: roll your body very slightly to the left. Maybe only 2-4 inches. You will feel the stretch intensify greatly as your right hip opens. Breathe deeply into your hip and low back, not forcing any simply allowing the tissues to open and stretch.
If you compare this to the picture above, you can see that I’ve only moved a few inches but I am really feeling this stretch! Hold this, while breathing, until you feel the tissues begin to soften and open up. 2-5 minutes would be ideal.
Gentle roll back to your start position and release your leg. You can do the same now on the opposite side, reversing legs. When you are finished, notice your low back again. It is closer to the floor? Does it feel longer?
From an energetic place, sciatic pain is usually related to an inflamed nerve, and can be created from anger or frustration over a situation that you feel you cannot “stand” any longer, but that you feel unable to change. If you have experienced sciatic pain in your life, did it occur during a time when you might have been feeling like this?
As you practice this stretch, notice any feelings that may arise from deep within your hip, a common place to store emotion as it is such a large tissue area in the body. Allow these emotions to come and breathe through them as your release. These emotions are messages and the pain serves as the messenger. Thank your body for bringing your attention to the changes that would be beneficial at this time in your life.