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9 Exercises that Make Sciatica Worse Expert Advice from Westmeath Injury Clinic

9 Exercises that Make Sciatica Worse Expert Advice from Westmeath Injury Clinic

If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line physiotherapy clinic near me, look no farther than Westmeath Injury Clinic. Located on the Old Dublin Street in Clongowney, Mullingar, our clinic offers expert physiotherapy services which are custom fitted to your requirements, whether you’re suffering from back pain, sports injuries, or chronic pain conditions like sciatica. We are offering the help you need to manage your sciatica pain and get a custom fitted solution for your pain relief.

At Westmeath Injury Facility, we comprehend that movement is fundamental for recovery from sciatica. Be that as it may, certain exercises can increase pain, particularly toward the beginning of your recovery process. It’s significant to change these exercises at first to forestall side effects. When pain is taken care of, these exercises can be slowly once again introduced, custom fitted to your pain resistance and progress. Aerobic exercise, for example, isn’t normally unsafe however should be avoided at first to decrease the side effects and afterward introduced as you develop resistance and stregth.

In this detailed article, we’ll feature nine activities that can decrease sciatica side effects and offer safe options for Sciatica pain management. At Westmeath Injury Clinic, we focus on your health and offer a customized solution to assist you with sciatica pain management without worsening your condition. Let’s look into these exercises to assist you with settling on informed decision about your physical exercises and manage your sciatica more effectively (Jewell & Riddle, 2005).

1.    High-Impact Aerobics

Let’s look into High-impact aerobics. These are the exercises like running, hopping, and specific sorts of dance, including exercises that over and over strike the ground. While these exercises are fantastic for cardiovascular health and are prescribed for other conditions but in case of Sciatica, they can be especially dangerous.

As we know, high-impact aerobics usually include exercises where the two feet leave the ground for example running, bouncing jacks, and plyometric exercises. Problem with these exercises is that they create force with each landing and this force goes back up in the spine. It is useful for bone thickness and cardiovascular wellness however can create risks for those with sciatica (Jewell & Riddle, 2005).

How High-Impact Aerobics Put Strain on the Sciatic Nerve?

The repeated impact and jolting movements related with high-impact aerobics can increment tension on the lower back and put pressure on the sciatic nerve. Let’s look how it’s done:

Pressure: First problem is the pressure it puts on your spine. When you jump and your foot strikes the ground it creates a force that goes up through your legs and into your spine. This can impact the joints in the lower back, possibly aggravating the sciatic nerve.

Irritation: Second is the irritation created by these exercises. The repetitive pressure from high-impact exercises can cause aggravation in the muscles and tissues encompassing the sciatic nerve, prompting pain and distress.

Poor Posture: Last but not the least, these high-impact exercises, particularly whenever performed with improper posture or cheap footwear, can prompt misalignment of the spine and hips, further fueling sciatic nerve disturbance.

2.    Heavy Weightlifting

Second exercise to abstain from is heavy weightlifting. This includes exercises like deadlifts, squats, and bench press. We know these exercises are good for your cardio health but person suffering from sciatica pain must abstain from these exercises as they require lifting a huge amount of weight and can put a significant burden on the lower back and core muscles.

How Heavy Lifting Can Affect Sciatica Pain Management?

For those experiencing sciatica, it is advised to stay away from heavy weight lifting. Let’s look into the problems from heavy weight lifting for sciatica patients:

Increased Spinal Burden: First of all, heavy lifting can put burden on the spine. This additional tension can fuel existing issues or lead to new ones, pushing on the sciatic nerve and causing pain.

Poor Form: Secondly, a huge number, particularly beginners, may not keep up with proper form during lifts. Bowing at the abdomen rather than the hips, adjusting the back, or jerking movements can strain the lower back muscles and lead to nerve disturbance.

Core Instability: A weak or unsteady core can add to poor lifting mechanics. Without sufficient core support, the lower back endures the worst part of the weight, expanding the risk of injury and sciatic nerve pressure.

Muscle Imbalances: Last but not the least, heavy weightlifting can prompt muscle imbalances, where some muscle groups become excessively more effected than others. These imbalances can influence posture and movement, prompting further weight on the sciatic nerve.

