Inflamed sciatic nerve: symptoms, how long it lasts and exercises

Inflamed sciatic nerve: symptoms, how long it lasts and exercises

Pain, stiffness, difficulty in movement, are some of the most frequent symptoms that occur in the case of an inflamed sciatic nerve. Here are the exercises to be performed recommended by the expert

Those who have already faced this type of disorder know it well: the inflamed sciatic nerve can cause pain (from mild to acute) which can be limited to the lumbar sacral area only, but can also radiate down the leg.

Sciatica, or inflammation of the sciatic nerve, can be particularly insidious not only because of the pain, but also because without adequate therapy, even the simplest movements can be difficult to perform. What happens specifically? It is the sciatic nerve that becomes inflamed, in a more or less decisive way. It is the longest (and widest) nerve in the human body that originates in the spinal cord, passes through the buttock and the back of the leg, and finally reaches the foot.


  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • How to sleep
  • How long does it last
  • Possible treatments
  • Useful exercises


The reasons related to the onset of inflammation of the sciatic nerve are different. A herniated disc that pushes on the sciatic nerve or a protrusion are the most frequent causes, but to these are also added:

  • inflammatory processes of various kinds;
  • piriformis muscle contracted deeper than the buttocks which inflames the sciatic nerve;
  • bone narrowing in the spinal canal.

To better understand the symptoms, possible treatments and useful exercises to perform in case of inflamed sciatic nerve, we asked for the consultation of Dr. Andrea Genta, Physiotherapist.


«The main symptom is pain which can be specific in the lumbar area, but if there are already disorders of the lumbar sacral tract, the painful sensation can also radiate to the lower limbs (singly or bilaterally). Much depends on the problem, for which the presence of discopathies, lumbar protrusions or other types of disorders, can cause symptoms in the lower limbs. The pain can in turn cause stiffness in the lumbar spine and lower limbs and consequently difficulty in movement ».

How to sleep

"There is no general rule, rather we must consider specific cases. To sleep better, it may be helpful to do a few exercises in the morning or evening before going to sleep. For example, if the pain occurs mostly at night, you can try adding gentle gymnastic movements in the evening. If, on the other hand, the pain is felt in the morning as soon as you wake up, you can perform some movements in the morning ».

Pain from inflamed sciatic nerve can also be felt during the night, affecting the quality of sleep. Finding the right position to fall asleep may not be easy and immediate, but performing specific exercises can be a great way to relieve discomfort and fall asleep as soon as possible.

How long does it last

"Recovery times vary according to the extent of the problem. If at the base of the inflamed sciatic nerve there is only an overload of the area caused by incorrect postures, the period of time required for recovery may be shorter. In fact, by correcting certain postures and movements and going to work manually to eliminate muscle tension, the symptoms can improve in a relatively short period. If, on the other hand, vertebral problems have caused the inflammation of the nerve, recovery times can be lengthened. Much depends on the situation, which must be assessed on a case-by-case basis ”.

Pain caused by the inflamed sciatic nerve can be uncomfortable and impair daily movement. With the correct therapeutic intervention, pain and inflammation will gradually subside.

Possible treatments

«The therapies that can be adopted in this case are different. First, the patient's situation is assessed after listening to his medical history. Following an accurate diagnosis, the specialist proposes a rehabilitation program that takes into account the symptoms. If the patient is going through an acute phase, an attempt is made to relieve the pain. If, on the other hand, the phase is sub-acute and therefore not of intense pain, specific therapy can be carried out including therapeutic exercises, mobilizations to improve the movement of the joints concerned and strengthening exercises to enhance the stability of the lumbar region ".

If the pain does not decrease in a short time or on the contrary tends to increase, it is good to seek the support of a physiotherapist or a specialized center to receive an accurate diagnosis. In fact, once the causes that led to the manifestation of the inflamed sciatic nerve have been identified, it is possible to proceed with a personalized therapy.

Useful exercises

"Inflammation of the sciatic nerve can be counteracted with the help of some simple exercises to be performed in a gentle way so as not to cause further stress. At home, for example, anteroposterior pelvic mobilization exercises can be carried out while sitting on the chair, even in front of one's PC. This movement can be associated with breathing which must be slow and controlled. In addition, gentle stretching exercises can be performed on a mat, such as those illustrated below "concludes the expert:

  • take one leg and bring it to the chest while remaining in this position for 30 seconds;
  • repeat the same movement with the other leg always for 30 seconds and then with both legs at the same time.

As we have seen, the inflamed sciatic nerve, if not properly treated from the start, can lead to difficulty in movement, even for long periods. If you experience the symptoms described above or in case of doubt, the advice is to seek the advice of a specialist for an accurate diagnosis.

Category: Health
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