As promised, here is a follow up in our low back pain series. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the human body and is formed by the union of 5 nerve roots from the lower spine. It passes deep in the buttock and down the back of the thigh all the way to the heel and sole of the foot.
You may be experiencing sciatic nerve pain if you feel any numbness, tingling, burning or shooting in the low back, buttock, hamstring, calf or foot. It may be a result of a herniated disc but can oftentimes be a result of sensitivity to the nerve distribution.
If you think you may be experiencing these symptoms, give these exercises a try and please reach out with any questions. Physical therapists are trained as movement experts that can identify the source and site of pain in order to get you back doing what you love.
- Prone press up progression: Lay on your stomach with your elbows tucked in and hands near shoulder height. Prop onto your forearms keeping your hips flat. Hold this position for 10-15 sec and if this is not problematic, move into a larger range of motion.
- 90/90 Nerve Glide: Lay flat on your back with the affected leg bent to 90 degrees and support with your hands (you can also use a strap, towel or belt if you can’t comfortably use your hands). Slowly straighten your knee until you feel the tension in the back of your thigh (hamstring) and pause. Then slowly flex your foot with your toes pointed toward your face. Relax the foot and knee. You should repeat this 15x.
- Seated Nerve Glide: Find a comfortable seat where your hips are slightly above your knees. Slouch and round your back while bringing your chin to your chest. Maintaining this position, slowly extend your knee and flex your foot. This will place tension along the back of the leg and back. Repeat this 15x