Sciatic nerve pain relief video: McKenzie’s exercises

Sciatic nerve & herniated disc pain relief exercises from McKenzie’s aim at reducing pain in the lower back, thighs & legs,  by assuming postures that will arch the lower back.
By doing so, there is less pressure on the vertebrae and this allows (according to McKenzie) the herniated disc to be pushed back to its original location.
As a result, inflammation in the lower back decreases, and  so does the back pain.

The prone prop McKenzie exercise for sciatica is the easiest one and you should start with this to fully understand the concept.

The goal of this exercise is pain relief from herniated disc & sciatica: there is no performance issue here, just keep your back arched as long and as often as you can, without feeling any pain, of course.

For this McKenzie exercise, we’re going to assume a posture that allows arching the lower back to stretch the lumbar vertebrae
and relieve pressure caused by a herniated disc on the sciatic nerve.

Start lying flat with the chest down, stands up on your forearms, placing elbows well under shoulders and keep the position for
Thirty seconds to a minute.

In this simulation, we see that the arching of the back allows not only to relieve the pressure on the lumbar discs, but we see also, in fast-forward, that
arching the back allows the herniated disc to retract.
Inflammation decreases, and so does the pain. Keep the posture from 30 seconds to a minute: each does according to what he can do, nicely.

Then rest, also from 30 seconds to a minute, and start again.

Tip!
The McKenzie exercise videos on this page are spoken in french, but there are subtitles: be sure to enable subtitles in your youtube player to follow along.

Mckenzie exercise for sciatica video #1: Prone Prop

The prone prop McKenzie exercise for sciatica is the easiest one and you should start with this to fully understand the concept.

The goal of this exercise is pain relief from herniated disc & sciatica: there is no performance issue here, just keep your back arched as long and as often as you can, without feeling any pain, of course.

For this McKenzie exercise, we’re going to assume a posture that allows arching the lower back to stretch the lumbar vertebrae
and relieve pressure caused by a herniated disc on the sciatic nerve.

Start lying flat with the chest down, stands up on your forearms, placing elbows well under shoulders and keep the position for
Thirty seconds to a minute.

In this simulation, we see that the arching of the back allows not only to relieve the pressure on the lumbar discs, but we see also, in fast-forward, that
arching the back allows the herniated disc to retract.
Inflammation decreases, and so does the pain. Keep the posture from 30 seconds to a minute: each does according to what he can do, nicely.

Then rest, also from 30 seconds to a minute, and start again.

You want to pay attention to 3 things

  • The pelvis is stuck to the ground: this is how we can keep our back arched for the exercise.
  • The elbow is perpendicular to the shoulder and we use the entire forearm and hand surface to take support.
  • Avoid looking straight ahead to prevent stressing the cervical and the muscles of the neck. If you have sore shoulders or neck or if you can’t use your arms to keep the posture, you can use a pillow.

McKenzie prone prop exercise Image Gallery

McKenzie exercise prone prop

McKenzie exercise for sciatica pain relief

McKenzie exercise keep head low

Keep your head down to avoid neck tensions

McKenzie exercise relieve pressure on vertebrae

Arching the back relieves pressure on vertebrae

McKenzie exercise use forarms and hands

Use forarms & hands

McKenzie exercise pelvis sticks to the floor

Pelvis sticks to the floor during whole exercise

McKenzie exercise use a pillow

Use a pillow to keep the arch lowerback easier

Mckenzie exercise for sciatica video #2: Press-Up

This 2nd McKenzie exercise for sciatica is a bit more complicated than the Prone Prop.
It is recommended to be comfortable with the Prone Prop exercise, in order to be able to do the Press Up exercise.

What happens basically when you stay with lower back arched, is that pressure on sciatic nerve decreases and so does sciatic pain, until it eventually goes away.

Tip!
You might want to use a pillow to elevate your feet and be more comfortable during the exercise.

Place your hands at the shoulders level and elevate your upper body while keeping the pelvis sticking to the floor.

Then come back down, Start again up, down

Do this 5 to 10 times or more if you can, as long as this doesn’t cause any pain.
Just take it easy, don’t try to catch up with Julie because she doesn’t have a herniated disc, nor does she suffer from sciatica.
She doesn’t have any back problem either, I don’t think she actually has a real spine 😉

Beware! These are not push-ups: the pelvis stays on the ground. ALWAYS!

When you are comfortable with this exercise, you can go all the way and extend the whole arms and have your lower back arched as much as you can.

Do this exercise when and as much as you want, as long as it doesn’t cause any pain. We are trying to get pain relief from sciatica caused by a herniated disc, not to hurt ourselves.

There is no performance issue here, we’re just trying to get a good arch in the lowerback, hold that position for a few seconds, and that’s it.

McKenzie press-up exercise Image Gallery



Place hands at shoulders level



Arching the back helps relief pain from sciatica



Perfect McKenzie press up posture



mckenzie exercise for back pain relief

Sciatic nerve pain relief exercise #2

Sciatic nerve pain relief exercise #2

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