When someone is struggling with sciatic nerve issues it can be debilitating. Like many conditions, the advice we give can be just as important as the treatment itself. In the case of sciatica, eliminating nerve stretch is necessary in order for the symptoms to calm down or to avoid flare-ups.
When there is no pressure or restriction on the nerve it has the ability to glide and slide through and around other structures. When that ability is lost, like in the case of entrapment, the nerve is stretched instead. Nerves have the ability to stretch, but only a small amount before irritation begins and symptoms are felt. For this reason, we will almost always have the patient eliminate hamstring stretching if they are dealing with a sciatic nerve issue. Instead, we will teach an exercise to mobilize the nerve around the tissue. This is referred to as nerve flossing.