Sciatic Nerve Pain Relief Exercises – How I am fighting back with weight!


Girl-in-gymI’m not withering away, it is just sciatica!  I think that is what frustrated me the most when I was first researching sciatica. When you look up “Sciatica Relief Exercises” on google, the only thing that pops up is stretches, even when the header says exercises.

I get it, we need to take easy to not strain our back when it is already in such a fragile condition. Does that mean we have to give up on working out or keeping in shape? NO! I will not stand for it. I already have to use that darn back pillow, take my anti-inflammatories, and walk around like an out of shape 70 year old. The last thing I am going to do is give up my lifestyle, that has actually helped me more than anything else.

Today I am going to talk about a couple of sciatica relief exercises that you can do at the gym or the comfort of your own home.

Start off easy .

Today was my first day back in the gym after about a week off and multiple hours at a desk. It was AWESOME, but my back didn’t think so. I could feel my hip wanting to fight me on everything I wanted to do.

“You are going to limp as you start up the treadmill on 3.5 mph” – Sciatica “Don’t even try to put in on an incline, you will fail.”

I tell ya, Sciatica is not one you want to mess with, so I let her win that round. “FINE I will limp, but I will keep going.” Sciatica did not like my go getter backlash very much.

Finally, we reached an agreement to keep going and eventually the pain started to go away. I started to feel more comfortable with the pace and even change the speed to 7 mph. #winningRunning-Outside

Eventually I got off the treadmill and was ready to bring on the weight. Now if you do not have a treadmill at home, I honestly prefer running outside anyway. Just make sure you have the proper shoes, we don’t want to have both knee and back problems. PS: If you do, I am really sorry, but hopefully this helps with one 🙂

Hyperextension Bench.

Oh how I love and hate this machine. I am not fond of bending over on the machine, especially in public. Yet, the machine does the job. Your goal is to work out you muscles connected to and around your lower back.

How to’s:

Place your feet comfortably within the leg bar, place your hands behind your head, and bend forward. From here you want to slowly lift your torso back up to your starting position.

Target points include:

  1. Spine muscles
  2. Hip muscles
  3. Rear thigh
  4. Abdonminal muscles

That is a hole in one if I have anything to say abound it! Now you might see people at the gym holding weights as they do this workout. You are not Arnold Schwarzenegger and Let’s keep your back in one piece.

Back-extensionIf you do not have access to a Hyperextension bench, I would lie flat on the couch or bench while someone is holding your feet. It should feel like a curl for your back. You can even lie flat on your stomach and raise both arms and legs upward to the ceiling.

Back Extension & Ab Curl Duo.

Before I move from one back workout to another, I like to give it a break and add in some arm workouts. You do not want to burn out, especially on the first day back.

To do’s:

Welp now we are back. So head over to the back extension machine. I would personally start out with a very limited weight to non at all.

Adjust the leg and back cushion to whatever fits your height. Cross your hands over your chest and push you torso backward, as if you were reclining. I like to do slow, steady workouts to gain the most benefits. Those woodpeckers you see in the gym aren’t receiving the gains they think they are.

First rep down, nice! Now it’s time for the ab curl machine.

Again, you want to adjust the settings to comfortably fit you and adjust the weight as well. Bring your chest towards your knee as your arms hug the cushion.

I bounce back and forth on these machines doing 10 reps per set, 3 sets each. Adjust to your liking.

Now while trading off machines did help, I did feel slight pain during both of these workouts. Some might stop, I do not. You don’t want your back to worsen, but the first couple of days are always like that. Especially with how much I am sitting now.

Power Tower.

I make sure, towards the end of my workout, I hit the power tower as it is one of my favorite sciatica relief exercises. You have many choices as this machine does some great workouts!

You can place your hands on the arm rest and let your feet hang, relieving your lower back and letting those muscles stretch. OH MAN, does that feel good or what?

If you are looking to add in an exercise, you can work out your abs.

  1. Place your forearm on the arm rest while your hands are gripping the handle.
  2. Start out with your legs straight.
  3. Without bending your knees, slowly bring your legs to a 90 degree angle with your body.
  4. Return them to the starting position.

I do 3 reps of 10. In between each rep, I will just hang there or do some other exercises.

