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Pain Relief from Sciatica

Sciatica is the term that describes symptoms of pain, numbness, and weakness that comes from along the sciatic nerve. In most cases, the symptoms typically only affects one side of the body. The symptoms flow from the lower back down to the buttocks and leg. Most sciatica symptoms comes from lower back disorders between the lower vertebrae (L4 and S1 levels) which causes irritation to a lumbar nerve root. Most commonly, sciatica is caused by a disc problem, such as a herniated disc that is pressing against a nerve root (sciatic nerve). It can also occur when a disc degenerates. As mentioned, Sciatica symptoms are typically felt on only one side of the body. They may include a combination of leg and foot pain, weakness, tingling and/or numbness. The area where the sciatic nerve roots are compressed dictates where the pain will be felt. Here’s a video from Spine Health to help you better understand Sciatica.

Below are several stretches which can help manage some of the pain that you may experience with sciatica.

Sit on the foam roller with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Lean your torso back and place right hand on the floor, shifting weight into right hip and crossing right ankle over left thigh. Place your left hand on your left thigh. Use your supporting foot and hand to roll from the bottom of the glutes to the pelvic bone. Continue rolling back and forth for 30 to 60 seconds.

Start in a runner’s lunge, right leg forward with knee over ankle and left knee on ground with top of your foot flat on the mat. Slowly lift torso and rest hands lightly on right thigh. Lean hips forward slightly, keeping right knee behind toes, and feel the stretch in the left hip flexor. Hold here, or for a deeper stretch, raise arms overhead, biceps by ears. Hold for at least 30 seconds, then repeat on opposite side.

(If this stretch is too difficult for you – skip this one)
Start in a runner’s lunge with right leg forward, right knee over right ankle and back leg straight. Walk right foot over toward left hand, then drop right shin and thigh to the floor, making sure to keep right knee in line with right hip. Allow left leg to rest on the floor with top of left foot facing down. Take a moment to square your hips to the front of the room. Hold here, or hinge at hips and lower torso toward floor, allowing head to rest on forearms. Hold for at least 30 seconds, then repeat on opposite side.

Get down on all fours, with palms on the floor and your knees on blankets or a mat. Slowly widen your knees until you feel a comfortable stretch in your inner thighs, keeping the inside of each calf and foot in contact with the floor. Make sure to keep your ankles in line with your knees. Lower down to your forearms. Stay here for at least 30 seconds.

While lying on your back with both knee bent, cross your affected leg on the other knee. Next, hold your unaffected thigh and pull it up towards your chest until a stretch is felt in the buttock.

How does a doctor diagnose the cause of sciatica? To diagnose the cause of your sciatica, you may need to have some imaging tests. You may have an x-ray or a computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan. If it’s possible you have a herniated disc or spinal stenosis that’s causing your sciatica, your doctor may order a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test.

Although the pain associated with sciatica can be severe, most cases resolve with non-operative treatments in a few weeks. Give Repke Fitness a call to schedule your FREE initial personal training session with one of our highly qualified certified personal trainers. We’ll give you a great workout while also helping you manage the sciatic pain. Lastly, we network with some of the best physical therapists in the area. So if needed, we’ll send you to see Laura Sanner, DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy) to get you right. We highly recommend Atlas Physical Therapy, here’s a link to their website, where Laura can help you “ “


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