Leg and Back Pain – Is it Sciatica?

Leg and Back Pain – Is it Sciatica?

by | Apr 28, 2022

Tips and exercises from award winning physio Natalie March from Physio-logical, a chartered physiotherapist based at Stansted Park, Rowlands Castle.

We are excited to be able to share physiotherapy self-help exercises and advice in this and future editions of Chichester Life. Today, we will be sharing some advice and information about sciatica.

A little bit about Physio-logical

We pride ourselves on listening and working with our patients, offering expert hands-on physiotherapy treatments to enable you to live a pain free lifestyle and restore, maintain and enhance your wellbeing and physical activity. Since 2008, Physio-logical has provided physiotherapy to over 5,000 patients in Hampshire and West Sussex. We are offering face to face physiotherapy, sports therapy, acupuncture and sports massage appointments, wearing full PPE within our Covid Secure Physiotherapy clinics. We have had lots of patients with new episodes of sciatica or flare- ups of existing back and leg pain.

Bridging Hands Down


* Warning – If you have any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention from a doctor immediately: Loss of feeling in the groin region or inner thighs, bowel or bladder disturbances, profound weakness in the legs *

Sciatica affects many people, including walkers, cyclists, office workers and gardeners, to name a few. However, many other people suffer from it too. When the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated, it can cause pain, numbness and a tingling sensation that runs from your lower back down one of your legs to your foot and toes. However, some people suffering from sciatica have no back pain – sometimes it presents itself as pain in the big toe. The pain in both cases is usually aggravated by bending, sneezing, coughing, or sitting for a long period of time.

The best treatment for sciatica is hands-on joint mobilisations, sciatic nerve mobilisations, and massage, combined with exercises and advice. Acupuncture is another effective treatment for sciatica; we offer this at both of our clinics.

Please be aware of your body, and take advice from your GP ore healthcare professional before exercising – or send an email to enquiries@physio-logical.net for advice and guidance.

Lying Back Extension

What to do initially?

•Speak to your GP about appropriate pain control if the pain is intense and/or affecting your sleep, driving, or ability to work.
•Avoid staying in one position for any length of time – avoid sitting, as it will make your pain worse.
•Try to keep moving gently throughout the day without increasing your pain.
•Don’t push through pain with activity or stretches as the underlying condition may worsen if you do too much.

Standing Back Extension

Exercises for Sciatica

Back Arching (Lumbar Spine Extension) – Lying

•Lie on your front
•Push up with your arms and arch your back
•Repeat ten times, three times a day
•Hold the last position for 30 seconds

Back Arching (Lumbar Spine Extension) – Standing

•Move your hips forward
•Lean back as far as you can
•Repeat ten times, three times a day

Core-Strengthening Exercises


The bridge is good for strengthening the core stability and gluteal muscles (buttocks).
•Lie on your back
•Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor
•Squeeze your gluteals and then push your hips up until there is a straight line through your knee and hip to your upper body – your shoulders should remain on the floor
•Hold for 10 seconds and repeat until your muscles ache
•Repeat once a day


This exercise helps strengthen core stability muscles and improves balance.
•Kneel on the floor
•Place your hands below your shoulders, and your knees below your hips
•Extend your right leg back and your left arm forward
•Maintain a straight line through your extended leg, body, and extended arm
•Repeat with opposite limbs
•Hold for ten seconds
•Repeat ten times, twice a day

If you are suffering from sciatica or any other aches or pains, please get in contact with us via enquiries@physio-logical.net or 02394 350270 or book online at https://physio-logical.net/contact-us/

We now have a YouTube channel where we are sharing videos of different exercises. We would love you to subscribe for FREE to our channel – https://www.youtube.com/c/Physiological

If you would like us to write a blog, newsletter, article or film a video about a specific condition/complaint then please do let us know. For more tips and guidance please visit www.physio-logical.net

Physio-logical Team


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