Sciatica Exercises: The 4 Best Exercises

Lower Back Pain and Sciatica

Discover the Best Sciatica Exercises for Pain Relief and Recovery

Persistent sciatica pain can transform daily activities into daunting tasks, leaving you searching for relief. If you’re on the hunt for effective strategies to alleviate sciatica and bolster your rehabilitation, welcome to your comprehensive guide. Here, we delve into not only the treatment options but also spotlight sciatica exercises that are crucial for pain relief and recovery. These exercises, when integrated with the professional care from your chiropractor or physiotherapist, are designed to reduce sciatica symptoms significantly.

Why Focus on Sciatica Exercises?

Exercises specifically tailored for sciatica play a pivotal role in managing and reducing pain. They are essential for strengthening the muscles supporting your spine, improving flexibility, and promoting healthy circulation to the affected nerve regions. This guide is your go-to resource for understanding how targeted exercises can complement medical treatments and accelerate your journey to relief and rehabilitation.

Understanding Sciatica: Sciatica Exercises

Sciatica is often described as a painful sensation that originates in the lower back or buttock, extending down through the thigh and leg, and occasionally reaching the foot. This discomfort results from the compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve. However, the root cause of this pinching can vary, necessitating precise diagnosis and tailored treatment plans.

The Complexity of Sciatica Causes: Sciatica Exercises

Identifying the exact source of sciatica is crucial, as nerve compression can occur at multiple points along its path. Misdiagnosis or oversimplification of your condition as merely “sciatica” without further investigation can lead to ineffective treatment strategies. It’s essential to understand whether the pain stems from issues like disc herniation, degenerative disc disease, or another underlying cause to ensure the appropriate therapeutic approach is employed.

See Also:  Best Toronto Chiropractor: How To Find The Best Chiropractor In Your City

Sciatica Spinal Nerve with Lumbar Vertebrae: Best Toronto Chiropractor
Sciatica: Spinal Nerve with Lumbar Vertebrae

L4 and L5: Sciatica Exercises

So how do I know where my pinched nerve is? Two nerves come out between the last two vertebrae in your body. Your nerve is very commonly pinched here.

Your lower back vertebrae are called lumbar vertebrae. There are 5 vertebrae in the lower back. Taking the “L” for the lumbar spine, they are named L1, L2, L3, L4, and L5. The last two vertebrae in your lower back are L4 and L5.

Sacrum and sacral nerves that form sciatic nerve
The sacrum bone pictured above with sacral nerves that form the sciatic nerve. The lumbar nerves that help form the sciatic nerve are not seen in this picture.

Ion medical designs

Just below L5 is one of your pelvic bones. It’s called the sacrum. The sacrum has holes with yellow-coloured nerves coming out.

S1, S2, S3: Sciatica Exercises

The nerves are called S1, S2 and S3. “S” is for sacrum. These nerves are rarely pinched.

Your sciatic nerve is formed when the nerves from L4 L5 and L5 S1 join together with the S1, S2 and S3 nerves in your buttock.

So, most of you will have your nerve pinched in one of three spots.

  • In the buttock the Sciatic Nerve starts, in other words where the S1, S2, and S3 nerves join the two other nerves that come out between L4, L5 and L5 S1.
  • Between L4 and L5 vertebrae
  • Between L5 and S1 vertebrae
Sciatica- Piriformis Muscle and sciatic nerve
Sciatica- Piriformis Muscle and sciatic nerve –Picture from

Now you know where the nerve can be pinched but it doesn’t answer why one of the nerves is pinched causing your sciatica

The Usual Suspects (Causes) of Sciatica

Most people’s sciatica is from:

  • Herniated Disc at L45 or Herniated Disc at L5S1 (some osteoarthritis = “wear and tear” is involved)
  • Degenerative Disc Disease (Osteoarthritis of the Disc=”Wear and Tear” of the Disc)
  • Stenosis (Basically advanced osteoarthritis)
  • Spondylolisthesis (A fracture of the vertebra or Osteoarthritis with the vertebra moving forward)
  • Piriformis Syndrome

These are the diagnoses that your doctor or chiropractor should be telling you about not sciatica. 

