There are a lot of lovely ways to describe sciatic nerve pain: sharp, shooting, burning, electric and stabbing, among others. When you’re in the throes of sciatic nerve pain, it can be impossible to think of anything but “How do I get my sciatic nerve to ​stop​ hurting?”

Targeted sciatica exercises can relieve pain by loosening up any muscles or tissues that are pressing into and aggravating the nerve, says Bianca Beldini, DPT, a physical therapist, acupuncturist and owner of Sundala Wellness in New York.

Read on for details about these 12 sciatica stretches.