The Worst Way to Fix Sciatica (DO THIS INSTEAD!)

The Worst Way to Fix Sciatica (DO THIS INSTEAD!)

Nope, nope, nope. Let’s draw the line there. What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, Yes, even I draw the line somewhere. You should also because overuse of the lacrosse
ball, or the foam roller, when it comes to fixing all that ails us, is a major problem
that I see these days. I think that when you’re doing mobility
work and you’re trying to fix issues, especially sciatica, which I want to talk to you about
today, you need to be much more prescriptive about it. It’s not just “Oh, take a lacrosse ball
and smash everything.” No, because if you look at the sciatic nerve
a lot of people will suffer from sciatic nerve pain. Meaning, the numbness, or tingling that will
go down the leg. You can see that before it comes out the backside
here is a really big, thick nerve it starts as a combined grouping of all the lumbar nerves
that come out here at different levels, and they feed down into that nerve. Well, the number one cause of sciatic nerve
pain, or the most damaging cause, would be if you have a disc that was protruding, pushing
on one of these nerve roots. That would cause you to feel the symptoms
down the leg along the distribution of that nerve. Doing any kind of stretch that I showed you
here is not going to affect or improve that because you’re dealing with an issue higher
than the issue I’m going to show you. However, if you come around the back side,
if you’re not dealing with a lumbar disc issue and you’re getting sciatic nerve pain
it’s called Piriformis Syndrome. Piriformis Syndrome, you can see, is caused
because this muscle right here, this small muscle called the Piriformis, will compress
the sciatic nerve. I told you it was big. Look at how damn big that thing is. It will compress this nerve, which will cause
that numbness and tingling down that distribution of the nerve like I already talked about. We want to make sure that we’re addressing
this muscle to relieve the tension off that nerve. But you’re not going to do it a lacrosse
ball. Here’s why: if I came down to the ground
and start taking this lacrosse ball, the first thing someone might to is lean over the side
of it here, and start digging in. The first thing you need to know about the
sciatic nerve is that it’s not all that deep. Surprisingly. So, I can find the nook and cranny here that
might allow me to actually make a pretty strong compression on that sciatic nerve and giving
you the symptoms right down the leg. You might think you’re doing the right thing
because “Oh, yep. That’s where it is. That’s where I need to be.” No. You’re actually compressing it and making
it worse. That’s out. Then what they might do on top of it, which
is even worse, is they might say, “Well, I know you’ve got to stretch it. So, you’ve got to cross this over.” Now, even though I don’t have a sciatic
nerve problem I’m developing one in this video for you guys because now what I’ve
done is effectively thinned out that tissue because I’ve stretched it. So now the depth for me to get access to that
sciatic nerve is more effectively made thinner. So, I can get there a lot faster. So that’s not good. The same thing is done here with the foam
roller. People will argue that you can distribute
the forces over a wider surface area which will fix this problem, but it really doesn’t
because nothing is changing here with the anatomy of what I just showed you. Especially when you start doing this and crossing
over and getting right into that area. If you’ve got sciatic nerve pain you’re
probably making things worse. So, what can you do? Well, we do want to make sure if that muscle
is tight – the piriformis – is causing compression on the nerve, you’ve got to
somehow relieve it. You can do that with a stretch, but you’d
better be gentle. Unlike a lot of other stretches – let’s
say a quad stretch, or a tricep stretch, where you’re not dealing with the nerve issues
that can become compressed by the tight muscle itself. You can be a little bit more aggressive with
how hard you stretch those muscle. But when it comes to this one you really have
to be gentle. But consistency is the key. What you do is get yourself here, into this
90-degree position at the hip, and when you lean forward you can already feel this stretching
going on in that muscle without that real tight compression of the sciatic nerve. The key is, as I turn to the side, how you
do it. If I lean forward like this I’m not really
stretching the piriformis at this point because I’m not really influencing the position
of the hip. I’m working on the position of my lower
back here. If want to get hip action then I need to make
sure that my low back stays extended, and I go out here, and I post up about 2 o’clock
position to my knee. This would be 12 o’clock, 1 o’clock, 2
o’clock. I post up over here and then I just lean in
that position by trying to keep my lumbar spine up nice, and tall. So, I’m trying to stick my chest out as
I lean out in this direction. Now I can feel that stretch. I would back off just a tad, so I feel a nice,
comfortable stretch here, and hold it for about 45 seconds to a minute. Then I let it relax, and come back here and
do another rep. Again, consistency. Multiple times a day. You’ll notice over time you’ll be able
to creep your chest further, and further out over the knee while still keeping that arch
in the lumbar spine. The key here is, stop grabbing this damn lacrosse
ball and rolling everything you think you need to roll because it’s not the solution
to everything. Being much more prescriptive about what you’re
doing and you’re going to get better results, and you’re probably going to stay safer,
and feel better in the long run. Guys, if you’ve found this video helpful
make sure to leave your comments and thumbs up below. Tell me what other things you’d like me
to cover here on this channel and I’ll do my best to do that. I know mobility and flexibility a lot. There’s a lot to cover in that area. Again, as a physical therapist I think you
need to know what you’re doing there before you just start doing everything people tell
you to do. All right, guys. I’ll be back here again in just a few days. Our ATHLEANX program, everything you need
to do, step by step is over at All right, see you soon.

