How To Sciatic Nerve Glide Hamstrings – Your Complete Guide

Do you want to know how to do sciatic nerve glides for your hamstrings? Have you been told to incorporate sciatic nerve glides into your training routine but don’t know where to start?

Or are you curious and want to know more? No matter the reason that brought you here, we have the answer for you!

How To Sciatic Nerve Glide Hamstrings - Your Complete Guide

Finding out how to do sciatic nerve glides for your hamstrings can be tricky, especially if you have never done them before.

You head online for some guidance but are met with page after page of conflicting and contradicting information leaving you unsure where to turn or who to trust.

Frustrated and disappointed, you are left wondering if you will ever know how to do sciatic nerve glides for your hamstrings. 

Well, no more! Today, we are here with the answers you need. Keep reading for your complete guide to sciatic nerve glide hamstrings.

We have step-by-step guides that will help you complete the exercises and everything you need to consider before doing them. Let’s dive in and provide you with the answers you need now! 

What Is A Nerve Glide?

Before we dive into the exercises, let’s have a brief recap for anyone that needs one! A nerve glide, also known as nerve flossing or mobilization, is a movement that works tension out of your nerves.

The gentle exercise helps to stretch irritated nerves and is combined with other workouts or treatments. 

Why do we do this? Well, it helps to improve your range of motion and reduce any pain you might feel in the nerves. Nerve glides are used to help with muscle strains, sciatica, or issues with pinched nerves.

The goal is to stress and address your muscle, rather than tensing and tugging it which can irritate your sciatic nerve further. 

These might be recommended by a physical therapist, a trainer, or your doctor to help with your pains. You might also choose to do them yourself to help with any pain you are experiencing. 

Now that we have briefly established what a nerve glide is, let’s dive in deeper to find out more about nerve glides and how to do them! 

Best Practices For Sciatic Nerve Mobilization

Before you start your sciatic nerve mobilization exercises, there are some factors that you need to consider. Let’s take a look at these before you start your exercise to ensure that you are caring for your body at all times. 

Focus On The Feeling

First, you should focus on the feeling and sensation of the exercise, rather than what it looks like. Everyone’s body will look different when they are doing sciatic nerve mobilization, so try not to compare yourself to others.

Providing that you are in the correct position, don’t worry too much if your legs aren’t straight! 

Remember, that getting your legs completely straight is not the goal. Instead, the goal of sciatic nerve mobilization is to avoid intense stretching. Focus on your own body and how it feels during the exercise, rather than how it looks.

It’s more important that you are caring for your body and stretching it correctly, rather than focusing on getting into the perfect position. 

Go Gentle

You need to go gently when you are doing this exercise. It’s worth remembering that nerves don’t like to be stretched! You want to moderate your movement so that you stop before you feel the sensation of a stretch. 

Start slowly and work gently to reach the desired position before stopping. If you have never done the exercise before, you don’t want to dive in and get into the final position quickly, especially if you are in pain. 

Take your time, stretching into it slowly and stopping before the sensation feels like a stretch. This will avoid you from injuring yourself or aggravating the nerves further. If you aren’t sure how far you should be stretching, don’t worry, we have a step-by-step guide coming up below! 

Don’t Overdo It

Finally, don’t overdo it! You don’t need to do more to achieve success. Instead, we recommend 1- to 15 glides and 10 to 15 tensioners per leg, once to twice a day. You don’t need to do more than that! 

Any more could cause you to overwork the nerves, which can cause more tension. That’s the last thing you want when you are trying to relieve the tension in your legs!

Be sure to keep these three factors in mind when you start your sciatic nerve glides and tensioners and you are sure to have a successful exercise that will help with your nerves. 

How To Do Sciatic Nerve Glide

Let’s get into what brought you here today! The goal of a sciatica nerve glide, as we mentioned earlier, is to help the nerve slide back and forth. You are gently applying tension to one end of your sciatic nerve, while it remains slack on the other end.

You then release the tension on one end, swapping it to the other end. 

This can sound complicated and an almost impossible thing to do to your nerves but don’t worry, we are here to show you the way! We have a step-by-step guide below that you can follow to walk you through the nerve glide. 

Step 1 – Begin On Your Back

To start, lay on your back. Take your right knee and bend it, supporting the back of your right thick with your hands. You will then want to paint your right ankle or foot. 