Remember sciatica only says that you have a pinched sciatic nerve causing pain in your buttock and leg, sciatica doesn’t tell you the cause of your pain. Without determining the cause you will get hit-or-miss treatments from your chiropractor or physiotherapist as they can’t give you specific treatment.

See Also: MRI CT scans X-rays, What’s Best For My Pain

The key exam that you need to determine what the heck is causing your pain is a neurological examination. You have probably seen it on TV before.

  • Reflex tests with a reflex hammer on your knee and the back of your ankle
  • Muscle Strength Testing: Resisted muscle testing of your foot. You try and push up/down while the chiropractor holds your foot. An alternative is heel walking and walking on your toes.
  • Light Touch and Sharp Dull Testing:  A light touch directly on the unclothed legs and feet to determine if you are unequal in your sensitivity to light touch and sharp/dull testing.  A light touch is often enough as a screening.

Also, remember that the diagnosis should pretty much be determined in the office and X-rays, MRI, and CT scans done only if there are signs of something else or the diagnosis is kind of fuzzy.

See Also: Herniated Disc Part 2: The Best Exercises For Your Herniated Disc

Herniated Disc: Sciatica Exercises

You herniate a disc from the everyday habits that you have. The everyday habits of slouching and bending with a rounded low back, build up to weaken and damage the disc to the point it is ready to break open and herniate.

The problem is there is no pain. You don’t feel sciatica until the disc has herniated as there are no nerves inside the disc. So you continue your habits and think you don’t have a bad back until one day you lift your daughter off the floor.

The only problem is you had a bad back with no symptoms for a very long time. This is just like a car with a little bit of rust showing but if you take the car apart you see a lot more rust.

Degenerative Disc Disease – Osteoarthritis of the Disc

Degenerative Disc Disease is a continuation of the breakdown of the disc that was started by bad lifting and slouching habits.

The disc becomes smaller, and brittle like an old elastic band that is decaying, leading to the disc becoming smaller in height. The smaller disc makes the space between the vertebrae smaller. Thus, your nerve doesn’t have much room, so your nerve gets pinched between L4 and L5 or L5 and S1.

Stenosis- Most commonly from continuation of Osteoarthritis

Stenosis is a “narrowing”. There are two types of stenosis

  1. Lateral Stenosis
  2. Spinal Stenosis

1. Lateral Stenosis is the narrowing of the hole which the nerves from the spinal cord come from. Does this sound familiar? It’s degenerative disc disease + the bone degenerating forming spurs that narrow the hole for the nerve. A smaller hole for your nerve eventually means a pinched nerve.

2. Spinal Stenosis is the narrowing of the canal where the spinal cord sits. This is essentially pinching of the spinal cord usually in the lower back.

Spondylolisthesis (Vertebebra moving forward)

Spondylolisthesis is usually the moving forward of the vertebra (sometimes backwards). When the vertebra moves forward the spinal cord and nerves are pulled putting tension on your nerve. Nerves under tension get irritated and so turn into sciatica. This can happen from a fracture to the vertebrae or osteoarthritis.

Piriformis Syndrome

Most people’s sciatic nerve usually goes over or under the piriformis muscle. In some cases, possibly yours, the sciatic nerve goes right through the piriformis muscle. When the muscle tightens up it squeezes on the sciatic nerve causing sciatica.

Walking like a “man” is another reason for sciatica. That’s right, when you walk bow-legged with your feet turned can give you trouble later.

Chances are, if you are reading this you already have a problem with sciatica. When you turn your feet out this makes the piriformis muscles work harder.

The harder your piriformis works the more likely the nerve will be pinched causing sciatica.

The 4 Best Exercises For Sciatica

While treatments are different for sciatica depending on the cause you can still help your chiropractor or physiotherapist by doing your home exercises.

1. Flossing: first introduced by Michael Shacklock

Flossing is good for your teeth but a different kind of flossing is good for your spine and spinal hygiene.

