At some point in everyone’s life, they will experience pain. From athletic activities to chronic illness, there are many reasons why it’s so common to live with discomfort. But sometimes, the pain is so strong, it can make daily routines feel like monumental tasks. If the pain is in your legs, even something as simple as getting up from bed and driving becomes a hassle.
Is there anything you can do at home to ease it?
Best Stretches and Exercises for Leg Pain Relief
There are different types of exercises, depending on the source of pain.
If you’re sore from exercising:
Stretching after exercise reduces muscle tension. It also allows you to remain flexible. If leg movement is painful after a workout, you can do several stretches to alleviate the pain:
1. Hamstring Stretches: The hamstring muscles are located on the back of the upper leg. If they’re feeling sore after leg day at the gym or after running a half marathon, sit on the floor and bend forward from your waist. Try to bend as far as possible while keeping your legs straight. Hold the position for 20 seconds. Release and repeat three times.
In the alternative, you can do a standing hamstring stretch: Stand and cross the right foot over the left foot. Slowly bend forward until your forehead is facing your knees. Keep your legs straight while holding this position. Hold it for about 20 seconds. Once you return to a
2. Calf Stretches: Stand at arm’s length from a wall. Put both hands on the wall, shoulder-width apart, then take a step back with one leg, while keeping a pushing motion against the wall. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds. Release and repeat with the other leg.
3. Hip Flexor Stretches: Sit on the floor with your back straight. Place the bottoms of your feet together in front of you. Pull your heels towards you and slowly push your knees down to the floor. Hold the position for 30 seconds.
If you have sciatic nerve damage:
Sciatic nerve pain can be debilitating. In order to reduce the misery, you should do stretching exercises that rotate the hip.
- Sitting Pigeon Pose: Sit on the floor with both legs stretched out in front of you. Bend the right leg and place your right ankle on top of your left knee. Lean forward until your chest touches your right thigh. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Release it and switch legs to do it again.
- Forward Pigeon Pose: Get a yoga mat for this one, since you’ll have to kneel on the floor on all fours. Lift the right leg and move it forward, then turn it sideways and lay it on the floor, in front of your torso. Slide your next knee all the way to the back. Lower your torso and lean on your elbows. For a visual of how to do this advanced pose, click here.
- Sitting Spinal Stretch: Sit on the floor with both legs fully extended in front of you. Bend your left leg so that your heel is right next to your right knee. Bring your left arm around your left knee. Rotate your torso towards your left and hold the position for 30 seconds. Release and do the same thing on the other side of your body. For a visual tutorial, click here.
If you have knee problems:
If you’re experiencing knee pain, the last thing you may want to do is exercise. However, there are certain movements that can help alleviate pain. Just remember to get the OK from your doctor first and to warm up for a few minutes by taking a walk or by slowly riding an exercise bicycle.
- Leg Raises. Lie on your back on the floor, with both of your arms resting at your side. Slowly lift one leg while keeping it straight. Hold the lifted leg for five seconds, then lower it back to the floor as slowly as possible. Repeat the exercise with your other leg.
- Lying Hamstring Stretch. Lie on your back on the floor. Slowly lift one leg and hold it extended upward. Pull on your hamstring so that the leg raise is at a 90-degree angle from your torso and bend your leg at the knee. Hold the position for several seconds, then repeat with the other leg.
- Leg Stretches. Sit on the floor with both legs stretched out in front of you. Keep a straight posture and place your hands on the floor for stability. Slowly bend one knee to a 90-degree angle. Hold the position for five seconds. Stretch out the same leg and keep it straight for five seconds. Then do the same thing with your other leg.
If you’re experiencing back pain, let us help you.
At Spine Works Institute, we take pride in helping patients through safe and natural therapies. We have an entire team of physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and other healthcare professionals who are ready to assist you.