55 comments on “The Worst Way to Fix Sciatica (DO THIS INSTEAD!)

  1. Chris N Post author

    Anyone else having this problem right in the very moment you watch it and cannot wait to get the needed information for the stretch? Thanks for making this video so short. I'm going to try this directly and implement it in my daily routine.

  2. David Rivera Post author

    Im going through that right now and I’ve been doing what you advised against until now….let’s see how this new exercise goes

  3. kaseas lasa Post author

    My auntie has been enduring low back pain when she will get up in the morning. Since I`ve provided this lower back pain guideline, "Kemzαnο Loni" (Google it) to my auntie, her ordeal has gone. She is quite glad that she has received the guide..

  4. Chrisyela Irawan Post author

    Try streching like just waking up ,push your hands up and your legs dow n in one line (laying position


    So many conflicting things on here, I was in a serious car accident and my physical therapist told me I should use the tennis ball or two tennis balls and roll on them to relieve sciatic pain

  6. Yousif Askar Post author

    Ive had lower back pain for a few months because of a sports injury. i thought using a tennis ball would help it. it did…for an hour. and then i had bad pain for two weeks. i basically caused my own pain. this stretch is actually really really helping now! do not use the tennis ball/lacrosse ball if you don’t know what the heck you’re doing.

  7. sneakykamon Post author

    This! This right here is why I’m a subscriber and a fan! I’ve been dealing with sciatica for about 3 months now. Have done everything to fix it, foam rolling, figure four stretching, etc. I just tried this stretch and instantly felt better. Good thing too because I’m heading to the gym as I type this!

  8. Rikita Turner Post author

    My leg hurt in every position/stretch. When I did you stretch with my leg in front while lengthened my spine (key), I felt instant relief and knew I was opening the right area. Ty for posting

  9. Nadine LaPonza Post author

    Oh Jeff thank you. I've been in so much pain, limping even. Just once doing this stretch has killed the pain, so I'm keeping it in my daily routine at a minimum.

  10. Happy Me Post author

    Sweet little baby Jesus that works! I’ve been struggling with different relief techniques for years and how did I miss this one?!?! Thank u so much! There’s no pill that makes these flare ups go away its videos like yours that helps manage the severe discomfort. ?

  11. Jody C. Post author

    Is the back leg that is getting the stretch or the bent front leg that you are going over?

  12. Tmob_LeeRoy ! Post author

    I've never commented on this channel before but man…that felt so good. Thank you Jeff!

  13. joel denis Post author

    Man I’ve been surfing a lot lately and of all the videos and subscribers I’ve subscribed to this is the best one yet, man I’ve been searching for days. I believe I have sciatica and it’s been effecting me for about 9 years, this stretch here gave me relief almost instantly man thank you

  14. YoooItsRex Post author

    How should a pitcher address GIRD? From what I've learned over the last few months, the classic Sleeper stretch puts the shoulder into a position of impingement. Would it be best to use a LAX ball on the infraspinatus? Or are there better ways to address the issue of internal rotation?

