Yoga for sciatica pain relief – Oh the nerve!

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Today, I want to walk you through yoga for sciatica pain relief video.  My back problems started many years ago, and I have dealt with sciatica symptoms a lot in my life.  Yoga is one thing that has helped me out, and I hope that someone out there will read this and find some relief as well.  I have been dealing with back problems for most of my adult life and have learned a lot.  If you suffer from low back problems and are interested in the way that has helped me with my pain, please keep reading.

Do you have shooting pain in your leg?

If you have shooting pain in your lower back, butt or down leg, you may have Sciatica, which is pain along the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs from the spine all the way down to your feet.  You can check out my post for more information on sciatica pain.

My story

I want to give you some background on my journey with back problems, so please hang with me for a little bit, and I promise I will get into yoga here in a minute.  I think it is essential to understand where I have come from.

As I said, I have been dealing with back problems since I was in my late 20’s.  In October 1999, I had back surgery after many other treatments did not provide any relief to me.  Since then I have had several other problems with my back, most notably in 2011 and 2015.  In 2011, this was the first time I have ever had an actual event that I heard a “pop” in my back.  It was hobbling around for 16 months without any relief.  I tried shots, physical therapy, nothing seemed to work.

In 2015 was the big one.  I was at the gym, doing stupid things a guy with a bad back should not be doing.  I ended up with a blown disc and sprained SI joint.  I was a mess. I did not want to go through another surgery, but I was kind of running out of options.

Through my entire back pain process, I had never seen a chiropractor; doctors had always warned against that.  This time I decided to throw caution to the wind and see a very highly recommended chiropractor.

My back was a mess

For starters, I mentioned that my back was a mess.  I had never properly healed from any of my previous injuries, plus now I was in bad shape with my current situation.  I was dealing both with spinal stenosis, from a herniated disc, and a sprained SI joint.  Long story short, after months of seeing the chiropractor, I was finally making some substantial improvement.

I was not able to work out at all for about six months until I was finally in the upright position after being in stenosis.  One of the great things about my chiro, he is very much about building muscle to protect the spine.  He set me up with a workout program to help me maintain core strength to help with my spine.

One of the things that he suggested to me was yoga.  I had dabbled in yoga previously, but never really did I think I had a “need” for it.  So, with this post, I want to get into some of the yoga poses that have helped me out with my back pain journey.

Whew, that was a long intro, and I apologize, but again, I wanted to provide some context for why yoga is near and dear to me and my back pain journey.

Now for the good stuff

Anyway, now it’s time to get into the good stuff and hopefully the reason you chose to spend some time reading this article.  I have practiced yoga in studios and with some online videos.  I have found value in both.  Below I will share a great video with you that will address yoga for back pain.  I will demonstrate some of the work that we did, but in the video “Yoga with Adriene,” she walks through the entire sequence very smoothly and with complete instruction.  This video is very basic and should be great for a lot of people.

I wanted to include pictures of me performing these poses to give you an idea what it looks like for me.  These videos are easy to follow and are gentle on your body.  Depending on how severe your Sciatica symptoms are, you may not be able to follow along.  If you experience pain, stop.  These poses are meant to be gentle and helpful.  You may want to check with your doctor before you begin.

Yoag for sciatica pain relief

The first one is lying on my back with my knees pulled gently to my chest. Using a rowing kind of motion, you push the knees gently away from your chest, then open your legs wide, then bring the knees back to the chest. This motion is circular, kind of like a rowboat motion if you can imagine that.

The next pose involves stretching the hamstrings.  You will keep one foot on the ground with the knee bent.  You will raise the other leg up and straighten it as much as you are able.  As you can see, I am not able to completely straighten my right leg, but I am improving.

From here you move the right ankle across the left leg and weave your fingers in around the left leg as you bring that leg up.  This pose will help to work your glutes and piriformis muscle.  The piriformis is a muscle deep in the butt that can cause all kinds of problems with the sciatic nerve, so it’s great to get a beautiful stretch in this area. If you can straighten the left leg, excellent, if not, you will get there.

With this exercise, you will switch and do the other side just like you did before.

There are a few more poses in the video before we get to the next one that I am demonstrating, but I want to skip ahead focus on this.  You perform a tabletop pose while extending your hips out to the right and left. You will work both sides of your body  I love this pose, especially on the right because that is where I am tightest.  This pose feels really refreshing.

Pigeon pose is one that I really want to be able to do.  The instructors make it look so easy!  I am making progress, but it’s still tough for me.  I have tried variations, and performing this on my back became too easy, so I am challenging myself to move on.  This is a great stretch for the piriformis and hips.  Of course, those are two areas on the right-hand side of my body that I have neglected for years, and it takes time to open those up.

You basically cross one leg in front of you across the mat and keep the other leg straightened behind you.  As you can see, I am propping myself up on my elbows, and I can get lower to the ground since this image was taken.  Yogis love this pose, and I am determined to get there.

The last one is relaxing and is a great stretch. Keep your arms out to the side like a “T”, bring your knees to your chest and gently (keyword here), roll to one side, while looking over the opposite shoulder.  You will bring your knees back to center and repeat on the other side.

Well, these are some of my favorite poses from the video, and these have helped me for sure.  I would love to hear what you have a to say and let me know if you have experience with Sciatica.  Even if you don’t have back problems, these are some really “yummy” poses as Adriene calls them.


If you have dealt with Sciatica symptoms, have you tried yoga?

What other methods have you tried to deal with back pain?

What do you think of this video? If you liked it, you should also check out our Movement for Modern Life review (another yoga video).

Here is another article that talks about the potential benefits of yoga for Sciatica pain relief, as well as some other poses.

I hope this post has given you some insight into ways of dealing with Sciatica (which is actually a symptom, not a diagnosis).  Please let me know if you have any questions or comments below, and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

4 thoughts on “Yoga for sciatica pain relief – Oh the nerve!”

  1. Thank you for this Steve!
    I have had sciatic pain off and on for over 20 years. It was not until a friend at work said that she just “walks it off” that I tried that. I mean I was walking all day at work, but not walking walking. And that was the key for me. When I feel that pain, I go for a long walk.
    Blogging keeps me in chair all day working, but I am going to try your exercises on the days that I am stuck inside working.
    I also really appreciate that you included a video to follow along, because that will be helpful just to stay flexible.
    I have had times in my life where I had severe back pain, but it was temporary and I feel you when you talk about it. I am glad that you are trying everything to feel better. You are an inspiration!

    • Thank you very much Irma, I appreciate it. Sciatica is no fun, I can attest to that. I am glad you found some value in the video, I really like that one as well. Thanks again, have a great day.

  2. Great post! Sometimes I feel the pains of sciatica and always yoga helped me. I will also use your advises because you have some poses which I missed.
    Thanks for sharing.


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