3.    Full Sit-Ups

Third exercise to stay away from is full sit-ups. This include lying on your back, bowing your knees, and lifting your upper body towards your knees utilizing your muscular strength. While sit-ups are famous for stomach reinforcing, they can present dangers for people with sciatica because of their mechanics and impact on the lower back (Jeong, Kim, Park, Hwang-Bo, & Nam, 2016).

How Full Sit-Ups Can Intensify Sciatica Pain?

Spinal Flexion: The movement of bowing forward during a sit-up can increment strain on the intervertebral discs in the lower back. This can infuriate herniated discs, prompting pressure of the sciatic nerve.

Hip Flexor Dominance: Sit-ups frequently enroll the hip flexor muscles (psoas) beyond what the abs, which can prompt muscle imbalance. Tight hip flexors can add to lower back pain and increase the sciatica pain.

Stress on the Lumbar Spine: The idea of full sit-ups can strain the lumbar spine, especially whenever performed with inappropriate form. This strain can disturb the sciatic nerve and worsen pain.

4.    Double Leg Raises

Fourth exercise to stay away from is double leg raises. This include lying on your back and taking the two legs off the ground all the same time. While this exercise means to reinforce the lower abs and hip flexors, it tends to be risky for people with sciatica because of its mechanics and impact on the lower back.

How Double Leg Raises Can Fuel Sciatica Pain?

Expanded Lumbar Flexion: Lifting the two legs at the same time in a double leg raise requires critical lumbar flexion, which can pressure the intervertebral discs in the lower back. This pressure can impact the sciatic nerve, prompting pain and uneasiness (Hartvigsen, et al., 2005).

Burden on Hip Flexors: Double leg raises basically focus on the hip flexor muscles (iliopsoas), which can turn out to be tight and add to lower back pain and sciatica side effects in the event that they are as of now overactive or stressed.

Chance of Lower Back Strain: Performing double leg raises with ill-advised form or without sufficient core strength can strain the muscles and tendons in the lower back. This strain can compound existing sciatica side effects and defer recovery.

5.    Straight Leg Deadlifts

Next exercise to stop doing right away is the straight leg deadlifts. This includes twisting at the hips to lower a weight or free weight towards the floor while keeping the legs straight. This exercise basically focuses on the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back muscles to further develop strength and adaptability. In case of sciatica it is a bad choice to do this exercise as it puts pressure on the sciatica nerve.

Risks Related with Performing Straight Leg Deadlifts with Sciatica

Expanded Lumbar Strain: Performing straight leg deadlifts can overwhelm the lumbar spine, particularly if the lower back muscles and hamstrings are tight or frail. This strain can exasperate sciatica side effects by compacting the sciatic nerve.

Risk of Poor Form: Keeping up with appropriate form during straight leg deadlifts is vital to forestall injury. Whenever performed erroneously, like adjusting the back or overstretching, it can additionally pressure the lower back and increment the risk of worsening sciatica.

Hazard of Muscle Imbalance: Overemphasis on straight leg deadlifts without sufficient core and lower back strength can prompt muscle imbalances. These imbalances can influence posture adding to sciatica pain and uneasiness.

6.    High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Next exercise to stay away from is the High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This includes switching back and forth between burst of exercises and times of rest or lower intensity. While HIIT is successful for cardiovascular wellness and calorie consuming, it is risky for people with sciatica because of its energetic nature and explicit exercise parts.

How HIIT Can Increase Sciatica Side effects?

Impactful Movements: HIIT exercises frequently incorporate high-impact developments like hopping, running, or quick shifts in course. These developments can bump the spine and effect the sciatic nerve, prompting pain and inconvenience.

Expanded Spinal Burden: The intensity of HIIT exercises can put a huge burden on the spine, particularly during exercises like burpees, bouncing jacks, or hikers. This expanded burden can compound existing disc issues and increase sciatica side effects.

Repetitive Pressure: Performing monotonous high-intensity exercises without sufficient recovery can prompt muscle weakness and poor form. This can strain the muscles encompassing the sciatic nerve and add to nerve aggravation and pain.

7.    Leg Press Machine

The leg press machine is a weight lifting exercise that aims the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. It includes driving a weighted platform away from the body utilizing the legs while situated on a machine. While this exercise is viable for lower body strength, it can present dangers for people with sciatica if its is not performed accurately.

