When your back hurts, and the pain is so bad, it becomes a major issue that can cause you to lose sleep and keep you from enjoying life.
It’s estimated that 70 million people in the U. S. suffer from low back pain, and the condition is most common in people aged 30 to 50 years old. Many sufferers have tried various therapy, medications, and even surgery, with very little success. Some go so far as to try complementary or alternative medicine.
One of the most overlooked aspects of the condition is the importance of stretches and flexibility. The good news is that you can ease the pain by just doing some sciatica exercises in bed.
The exercises below will get you moving again while you rest and heal your back and hips. Have a look!
Top 6 Best Exercises for Sciatica in Bed
- Press Up
- Press Up Extension
- Knees To Chest
- Posterior Pelvic Tilt
- Knee to Opposite Shoulder
- Figure 4
Caution: All these exercises help deal with sciatica, but it is important to follow your doctor’s advice first to avoid any complications.
1. Press Up
You’ve probably heard of the press-up exercise. It’s a quick and effective way to tone your body without spending hours in the gym or a rigorous workout program. This exercise is a great way to get the blood pumping, increase your metabolism, improve your posture, and strengthen your core muscles.
- Simply lie in bed and press your palms together
- Now, lift one palm, press it down
- Then lift the other hand and press it down
- Do this until your palms are pressed together
- Now, lift the left hand out and put it flat on your chest
- Then lift the right hand, place it on top of the left, and move the left hand up and down in a circular motion.
This is a great way to improve blood flow and help prevent soreness and fatigue.
2. Press up Extension
The press-up extension exercise is a proven physical fitness routine that’s been around for decades. It’s simple, requires no equipment, and can be performed virtually anywhere, including while in bed or on the go. If you’re interested in learning more about performing this basic exercise correctly, read on.
- First, perform the basic plank pose by pressing your hands and feet into the floor.
- Once you feel stable, slowly press up and out until you reach the ceiling and pull your body straight.
- Next, lean forward and lift your left leg off the floor
- Lean back on your elbow while keeping your upper body still and reach for the ceiling
- Hold this position for a few seconds, and then slowly lower your leg
- Repeat with your right leg
- Continue alternating your legs for a few minutes to get a full stretch
To complete the extension, simply keep going. Don’t worry about whether you’re doing this pose correctly. The more often you do this exercise, the better your body gets at it.
3. Knees To Chest
The best time to perform this exercise in bed is at night. Knees to the Chest is a low-impact exercise that helps strengthen the core muscles that support the spine. It is also a great warm-up to help increase flexibility. The trick is to keep your back flat as you lift your knees high.
You should reach around 80 percent of your max capacity Here’s how you can get those knee joints right on up to your chest in bed.
- Start lying and lay on your back with your legs straight out.
- Raise your knees to your chest so that your thighs are on top of your chest.
- You should feel a slight arch in your back and a few inches of space between your head and the bed.
- Keep your arms straight, and don’t lift your chin.
If this stretch lessens the pain in your legs, do three reps and then move on to the next stretch.
4. Posterior Pelvic Tilt
The Posterior Pelvic Tilt exercise is a simple exercise that can be performed right in bed to help alleviate symptoms. This exercise will stretch out the muscles in your back and lower limbs to provide relief.
- Lie down with your knees bent and feet flat
- Draw abdominals in to flatten lower back into the bed
- Hold the position for 5 seconds
- Return to the start position for one repetition. Do ten rep.
The oldest and most well-known form of exercise has many variations, so it can be used effectively as a stand-alone or supplementary activity.
5. Knee to Opposite Shoulder
Sciatica pain can be relieved with this exercise for the back, spine, and pelvis muscles. You want to move your knee toward your opposite shoulder (left knee to right shoulder, right knee to left shoulder). Your whole body should move slowly and steadily.
- Lie on your back with legs extended and feet flexed
- Lift your right leg and clasp your hands behind the knee
- Gently pull your right knee across your body and toward your left shoulder
- Hold for 30 seconds for one rep.
- Switch legs and repeat
You don’t need to be a physical therapist to practice this exercise. You can do it lying down or sitting up, but start with a straight knee. This will help keep the hip aligned and open.
6. Figure 4
The figure 4 exercise is an easy way to help you stretch the tight muscles in your lower back. Figure 4 stretches the hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles, often tight when a sciatic nerve is pinched. To help you identify your sciatica symptoms and determine which treatments will work best, check out these steps to perform the Figure 4 exercise for Sciatica.
- Lie on your back with bent knee joints, feet flat on the bed
- Cross your right ankle over your left knee (in the shape of a “4”)
- Grasp your hands behind your left knee and gently pull your legs toward your chest as you press your right knee away from your Chest
- Hold for 30 seconds for 1 rep
- Do 3 repetitions
- Switch legs and repeat
This will stretch the lower back and help to release the sciatic nerve and relieve the pain.
Safety Tips for Sciatica Exercises in Bed
It’s important to use caution when doing these exercises in bed because they can be risky if done incorrectly. Even if you’re careful, the sciatic nerve can become irritated from too much pressure on the lower back.
Your spine should be neutral to protect the nerve, which means your hips are at 90-degrees or less, and your knees are straight.
If you are experiencing discomfort, stop what you’re doing. Don’t move on until your back pain is completely gone.
Does Exercise Cure Sciatica?
Sciatica is usually the result of a pinched nerve between the spine and the hip joint. Exercising can help reduce the pain, but it doesn’t eliminate it. Instead, it’s recommended to get a massage and physical therapy for the same.
What are the benefits of sciatica exercises in bed?
Sciatica exercises in bed can help reduce pain and inflammation in the lower back and leg area. The stretches include lying on your side with your knee joints bent and rolling slowly across the area. Also, try to perform the stretches slowly, and do them regularly for better results.
Can you exercise your back while lying down?
Yes, you can exercise your back while lying down. The key to doing this is to keep your back straight and your head in a neutral position.
Most of us tend to lean forward when we exercise. This puts pressure on the spine and can lead to strain or injury. You should always exercise in moderation to avoid any injury.
The best exercises to avoid are those that involve heavy lifting. Avoid any exercise that requires you to lift something heavier than 20 lbs. While working out, make sure that you’re exercising your core muscles.
Also, avoid any workout where you have to run after something.
How often should I exercise?
It’s important to exercise regularly to avoid health complications later in life. A good routine involves doing cardio workouts three times a week, followed by weight training two days a week, and then stretching out the rest of the days.
Ideally, you should incorporate each exercise into your daily routine, but you can start with a shorter workout duration and gradually increase it.
These exercises are a great way to relieve pain and increase mobility, as long as you’re comfortable doing them lying down. If you want to get the most out of your sciatica exercises before leaving the bed, you must ensure that your spine is completely relaxed. This will ensure that you do not end up with an injury or strain.
There is no magic cure for sciatica, but exercise can provide relief, so do these exercises daily until the pain subsides.