Sarah Key's 7 Best Sciatica Stretching Exercises

Sciatica often feels like a cramping leg muscle that needs stretching. Sarah Key's 6 best sciatica stretching exercises are tailored to coax the spinal nerve root free of its adhesions and then mopping up afterwards. 


1. Knees Rocking

2. Table Stretch

3. Acute Nerve Root Traction

4. Curl Downs

5. Advanced Nerve Root Traction

6. Using the Ma Roller

7. The BackBlock

Sciatica Stretching Exercises For the Acute Stage

Sciatica Relief Exercise 1. Knees Rocking
Sarah Key uses the gentle 'knees rocking' exercise to relieve engorgement of fluid trapped around the facet joints, with the reducing pressure making the joints less likely to refer pain down through the leg. 

Half forward bend or Table Stretch

Sciatica Relief Exercise Number 2. The Table Stretch
The 'table stretch' is an exercise you get to when the sciatic pain has started to ease somewhat. It incorporates a gentle pull (traction) on the nerve roots running right through from the spine to your leg, so it must not be done too early in the sciatica pain relief program. When you start to get a sense of your clenched and aching back actually needing and enjoying the stretch, it is the right time to use it. it. If you do this stretch more than three times per day you may annoy the nerve and increase the pain. Remember! Nerves do not like being over-stretched. 

Sciatica Relief Exercise Number 3. The Acute Nerve Root Stretch
This exercise involves releasing the nerve gently by coaxing it free from where it is clagged to the sides of the facet joint with adhesions

In this video Sarah Key explains what causes sciatica and how you can  treat yourself.
Download the sciatica video

Sciatica Stretching Exercises For the Chronic Stage

Sciatica Relief Exercise Number 4. Curl Downs
This is an important exercise to get you accustomed to bending normally again. However, it often activates a pain in the leg that feels like a string pulled too tight. Initially, it should only be done twice, twice per day only. You may not be able to get this low, but don't fret! Be prepared that your sciatica may temporarily increase for a day or so after starting this exercise. 

Sciatica Relief Exercise Number 5. Advanced Sciatic Nerve Traction
This is a more proactive nerve stretch starting from the right-angled stretch of the legs up the wall, progressing to using a strap to gently tug and release the nerve. Its aim is to release adhesions both within the nerve itself and where the outside of the nerve is adhering to the inside of the nerve root sleeve. It should not be done more frequently than twice per week. Bear in mind that this often stirs up the leg pain temporarily.

Sciatica Relief Exercise 6. Using the Ma Roller
The Ma Roller is punishing medicine. It is like a convoluted rolling pin, with a centrally gully and two rounded humps either side. As you roll minutely on the roller, the spinous processes (the knobs you can see through the skin) are accommodated by the gully, whereas the rounded wooden mounds gently pummel the facet joints. Using the Ma Roller locally by pivoting back and forth over one facet joint is the ideal way to break down adhesions and release the nerve root. You will see it in use in the video mentioned above. 

You can purchase a Ma Roller here

Sciatica Relief Exercise 7. The BackBlock Regime
There is much information in this website about the BackBlock and how to use it. It is the quickest and easiest way to decompress the spine and gain sciatica relief, although the effects may well not be immediate. The results may be slower because the nerve is usually tethered and takes several weeks of un-hurried, coaxing - and mopping up with appeasing exercises - to work it free.

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Sketch of man holding lower back in pain with product relief information using exercise

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