Our expert says:
Are you 100% sure it's the sciatic nerve, or is there a chance it is something else? If you're happy with the diagnosis, then you can obviously treat it.
So the pinching could be caused by any number of things - a herniated disc, for example. And this is not really going to respond all that well to stretching. At least, stretching can help with the symptoms, but if there is an underlying cause like disc damage, then you may need further treatment, otherwise it will only get worse (or best case scenario, stay the same).
Another common causes is something called piriformis syndrome, where a muscle that is used to extend at the hip presses on the nerve. This can be caused by sitting for too long on a hard surface, which is why you might try change your chair at your desk for a pezzi ball (one of those large inflatable gym balls), if possible.
In terms of a stretch, here's one:
Lie flat on your back on the floor, arms at your sides. To stretch your right side, bend your right knee to waist level and put your right foot on the floor outside of your left knee. Place your left hand on the outside of right knee to hold leg in place, then gently pull right knee over your left leg toward the floor, keeping shoulders flat and abdominals contracted.
Hold the stretch for at least 10 to 15 seconds without bouncing. Do 15 repetitions on each side twice a day. (If it's too hard to keep your foot on the floor -because your muscles are too tight - gently pull knee over as far as possible without placing foot on floor.)
Also stretch the hamstrings and that piriformis muscle if you can. And finally, pilates is helpful because it develops strength in that core area.
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