Sciatica Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

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Sciatica, or sciatic nerve pain, can have many different symptoms from nerve pain and numbness to tingling and weakness. The pain is most often felt in the buttock area or in the back of the thigh and calf. These sciatica stretches and exercises should help ease the pain. See Doctor Jo’s blog post about this at:

The first stretch is called the pelvic tilt. You will roll back onto your back with your knees bent. You want to imagine pushing your belly button into the ground, or push your back flat onto the ground like you are squishing something. You can put your hand under the curve of your back, and try to push your back into your hand. Hold these for about 3-5 seconds.

Now you will do bridging. Push your bottom up off the ground, but try to do this slowly, and do one segment of your back at a time curling upward. Then slowly go down the same way, one segment at a time.

Next will be a piriformis stretch. Cross the leg that is hurting over into a figure 4 position. Pull the good leg up towards your chest by grabbing underneath the knee. You can use a belt or leash to help pull the leg up if your hips are not very flexible. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and do three on each side.

Now you will do a sciatic nerve stretch/glide. Bend the knee of the injured side up, and grab your leg around the back of the thigh to support it. Pull your toes up like you are tightening your calf muscles. Slowly straighten your leg up towards the ceiling until you feel tension, but not pain. Then slowly come back down. This is a continuous movement, and you only want to do 10 a day.

The next stretches/glides will be sitting in a chair. The first movement will be a combination movement. Bend your head back into extension and kick your leg straight out at the same time. Then bend your head forward into flexion, and bend your knee back down. Alternate this movement 10 times.

Finally, you will prop the injured leg up on a small stool. Keep your leg straight, and try to keep your toes pointing the ceiling. Your leg might try to rotate, but try to keep it straight up. Then keeping your head in a neutral position and looking forward, sidebend to the opposite side. Make sure you are doing the correct technique with this, and only do 10.

Related Videos:

Sciatic Nerve Pain Stretches & Exercises:

Piriformis Syndrome Stretches & Exercises:


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Doctor Jo is a Doctor of Physical Therapy.


Sciatica Stretches & Exercises:

DISCLAIMER: This content (the video, description, links, and comments) is not medical advice or a treatment plan and is intended for general education and demonstration purposes only. This content should not be used to self-diagnose or self-treat any health, medical, or physical condition. Don’t use this content to avoid going to your own healthcare professional or to replace the advice they give you. Consult with your healthcare professional before doing anything contained in this content. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Ask Doctor Jo, LLC and its officers for any and all losses, injuries, or damages resulting from any and all claims that arise from your use or misuse of this content. Ask Doctor Jo, LLC makes no representations about the accuracy or suitability of this content. Use of this content is at your sole risk.


AskDoctorJo says:

Don't forget to hit the 🔴 SUBSCRIBE 🔴 button above! Find all of my videos at

Harita Rao says:

Thank you. Will my Sciatica go away though?

Gülsenem Karahan says:


Cosmin Ardelean says:

Ok! I am in pain for 6 weeks now and today it’s first day when I will start with those exercises! Hope it is helping me!

Marina Mitbreit says:

very helpful, thank you

Bryce J says:

You are the best! Easy to understand and most important, it works. Kudo's to Dr Jo, I'm a believer.

G'cuttz says:

Man these have helped me so much thanks you!

Dorothy Marshall says:

Which pillow do I need ? I have sciatica pain?

Toishauna Bates says:

Good evening Dr. Jo,
I have subscribed. Thank you for this video because I have been dealing with this pain for four months now. I will continue doing these exercises until I am completely healed. Be blessed🙏❤

G-LOKS 17 says:

When i move my knee it sounds like i have a bag in there

Incognito says:

Will this ever go away or do I need surgery?

G Krishnan says:

YouTube pointed me to your videos a few years ago and I have been telling everyone who will listen about you here in India (and all of them were grateful). Many years later, I was talking to a niece who is a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation in Canada and she not only highly recommended you but said she regularly asks her patients to see your videos. In short: you rock, doc!

Kathy Goedert says:

I kinda like the "in real time" videos better because I don't have to stop and start streaming the video.
My Space Kitty joined me on the floor today!
Thank you for your help-it makes a huge difference.

Teresa Fontaine says:

Thank you! This is helping tremendously

Kathy Goedert says:

Ohhh that felt so good.

speedzonefilms says:

Is anyone else laughing hysterically while doing these because they’re feeling the difference? Best feeling 😂

Elaheh Madjedi says:

Are these exercises ok for someone who had total hip replacement

Tommy Lob says:

Thanks Doctor Jo!! This helped with my pain so much and has me on track to fix my back. 👍🏻

NORRA says:

Trying this now, even though it's painful a little I know it will work. I will letting you know how this works

Stanley Nelson says:

Hello Doctor Jo, First I'd like to say I've found your tutorial very useful. When I was first diagnosed with sciatica it was by a virtual appointment with my doctor. I searched for exercises on Youtube that might help and saw your videos pop up. I then had a face to face with my doctor and we discussed exercises and he mentioned your videos. I was a bit surprised that he'd suggest someone on Youtube. I told him I had saw your name so we agreed that I'd follow your advice. Things seem to be progressing well. But I would like to ask you how many times a day a person should do these exercises. Right now I do them morning and night.

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