  15. JD Gatlin Jr Post author

    I knew it. Stretching my piriformis caused it. I have it band syndrome and my pt said foam roll quad and it band. Stretch piriformis. I never had a sharp pain till weeks after stretching the piriformis… now I still have it band syndrome and now this pain. And I think it band started becuase something is super tight on my right. I’m almost and inch taller on my left leg then my right. Does this sound like a right right psoas???

  16. kingjohn1966 Post author

    Jeff that works like a charm! I’m going through some major back problems again (had a microdiscetomy last August) this year the same disc has a smaller bulge and my tailbone is really inflamed and causing all sorts including tight glutes and hamstrings and a giant pain in my arse cheeks when I sit. This stretch took the arse cheek pain straight out I’ll be doing this all the time now do you have anything that can help with the coccyx and just above?
    Big respect to you
    Ps done the ax1 program couple years ago and that was great aswel keep it up your literally saving lives out here

  17. Trev WIlliams Post author

    You are doing excellent work. Looking for foot and ankle flexibility. But you probably have that video somewhere ?

  18. TheCopperStill Post author

    I was literally crossing over my leg when I started this video, and was like "humm that feels like its streching it", and whilst in that position feeling proud that I just figured it out, Jeff tells me its basically what idiots do.. lol

  19. M Louie Post author

    Thank you Jeff! You make so much sense. I've been using the foam roller and the ball and it was getting worse but I kept at it as that was what was recommended. After stopping that and doing your exercise, my sciatica improved tremendously. Thanks again.

  20. jay yla Post author

    Saved my life pain was bad chiropractor everyday for 3 months did the stretches finally found this video because I had a felling the tennis ball they told me to use wasn’t working
    Did this stretch 2 times a day for 1 week everyday and my back pain would get better everyday thanks a lot

  21. Kristine Rodriguez Post author

    I`ve looked for a back pain treatment for couple months and this back pain guide, "Kemzαnο Loni" (Google it) fits me properly. Since it aided my back pain, I have no issue sleeping any more. Very delighted with this guidebook. It`s firm and just what I was hunting for..

  22. Debora Smith Post author

    My back has been better because I utilized this back ache guideline, "Kemzαnο Loni" (Google it). That`s really a good deal for me because I have worked with many, many guides and also my back still painful right after each a different one. I was shocked my back was better. I am wishing this will by final treatment!. .

  23. Max Bontrager Post author

    I used to swim in HS my coach showed me this stretch but I could never remember how to do it. Thank you ??

  24. Wild Man Post author

    Just tried this on my bed top and it instantly stopped the numb tingly feel inmy toes and the lower back spasms thanks b

  25. Shelley Buchholtz Post author

    Lower back pain and tightness is a day to day suffering for me. I`ve tried using common guidebook however it did not truly help. Nevertheless, making use of this back pain guideline, "Kemzαnο Loni" (Google it), was able to take care of my back stiffness substantially. It brought me tremendous comfort. I strongly suggest this guide..

  26. Mitshy Etienne Post author

    Thank you for this! I feel so much better. Plus, I was doung the lacross ball thing all along before lol

  27. Alexandru Ioan Nanu Post author

    Hello. Is this exercise good to fix a right side low back pain? I have a very big pain when I sit down. Thanks a lot

  28. Vitaly Shevrov Post author

    God bless you Jeff!I did your exercise right after I watched this video and I got a relief in my pains!Thank you very much!

  29. Madness XX Post author

    I feel like I’m doing the stretch wrong because I can feel a slight stretch but it doesn’t really feel better after. I followed the directions though it’s weird

  30. eniacster Post author

    Thanks Jeff. Really appreciate your videos!

    Is there a way to self check and determine whether it is a lumbar disc issue or the piriformis issue?

    And can the routine in your "Buldging Disc" video fix the former problem?

  31. Raphael Perales Post author

    I thought Jesse was the funny man to Jeff's straight man……not in this video. Thanks Jeff.


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