Lower back and hip pain is caused by the sciatic nerve’s irritation. It can spread downwards and affect the feet and limbs. Numerous people suffer from this issue and this pain can affect their daily routines. This nerve is located deep in the buttock and because of swelling or constriction of the muscle it can cause irritation and pain.
It is the main muscle that allows outward movement of the foot, upper leg and hip. If the sciatic nerve passes through the muscle, it can lead to sciatica. Luckily, there are many exercises that can alleviate the pain. You should remember that before you start these exercises, you should warm up using the warm-up activity you want, for example, climbing up and down the stairs, marching in place or taking a walk. Consult a spine specialist before you start any exercise or stretch, and do the exercises within the comfort zone.
*Supine piriformis stretch*
Lie on the ground and bend the knees upwards and cross the affected leg over the other leg. Bend it forward the chest and grab the knee with one of the hands and the ankle with the other hand and pull to the shoulder in line with the ankle so you will feel the stretch. Hold for thirty seconds and release. If you feel a pinch you should stretch first the hip flexors and if you don’t feel a pinch you should pull the sitting leg grabbing the thigh and pulling the leg to the chest.
*Standing piriformis stretch*
Stand and place the leg that is affected over the other leg and lower the hip and 45 degree angle and bend the standing knee appropriately. Lean with the torso forward and extend the arms to be parallel to the floor. Keep the spine straight and hold for thirty to sixty seconds and then switch the legs. If you can’t keep balance, you can stand with the back on the wall.
*Outer-hip piriformis stretch*
Lie on the floor and bend upward the leg that is affected and place the foot close to the knee of the other leg. Tuck the foot behind the knee of the other foot. Twist the leg to the opposite side and face the knee to the ground. If you are stretching the left leg, you should place the right hand on the knee raising the other arm in the air. Slowly lower the other arm to the opposite direction of the knee and try to touch the shoulder on the floor. Hold for twenty seconds and switch sides. If you can’t touch the floor with the shoulder, don’t try to achieve that.
*Long adductor stretch*
Sit on the ground and then, stretch out the legs out as far apart as possible. Tilt the torso gently forward and place the hands on the ground right next to each other. Lean forward and try to touch the ground with the elbows. You should stop if you feel any pain. Hold the position for twenty seconds and get back to the starting position.
*Short adductor stretch*
Sit down and put the feet soles together in front of the pelvis. You should hold the ankles with the opposite hands and push downward with the knees and try to touch the floor with them. If you feel some pain, stop. Hold for thirty seconds and release. Flutter like butterfly the legs for thirty seconds. Use the elbows for a deeper stretch and if you want even deeper stretch, bend the torso forward and keep the back straight.
*Side-lying clam exercise*
Lie on the side and place the affected hip on the top and bend the legs backwards in order to get the shape of the letter L. Keep the feet over each other and keep the legs parallel. Keep the spine and body straight. Raise the top knee upwards and return it back. Repeat this for fifteen times.
*Hip extension exercise*
Place the knees and hands on the ground and keep the hands in line with the shoulders. Tilt the affected leg and bending the knee raise the leg upwards toward the ceiling. Slowly, lower the leg but without touching the floor and repeat for fifteen times.
*Supine piriformis side stretch*
Lie on the floor with the legs flat and back straight and bend the leg that is affected upwards and place the foot on the other leg’s outer side, near the knee. Pull the knee of the leg that is affected with the opposite hand across the body’s midline until you feel the stretch. Do not lift the hips and shoulders off the floor. Hold for thirty seconds and then, switch legs. Repeat for two to three times.
Place the knees and hands on the floor and bring the foot of the leg that is affected under the trunk and twist it to the opposite side. Point the knee toward the shoulder and lower the head so you will touch the floor with the forehead. For support, lean the forearms on the floor. Stretch the leg that isn’t affected behind you and keep straight the pelvis. Push the hips to the floor and hold for thirty seconds. Repeat two to three times.
You should sit on a chair and set the affected leg over the other. Bend forward slightly and keep the back straight. Hold the position of couple of breaths and if you don’t feel pain, you can bend a bit further. Stay like this for thirty seconds and release slowly and do this with the other leg.