Activities to Alleviate Sciatica Pain Caused By Herniated Disc

how to relieve sciatica pain

Dealing With Sciatica Pain?

A herniated disc is defined as a condition affecting the spine wherein a tear in the outer, fibrous ring of an intervertebral disc allows the soft, central part to bulge out beyond the damaged outer rings. This is a common problem that can lead to sciatica pain. Find out how to alleviate it below!

How to help your herniated disc sciatica pain

A herniated disc also leads to sciatica. Leg pain or sciatica pain due to herniated disc happens when the nerve root is compressed.

The good thing is, it’s entirely possible to manage sciatica pain, and this post will show different activities to do for relief.

Strengthening exercises

Sciatica management usually focuses on different types of physical activity such as strengthening, stretching, and aerobics. Most people who experience sciatica don’t want to do anything, but that’s a big mistake. In fact, avoiding any type of physical activity can worsen the pain, and as soon as you get up and walk, the pain will return.

Activities to Alleviate Sciatica Pain Caused By a Herniated DiscThe primary goal of these particular exercises is to strengthen the spinal column and the supporting muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They don’t only focus on the lower back region, but also your glutes, hip muscles, and abdominals.

Stretching exercises

To relieve sciatica pain, you should perform stretching exercises. Stretches for sciatica target muscles that cause pain when they’re inflexible and tight. For example, one of the most important components of stretches for sciatica is hamstring stretching primarily because a vast majority of individuals don’t stretch these muscles at all.

Bird-Dog move is yet another useful maneuver to relieve the pain. To perform it, you should:

  • Get on hands and knees
  • Extend one arm and the opposite leg
  • Repeat the same motion with opposite arm and leg

Low-impact aerobics

Of course, when dealing with sciatica, you can’t jog or do some intense activities. However, that shouldn’t stop you from getting some cardio; you just have to trade high-intensity activities for low-impact counterparts. Instead of jogging, you can walk or swim.

Aerobic is important because it promotes the exchange of fluids and nutrients which aid the healing process. You can also do pilates, practice yoga, and tai-chi.


Meditation has proven to be extremely effective in relaxation and stress mediation which can be a great contributor to opioid-free pain relief, according to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Unlike medications, this practice doesn’t employ the endogenous opioid system to reduce pain. The compelling study also proved that even when a person’s opioid receptors are blocked chemically, meditation is still able to significantly decrease the severity of pain by using a different pathway.

To aid in achieving a deep state of meditation, there are quite a few meditation accessories that make a difference in helping you reach levels for healing.

Examples of exercises you can do

Now that you know the types of activities you do, below are some concrete examples that can help you improve mobility and reduce pain.

Ideally, you should discuss this subject with your doctor who can recommend some activities you can do. A physical therapist or even a reputable, licensed fitness trainer can also be of tremendous help in selecting an exercise plan.

Activities to Alleviate Sciatica Pain Caused By a Herniated DiscPress-ups

This exercise is incredibly easy to perform; you should lie on your stomach and prop the upper body on your elbows while keeping your hips on the ground. This maneuver places a gentle extension of the lower back region. Although it’s easy, you shouldn’t rush. Instead, do it slowly and carefully to get the most out of this exercise.

At first, stay in the press-up position for 5 seconds before returning to the starting position. Ideally, you should work your way up to 30 seconds. Watch this video to see how it’s done.

Upper back extension

Start in the prone position with hands clasped behind the lower back and then raise the head and chest slightly above the ground. Don’t push yourself to raise more than you can. Make sure you’re looking at the floor while doing the exercise. Strive to complete between 8 and ten reps. Click here to see how to do it.

You can also do a variation of this exercise wherein you’re lying on the stomach with arms placed on the ground above your head, like when you’re swimming. Then, raise one arm e.g. left along with a right leg. Switch sides and repeat 8 to 10 reps. It’s similar to Bird-Dog.


To perform this exercise, you should lie on the back with knees bent and arms folded across the chest. Then, start lifting the head and shoulders off the ground. Stay like that for two seconds before returning to the starting position. Click here to see how it’s done.


Sciatica can be quite frustrating and limits one’s mobility and quality of life. Physical activity is essential for management.

You can walk, swim, do yoga or pilates and tai-chi, or perform some low-impact exercises.

Remember, don’t try to perform exercises as fast as you can. Proper execution is more important than the number of reps.

Chicago, IL orthopedic surgeon. He is one of Chicago's leading spine and hand surgeons. He has a range of clients from professional athletes to the elderly, that come from far and near for his specialty procedure, which is minimally invasive spine surgery. In the Chicago area only 3 doctors are currently performing this procedure. Dr Fink contributes his writing to only the top health, fitness and medical sites online. Procedure information can be found here on his YouTube channel .
Dr. Robert Fink
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Activities to Alleviate Sciatica Pain Caused By Herniated Disc