Step 2 – Straighten Your Leg 

Now it’s time for the exercise to begin! Start to straighten your right leg, raising the leg upwards as you do. Take care here as you want to stop when you feel the beginning of a stretching sensation.

You will also want to stop when you have any feeling of nerve tension, like tingly feet, back pain, or any other feelings of nerve tension. 

The goal is not to find a deep stretch here. Instead, you want the intensity to feel a 3 out of 10 in the back of your leg. 

While your right leg is stretching, you can keep your left leg bent at the knee with your foot flat on the floor. Keep your back, neck, and head flat on the floor at this point too. You might want to place a blanket underneath yourself to add some comfort. 

Step 3 – Flex Your Foot 

Next, flex your foot. Slowly drop your heel backward towards your butt, lowering your leg as you do.  You don’t need your foot to touch your butt if that is a position that you can’t reach. Focus on lowering your leg and relaxing it.

You don’t want to feel any tension when doing this. 

You can use your hands to support your leg as you lower it down until your foot is level or touching your butt. Take your time, there is no need to rush here! 

Step 4 – Return To Start 

Now point your toes forward and return to the starting position. You can hold your foot in the same position as step three if you want. We recommend doing this if you are planning to repeat the move.

If this is your final rep of this exercise, lower your toes until they touch the floor. 

You might want to give your leg or feet a little shake or take a break before repeating the movement. There is no need to rush again to start another repetition. If you need to take some time to lightly massage your thigh or have some water, do so. 

Step 5 – Repeat 

To finish, you will want to repeat the movement. We recommend 10 to 15 repetitions on the right leg. 

Once you have done these repetitions, you can pause, rest, and swap legs. You can then repeat the entire process on your left leg following the steps and tips we have given you above. 

And there you have it, five steps that allow you to do a sciatic nerve glide for your hamstring. We have broken it down into easy steps so that you can easily follow along, even if you have no experience with this movement before. 

If you are unsure, you can make use of online tutorials. These will allow you to see how the movement should look, allowing you to make any adjustments if needed.

Remember, you don’t need to be in the exact same position as the demonstrator in the video, you should do what feels comfortable for your body. 

You can also ask your physical therapist or trainer to guide you through the movement if you are unsure.

They can help to put you in the right position and make adjustments to make the position as comfortable as possible for you.

If you have never done the move before or have injuries that you need to consider, it is best to do the movement with someone present to offer guidance where needed. 

How To Sciatic Nerve Glide Hamstrings - Your Complete Guide

What Is A Sciatic Nerve Tensioner?

We’ve mentioned it briefly earlier, but another move you can try is a sciatic nerve tensioner. The tensioner will produce tension in your nerves. Now, we aren’t talking about a lot of tension here, just a small amount that can help with your pain.

It will produce tension in the neural structures without surpassing the limit of your tissue. In essence, you aren’t putting more tension on your nerves than it can handle! 

You will feel some light tension when you do this, as it pulls on your nerves slightly. Why? The goal of this is to help your nerves adapt to greater amounts of tension. The more you do this, the more tension your nerves can handle over time.

It is similar to hypertrophy in strength training but at a more gradual and gentle level. 

Now that we know what a sciatic nerve tensioner is, let’s dive in to see what it should look like! 

How To Do Sciatic Nerve Tensioner 

The goal of a sciatic nerve tensioner is to gently pull on your nerve as we mentioned earlier. You want a sensation of light tension as you move a joint, before returning it to a slack position. Doing so will help your nerves adapt to higher amounts of tension over time. 

This can sound complex, but the movement is simple enough, taking just four steps to complete. We are here too with a step-by-step guide that will walk you through the entire process. Check out the steps below to see how you can do a sciatic nerve tensioner.

Step 1 – Lay Down

Begin by laying down on your back. You want to be in the same position you were in for the nerve glide. Keep your right knee bent with your hands supporting the back of your thigh.

You can lay a blanket or yoga mat on the ground beneath you if you need some more support or comfort. 

This time, you will flex your foot and ankle so that your toes are pointing toward your shin. 

Step 2 – Straighten Your Leg

Next, keep your foot flexed as you start to raise and straighten your right leg. The goal is to lift your leg vertically above your body. 

You should stop straightening your leg when you feel the beginning of a stretch in your feet, calves, or hamstrings. When you do this movement, you might not straighten your leg or have your foot as high as you did in the earlier nerve glide movement. 

That is okay! You are not trying to find a stretch, instead, your goal is to stop just before the stretching sensation kicks in. This stage will be different for everyone, don’t compare yourself to anyone else! 

