The Best Exercises for Sciatica Pain Relief at Home

photo of a woman doing light stretching


If you’ve ever experienced sciatic nerve pain, then you know it can quickly become painful and even debilitating. From extreme lower back pain to shooting pains radiating down the leg, finding effective methods for sciatica pain relief is an absolute must. Most importantly, knowing how to treat sciatica symptoms is key to helping you get back to living your life to the fullest as quickly as possible!

To help you achieve this, we’re exploring the best exercises for sciatica pain relief at home. While it’s important to consult a doctor before beginning any home treatment, these exercises may be a good option to get you back to being pain-free.

Exercises for Sciatica Pain Relief at Home

Sciatica symptoms are extremely common, with studies showing a lifetime incidence of between 10 and 40 percent of all adults experiencing sciatic nerve pain at some point in their lives. Learning effective methods for sciatica treatment at home is essential to get back to living pain-free!

To help you get back on your feet and keep you ready to take on each day, staying active and doing the right exercises can be immensely beneficial. We’re taking a look at some of the best exercises for sciatica pain relief at home that you can try, such as:

  • Reclining pigeon pose
  • Scissor hamstring stretch
  • Single knee-to-chest stretching
  • Basic seated stretch
  • Groin and long abductor muscle stretch

Reclining Pigeon Pose

Kicking off our list of the best exercises for sciatica pain relief at home is the reclining pigeon pose. This is a common yoga post that works to open up the hips. While there are multiple variations on this type of stretch, the starting position of reclining pigeon pose is where you should begin.

To perform the reclining pigeon pose stretch, simply follow these steps:

  1. While on your back or reclining in a chair, bring your right leg up to a right angle.
  2. Clasp both hands behind the thigh, interlocking your fingers as you do.
  3. Lift your left leg and place your ankle on top of the right knee then hold.
  4. Relax and repeat for the opposite side.

This reclining pigeon pose is one of the best exercises for sciatica pain relief at home because it helps stretch the piriformis muscle. This muscle can sometimes become inflamed, pressing against the sciatic nerve and causing pain. It also serves to stretch all your deep hip rotator muscles.

Scissor Hamstring Stretch

Having tight hamstring muscles can increase pressure on the lower back and result in sciatic nerve pain. The scissor hamstrings stretch makes our list of the best exercises for sciatica pain relief at home as it works to stretch out your hamstrings, keeping that area flexible and loose.

This easy stretch can be done following these steps:

  1. Place your left foot about 3 feet behind your right foot
  2. Face your hips and shoulders forward (check a mirror to ensure proper hip positioning).
  3. Place your hands on your hips (you may also use a chair on the side for balance).
  4. Bending forward at the waist, fold your torso forward over your front leg.
  5. Keep your back straight and most of your weight over the front leg.
  6. Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds then gently rise back to the starting position.
  7. Switch legs and repeat.

The scissor hamstring stretch is simply, but effective. For the best results, you may want to do this exercise daily.

Single Knee-to-Chest Stretching

When you bend your spine forward, it’s called flexion. The single knee-to-chest stretch makes our list of the best exercises for sciatica pain relief at home because it’s a simple exercise with great potential for spinal mobility and muscle relaxation that takes pressure off the sciatic nerve.

To perform this exercise, simply:

  1. Lie flat on your back, placing your hand behind one knee and gently pulling it towards your chest.
  2. Pull your knee towards you until you feel a comfortable stretch in the middle and lower back.
  3. For a more advanced stretch, slowly bring your head forward.
  4. Hold your position for 5 to 10 seconds then gently return to the starting position.

Without overdoing it, repeat this exercise several times for each leg (we recommend 3 reps each) to achieve maximum benefit.

Basic Seated Stretch

The basic seated stretch makes our list of the best exercises for sciatica pain relief at home because it can be done in almost any chair whenever you need relief. An additional benefit to being such a simple, but effective, exercise for sciatica pain relief is that you can casually do it while sitting and watching tv, as part of your morning start, or with a relaxing night time routine.

The basic seated stretch follows these steps:

  1. Sit down on a chair and cross the leg experiencing pain over the knee of the other leg.
  2. Bend forward with your chest, holding your spine as straight as possible.
  3. Bend forward as far as you can without feeling any pain.
  4. Hold this position for 30 seconds then repeat the exercise for the other leg.

While sciatica tends to affect one leg at a time, we recommend doing this stretch for both legs to maintain symmetry. Be sure to stop if you feel any pain.

Groin and Long Abductor Muscle Stretches

Groin and long abductor muscle stretches are meant to open your hips and extend your long abductor muscles. These muscles attach at the pelvis and connect to the knee, making them ideal stretches and exercises for sciatica pain relief at home.

Follow these simple steps to loosen these muscle groups:

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs spread out as far apart as you can straight in front of you.
  2. Place your hands on the floor in front of you then angle your torso toward the floor.
  3. Lean forward as far as possible without pain, leaving your elbows on the floor.
  4. Hold the position for 10 to 20 seconds.

Don’t worry if you can’t stretch too far forward when you first begin this exercise. As you continue to do it (ideally on a daily basis), you’ll likely see yourself gaining flexibility and being able to push yourself a little further each time. Be sure to respect your body’s limit, however, and stop if you feel any pain.

Other Methods for Sciatica Pain Relief at Home

When it comes to sciatica pain relief at home, exercises aren’t the only viable options. In fact, it may benefit you to consider a combination of different methods such as following up your exercises for sciatica pain with using a zero gravity chair.

Zero gravity chairs are designed to overcome the flaws in traditional recliners that may actually contribute to back pain and sciatica symptoms. In a traditional recliner, excess pressure is focused on the lower back and pelvic region. For those experiencing sciatica symptoms, this is a very bad thing! The flaw in the design for traditional recliners is what may lead to pain from sitting too long and are often common causes of back pain you may be overlooking.

Conversely, using a luxury zero gravity chair for sciatica pain relief at home may be effective due to the design of the zero gravity position. In the zero gravity position, the legs are elevated above the heart levels and weight is distributed evenly along the body. This drastically reduces pressure on the lower back and pelvic areas, making these recliners very popular for those seeking back pain relief and looking for sciatica treatment at home.

Additional bonus features of zero gravity luxury recliners like massage and heat therapy enhance the experience, providing a deeper relaxation and helping with how the body heals itself. Further design features such as a zero gravity chair with lumbar support could also help improve posture, alleviate back pain, and provide the support you need.

We hope this guide to the best exercises for sciatica pain relief at home has given you new activities to try out. Before beginning any new health routines or sciatica treatments, it’s important to consult your doctor to ensure it’s safe for you to do so. Once you’ve got the go ahead, try incorporating these exercises into your daily fitness routine. Choosing a zero gravity chair to pair with them could further enhance your sciatica pain relief at home and get you back to living your best life!

The potential health benefits of zero gravity chairs don’t stop at sciatic nerve pain relief. Check out these resources to learn about the benefits of zero gravity chairs for all ages: