Sciatica Series: 15. What to Do If Prone Lying, The Elbow Prop, or The Press-ups Are Not Working

Try these exercise variations to see if they are more successful:


a. BANANA: Place your body in the shape of a banana. See photo. If your pain is down the right leg you should try shifting your shoulder and feet to the right. Your pelvis should shift to the left. If your pain is down the left leg, try shifting your shoulders and feet to the left. Note, your pelvis should shift to the right. Remain in that position for 30 seconds and see if your pain decreases. In the same position you can also try to do mini press-ups. In the end, if this position is effective, continue to do this exercise 5-8 times a day.

b. ROAD KILL: Right-sided pain: Lying flat on the ground on your stomach, take your right foot and place it on the side of your left knee. Hold for 15-30 seconds and assess what your pain is doing. If it is improving, try the ELBOW PROP in that position. If pain-free in the ELBOW PROP position, you might try lying for up to two minutes. In the same position you can also try some baby press-ups. Repeat 5-8 times per day. Left-sided pain: Lying flat on your stomach, take your left foot and place it on the side of your right knee. Hold for 15-30 seconds and assess what your pain is doing. If it is improving, try performing the ELBOW PROP in the ROAD KILL position. If pain-free in the ELBOW PROP position, you might try lying for up to two minutes. In the same position you can also try some baby press-ups. In the end, if this position is effective you will continue to do this exercise 5-8 times a day.


Roadkill position


Roadkill with elbow prop


c. TOWEL UNDER PELVIS: Fold a towel in half lengthwise. Fold it in half again to make a square. Place the towel under your pelvis on the side you are experiencing pain. Hold for 15-30 seconds and assess what your pain is doing. If it is improving, try the ELBOW PROP in that position. If pain-free in the ELBOW PROP position, you might try lying for up to two minutes. In the same position, you can also try some baby press-ups. In the end, if this position is effective, continue to do this exercise 5-8 times a day.


d. WIGGLE: Place your body in the ELBOW PROP position with your chin resting on your two fists stacked up on one another. Wiggle your buttock up to the ceiling (left side, right side, left side). If it makes your pain worse, STOP. If it helps, continue.


e. TWO LEG ROTATION: Lie flat on your back on the bed. If pain is down your right leg, shift your hips slightly to the left. Next, grasp the side of the bed with your left hand. Bring your knees toward your chest and then rotate them to the right, while allowing your bent-up knees to rotate down to the bed. Increasing or decreasing the amount of hip flexion can often eliminate any discomfort. If there is pain, stop it immediately. Perform 3 times total.


f. If the pain is down your left leg, lie flat on the bed. Shift your hips slightly to right and grasp the side of the bed with your right hand. Bring your knees toward your chest and then rotate them to the left, allowing your bent-up knees to rotate down to the bed. Increasing or decreasing the amount of hip flexion can often eliminate any discomfort. If there is pain, stop it immediately. Perform 3 times total.


The CAT/CAMEL exercise can be attempted if none of the previous exercises are working. It can be performed along with the nerve flossing exercise. Start in the quadruped position (both knees and hands on floor) to perform CAT/CAMEL.


Arch your back up and down is one repetition. Repeat 10 times. This exercise should be PAIN-FREE or do not perform.


The Windshield Wipers can be attempted if none of the previous exercises are working. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the bed. Gently rotate your knees back and forth. If the movement hurts to perform in one direction (e.g., to the right) avoid the right and just initially perform to the left side. Perform 10 times. This exercise will relax the muscles and get some movement in the spine and hips.


**If you are unable to perform these exercises or if they are not effective, try the nerve flossing exercise (described in “How to Perform Nerve Flossing Which Can Help Your Sciatica”) AND start working on reducing pain makers with the proper technique (see “THIS is causing your Sciatica/Back Pain! How to Stop”).



Check out the full Sciatica series of videos along with downloadable guide sheets for each video on our website.


DISCLAIMER We insist that you see a physician before starting this video series. Furthermore, this video series is not designed to replace the treatment of a professional: physician, osteopath, physical therapist, orthopedic surgeon, or chiropractor. It may however serve as an adjunct. Do not go against the advice of your health care professional. When under the care of a professional make certain that they approve of all that you try. This information is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. Any information given about back-related conditions, treatments, and products is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this publication. Before starting an exercise program, consult a physician.



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