Don’t push yourself to fully straighten your leg if it feels uncomfortable or if there is too much tension. It is better to work slowly here and find your own point of slight tension rather than rush into a position that could hurt you.

Remember to use your hands here on the back of your thigh to support yourself as you lift your leg. 

Step 3 – Lower Your Foot

Once you have straightened your leg as much as you can, it is time to lower your foot (and leg) back to the starting position.

Take your time here, you don’t want to rush and lower your foot too quickly as this can cause you some pain. Use your hands to slowly lower your leg down, dropping your foot to your butt. 

Just like with the nerve glide earlier, you don’t need your foot to touch your butt. You can get it as close as is comfortable for you, don’t feel like you need to contort yourself into a tricky position just for the sake of following the move. 

If this is your last repetition of the move you can return your foot to the floor. If you plan to repeat the move, hold your foot in place, in line with, or as close to your butt as possible. There is no need to flex your foot either. 

Step 4 – Repeat 

Finally, you will want to repeat the movement. Do this for 10 to 15 repetitions on your right leg. Once you have done your repetitions, lower your leg entirely and bring your foot to the floor. You can unflex it and rest if needed before repeating the move on your left leg.

There is no need to rush to repeat the exercises on your other leg. You can also take a break in between each repetition if you need to. You might find that you need longer breaks when you first try this movement, especially if you have a lot of pain in your nerves.

Take your time, stopping to lightly massage your legs, drink some water, or do whatever feels right for you at this moment. 

The more you do the nerve glide and tensioner, the easier they will become, so don’t be too hard on yourself if it is tricky at first! 

If you have never done this before or would like some more guidance, be sure to check out some video tutorials online. These can be helpful to show you how you should be positioned during the movement.

Don’t panic if your leg doesn’t straighten as much as the instructors, though! Everybody is different and you must work within your limitations rather than expecting too much of your body and causing pain to yourself. 

You can also ask a physical therapist or your trainer for guidance if you are unsure. They can offer hands-on adjustments to help you get into the correct position.

They can also help to guide your leg up and down if needed and provide adjustments to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. 

If you have any injuries or have not done the movement before, it’s best to have a therapist or trainer on hand. You don’t want to put yourself in the wrong position and injure yourself. 

How To Sciatic Nerve Glide Hamstrings - Your Complete Guide

When To Add Nerve Mobilization To Your Training

Now that you know what a nerve glide and tensioner are and how to do them, you are sure to be wondering when they should be included in your training routine. Well, it is best to incorporate them during a stretching routine either during or after a warm-up. 

These should be done before any deep stretching takes place, so we recommend doing them immediately after your warm-up before moving on to stretch your body and muscles further. 

You might find it helpful to repeat the sciatic nerve tension test before completing the exercises. This will tell you how much tension you do (or don’t) have that day.

Nerve tension can vary depending on several factors, including stress, meaning that it fluctuates daily, or sometimes more frequently for others! 

On days when you have high levels of tension, it is best to make your mobilization exercises very gentle. This includes skipping the tensioner movement and focusing solely on the glides. 

You must listen to your body when doing these exercises, you don’t want to cause yourself more pain or tension than you already have! You can do the glides every day, 1 to 2 times a day, but only do the tensioners when you don’t have high levels of tension in your body. 

If you aren’t sure what levels of tension are considered high, we recommend reaching out to a physical therapist or your doctor. They can advise you on what levels of tension would be too high for you to do tensioner exercises.

This way, you won’t put your body at any risk or cause more pain to your hamstrings. A doctor or physical therapist can help you with the tests too, allowing you to see how to do the test and check your results yourself. 

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it, your complete guide to sciatic nerve glide hamstrings! Whether you are new to the movement or are unsure you are doing it correctly, we are sure you have found what you are looking for today! 

Sciatic nerve glides and tensioners are a wonderful way to strengthen your nerves and help with any pain and discomfort you might have. Be sure to use the step-by-step guides we have created for you to see how to do the exercises correctly.

Remember to listen to your body and not push yourself to straighten your leg. Your leg does not need to be completely straight for you to feel the benefit of this exercise, measure it instead by how you feel during the regime. 

But that’s not the end of our article! We have a brief FAQ section below to answer any more questions that you might have. Keep reading to learn even more about these exercises! 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Before you leave us, be sure to check out our brief FAQ section to answer any last-minute questions you might have! 

