Is Walking on A Treadmill Good for Sciatica?

Is walking on a treadmill good for sciatica? According to a study, doing any kind of walking (whether on a treadmill or outside through your neighborhood) is an excellent approach to alleviate sciatica, back pain, and other difficulties. Walking can aid in the reduction of inflammation and the release of endorphins that make you feel good! . 

Before going to deep into the title “Is walking on a treadmill good for sciatica?” let us give a chance to introduce sciatica, it’s cause and symptoms in a nut shell.

What is Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is the body’s longest nerve, begins at the spine and runs through the glutes and hips to reach the feet. It is composed of five nerves from the lower back, which combine to form one nerve. The nerve runs from the lower back through your buttocks to the foot.

Sciatica is an inflammation and irritation of the sciatic nerve that can result in pain and limited mobility.

In a research published in the journal Orthopedics, 650 patients were assessed for low back pain or sciatica. Around 25% had experienced sciatica in the preceding six months of the trial. This suggests that sciatica is quite common. Havard Health says that 40% of people will have it at some point.

Causes of Sciatica

Numerous factors can contribute to the development of sciatica/lumbar radiculopathy. Disc herniation/bulging and spinal stenosis are the most common causes of sciatica in adults. Osteoarthritis and disc degeneration can impose stress on the nerves in the spine.

Damage to the sciatic nerve can also occur as a result of repetitive stress injury or compression. Additionally, you have other risk factors, such as rising weight/height or sustaining a spinal fracture.

Signs and Symptoms of Sciatica

If you suspect you have sciatic nerve pain, it’s usually quite simple to diagnose – especially if the pain travels from your lower back/hip down down your buttocks and down the back of your leg. 

Typically, you’ll notice that the pain is most severe when you move, and you may experience weakness in the affected limb. If the inflammation reaches your foot, you may experience tingling or numbness in your toes.

Is Walking on A Treadmill Good for Sciatica?

Prolonged sitting, particularly in bad posture, is a major cause of sciatica. This is because of the increased compression at the nerve in a forward flexed position. As a result, any exercise that does not need you to sit will feel wonderful and provide much-needed comfort.

According to a WebMD article, any sort of walking is beneficial for alleviating sciatica pain. Walking is a wonderful kind of exercise for sciatica pain relief. Exercising lowers inflammation, stimulates the release of endorphins, and provides pain relief.

However, walking outdoors can be risky, especially when the ground is wet or slippery. So, a treadmill can be your best friend! Using a treadmill allows you to maintain consistency pace for a period of time.

Walking on an incline treadmill is a low-impact aerobic workout. This may result in an increase in your heart rate. You might even start to sweat. However, you won’t be short of breath and can continue exercising. You can walk on the treadmill at a 3% incline at a speed of 3 mph for 20 minutes. This is a good target and will significantly alleviate your sciatica pain.

Another benefit of using a treadmill is that it improves circulation and improves joint movement. Its enhanced circulation aids in the healing and regeneration of damaged tissues. It has a beneficial psychological impact on the individual. This will assist you to overcome the depression that has been brought on by neck and sciatic pain.

Walking on a treadmill also allows the discs to move chemically and mechanically in the appropriate manner.

How to Walk on A Treadmill With Sciatica Pain?

When walking on a treadmill, it is advisable to select a pace and incline that are comfortable for you. At initially, these parameters should be set slower than your normal walking pace. Then, as the nerve pain subsides, gradually increase the intensity and pace.

It is safe to walk on a treadmill if you have sciatica. The run on treadmill may increase the pressure on the inner discs, resulting in their bulging. This means that running might increase pressure on the sciatica nerve roots, resulting in increased discomfort. As a result, running on a treadmill should not be used as a sciatica-relieving exercise.

If you suffer from sciatica, there are a few things you can do to avoid making a mistake on the treadmill. These will assist in preventing sciatica inflammation. These include engaging your core muscles and reducing your stride length.

Take shorter strides

Walking with a longer stride will cause your back to extend more. This may increase the strain on your sciatic nerve. Sciatic pain can be alleviated by walking slowly and taking smaller steps on the treadmill.

Take into account your initial foot contact and walking posture as well. Improper walking habits can compress the lumbar discs and irritate the sciatic nerve, resulting in lower back pain. However, proper walking posture, helps to minimize stress on your spine. Your hip muscles, core abdomen, hip, leg, leg muscles, and back muscles will all be in rhythm.

While walking on the treadmill, avoid touching your toes. Instead, position your foot between the heel and the middle of the foot (the toes). Lightly roll onto your toes and proceed with the next stride. Your strides will be shorter since your feet are easier to roll.

Engage Your Core Muscles

Using abdominal muscles correctly can relieve sciatica. They accomplish this by reducing pressure on the spine. This helps to keep the sciatic nerve safe.

Incorrect walking, on the other hand, might raise stress and fatigue. This could aggravate your sciatica or produce further back discomfort. To avoid this, do the following while walking on a treadmill-

  • Pull your stomach in towards your body as you walk. Avoid tucking in your stomach too much to prevent staining your abdominal muscle.                                                                                           
  • Stand upright. The best way to do this is to keep your head and shoulders level and keep your eyes on a distant spot.                                                                                                                                           
  • Maintain rhythmic breathing and stay focused while walking. 


Sciatica pain can be alleviated with a variety of exercises. Although, walking on a treadmill is an excellent choice for sciatica rehabilitation and exercise, running is not! This is because running is a high-impact workout exercise. As a result, it will increase the pressure on the spinal cord. This can exacerbate your sciatic pain and injury.

If you are comfortable on a treadmill, it might be a valuable addition to your fitness and sciatica healing regimen.

The bottom line with exercise and sciatica is that each person reacts differently to injuries and symptoms. What works for one person may not work for another, and vice versa. Always pay attention to your symptoms and use them to determine what you should and should not do. 

Consult with your doctor before beginning any fitness regimen, and notify them if the discomfort persists after you begin.

Hopefully, I’ve answered your question; is walking on a treadmill good for sciatica? If you have any questions about sciatica, leave a comment to us.

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