First, determine if you can floss safely:

  • Sit on a chair or relatively hard surface. Please don’t sit on the couch, it is too soft and will aggravate your lower back.
  • Raise your painful leg to the point of pain and keep it there.
  • Bend your neck forward till your pain is aggravated from above
  • Lower the leg till the pain decreases.

If the pain decreases you are safe to do flossing.

Warning: This exercise can cause acute sciatica but chances are minimized by doing the screening exercise. Don’t floss until you have been out of bed for at least 2 hours.  Now The Flossing:

Nerve Flossing for Sciatica
Nerve Flossing for Sciatica   photo by


  • Sit down in a chair with your legs swinging freely
  • Bend your neck forward for 5 seconds (if this doesn’t cause sciatica you can do the next step)
  • Bend your neck backwards as far as possible and straighten the knee (5 seconds)
  • Repeat 3 sets of 10X on each leg. You can do this for up to 5/day.

2. Piriformis Stretch   A) Sitting and    B) Lying Face-Up

A: Sitting:

Sciatica: Seated Piriformis Stretch
Sciatica: Seated Piriformis Stretch -photo by double your gains
  • Sit in a chair and cross the bad leg over the good
  • Keep the arch in your back and move your chest forward
  • Repeat 3 sets 30 secs.  This can be done several times a day
Sciatica: Piriformis Stretch Best Toronto Chiropractor
Sciatica: Piriformis Stretch to help your sciatica -photo by


B: Lying Face-up:  This exercise might be easier for some of you.

  • Lying Face-up both knees bent.  Put the bad leg over the good.
  • Bring the good leg up to support the bad leg.
  • Push the bad leg outward.

3. Ball Exercises:  Piriformis, Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius

Sciatica:Ball exercises to Help Sciatica


  • Cross your bad side leg over the other knee
  • Get a tennis ball, basketball or a medicine ball and sit on it with your buttock.
  • To treat the piriformis go lean at about a 45-degree angle.
  • Stop at each tender point and hold until each one is ironed out or feels less tender.

Gluteus Maximus

  • Same as the piriformis except that you don’t need to cross the bad over the good.

Gluteus Medius

  • Same  as Gluteus Maximus except that you now lean at almost a 90-degree angle -You are almost on your side with a focus on the side area just below the belt or hip bone

4. Cobra

Herniated DIsc Cobra Exercise to Put your Disc Back In & Prevent Herniated Discs
  • Lie down face down with your hands underneath your shoulders.
  • Push up from as high as you can until your lower back stops you or your elbows are straight.
  • The pelvis should still be on the floor and the lower back muscles relaxed.
  • Do these exercises hold each time for 1-2 seconds 6-8 times per set? This exercise can be repeated every two hours throughout the day.

If your pain is from a disc herniation you can combine the disc herniations part 2 exercises with these exercises. If your sciatica is from a different cause I will write about all the conditions that cause sciatica over time.

Write in the comments to tell us how you are doing with your sciatica. Also, let us know your vote for the best Toronto Chiropractor below. Connect with me on LinkedIn.

Leave a Reply

  • Hello sir.i am bus driver.i have back pain.i did mri test ct scan.its say it’s pressure on l2 l3 there any exercises.i take ibru pain goes away.but it’s come back.plz advise me thanks

  • Hi Dr.
    I have been lately diagnosed with L4/L5 S1 disc bulge which is severely compressing the nerve and giving pain in the left leg. I have been experiencing sciatic pain for the past one year now but since a month it has drastically aggravated resulting in pinching / shooting pain in the left buttock and thigh. I have already taken various physio sessions involving short wave and traction but it has not helped much. I have also taken 8 session of accupressure but the pain has not reduced. Before taking these session, I had taken a course of steroid tablet but that too did not help at all. Subsequent to steroid course, I started taking pregablin (lyrica) tablet for two weeks. This really helped in relieving the pain but the moment i completed the course, the pain gradually came back. Due to the nature of disc bulge, the doctor advised me not to go for chiropractor as it might aggravate the pain.
    Please advise what could help me.

