12 Activities to Avoid (Instead Do These) With Sciatica Pain

Unlike any form of pain, Sciatica pain is challenging to manage by resting or taking medications. According to the recent study of Harvard Health, exercise can be the best way to prevent or help relieve sciatica pain. But not all exercises are helpful. Instead, some can make the pain worse. 

In this post, you’ll learn about 12 activities to avoid if you’re suffering from sciatica, as well as those that can alleviate the pain. Additionally, you will have a better understanding of the underlying causes and signs of sciatica pain.

What is Sciatica?

Sciatica is pain that spreads from your lower back down your hips and buttocks and each leg along the sciatic nerve route. In most cases, Sciatica affects the right side of the body and, less commonly, the left side or both sides. Sciatica is not contagious but a chronic disease that persists for a long time and may worsen over time. 


The main symptoms of Sciatica are pain from the spine to the buttocks and the back of your leg. Sometimes, the pain can be mild to moderate or severe, making you feel very uncomfortable. The pain quickly gets worse and may last 4 to 6 weeks. The sensations of sciatica pain are: 

  • Burning pain
  • Electric-shock like pain
  • Numbness
  • Pins and needles
  • Tingling etc. 

In many instances, there is a chance that extreme pain suddenly disrupts your daily life activities. Moreover, Coughing and sneezing will make the pain worse, and sitting or standing for long periods will exacerbate sciatica symptoms.

Causes, How Sciatica Pain Occurs?

The bones of the human spinal cord are called vertebrae. The creation of vertebrae started from the very beginning of your skull and ended with your tailbone. The vertebral bones have a round cushion called a disc. The function of these desks is to act as a buffer between your vertebral bones. With the help of disks, you can walk and move freely. When disc ruptures or leaks due to an injury or aging, the resulting disc is called a herniated disc. An average of 2% of people get herniated discs each year.

Herniated discs can be in any part of the spinal cord. However, the possibility of being in the lower of the back (Lumbar vertebrae) is infrequent. If you have a herniated disc in the lower back, it can pressure your sciatic nerve and  

If you have spinal stenosis, you may also suffer from Sciatica. Spinal stenosis refers to the abnormal narrowing of the vertebral canal in the spine. Aging causes jagged edges of the spinal cord. Injuries to the sciatic nerve or lumbar spine can also cause sciatic pain. When there is a tumor in the lumbar spinal canal, the sciatic nerve contracts.

Piriformis syndrome can lead to Sciatica. Piriformis syndrome is a neuromuscular disorder. Deep in the buttocks is the piriformis muscle, an abnormal condition. In people with neuromuscular disorders, the piriformis muscles become stiff. Neuromuscular diseases can cause pressure on the sciatic nerve; the result can be irritating. 

Cauda equina syndrome is a rare species disorder. The cauda equina is a bundle of nerves at the end of the spine. Cauda equina syndrome will lead to various symptoms that are very similar to Sciatica.

Also Read: While cardiovascular exercises are great for strengthening glutes, not all exercises are suitable for the area.

14 Activities to Avoid with Sciatica Pain

You should avoid participating in the following 12 activities if you have sciatica pain:

1. Heavy Stretching of the Hamstrings

Heavy stretching of the hamstring puts undue pressure on the muscles. There is a risk of damaging the sciatic nerve by doing this. So, heavy stretching will make your sciatica pain worse.

2. Bent Over Rows

Rowing can strain your lower back and worsen sciatica pain, especially when you do it with a rounded spine. This can also cause inflammation, resulting from a herniated disc or an injury. 

3. Straight Legged Sit-ups

Straight-legged sit-ups put a lot of pressure on your spine. This can further upset the structure of the spine. Therefore, numbness and inflammation below the waist are seen.

4. Abdominal Stretches

Patients suffering from sciatica should avoid this workout. Pressure is placed on the backbone as a result of the technique. It has the effect of causing the sciatic nerve to constrict.

5. Full Body Squats

Squatting with a barbell damages the lower part of the spine. The result is a contraction of the nerves, and discs can cause hip and leg pain. So, you have to refrain from doing this.

6. Weighted Squats

Weighted squats put pressure on the legs that lead to pain and injury. Instead, you can try this exercise without weights, keeping your core engaged and your back in a neutral position. But you should stop if you feel any pain or tightness in your back.

7. Heavy Dead-lifts

Exercising using something weighty can lead to spinal cord injuries. Heavy deadlifts are one of the causes of lower back pain. So, the sciatica patient must move away from this Work.

8. Weightlifting

Weightlifting should only be done by those whose spine is entirely healthy. Weightlifting needs to be avoided for those with lower back pain. This Work is not suitable for you if you have a herniated disc. 