Can Sciatic Nerve Cause Hamstring Issues?

Yes, issues with your sciatic nerves can cause issues for your hamstrings. This is because your sciatic nerve supplies the hamstring muscles. Issues with pressure or tension can cause the hamstrings to tighten.

This tightness might be painful and could cause issues that exercise or medical treatment can help to fix. 

Should I Stretch My Hamstrings With Sciatica? 

Yes, if you have sciatica in your hamstrings, you should stretch them. A regular routine of stretching is part of virtually all sciatica treatment programs. Your physical therapist or doctor will usually give you a series of exercises that you should follow. 

These will help to relieve your symptoms of sciatica, but you need to be careful. You will need to ensure that you follow the correct posture and form when doing the exercises. You don’t want to cause more harm or risk injuring yourself. 

How Often Should I Stretch My Hamstring?

Your hamstrings should be stretched every day, even if you don’t suffer from tightness or pain! You should stretch them twice a day to help with any pain and to keep your hamstrings in good condition. 

Regular hamstring exercises will help to loosen tight muscles and can help with any pain that you might have. Over time, these exercises can gradually lengthen your muscles and make them less prone to injury. 

Try and incorporate one or more hamstring exercises at least twice a day. You can use the hamstring glide we have shown you today and incorporate a second exercise too.

If you aren’t feeling too much tension, you can do the tensioner exercise that we showed you too. 

If you have too much tension you can try other stretches that would help to relieve some of the tension in your hamstring. You can find some tutorials online to help you with this or speak to your physical therapist or doctor.

They can provide you with more information and exercises that will be suitable for your body. 

Can I Stretch My Hamstrings Too Often?

Yes! It is possible that you can stretch your hamstrings too often. We know, this can sound odd, but it is possible! If you overstretch your muscles, you can damage the elements of your muscle fibers. The tissues that surround the muscles can also become damaged too. 

How does this happen? It is usually caused by overly aggressive stretching. This might be stretching your muscles for too long, too frequently, or stretching your muscles further than they should be. 

To prevent this from happening, you will want to take your time and avoid overstretching. Use our guidance, stretching one to two times a day. 

What Is The Sciatic Nerve?

The sciatica nerve is a nerve that branches from your lower back down to your hips, buttocks, and through each leg. The large nerve can become irritated, causing sciatica to develop.

This can be treated or there are exercises, like the glider and tensioner, that can help to relieve the pain or tightness in your nerves. 

The sciatic nerve controls the muscles of the back of the knee and lower leg. It also provides sensation to the outer and back parts of the lower leg, the back of the thigh, and the sole of the foot. 

What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica is pain, tingling, weakness, or numbness in your leg. Sciatica occurs when there is damage or pressure on your sciatica nerve. Commonly sciatica is caused by any of the following: 

– Spondylolisthesis 
– Tumors
– Pelvic fracture or injury 
– Spinal stenosis
– Slipped or herniated disk 
– Piriformis syndrome (a disorder involving narrow muscles in the buttocks)

Sciatica usually affects men between 30 and 50 years of age. But that doesn’t mean everyone else is exempt! Pregnant people can also experience sciatica, along with people with back injuries.

What Are The Symptoms Of Sciatica?

Pain is a common symptom of sciatica. However, the pain it causes can vary widely. It might feel like a burning sensation, dull ache, or mild tingling. In extreme cases, the pain can be so severe that the person cannot walk or move. 

Usually, the pain is only found on one side. Some people have sharp pain in one part of the hip or leg and numbness in other areas. The numbness or pain might be felt in the back of the calf or sole of the foot.

The leg might also feel weak or the foot gets caught on the ground while walking. 

The pain might start slowly, or it might get worse during the following situations.

– After sitting or standing
– During certain parts of the day, like nighttime 
– When laughing, coughing, or sneezing. This is most common if the cause is a herniated disk. 
– When bending backward 
– When walking more than a few yards or meters 
– When holding your breath or straining, like during a bowel movement 

How Can Sciatica Be Treated?

For some people, sciatica will resolve itself in a few weeks. For others, treatment is required. This could be pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Heat or ice can also be applied to the area to help reduce pain. 

Regular exercises are also recommended to help strengthen your back, this could be physical therapy or exercises given to you by your doctor. Some injections can be administered to help reduce swelling around the nerve. 

Bed rest, heavy lifting, and twisting are not recommended to avoid worsening sciatica. 

Laura Simmons
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