objective: to evaluate the efficacy of physical exercise (swimming and jumping), with and without overload, working in reducing the pain of rats undergone to an experimental model of sciatica. methods: 24 rats were divided into four groups: placebo (gp), swimming group (ng) swimming 10% group (gn10) and leap group (gs). all groups were submitted to the experimental sciatica model and assessed for pain post-exercise for the functional disability test and the von frey filament. results: in comparison within groups there were significant differences in the moments after injury with the pre-injury, for both assessment instruments. with von frey filament was observed a significant difference in group gn10 and gs in the final moments of evaluation. in comparisons between groups were not statistically significant differences obtained with any assessment instrument. conclusion: treatment with physical exercise was not effective in reducing pain in rats subjected to experimental sciatica model.