How to get more out of the back bend stretch for sciatica pain

One of the more common stretches for sciatica pain is the standing back bend, also known as extension in standing. This is a fantastic stretch for people dealing with a herniated or bulging disc, especially when the disc is bulging backward (aka “posteriorly”) 

The thought process is that leaning back actually pushes the herniated disc in towards the middle, because the contents of that disc will move in the direction of the least pressure. 

This motion is thought to help a large percentage of herniated discs, regardless of the direction of herniation. In some cases, this might not be enough. You see, discs can herniate not just backward, but it can also push out towards one side. So we need to add in an extra motion, which is side bending.

If we are addressing the disc itself, it is theorized, that leaning towards the side of pain (in the direction of the herniation) that it will return to the middle. The order of operations to reduce a disc herniation like this would be:

Side bend towards side of pain (left or right) x 10

Standing back extensions x 10

  • Or you can combine the two into what is called the extension quadrant x10 (right or left)-

You would want to move in the direction of the pain if your body prefers leaning backward and towards the side of pain.

However, the herniation itself isn’t always the problem. With every decade in life there is an increase in changes seen via an MRI, and in some cases, there will be a herniated disc in the absence of pain. 

So the key is to move in a way that actually reduces or abolishes (gets rid of the pain).

You can find more stretches that can help through our Sciatica Protocol. You can register for the program here. This is a program perfect if you are busy and do not have time to meet with a professional and want to get started right now (even if it is in the middle of the night).


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