  • Hi Dr. Ken,

    after trying various physiotherapy at different hospitals, wearing Lumbar support belt, and later accupuncture, and now recently i am taking ayurvedic and sidha medicines combined with verma treatment. By Verma treatment i had some relief for the lower back pain cause due to disc bulge of L4/L5 and L5/S1.

    I am able to walk, dance, run, but when i sit continuously for more than 15 mins, my pelvic region slowly develops a heated effect and also i am having nerve paint travelling all through from my right buttock to my legs. But no numbness.

    Recently i am feeling such pain in my back leg. Tired of all this, i went to my school yoga master.

    Kindly suggest me, the best thing that can be done to maintain the pain level to less with some exercise and stretches.

  • hello doc i had a herniated disk l4-l5 i have wrote you before i think 1 year ago about sciatica pain it had went away but this summer i went to the pool and jumped so many time , dived thus it came back and the pain is so bad now it has been 5 or 6 monthes since it came back and da pain cant go away from my right leg i have lost mobility and flexibelity any advice doctor i want to go back to normale activities so bad i feel like its holding me back from doing any sport .plz help and thnx for being there for me .

  • Hello Dr,

    Thank you for your recommendations; they are very helpful.

    I did something seemingly innocent this past July then heard (and felt) 2 pops inside my body then the immediate constant sciatica started. Felt like the nerve was on fire and nothing would calm it down. Could not put the left foot on the ground or sit to drive but experienced no back pain. MRI showed a 7 mm caudally directed broad based herniation at L5 S1 and a small herniation at L4 L5. The 7 mm herniation is pressing on both left and right S1 nerve roots but only the left side had severe sciatic spasms. I should state that I had a laminectomy at L5 S1 20+ years ago which was successful.

    While I was waiting on revision surgery to address my sciatica, I took your advice and immediately did lots of extension exercises. I also refused to sit for approx 4 weeks but I walked every day. By the time of my surgery, my symptoms had improved so much that the surgery was postponed/cancelled. I returned to work with minimal pain and PT once a week. Everything was going great and recently…

    Recently, I noticed that one leg seemed longer than the other and that I experienced more nerve ‘throbs and tingles’ than normal during the night time. Then it happened… I woke up one morning and upon standing straight and moving my hips to remove my pj bottoms, felt a sharp, running jolt of sciatica in my left hip area. The only diffeence between this pain and the pain from July was that this pain was limited to the buttocks, hip, upper thigh whereas the previous jolt ran straight down to my toes. Also this new pain vanished after 10 seconds and the previous pain was a constant spasm. I also noticed that all of the exercises that had helped my herniated disk seemed not to help this time: back extensions hurt, walking hurt, etc. Oh, and I noticed that I could re-create the sharp nerve pain in my left hip by kneeling on my right knee while using my right knee to push up from a lunge.

    Is it possible that this latest pain is from something other than the herniated disks? The sciatic pain seems both the same (same nerve, same type of pain) and different (different location, different response to exercises).

    Btw, I used to get my SI joints adjusted by my chiropractor in the past but I am not allowed to get adjustments right now due to the herniated disks right above the area.

    Could this new ‘sciatica’ be from a source other than the herniated disk at L5 S1? What are your thoughts?

    Thank you for your help

    • Post

      Thanks for your question Casi. It is very likely the same disc pushed out in a different direction. Discs move once they are weakened, that’s why they herniate in the first place. You will have to find a different physiotherapist or chiropractor that can determine how the disc is herniated or if it is another disc.

      Also, it’s nonsense that you cannot get lower back adjustments. The only thing is the chiropractor has to really know what they are doing. I treat people with disc herniations all the time with adjustments. However, you have to test the direction of the disc. Once tested and you are gentle I don’t have people getting worse. I have the odd person that gets sore for a day or two but they are better afterwards. I do this 10-15 times a day just for the lower back. So, I believe that your surgeon is speaking about patients’with reactions and discs that have been aggravated by chiropractors that are not doing the proper testing and simply adjusting people the same way as a formula or cookbook chiropractic. The surgeon has no way of knowing which chiropractor is being diligent and which is taking the time to determine the direction of the disc.

