What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a common issue that can arise. Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville, Randwick, Drummoyne give an outline on what it is, and how exercise can help manage it.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is nerve pain that generates from the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve originates from the spinal cord, and runs down into the gluteals and lower limbs controlling sensation to these areas. That is why if the sciatic nerve is irritated, it can cause referred pain down to the lower limbs. There are a number of reasons why this nerve can be irritated such as disk degeneration, prolapsed or bulging discs, bone spurs, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, narrowing of the nerve tunnel due to osteoarthritis, or excess pressure during pregnancy. The irritation can also be due to something simple like prolonged sitting.

The two most common forms of sciatica are when a lumbar disc bulges and presses against the nerve and piriformis syndrome, where the piriformis muscle, a small muscle located deep near the gluteals attaching to the pelvis, can become tight and spasms. Both of these put pressure and block the sciatic nerve,leading to symptoms lower down the limb.

Symptoms include, but not limited to, pain described as ‘hot pain’, pins and needles, tingling, numbness or aching in the gluteals, hamstring or calf muscles. Often sciatica will occur on one side, however, in rare cases it can be bilateral, meaning the symptoms can arise in both legs.

Generally, sciatica will heal itself. The old method to treat Sciatica was bed rest, however, research now suggests that not moving can actually be a detriment and gentle movements are key to get you back to symptom free quicker. In extreme cases, surgery may be a viable option.

Ways to help relieve Sciatica

There are a number of ways to help relieve Sciatica pain. Here is a list that you can try, remembering that what works for one person, may not work for another. Find your favourite and add them to your daily routine.

1. Knee to chest stretch

2.Hamstring stretch

3.Cat cow stretch

4.Pigeon pose

5.Sitting spinal stretch

6.Gluteal stretch

7.Cobra stretch

Sciatic nerve floss

Trigger point ball – piriformis

Watch the video below for further demonstrations of these techniques:


If you are experiencing Sciatica, the team at Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology will be able to assist you further. Call Longevity on 1300 964 002.


Written by Angela Vitucci

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