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Swasa Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic

Exercises for Sciatica due to Herniated Disc


Fig 1 Rise up on elbows, keeping hips on floor

The low back is gently placed into extension by lying on the stomach (prone position) and propping the upper body up on the elbows, keeping hips on the floor (Figure 1). This should be started slowly and carefully, since some patients cannot tolerate this position at first. old the press!up position initially for fi"e seconds, and gradually work up to #$ seconds per repetition. %im to complete 1$ repetitions. %fter practicing this exercise, more ad"anced form of the extension&

Fig ! 'ress up on hands slowly, keeping hips in contact with floor. Relax low back and buttocks.

Procedure& From the prone position (lying flat on the stomach), press up on the hands while the pel"is remains in contact with the floor (Figure (). )eep the lower back and buttocks relaxed for a gentle stretch. This position is typically held for 1 second, repeated 1$ times. *f the patient is unable to lie flat, a similar exercise can be done standing by arching backward slowly with hands on hips (Figure #). owe"er, the prone position described abo"e is usually preferred. These extension exercises are done regularly, about e"ery two hours. +ore importantly, the patient with this condition should a"oid getting into a forward flexed (bent o"er) position. Fig " 2tanding
swasaphysiotherapy,gmail.com. -./-1.1011 3ackward bend.4ith hands on hips and knees slightly bent,arch back slowly and slightly.

Swasa Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic

This tends to counteract the effects of the extension exercises. 5orrect any forward flexed positions immediately by doing an extension exercise.

#d$anced Sciatica Exercises for #%do&inal 'uscles and (ac) 'uscles

%s the patient6s pain works out of the lower extremity (leg) and centrali7es in the low back, the exercises typically are ad"anced to strengthen the low back and abdominal muscles to pre"ent recurrences of sciatic pain caused by a herniated disc.

Low back muscle strengthening exercises:

Figure * 5lasp hands behind back and lift hands and chest slightly off floor, keeping chin tucked. Procedure: 8pper back extension. *n the prone position with hands clasped behind the lower back, raise the head and chest slightly against gra"ity (Figure /) while looking at the floor (stay low). 3egin by holding position for 9 seconds, and gradually work up to ($ seconds. %im to complete .! 1$repetitions.

Figure+ 4ith knee straight, raise one leg and opposite arm (!# inches off floor. Procedure: *n the prone position with the head and chest lowered to the floor, lightly raise an arm and opposite leg slowly, with the knee locked, ( to # inches from the floor (Figure 9). 3egin by holding position for 9 seconds, and complete . to 1$ repetitions. %s strength builds, aim to hold position for ($ seconds.

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Swasa Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic

Abdominal muscle strengthening exercises:

Fig , Fold arms across chest, flatten back by tightening

lower abs, and raise head and shoulders from floor. Procedure& 5url!ups for the upper abdominals, the patient should lie on the back with knees bent, arms folded across the chest, and the pel"is tilted to flatten the back. Then curl!up lifting the head and shoulders from the floor (Figure 1). old for two to four seconds, then slowly lower to starting position. %s strength builds, aim to complete two sets of ten curls. :o not attempt to lift the head up too high, and bring the head and chest towards the ceiling. For patients with neck pain, place the hands behind the head to support the neck.

Fig - Tighten lower abs to flatten back; slowly raise straight leg .!1(
inches off floor.

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Swasa Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic

For the lower abdominals, tighten the lower stomach muscles and slowly raise the straight leg . to 1( inches from the floor (Figure 0), keeping the low back held flat against the floor. old leg raise for eight to 1$ seconds, then slowly lower to starting position. %s strength builds, aim to complete two sets of ten lifts. 4ater exercises are also excellent to strengthen the lower abdominal muscles, and e"en <ust walking in waist!deep water can be helpful.

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