      Also possible is stenosis depending on age but not likely as extension helped you a short time ago.

      The above is an opinion and not a recommendation. Hope that helps your cervical disc herniation. If you have any more questions for this chiropractor from downtown Toronto I will do my best absolute best to give you a helpful answer.

      • Thanks for your recommendation. Its hard to find a chiropractor here who is willing to adjust my lower back due to the herniation. I’ve got one who is willing to use the Activator only (no hands on) but thats about it…

        Unfortunately, I dont know in what direction the disk is moving. The herniation as shown on mri is pretty much straight back and broad.

        Regarding the latest flare up, it appears that I had sacroilitis; prednisone knocked the inflammation down enough so that I could start McKenzie extensions again. It makes sense that the disk might have moved. Is it possible that inflammation of the joints spread to the L5-S1 nerve (which was already compressed)? They are in close proximity, correct? I guess I could have also caused the disk to move by trying to compensate my movements due to the locked SI joint. I know that I was walking ‘funny’ days prior to this episode due to hip lock up.

        • Post

          That’s great that the inflammation has gone down enough that you can do the McKenzie exercises again. The disc and nerve roots from L5S1 are close but the SI is some distance away. Either way, the point is that you are better and now you know you get inflamed so you might look at foods that are more anti-inflammatory but more importantly avoid the inflammatory foods. Like more fish, less meat, more vegetables, fruit, seeds etc…

          Hope that helps your sciatica.

  • spinal stenosis………….why not go into more detail……….my canal is narrowing….why………how do I get it to open………….if its rare ……what did I do to get it…………..mri ,,L5……..accupuncure has helped

    • Post

      Thanks for your question Robert. I am assuming you are saying you have spinal stenosis and asking how you open your canals with exercises. I have to assume as there is lack of details.
      Here are some exercises in the link below that helps spinal stenosis.

      How did you get this? Well, it’s usually due to extensive degeneration of the spine. You probably didn’t do anything although some people have been in severe motor vehicle accidents.

      Hope that helps your sciatica and spinal stenosis. If you have any more questions for this downtown Toronto chiropractor I will do my best to help. Keep in my the above is an opinion and not a recommendation.

  • Hi,
    I have been experiencing bad sciatica pain from the past 6 weeks. The pain subsided for two weeks in between but then i travelled in car and the pain started again. I have a pain in my buttocks that feels like a bruise and the pain seems to radiate from my buttock only. I do not have lower back pain. Is the herniated disk causing problem or it could be periformis syndrome?? Please suggest.

  • Hello doctor,
    I have had sciatic leg pain for years on and off.

    Now it has become chronic and unbearable when I walk.
    An MRI showed, among other things, nerve impingement on the L2 nerve. Gabapentin does not work. I have had epidural s and tried acupuncture. I just started physical therapy. Nothing seems to work and my thigh hurts terribly when I walk. What else can I do? Is surgery a safe and effective alternative?
    Thank you,

    • Post

      Thanks for your question Linda. Surgery is effective some of the time but over a 10 year period, research has shown that people that have had surgery and those that have not are pretty much in the same situation 10 years later. Better with occasional recurrences. Give physical therapy a chance. At least 8 visits over a month. If you go twice and say it doesn’t work that really doesn’t say anything about the effectiveness of the therapy. Next, try chiropractic treatment.

      Hope that helps your sciatica. This is an opinion and not a recommendation. If you have any more questions for this downtown Toronto chiropractor I will do my best to give you a good answer.

  • hello sir, I am having pain in back, buttock and leg probably since 08 week in my right side i did my mri and dr. said disc herniation in l4-l5 compressing nerve root and bulging disc l5-s1 with no neural compromise. I did my physiotherapy almost 08 round and doing light exercise as per physio therapist suggestion. But my pain is getting worse especially in the morning. Please do suggest me some exercise for l4l-l5 disc herniation. And tell me what would i do for pain relief and recover

  • I have a herniated disc at L4-L5, L5-S1. The pain was resolved after 20 rounds of PT. Ever since my diagnosis in Aug 2015, I have stopped running and doing marathons, yoga, and spin class. I feel depressed knowing I cannot do the exercises that I used to love and I’m losing the gains I had when I was working out. I need to start being active again but I am scared of making my back hurt again.