How the Leg Press Machine Can Exasperate Sciatica Side effects?

Spinal Compression: The leg press exercise can put huge compressive powers on the lumbar spine, particularly in the event that the lower back isn’t properly supported during the movement. This compression can worsen existing discs issues and aggravate the sciatic nerve.

Hip and Knee Posture: Ill-advised posture of the hips and knees during the leg press can prompt expanded weight on the lower back and sciatic nerve. Misalignment or unreasonable twisting of the knees without appropriate support can add to spinal strain and nerve compression.

Over-burdening the Lower Back: Lifting heavy loads on the leg press machine without proper core strength or spinal security can over-burden the lower back muscles. This over-burden can strain the muscles and tendons, prompting expanded pain and uneasiness related with sciatica.

8.    Twisting Exercises

Twisting exercises include rotational movements of the spine, frequently joined with weight as well. These exercises mean to reinforce the obliques and core muscles however can present dangers for people with sciatica because of their capability to exasperate spinal discs and nerve roots.

How Twisting Exercises Can Intensify Sciatica Side effects?

Spinal Compression: Twisting movements can compress the spinal discs, especially in the lumbar area where the sciatic nerve starts. This compression can impact currently sensitive nerve roots and compound sciatica pain and distress.

Expanded Pressure on Discs: Twisting exercises can increment pressure on intervertebral plates, particularly whenever performed with inappropriate form or over the top power. This pressure can prompt discs swelling, adding to nerve compression and sciatic nerve pain.

Chance of Muscle Imbalance: Overemphasis on twisting exercises without appropriate core adjustment can prompt muscle imbalances. Powerless core muscles and overactive spinal rotators can change spinal arrangement and increment the risk of sciatica side effects.

9.    Forward Bends and Toe Touches

Forward bends and toe touches include twisting forward at the midriff to reach towards the toes, frequently as a feature of stretching exercises. These movements essentially focus on the hamstrings and lower back muscles (Shim, et al., 2023).

Risks Related with Forward Bends and Toe Touches for Sciatica

Expanded Lumbar Flexion: Performing forward bends and toe touches can fundamentally increment lumbar flexion, particularly whenever finished with straight legs. This excessive flexion can compress the spinal discs and disturb the sciatic nerve roots.

Burden on Lower Back Muscles: Extending too forcefully or without appropriate warm-up can strain the lower back muscles, prompting muscle fits or worsening existing sciatica side effects.

Risks of Discs Swelling: The mix of forward bowing and straight-leg stretches can increment pressure on the spinal discs, possibly causing discs swelling and increase in sciatica pain.


Overseeing sciatica requires a balanced methodology that incorporates keeping away from exercises and movements that can fuel side effects. At Westmeath Injury Clinic, we accentuate customized care and proof-based physiotherapy to assist people with sciatica recovery.

By understanding the exercises to keep away from, like high-impact aerobics, twisting movements, and heavy weightlifting, people can proactively safeguard their spine and sciatic nerve from additional disturbance.  

If you are looking for a physiotherapy near me, or physiotherapy clinic near me, you are at the right place. Call the expert physiotherapist at Westmeath Injury Clinic right now to get custom fitted approach for sciatica pain management.

Read about the Unlocking Relief: 12 Essential Exercises for Sciatica Pain at Westmeath Injury Clinic.


Hartvigsen, J., Ferreira, M. L., Refshauge, K. M., Machado, A. F., Lemes, Í. R., Maher, C. G., & Ferreira, P. H. (2005). Advice to Stay Active or Structured Exercise in the Management of Sciatica: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. PubMed Central.

Jeong, U.-C., Kim, C.-Y., Park, Y.-H., Hwang-Bo, G., & Nam, C.-W. (2016). The effects of self-mobilization techniques for the sciatic nerves on physical functions and health of low back pain patients with lower limb radiating pain. PMC PubMed Central.

Jewell, D. V., & Riddle, D. L. (2005). Interventions That Increase or Decrease the Likelihood of a Meaningful Improvement in Physical Health in Patients With Sciatica . Physical Therapy.

Shim, H. Y., Lim, K., Bae, K. H., Park, S. M., Lee, J. K., & Park, K. D. (2023). Sciatic Nerve Injury Caused by a Stretching Exercise in a Trained Dancer. PMC PubMed Central.

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