When you have sciatica, even the smallest tasks of daily living can seem impossible. For example, sciatica can prevent you from simply putting on your shoes. Even though more Americans experience back pain than don’t, there are things you can do to protect yourself and to perhaps avoid sciatica altogether.
Our providers at Republic Spine & Pain are experts in identifying the cause of your sciatica-related back pain and, more importantly, in guiding you to therapies that effectively stop the pain.
Sciatica is often referred to a condition in itself, but it’s actually a symptom. When any of the structures of your back compress the sciatic nerve, the resulting pain is called sciatica. The pain may radiate down your leg, but it’s caused by compression of the nerve root, either by a bulging disc, inflamed muscle, or other musculoskeletal problems.
These five things could well be contributing to your sciatica pain. Make a few easy lifestyle changes, and you may be able to avoid this pain.
You’re not quite strong enough
Sciatica develops for a number of reasons, with degenerative disc disease leading the charge. When the discs between your vertebrae bulge, tear, or rupture, they can compress your sciatic nerve and fail to provide the necessary cushioning between the bones of your spine.
One of the best ways to prevent degenerative disc disease is to keep all of the structures around your spine strong. When the muscles, ligaments, and other tissues around your vertebrae and discs are strong, there’s less likelihood of damage to the discs. By embarking on a strength and flexibility program that shores up the supporting tissues, including your muscles, tendons, and ligaments, you can take the pressure off your discs.
During your next appointment at Republic Spine & Pain, ask us about the best stretches and exercises for keeping your discs healthy and whole.
You’ve stopped moving
It may seem like a good idea to rest and heal, but you’re likely to get better faster if you stay fairly active, even when your sciatica is flaring. It’s particularly harmful to stay in bed too much when you have low back pain.
But it’s one of those things that’s easier said than done, and you may have concerns about what kinds of activities you can do safely, without increasing your pain. Discuss your situation with us at Republic Spine & Pain. We’re happy to guide you to activities that will speed your recovery rather than slow it down.
Your lifting technique needs some work
If you routinely engage in activities that tax your low back, like heavy lifting, we urge you to wear a support brace and to spread the workload to your legs and knees. In fact, it’s a good idea to ask an expert to evaluate your lifting technique. It’s possible that you think you’re lifting correctly, but are actually putting your discs in danger.
If you have unhealthy discs, all it takes is one lift with your low back to trigger a chain of events that will lay you flat with back pain.
You’re carrying a few extra pounds
As we mentioned, your spine is your foundational support, and it bears a fairly hefty burden under normal circumstances. Even being a little overweight can add to the workload your spine already maintains.
Weight loss can go a long way toward preventing sciatica, as well as a host of other medical issues, making it a win-win proposition.
Our practitioners can help you design an effective weight loss plan that consists of incremental changes that you can make over time.
You sit too much
Humans were meant to move around, not sit at desks for hours on end. Sitting can cause a host of issues that all result in low back pain.
If you’re a desk jockey, do yourself a favor by getting up at least once an hour to stretch and move around. And when you’re at your desk, resist slouching by keeping your back straight and your shoulders back.
If you’re experiencing low back pain, book an appointment at Republic Spine & Pain. We have two locations, and you can easily schedule at the one most convenient for you. Simply call the office of your choice and we’ll get you booked.