    I was wondering if swimming is an appropriate exercise option.

    • Post

      Thanks for your comments AJi. Most people are fine to go back to running but not Yoga after disc herniations and sciatica. When you spin you simply need to keep an arch in your lower back. However, all this is dependent on you being fully recovered. If fully recovered you can do them. If you are still having pains the answer is no and you need to get better. With 20 visits of physiotherapy, you should be fully recovered unless your disc herniation was very bad.

      This is an opinion and not a recommendation.

      Hope that helps your sciatica. If you have any more questions for this downtown Toronto chiropractor I will do my best to give you a good answer.

  • Good evening.I fell down last 13 october 2016 and had disc proleps ( L5 and S1 ) plus anulues having very severe pain till now. There is a lump right my back which is still blue and black form the day i feel….what exersice should i practise ? wil it relieve my pain ? hw long wil it take ?

    • Post

      Thanks for your question Looshiny. Your problem does not sound like a disc problem. I have not come across anyone with a bruise and lump from 9 months ago. You need to consult your family doctor again or perhaps a different family doctor.

      Hope that helps your severe pain.

  • I have been having leg pain for years but it seems to flare up to the point of taking something for it. My latest flare has been because I’ve been doing a lot of standing on concrete floors and lifting various items under 25 lbs. (I have a desk job) for the past few weeks. Years ago it was only outside calf pain – it seemed to be triggered by high heels. I went to PT eventually due to sharp pain down my leg and pain within my butt. It seemed the pain in my butt was made worse wearing a belt. PT helped. Now my pain is now causing my toes to cramp (outside three mostly). Driving is very uncomfortable and I always want to prop my leg up on the dash (left leg). Standing I usually have the least amount of pain. Sitting cross legged is the most comfortable relaxing pose. I’m uncomfortable laying down generally. Any ideas?

    • Post

      Thanks for your question Tasha. You can do the exercises in this article and these:
      However the exercises are not specifically for you. You should have a chiropractor or physiotherapist go over the exercises as they often need modification. Likely you will get worse with the Cobra and it will need to be modified. I can’t tell you how as I don’t know how you will react until you do them.

      Hope that helps your sciatica. If you have any more questions for this Toronto downtown chiropractor I would be happy to help you out. Please remember this is an opinion and not a recommendation.

  • Dear Dr. Ken,
    About 1&1/2 month ago, I lifted a very heavy object and hurt my lower-back. I went to a physiotherapist and he told me the disks b/n L4-L5 & L5-S1 are compressed, and it has come out of its place a little. Furthermore, he said that the muscle that are supposed to support my lower-back are weak. Another physiotherapist added that I have a degenerative disc, with a sign of dehydration.
    I have discomfort walking and there is some pain in my right butt.

    What exercises should I do?, what type of diets should I follow (the therapist suggested I drink a lot of water & and eat banana, as I have signs of dehydration).

    Awaiting your professional advice,
    – Abay

    • Post

      Thanks for your question Abay. Drinking lots of water and eating bananas while good for you, numerous articles on the internet recommend drinking water for your discs. However, I haven’t been able to find any research to validate this. I would have expected that your physiotherapist would have provided exercises for you since you have two physiotherapists. Furthermore, degenerative disc disease has no correlation to pain. Since most 50-year-olds have degeneration then that logic would dictate that most year olds have spinal pain and anywhere else they have degeneration. This is simply not true. The amount of degeneration has been found over and over again in many reputable research papers to have no correlation to pain.

      You can try these exercises in addition to the ones here. However, you can get worse if you are not supervised by a chiropractor or physiotherapist with knowledge of these specific exercises. This is an opinion and not a recommendation.

      Hope that helps your sciatica. If you have any questions for this Toronto downtown chiropractor I will do my best to give you a good answer.