If you have a park next to you, you can use the monkey bars as your power tower. Hang straight, or add in the ab workout using steps 2-4.Pull-Up-Bar

Tonight my back is HURTING! I went from working out at the gym, didn’t stretch after my workout, and now I have been sitting for the past 6 hours. Don’t follow this step at all! But I do have a door chin lift which my fiance bought, never used, and I used to hate. Do you think I hate it now? not at all. I love it, especially when I just want some back relief. Poor posture and gravity are working against us, let’s fight back!

This is just the beginning.

As I go through my journey I am going to keep you up to date on what I find in my research and experience. Please let me know your feelings and how I can better help you!

(10) Comments

  1. I totally forgot about the hyperextension bench at the gym. Thanks for reminding me. I’ve been having a lot of lower back issues the last couple of years-especially if I’m driving long distances. How did I make the 8 hour trip (and sometimes 12 hour) down 95 not that many years ago? If I’m in the car for more than 30 minutes now my back starts tightening up. I’ve gotta go google that tower of power!. lol I’ve never heard of that..
    I find that stretching before my workouts has really made a difference in my back relief. And now I’m focusing more on my legs and core to help support my back..rather than work on my gun show. The weight lifting is my favorite part of my workouts!
    I read your story and I hope you’re experiencing some relief from you sciatica. That’s crazy that it came on all of a sudden. I wish you only continued success and healing for your back.

    1. Yes, I love it too to help out with my love handles hah! I know, 30 minutes in and my back says “are we there yet?” The power tower is something you should definitely be using! It is like an all-in-one machine; arms, back, chest. I just love giving my back some relief!
      It wasn’t all at once. I had been limping and hurting for about 6 months -8 months, but I just kept ignoring the warning signs! I am finding relief, when I stick to what works. I am constantly trying to find even better ways to help! Thank you for your support!

  2. Thanks Delaney, I had underestimated the hyperextension bench at the gym. Also I haven’t gotten into the hanging/power toner yet! Thanks for enlighteninng me. I’ve been having a lot of lower back issues the last couple of years-especially sitting too much on the computer and driving also.

    1. The power tower is my favorite tool! Usually when we are at the gym, we are focusing on legs, arms, and abs. We forget how important the strength in our back is and how it can help reduce back pain! I have been back in the gym and already feel 100 times better! Thank you for your support!!

  3. That’s a great article about sciatica exercise. Need to pass your information to my friend who has a lot of problem with her back. If we won’t fight with sciatica in right time it can cause many serious problems. The first solution is taking a painkiller but it’s not a permanent and best solution. Doing a right exercise and in the right way are the solutions.
    Thank you for sharing your personal experience and guiding!

    1. Yes! I was so good at that. Take an Ibuprofen and move on with my day, but now I am interested in solving the problem, not just pushing it to the site. I hope it helps your friend, thank you for your support!

  4. I like the way you incorporate home and gym exercises. I prefer to work out / stretch at home. Certainly more convenient. I don’t think I have ever had Sciatic nerve pain so this was news to me, however as a web developer I spend a lot of hours in the day sitting in front of a computer — I tend to get nerve pain in my hands though. I did think stretching was enough to combat nerve pains but as you said its about exercising it away. I love that door chin lift especially because its right there at home, you don’t have to go out and I need to do some of that because I do tend to sit a lot. Finally, it would be great to see a video of this (perhaps you are planning this) that way you can really see what to do especially since I am not so familiar with the machines and the gym.

    1. Sometimes there is not enough time in the day to get to the gym or it is just out of the way. I have just recently started working more and more on the computer, I definitely rely on these workouts! I have not had the hand pain, but I can only imagine with the tension of typing for long periods of time. My goal is to have video up soon! Thank you for the support!

  5. Timssnakes says:

    Hey there,
    I must say, this is a really nice website and you have great and helpful content. I have been suffering from nerve pains myself and this as really opened up a new window and perspective on how to treat this annoying issue!
    Your article is also nicely structured and easy to follow!
    Keep up the great work

    1. Delanee says:

      Thank you! I am glad I was able to help in some way! Back pain is no joke and we shouldn’t have to worry about it everyday! Thank you for your support!

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