Your hips need to rotate side to side.
Why this matters:
One motion that often gets overlooked in sciatica pain recovery is hip rotation. There are two types, internal rotation (turning the foot in) and external rotation (foot out). We need to have sufficient rotation in both directions, ideally they should be symmetrical. If you have too much internal rotation and not enough external rotation, your knees will buckle, your pelvis rotates forward, and there can be a pinch in your back (think stenosis). If the opposite happens (too much external, not enough internal), then your knees will be bowed, and your back can flatten out (think disc irritation).
Action steps:The windshield wiper movement can help you identify and work on any asymmetries. You can see how to do it in this video. I usually have my clients do this for about 2 minutes. As you observed, movement is key. It is not very often that you’ll see me recommend static stretches. More often than not, you don’t need them!