5 Best Sciatica Stretches for a Herniated Disc – Ask Doctor Jo

5 Best Sciatica Stretches for a Herniated Disc – Ask Doctor Jo


hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo, and today
I’m going to show you my top 5 sciatica stretches for a herniated disc. so let’s
get started. if you haven’t already subscribed, make
sure and click on the button down there. so as I said earlier, this is for if you
have a herniated disc. these stretches would be a little bit different if it
was something like piriformis syndrome. so the first stretch is going to be
rolling over onto your stomach lying down. so this is just a simple prone prop.
so what you’re doing is you’re starting in the lying down position. get nice and
comfortable. bring your elbows up towards your head and then prop up on your
elbows. so you can bring them in a little bit closer if you want to. the goal of
this is to keep your hips down. so you’re just coming up and getting that bend
right there at that low back. so what this is doing in theory is this is
pushing that herniated disc back in to take the pressure off the nerve, and so
when that nerve gets pressed on that sciatic nerve, that’s what causes that
numbness tingling going down into your butt, down into the back of your leg, and
that’s what sciatica is. so with these props, sometimes it’s a little more
painful at first. you might feel a lot of the symptoms coming on, and that’s ok as
long as it starts to go away or subside as you do it more. so I would just start
off with 10 or 15 second,s come back down, take a little break, and then prop back
up and do this you know 3 or 4 times slowly building up your time. so you know
20 seconds 30 seconds, and then again if it is coming from the disc, the more you
do this that pain should start coming back to the center, or we call it
centralizing and that’s a good thing. a lot of times people will say well I
don’t feel it anymore here, but I feel it more in the low back, and that’s
centralizing, and that’s actually a good thing. that’s what you want. so after you
do those four a couple times, then you’re going to roll over onto your back, and
even though the sciatica is coming from the disc, we want to stretch out the
piriformis muscle. so a great one for that is the figure
four stretch. that one’s the one that I like the most. so the side that you want
to stretch, if it’s my left side I’m going to cross that leg over. and the
reason it’s called a figure four is because if you look down it looks like
the number four. so for this one, you can do it a couple different ways. the
easiest way if you have some flexibility and if you can do it without straining
your neck, it’s just to grab underneath the other side and pull up towards you
and you should feel that stretch right through there, that piriformis area. so
you want to hold that stretch for thirty Seconds. now if this is something where
you’re not super flexible or you’re already feeling the stretch right here,
you don’t have to do that extra piece. or if you having a hard time grabbing that
leg you can just slide your heel up closer to your bottom which will bring
that leg up a little more, or you can take like a belt or strap and wrap it
around that leg and then just pull it up that way because you don’t want to end
up stressing your neck and getting your neck hurting to try and get the low back
in that sciatica feeling better. so make sure that you’re keeping the rest of
your body in a good neutral position. so the last couple stretches and I I say
quote “stretches” are really going to be nerve glides because if the sciatic nerve
is getting compressed at your discs, you want to do some things where you’re kind
of trying to move or glide that sciatic nerve to get it freed up. now with nerve
glides or neural flossing some people call it, you really want to be very
careful with this because nerves are pretty fragile. so if you do a lot,
sometimes you just irritate it more so I always tell people just do 10 once a day
that’s it. don’t do ten, three or four times a day throughout the day, I would
just start off with one set and stick pretty close to that because again if
you do too many you’re going to irritate it. so this time if it’s still my left
side that has that sciatica on it, I’m going to bring my leg up to about a
ninety degree at the hip and grab underneath right here. you don’t have to
pull up you’re just kind of supporting that leg. and then all you’re going to do is straighten out your leg and kind of bend
your toes towards you and then come back down. so this isn’t a 30-second hold like
the piriformis stretch, this is actually just going up and down. so toes are kind
of pointed as you come up pull them towards you and you just go till you
feel, you might feel that numbness and tingling as you go, but this is kind of
flossing or gliding that nerve. and so again you just want to do about ten of
those and then that’s it. so the last two are going to be sitting in a chair.
so the fourth stretch is going to be another one of those glides. so I had
mentioned on the other one that you’re always supposed to do ten just once a
day. if you’re doing different ones it’s okay to do just ten of each as long as
it’s different, but if you’re feeling like you did one set and it still is
still feeling a little tingling, that tingling didn’t go away, I wouldn’t
recommend doing all these at one time. maybe spread it out through the day. so
now that you’re sitting this time for the glide. what you’re gonna do is you’re
gonna kick out that leg and as you kick out that leg, you’re gonna bend your head
back. and then when you come back down, you’re gonna curl your chin in towards
your chest. so it’s gonna be kicking out, looking up, and then as you come down
kind of tuck it in. so we’re just taking that nerve all the way the whole chain
up to the neck, and flossing or gliding it through. so if it’s kind of compressed
somewhere that’s getting pinched somewhere, this kind of helps loosen it
up and gets that nerve free. so it’s not getting compressed on, it’s not getting
pinched on, or maybe if there’s some scarring it will break it up. so get just
ten of those and then if you’re doing another kind of a stretch that’s okay, or
a different glide, but don’t keep doing them all at one time because then that
might just irritate it. so the last one you’re gonna be using a stool. so
this one is still kind of a glide, but it’s slightly different. so that’s why I
think it’s okay to do it with these other ones. but again just ten of them. so
I’m just going to switch it up because the stool is on my
right side so the side that you’re having that sciatica, you want to prop
it up. the key to this is you want to keep your toes and your foot straight. a
lot of times if you have really bad sciatica, once you start doing the glide
that I’m going to show you, a lot of times the leg wants to turn in. it wants
to follow your body. really try and keep it nice and forward because if it starts
going over, then you’re not really getting that Glide or that stretch or
that flossing that you want. so just try and keep those feet, the the foot and the
toes straight forward. so you want to keep your body nice and upright, and you
want to look straight ahead. so I’m going to be looking at you a little bit but
you want to look straight ahead. keep your head in that neutral position and
then once you get in this nice position, you’re going to take the hand of the
opposite side, and just lean away from that side. so again if you are really
tight and you have a lot of that irritation going on, a lot of times when
someone bends to the side, their foot wants to go like that with their body.
try not to let it do that. you want to keep everything nice and
straight, and just lean away from that side. so again, just doing about 10 of
these. don’t feel like you have to go all the way down to the floor, you’re just
going till you feel that little bit of a stretch, and then come back up because
you don’t want to irritate that nerve. so those were my top five sciatica
stretches from a herniated disk. if you’d like to help support my channel, click on
the link to find out how, and don’t forget to subscribe by clicking down
there. and remember, be safe (don’t irritate that nerve), have fun, and I hope
you feel better soon.

