Sciatica Nerve Flossing – What, Why and How to Do It

sciatica nerve flossing

A Patient’s Guide to Sciatic Nerve Flossing

Sciatica nerve flossing is an exercise strategy that can help relieve sciatica pain. It works by stretching and mobilizing the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back down through your leg.

This article will cover the what, why and how of sciatica nerve flossing to help you get the most out of the pain-soothing technique.

Simply, sciatica nerve flossing involves gently stretching and moving the sciatic nerve while sitting with proper support. The technique works by increasing circulation around the tight nerves, allowing them to move freely and restoring flexibility in the tissue surrounding them.

When done correctly, it can reduce inflammation and tension in both muscles and nerves, leading to improved function and reduced pain.

But what is sciatica? And how does one perform sciatic nerve flossing safely? Read on for an overview of this common pathology and how you can get the relief you need! 

What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica is a condition that refers to the pain felt along the sciatic nerve. It is typically caused by compression, irritation or inflammation of one or more spinal nerves.

Common symptoms include lower back pain, radiating leg pain, numbness and tingling in the legs as well as weakness in certain muscle groups.

The most common cause of sciatica is herniated (ruptured or slipped) discs which put pressure on the nerve root. Other causes may include piriformis syndrome, lumbar spine stenosis and pregnancy-related hormonal changes.

Treatment options for sciatica depend on its severity and underlying cause. Chiropractic is a popular form of sciatica therapy, as chiropractors have a range of modalities that assist in reducing sciatic nerve pain. From spinal manipulations and decompression to manual therapy and exercise prescription, the professionals at Mind Body Spine can get you on a quick path to recovery! 

What Is Sciatic Nerve Flossing?

Sciatica nerve flossing is a type of exercise that helps to improve the mobility and flexibility of the sciatic nerve. It involves gently stretching and moving the leg in different directions while maintaining pressure on the sciatic nerve.

This can help reduce pain caused by sciatica, as well as improve range of motion, strength, balance and coordination. One of the goals of sciatic nerve flossing is to increase blood flow around the area and promote healing.

When doing this type of exercise, it’s important to use slow and controlled movements. Start with shorter sessions lasting no more than a few minutes per side. Gradually increasing intensity over time will allow for greater gains in strength and flexibility without causing further injury or pain.

As you become more comfortable with your routine, you can add additional reps or sets, but always make sure to move within your limits so you don’t cause any harm to yourself or aggravate existing injuries. By following these guidelines and taking care when performing sciatic nerve flossing exercises, you should see improvement in your condition with regular practice over time.

Benefits Of Sciatica Nerve Flossing

In a 2015 study on the efficacy of nerve flossing for acute sciatica, all patients in the control group showed improvement, suggesting that this technique is effective for the pain associated with sciatica. 

The benefits of performing these exercises regularly can include:

  • Decreased inflammation around the sciatic nerve, reducing pain.
  • Reduced pressure on the spine from muscle spasms.
  • Increased mobility throughout the lower back, hips and legs.
  • Improved posture and balance due to increased muscular strength and coordination.
  • Enhanced ability to perform daily activities without discomfort or restriction.
  • Overall improvement in quality of life.

By consistently doing these exercises over time, individuals may find that their chronic pain related to sciatica will be significantly reduced or even eliminated altogether. Another helpful way to boost healing is to try and reduce chronic inflammation in your body. Check out my tips here

How To Do Sciatica Nerve Flossing

When performing sciatica nerve flossing, it is best done as part of a larger warm-up routine that includes gentle stretches and light aerobic activity. It should be avoided after strenuous physical activity or if there is significant inflammation present.

  1. Sit on a firm surface, such as a chair or bench, with your feet flat on the ground and your back straight.
  2. Straighten the affected leg out in front of you, keeping your foot flexed.
  3. Begin by gently flexing your foot back towards your knee, then extend your leg straight out in front of you while pointing your toes.
  4. Next, slowly lower your leg back down to the starting position while keeping your foot flexed.
  5. Repeat this movement, moving your foot up and down, for a total of 10-15 repetitions.
  6. Once you have completed the foot sequence, add in your knee by raising it towards your chest and then lowering it back down, keeping your foot flexed throughout the movement.
  7. Repeat this knee sequence for 10-15 repetitions.
  8. Finally, add your hip by bending your knee and bringing your foot towards your buttocks and then slowly lowering your foot back down.
  9. Repeat this hip movement for 10-15 repetitions.
  10. Repeat the entire sequence on the other leg.

It’s important to remember that this technique should be done slowly and gently to avoid exacerbating any pain or discomfort. If you experience any pain or discomfort during the technique, stop immediately and consult with your chiropractor.

When To Do Sciatica Nerve Flossing

Once you understand how to do sciatica nerve flossing, it’s important to know when to do it. In general, the exercise should be done at least once a day for best results. It can also be beneficial after sitting for long periods of time or before and/or during activities that cause pain in the lower back, hips or legs. 

It’s helpful if you can incorporate sciatic nerve flossing into your daily routine so that you don’t forget to do it. This will help prevent any potential flare-ups from occurring. 

It’s also essential to remember not to overdo it, no matter what activity you are doing. If you experience severe pain while stretching, stop immediately and try again later on with more gentle movements. 

Some people may find relief right away, but others might need to practice consistently over time in order to see an improvement in symptoms. Listening closely to your body and staying patient is key! 

TIP: If you find sciatic nerve flossing too challenging, check out my stretches for glutes and sciatica here

Mind Body Spine: A Holistic Chiropractic Approach

At Mind Body Spine in Victoria, BC, our team of experienced practitioners understands the challenges that come with sciatica and is dedicated to helping you find relief from your pain. 

Our mission is to empower all our patients to overcome injury with long-term strategies that help them to keep feeling great. That’s why we created an extensive online library of at-home exercises as a free resource for every patient that comes to the clinic.

You deserve to live free from pain and discomfort. Give us a call today and let us prove why we are rated as one of the “top three best chiropractors in Victoria”!