Cart 0

Trigger Point Therapy - Self Help Tips for Sciatica

Posted by Julian Knight on



Overview of Sciatica Anatomy 


Sciatica most often occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed by a herniated disk or bone spur

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, beginning at the lower back, and running through the hips and buttocks down to each leg.

In most cases, sciatica affects only one side of the body.

Sciatica is a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as a lumbar herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, or spinal stenosis.

It is not a medical condition in and of itself. 

Sciatica most often occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed by a herniated disk or bone spur. 

This causes inflammation, pain, and sometimes numbness in the affected side.

Some cases of sciatic pain can also be due to an irritation of the sciatic nerve during pregnancy.


Sciatica Trigger Points

Sciatica is characterized by pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve 


More About Sciatica



Trigger Point Therapy

Trigger point therapy can be very effective for treating the symptoms of sciatica.

In most cases the pain is associated with trigger points in the gluteus maximus and piriformis muscles.

If your therapist practices trigger point therapy, he or she will likely advise 2 or 3 treatment sessions within a short period of time (7 - 10 days). In this period you should usually begin to feel positive results. 

Your therapist may also prescribe or advise a number of self help stretches and exercises for you to perform at home between treatments.

In most cases, your likelihood of a successful outcome will increase if you do your "home work".

Below we've provided details of 5 of the exercises which we often prescribe for clients who we are treating for sciatica.


1. Sciatic mobilizing stretch


Start position

  • Lie on your back
  • Place a small flat cushion or book under your head
  • Bend your knees and keep your feet straight and hip-width apart
  • Keep your upper body relaxed and your chin gently tucked in


  • Bend one knee up towards your chest and grasp your hamstring with both hands below the knee
  • Slowly straighten the knee while bringing your foot towards you
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds, taking deep breaths
  • Bend the knee and return to the starting position


  • Don’t press your low back down into the floor as you stretch
  • Only stretch as far as is comfortable, and stop immediately if you feel any pain, numbness or tingling Repeat two or three times, alternating legs, twice daily.

2. Alternating leg and arm raises (Superman)




  • Lie on stomach, arms reached out past your head with palms and forehead on the floor
  • Tighten abdominal muscles
  • Lift one arm (as you raise your head and shoulders) and the opposite leg at the same time, stretching them away from each other
  • Hold for 5 seconds and then switch sides. 
  • Repeat 5 - 10 times each side, twice daily  


3. Peroneal stretch



  • Sit in a chair with one ankle resting on the other knee
  • With your hands, point the foot (plantarflex) and turn the sole of the foot upwards (invert)
  • Hold for between 30-50 seconds 3 times each side, twice daily. 


4. Lumbar spine mobilizations



  • Lay down on all fours
  • Place one hand behind the back
  • While the opposite hand remains on the floor • Rotate the upper body (side that the arm is behind the back) with the elbow pointing to the sky as far as possible
  • Return to start position 
  • Repeat 5-10 times each side, twice daily


5. McKenzie Extension





Start position:

  • Lie on your stomach, and prop yourself on your elbows, lengthening your spine
  • Keep your shoulders back and neck long


  • Keeping your neck long, arch your back up by pushing down on your hands
  • You should feel a gentle stretch in the stomach muscles as you arch backwards
  • Breathe and hold for 5 to 10 seconds
  • Return to the starting position
  • Repeat 3 times, twice daily



Find a Trigger Point Professional in your area

More About Sciatica and Trigger Points

Dry Needling for Trigger Points

NAT Professional Courses

Certify as a Trigger Point Therapist

Online CE Course


About NAT Courses

As a manual therapist or exercise professional, there is only one way to expand your business - education!

Learning more skills increases the services that you offer and provides more opportunity for specialization.

Every NAT course is designed to build on what you already know, to empower you to treat more clients and grow your practice, with a minimal investment in time and money.

Help Desk


About Niel Asher Education

Niel Asher Education is a leading provider of distance learning and continued education courses.

Established in the United Kingdom in 1999, we provide course and distance learning material for therapists and other healthcare professionals in over 40 countries.

Our courses are accredited by over 90 professional associations and national accreditation institutions including the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB). Full details of all international course accreditations can be found on our website.  

Printed course materials and other products offered on our websites are despatched worldwide from our 3 locations in the UK (London), USA (Pennsylvania) and Australia (Melbourne).

More About Us



We are honored to have received the "Excellence in Education" Award from the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists.

Since 1999 Niel Asher Education has won numerous awards for education and in particular for education and services provided in the field of trigger point therapy.

Read Full Article 


Award Winning Instructors

Niel Asher Healthcare course instructors have won a host of prestigious awards including 2 lifetime achievement honorees - Stuart Hinds, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, AAMT, 2015, and Dr. Jonathan Kuttner, MD, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, NAMTPT, 2014.

Meet the Instructors



If you are a qualified/licensed manual therapist or exercise/fitness professional you can expand your credentials with NAT certification.

In addition to national accreditation for continued education, each course that we offer includes "NAT Learning Credits". By taking and completing courses you can accumulate NAT credits to qualify for NAT certification.

There are currently 3 levels of NAT certification. Certifying NAT is a valuable way to show your clients that you take continued education seriously, and to promote your skills and qualifications.

Most of our courses are accredited for CE/CPD/CPE. A full list of CE accreditations can be found by clicking on the link below. 

About NAT Certification


Niel Asher Technique

Since 1999 the Niel Asher Technique for treating trigger points has been adopted by over 100,000 therapists worldwide, and has been applied to the treatment of a number of common musculoskeletal injuries.

The Niel Asher Technique for treating frozen shoulder was first introduced and published in 1997 and has been widely adopted by therapists and exercise professionals working within elite sports and athletics.

Read More


International Students

Most of our courses are available as either "Printed" or 'Download" editions, wherever you live. Internet connection is required to access online and downloadable material.

When you purchase a download edition, you receive immediate lifetime access to all course material. Course texts can be downloaded and printed if required. 

When you purchase a "Printed" edition, you will also receive free access to the download edition.

We ship Worldwide from locations in the USA, UK, and Australia. Most items are despatched within 24 hours and shipping is FREE for all orders over US$50.



Where to Start?

We offer a range of over 50 courses, presented by some of the worlds leading manual therapists. All courses are reviewed annually, and new courses are regularly added.

Our courses are modular, and designed to build on what you already know. For more information, please visit our "Where to Start?" page.

Start Here 













Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published.

Words from our students



Sold Out