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Sciatic nerve pain is one of the most common sources of discomfort, especially in men over 40 that lift weights. The reason why this is so common is that we do too many things that put us in position to suffer from sciatica in the first place, and then we don’t know how to fix sciatica once we have it. In this video, I’m going to show you why foam rolling and smashing the piriformis muscle with a lacrosse ball is the worst thing you can do to fix sciatica.
To start, it is important to differentiate true sciatic nerve pain from something that looks like sciatic nerve pain. If the source of your pain is from a bulging or herniated lumbar disk, then the stretches shown in this video are not going to fix your problem. In fact, you will want to make an appointment to be seen by a licensed physical therapist to help you treat your disc herniation another way.
On the other hand, if your sciatic nerve like symptoms are arising from the compression of the sciatic nerve from a tight piriformis, then you will want to pay close attention to what I am showing you here. Firstly, the nerve itself can get compressed by having a tight piriformis muscle. Because this muscle lies directly over the nerve as it exists the pelvis, there is a tendency for this muscle to compress the structure when it is tight.
Lately, we have been told by many that the best way to fix a tight muscle is to not stretch it but rather foam roll it or use a lacrosse ball on it to smash it. In this case, that is the worst advice you can be given. The lack of tissue thickness in this region (made worse by having weak or underdeveloped glutes) leads to a high probability that while attempting to ease the tension in the piriformis that you will be further compressing the nerve itself and causing more pain.
Even a foam roller does not adequately fix this problem since you will still be compressing the area, albeit with the force dispersed a little bit more evenly across the muscle than with the lacrosse ball. Either way, the treatment approach is not correct.
The best way to fix your sciatic nerve pain is to gently stretch the piriformis, but to make sure and do it consistently! 3-4 times per day for 5-6 days a week is a great start. Hold each stretch for 45 seconds to a minutes and make sure not to round your lower back in order to keep the focus on your hips. Place the tight hip in front of you with your knee and hip bent to 90 degrees and lean forward without losing the slight arch in your lower back.
You should feel an incredible relief without ever having to start cranking on the stretch or bearing through much discomfort when doing. It’s the same approach of doing the most you can do without doing more than your body can recover from, that has the ATHLEAN-X Training System creating loyal followers and great results every day. You can get the program at and start training like an athlete now.
For more videos on how to fix sciatic nerve pain and stretches for tight hips and hamstrings, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube at