The Top Home Exercises For Sciatica (Part 1)

When undergoing a course of Physical Therapy for sciatica and back pain, an efficient recovery that follows my 3 Phases of Healing includes home exercises that patients must complete in order to have the best chance at reducing pain symptoms and getting better faster.  Studies have shown that skilled Physical Therapy in the clinic in conjunction with a good home exercise program produce the best and most efficient recoveries from back pain due to sciatica. 

My patients understand this, as most usually ask me on at the start of their Physical Therapy program:

what exercises can i do to help with sciatica?

So what we'll do is go through my top home exercises for sciatica that I regularly recommend for all my back pain and sciatica Physical Therapy patients.  We'll start with the first:

Prone Prop-Up On Your Stomach

For this exercise, I found a great, quick video explaining how exactly to perform this manuver

Here are a few things to keep in mind when performing a prone prop-up:

1. Make sure you're propping up on your elbows, and not yet pressing up fully on your hands.  When back pain first occurs, you want to do the lightest movements possible, to make sure that it's not causing pain. 
2. Keep breathing.  This is something that I tell ALL my Physical Therapy patients, because in over 18+ years, I've seen so many patients hold their breath while performing this activity.  Breathing through this activity will help keep your body and your muscles nice and loose.

Make sure to hold this position for up to 2 minutes, 3 times total.

If you find this activity to be a bit too hard? Try this workaround…
1. Lie on your stomach in the same starting position.
2. Lay on a pillow under your chest with arms at your side.

Now, you may be asking yourself, "What Should I feel with this activity?"
If your pain is coming from a herniated disc, you should feel less pain in your legs and more in your lower back.  Continue with this activity up to twice daily.  Once you're able to do this activity with no pain, you'll be ready to move to the next activity, which I'll go through in my next blog.

Remember, don't rush!  Physical Therapy is all about progression, and slowly progressing to the next activity that's a little bit harder than the last.  But you'll only progress once you get through the current activity with no pain.

elizabeth nj jersey city physical therapist asha koshy back pain specialist

Dr. Asha Koshy is a Physical Therapist and co-owner of Complete Physical Rehabilitation in Jersey City and Elizabeth, NJ.

She is a McKenzie certified back pain Physical Therapist specialist, an LSVT BIG certified specialist for Parkinson's Disease, and also specializes in treating Vestibular conditions relating to vertigo, dizziness, and other balance disorders.