  • hello Dr. Ken,

    i recently got diagnosed with herniated disc bulge in L4/L5 after several physiotherapy and atlast by MRI.

    I am working in site , so there is lot of work and walking involved and also i travel in train from my home to office for 1 hour ( 95% sitting).

    i am pretty sure this came to me, as i stopped doing exercises and when ever i play cricket match, i start playing without any warmup.

    kindly advice me how to overcome this pain and also suggest me exercises in yoga and physical exercise.

    Thanks and Regards.
    Venkatesh M R

    • Post

      Thanks for your question Venkatesh. The exercises here maybe helpful but also the exercises in this link.
      Keep in mind that any exercise can make you worse. You should do these exercises under the tutelage of a health care provider. This is an opinion and not a recommendation.

      Hope that helps your sciatica. If you have any more questions for this downtown Toronto chiropractor I will do my best to give you a good answer.

      • doctor,

        after consulting 3 orthopedic and attended physio therapy classes , i was advised by my friend to go for acupuncture , 15 sittings . since i cannot go regularly, i asked the doctor to give me alternative. he has given me now 1 month ayurvedic medicines.

        apart from that i am daily doing exercises like boat shape life of pelvic and some other lifts and stretches.

        i came to know that there is no immediate cure or healing treatment to sciaitica, L4/L5 disc bulge and the doctor said L5/S1 is slightly herniated.

        how can i recover from this . suggest me some exercise, i am ready to follow it very strictly.

        also advice me on my food habits and hygeine, will help me recover fast.

        my friend had a similar problem ,except sciatica, and he overcame that by doing yoga for 1 month. now his pain is 90% reduced.

        another friend suggested to go for epidural steroids.

        can u pls guide me.

  • Good day. I gave enjoyed reading your informative posts. I have had issues with my back for tears of a bulging disc, I know have herniated disc L3/4/5. The nerve is pinched at L3. I’ve done physio, acupuncture , RMT. Also exercise at home multiple times a day, I saw a neuro surgeon and gave me 3 choices : meds, cortisone , surgery. I’m having a hard time accepting and not knowing what else I can do to relieve this awful pain. Any opinions on your end????

    • Post

      Thanks for your question Bobbie. You can try a chiropractor, another physiotherapist before you even do meds. Medication cannot and will not help the disc it just covers the pain. As far as I am concerned that’s a bad choice. Cortisone may be helpful and allow conservative therapy such as chiropractic to be helpful. You need to exhaust your options before even thinking about cortisone let alone surgery.

      Hope that helps your sciatica. This is an opinion and not a recommendation. If you have any more questions for this downtown Toronto chiropractor I will do my best to give you a good answer.

  • Hi Ken
    This is sudhakar,it was really nice to see your answers regarding the queries made by low back pain patient.hope you will also solve my low back pain problem, I had a l3-l4,l4-l5 bulging disc and l5 sacralised. I am suffering from pain for past 9 months.please provide physical therapy exercises.

    • Post

      Thanks for your question Sudhaker. You need to explain your symptoms not your MRI. Write about what makes your symptoms worse and better. When, how is it when you lie down etc…. Write at least 50-100 words about this. If I don’t have enough information I cannot give you my opinion.

      If you came in with just your MRI and told me you had 9 months of pain no doctor can tell you which exercises to do as they need a lot more information. If they do they are guessing or going by the MRI. If they go just by the MRI than they can give you the wrong exercises as symptoms are generally more important than the MRI.

      Hope you understand that sciatica is more than the MRI. The MRI is not a diagnosis it’s a tool.

      Did your doctor diagnose you after a through exam or did your doctor do a brief exam then send you for an MRI?