41 Replies to “5 Best Sciatica Stretches for a Herniated Disc – Ask Doctor Jo”

  1. Since I now believe I have a disc problem I will not be touching my toes any longer but will be doing these. Thank you and give the pack some love. 🐕🐕🐕🐢😎

  2. Hi doctor!
    18 months ago I overstretched my right leg while playing football,& experienced swelling slightly above the knee joint(around 10cm above)..I'm sure swelling wasn't on knee joint..
    Was feeling uncomfortable for the 2months after the injury on the same area of swelling, then started uneasy feeling in the knee joint when I step down from the staircase..After these many months I feel pain in the muscle(thigh) above the knee joint where I had swelling while injury(after I give long walking for my leg)..Right knee joint MRI says normal but doctor whom I consulted says fluid in the right knee joint is bit less..
    I'm more concerned since I'm 24 years old and so is this long description..
    Pls help me out with exercises..
    I appreciate your work!
    Thank you!!

  3. Doctor Jo, thank you for your effort, I have Question how long it takes to recover from a disc bulge or herniated disc?

  4. Excellent video! It's good that you mentioned "centralization" because people often feel as if the prone prop is making sciatica worse, when in fact it is usually a good sign. Thanks for your great content!

  5. Thank you these are great.. Question… You say only do the flossing ones 10 times once a day… What about the other ones.. The figure 4 and the prone position on your fore arms? Should they be done several times a day?

  6. Did you ever really have Sciatica??? Were you really able to hold the leg crossed against the other?/ LOL Pain, pain and more. Not easy at 69 yrs. After back surgery too.

  7. Thank you Dr. I swim competitively for my university. I really mess up my sciatic trying to push myself hard in the gym to get stronger legs. This has helped me so. Much do these exercises every morning and now i do 30 min of yoga everytime after i lift weights. You are awesome. Your videos are legit. Thanks😊

  8. Hey! Good video but i want to ask that normally i am pain free but when i try these exercises it hurts.. Can you suggest something doctor jo??

  9. I have been at my wit's end yesterday and today. I can't believe how much relief this has brought about. Thank you so much.

  10. Doctor jo I have I herniated disc with sciatic pain but lately the pain has gone away and now just constant numbness and tingling down my left leg any tips?

  11. Hi Sir, My MRI says I have annular tear in the outer part of L4-L5 and L5-S1, towards the backside of the body, can you please let me know what are the exercises I should avoid. thanks.

  12. For that first neural gliding technique, I feel A LOT of pain in my low back/upper butt area when straightening my leg. Is this normal and should I continue to try and work through it? Pain has been persisting like this for almost 2 months now…

  13. Hey Dr. Jo, thanks for putting this video out. I used to have no problem doing the seated leg raise but as of late, I’ve been experiencing a hyper sensitive feeling on the bottom of my feet when I raise the foot + look up.

    I went to a PT and he said that there may be a nerve impingement that’s preventing me from flossing properly but he didn’t provide me with any solutions or stretches. Is there a reason for this?

    I have a disc extrusion at the L5S1 for context. Thanks for your time!

  14. 1st and last were great for my back. Dont think I have a herniated disc, my primary doesn't know what's wrong.

  15. Great video, I have just subbed. Can sciatica be in just one bum cheek or is it in both bum cheeks

  16. thanks for these videos. just went to a PT last week and was prescribed some excersies involving a foam roller. Within a week, the pain got slightly better, then got MUCh worse and switched sides on me. Just tried this routine and feel the best I have a while. Wondering if maybe I'm overdoing my foam roller stuff , or if I just need to find another PT?

  17. OMG have had sciatica for a week and literally this fixed me. I tried everything else and nothing worked. Even the chiropractor. THANK YOU

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