Home Exercises For Sciatica Relief

Sciatica is a painful condition affecting tens of thousands of Australians. It refers to nerve pain experienced in the leg due to irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve that extends from the lower back down through your hips and legs. Sciatica can cause extreme discomfort that disrupts your daily life and may even be debilitating in severe cases. However, with proper treatment, these symptoms can be managed effectively which will drastically improve your quality of life. Massage therapy is one treatment that may play a vital role in managing sciatic nerve pain.


Massage therapy can help relieve sciatica in a couple of different ways. Since sciatica is often triggered by compression of the sciatic nerve, easing muscle tension in your lower back and legs can relieve the pain. Deep tissue massage may be particularly beneficial through the use of slow strokes and deep pressure applied by the fingers to loosen and relax muscles. This can ease pressure on the sciatic nerve and improve blood flow to the soft tissue.


Massage therapy can also benefit sciatica sufferers by reducing stress levels and increasing a feeling of wellbeing. By stimulating the nerves in your skin and underlying tissue, massage promotes the release of endorphins which increases your pain tolerance and creates a feeling of euphoria, while also decreasing stress hormones like cortisol. Speak to Magic Massage about which massage would be best for your situation.


While massage therapy can assist in managing sciatica over time, it should be combined with home exercises to extend and maximise its impact. Home exercises provide a number of important benefits including strengthening muscles to better support the spine and improving blood flow to ensure your muscles and other soft tissue are well nourished. Doing some simple exercises on a daily basis can work wonders as a supplement to massage therapy. A big thank you to Ryan, Exercise Physiologist from The Allied Health Team, for these example exercises:


Seated hurdler stretch

1 Set / 1 Rep / 30 s hold

Photo courtesy of The Allied Health Team

  • Sit on a mat with your legs extended out in front of you.
  • Bend the good leg so that your foot touches the inside of your other knee.
  • Relax the knee out and bend forward, reaching towards the foot and dropping your chest towards your knee.
  • Keep your foot relaxed during the stretch.
  • You will feel this stretch through the back of the thigh of the extended leg.


Hamstring stretch in stand

1 Set / 1 Rep / 30 s hold


Photo courtesy of The Allied Health Team


  • Place the foot of your affected leg onto a chair or step.
  • Keep your knee straight and foot pointing ahead.
  • Keeping your back straight, tip forwards from your hips, pushing your buttocks out behind you until you feel a stretch down the back of your thigh.
  • Hold this position.


Lower trunk rotation

1 Set / 10 Reps / 5 s hold


Photo courtesy of The Allied Health Team


  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Extend your arms out to the sides and keep your shoulders on the mat at all times.
  • Keeping your knees together, drop them down to one side, rotating your torso.
  • Return to the starting position and allow your knees to fall to the opposite side.
  • Only drop your knees as far as you go comfortably.
  • You may want to hold the stretch on each side.


Gluteus medius stretch in supine

1 Set / 1 Rep / 30 s hold


Photo courtesy of The Allied Health Team


  • Lie on your back with your legs straight.
  • Bring your affected leg up and in towards your chest.
  • Place your opposite hand over the outside of your ankle, and your other hand on the outside of your knee.
  • Gently pull your knee in towards your opposite shoulder until you feel a stretch in your buttock muscle.
  • Hold this position.
  • Ensure you are not causing pain in your knee.


It is important to adhere closely to the proper form of the exercises to get the most out of them. It is also worth consulting your massage therapist on what particular exercises would most benefit you with respect to your specific circumstances. With that in mind, incorporating some easy exercises into your daily routine, in conjunction with massage therapy, can go a long way to mitigating sciatica pain.


If you’re looking for a helping hand, contact us to see how we can support you