  • Hello sir , this is Tusshar agarwal from
    India my father is suffering from l4/l5,s1 Problem from past 2 months tried ozone treatment, massage , acupressure, but no results there is not much back pain but numness in left leg and can’t walk 100-200 mts
    2-3 doctors suggested for surgery but do you think should we take this decision so early or is there any alternative way to get cure

  • I’ve always have had a bad back. Last year, I learned that I have 4 bulging discs and a pinched nerve (L5). The pain would come and go, overall living my life in at the pain level #6 after medication. I’ve been told to tighten my core muscles, but like the majority of us I have done a poor job in doing what I should do. I recently hurt my sciatica from trauma. I misstepped and ended up sliding down 10 stairs on my buttocks. The pain wasn’t immediate. In fact, I had some other drama going on in my life that it was necessary for me to step it up and do things (like move boxes) pushing pass pain. That 7 day stretch pushing past my limitations came to a screaming holt when the sciatica nerve decide to introduce it’s self! I’ve been receiving massage therapy once a week, Chiropractic care (2 to 3 days a week traction)…and very limited activity for the last 4 weeks. The nerve has calmed down and I want to start some moderate stretches. My Chiropractor tells me to wait it out and start with walking on the treadmill. If I can tolerate 10 minutes of moderate walking without pain, then “maybe” I can proceed.

    I want to regain range of motion, especially. To do the simplest stretch such as the sitting one with my leg crossed over the other there is discomfort in my thigh muscle because the muscle is too tight and I look like I am attempting to put my knee to my chest. LOL (laugh out loud).

    Question I have for you. Is it better to ice/heat after stretching?

    • Post

      Thanks for your question Chelrae. I think it’s important to start exercises that will push the disc back in right away so, I obviously have a different opinion.

      Hope that helps your sciatica. Keep in mind I haven’t examined you so I am giving you an opinion without all the information.

  • Hi Ken,
    I am a 35 year old very active women. I have been experience low back pain for 1 year now and finally got an MRI in November. The imaging result show a disc herniation oat L5-S1. I saw a Chiro right away and these are the steps he suggested for me to follow (I have only followed his recommendations and nothing more):

    Step 1: I was on bed rest for 3 weeks
    Step 2: I started doing a lot of extension exercises (cobra pose) for three weeks and incorporation 60min of walking (in total) every day (avoiding flexion and sitting)
    Step 3: I stated doing VERY VERY light yoga for two weeks and increasing working and sitting duration
    Step 4: I got a set back – the pain was very strong again and couldn’t walk for a few days
    Step 5: I stopped all exercises and all activity for two weeks. I barely sit – I try to lay down on hard surfaces as much as I can.

    I recently saw my MD and he said that I have gained a bit of motor strength but still have mild sciatica (L5-S1 disc herniation). He wants me to continue with light yoga and exercise and massage therapy… he said that the pain might stay with me for another year. Is that TRUE????

    I dont know what to do now. I still have pain in my buttocks as if some muscles were about to tear. Can you please inform me of next steps? how long will this pain last? I am finding it really hard to be immobile. I need to start my active lifestyle again – I have gained so much weight and feel horrible.

    Can you please guide my recovery a little bit? I will follow your lead.
    Thank you for your time.

    • Post

      Thanks for your question LesSens or Lessons in French. It shouldn’t take you a year to get better. Likely your MD is saying that as others this bad have taken that long. Light Yoga usually makes someone better and worse but usually overall worse unless the exercises are tailored to that person. If you are taking group classes that could be the problem.

      These are all safe exercises except the cobra, which can cause a problem. If it does then you need to have them modified. You can get the other chiropractor to modify it for you as I cannot see how you are reacting.

      This is an opinion a not a recommendation. If you have any more questions for this downtown Toronto chiropractor I will do my best to answer them for you.

      Hope that helps your sciatica

Dr Ken Nakamura downtown Toronto Chiropractor
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Dr. Ken, has been recognized as the Best Toronto Chiropractor in 2024, 2023, and 2018, here in downtown Toronto. As a sports chiropractor, he excels in treating a wide range of conditions including concussions, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), sports-related injuries, and spinal issues. Beyond his clinical skills, Dr. Ken is an accomplished athlete, having represented Ontario in the Canadian Judo Championships and completed the Toronto Marathon on two occasions. He employs the innovative C3 Program to provide targeted and effective care to his patients, ensuring a holistic approach to their well-being and athletic performance.