Approved Exercises for People with PN

These are exercises that are generally approved by most PNE doctors but please check with your physician and physical therapist to make sure they are acceptable in your case. 


Walking is considered to be a safe exercise for people with PN or PNE.  Walking on an incline is not recommended as it makes the gluteus muscles work harder and therefore could put more pressure on the pudendal nerve or may cause a stretch injury.  The same is true for hiking. 


Swimming is another exercise that is recommended for people with PN or PNE.  The only swimming style that is not recommended is the breaststroke.  The breaststroke/frog kick requires that a person flex their hips, which also works the gluteus muscles and can cause trauma to the nerve.  Also, when the hip is flexed, it will stretch the pudendal nerve.  

(Breast stroke pictures used by permission from Ginger Babin at

Upper Body Exercises

Upper body exercises are great for building strength and most can be used without issues.  Any upper body exercise that requires use of the abdominal muscles should be avoided.

Gliding Exercises

Some PN specialists suggest gliding exercises, especially after PN decompression surgery. This exercise helps to stretch the muscles without stretching the nerve.

1. From a lying down position bend your leg at the hip and knee so that your hip is flexed. (Keep your foot on the bed as you do this.)

2. Rotate your hip so that your knee and leg go away from the center of your body.  

3. Bring your leg back the other way toward the center of your body. 


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