9. Supine Leg Circles

You might hear that Supine leg circles help to relieve Sciatica. But unfortunately, you’re mistaken. The central fact is that this exercise stretches your hamstring as you rotate your leg in a circular motion. That’s why it can be irritable for the sciatic nerve, causing pain. 

10. Burpees

Do you suffer from sciatica pain? If so, you’re not alone. Sciatica is a common condition that affects millions every year. While many different treatments are available, one of the simplest and most effective is avoiding burpees.

Burpees involve high-impact movements that can aggravate back and hip pain. Moreover, repeatedly bending forward and jumping aggravate sciatica pain.

11. High-impact Sports

Avoid any high-impact sport because that can put a lot of stress on your back. Basketball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, running, HIIT workouts, etc., are generally considered high-impact sports. 

12. lifts

If you are experiencing sciatica pain, it is important to avoid activities that exacerbate your symptoms. Lifting heavy objects is one such activity. Lifting can cause your back muscles to tighten, increasing pressure on the sciatic nerve and worsening your pain. Additionally, lifting can also lead to injuries such as herniated discs. If you must lift something, try using a tool or ask for help.

How Do Exercises Help With Sciatica?

There are many ways to relieve sciatica symptoms, including medications, injections, and surgery in some cases. One of the best ways to treat Sciatica pain is by regularly doing low-impact workouts. Helpful low-impact activities include Knee to Chest, Glute Bridges, Sitting Pigeon Pos, Sitting Trunk Stretch, Child’s Pos, Standing Hamstring Stretch, Pelvic tilt, Low Impact Cardio, etc. 

Get Relieved with These 8 Best Exercises for Sciatica Pain

Sciatica pain reduces by doing suitable exercises that can help improve the health of muscles and joints in your spine. You have to exercise daily because exercise is more effective in relieving sciatica pain than taking bed rest. Moreover, sciatica pain is more common among overweight people who lead a sedentary lifestyle. 

1. Knee to Chest

Sciatica pain can be caused by several things, including a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or piriformis syndrome. Exercises that stretch the piriformis muscle in the hips and buttocks can help relieve sciatica pain. One such exercise is the knee to chest stretch. 

2. Glute Bridges

Sciatica pain is a common problem caused by several things, including a bulging or herniated disc, spinal stenosis, and piriformis syndrome. While some treatments can help relieve the pain, glute bridges are the simplest and most effective. Glute bridges can help stretch and loosen the muscles around the sciatic nerve, which can help to relieve the pain.

3. Sitting Pigeon Pose

Sitting pigeon pose is a yoga pose that can help to relieve sciatica pain. This Pose stretches the piriformis muscle, which can help to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. The Pose also strengthens the glutes and hamstrings, which can help to improve flexibility and reduce pain.

4. Sitting Trunk Stretch

Sitting trunk stretch is a great way to help relieve sciatica pain. The time helps to lengthen the spine and relieve tension in the back and hips. It is possible to do it anywhere with no specific equipment. To do the sitting trunk stretch, sit with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent. Move forward while keeping your back straight. Grab your toes. Hold the space for 10-30 seconds, then release. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

5. Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose is a yoga pose that can be used to alleviate sciatica pain in certain people. The Pose consists of sitting on your heels with your arms held out in front of you, and it may be customized to meet your specific needs.

6. Standing Hamstring Stretch

Standing hamstring stretch may help to relieve the symptoms of Sciatica. This stretch can be performed by standing with the feet together and bending forward at the waist. Reach down and grab the ankles or shins. Hold the space for 30 seconds and then repeat three times.

7. Pelvic Tilts

When it comes to treating Sciatica, pelvic tilts are one of the most widely employed techniques. Pelvic tilt exercises are beneficial in that they stretch and strengthen the muscles that surround the spine and pelvic area.

8. Low Impact Cardio

Low-impact cardio is a wonderful activity for persons who suffer from sciatica pain since it is mild on the body while still providing considerable health advantages to the individual who participates.

Why is an Elliptical Machine is Best to Sciatica?

Using an elliptical machine for those suffering from Sciatica has many advantages. Some are as follows: 

  • The elliptical machine provides a low-impact exercise, gentle on your joints.
  • The elliptical machine allows you to move in multiple directions, which can help relieve the pressure on your sciatic nerve.
  • The elliptical machine provides a low-impact cardio workout, which can help improve your overall health and reduce your risk of further injury.

Also Read: The elliptical and walking are two of the most popular low-impact cardio exercises. The elliptical machine, on the other hand, has many advantages above simply walking.

Wrap Up

Exercise on an elliptical machine, which is low-impact and can help relieve sciatica pain, can be very beneficial. It will also assist you in maintaining your activities in order to avoid sciatica pain in the future. However, if you encounter any pain or discomfort while exercising on an elliptical machine, you should stop immediately and consult with your doctor as quickly as possible.

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