19 Jan 2022
8 Things to Avoid If You Have Sciatica
40% of people will experience sciatica at least once in their lifetime. Often, people confuse “sciatica” with the general back pain one experiences. However, the term “Sciatica” is for the pain that occurs when irritation is caused in the sciatic nerve. This is a long nerve that runs along the lower back down to below the knee in a human body. The pain from this irritation can be mild or severe as it depends on what causes the irritation to this nerve. Usually, sciatica is caused when a nerve in the lower spine is compressed. The nerve is responsible for lower back and legs muscles and also for supplying sensation to the skin around your foot and lower legs.
Sciatica SymptomsFollowing are some common symptoms of sciatica:
- Lower back pain
- Hip pain
- Weakness or difficulty in moving your legs and feet
- Numbness or pain in the legs or the rear, especially when you’re sitting
- Constant pain on either side of the rear
- Shooting pain when you try to stand
- You experience fever with back pain
- There is redness or swelling in your spine or back
- You feel weakness or numbness in your legs, upper thighs, pelvis area, or bottom
- You feel a burning sensation when you pee or there’s blood in your pee
- Severe pain or losing bowel or bladder control, making you unable to go to the toilet in time.
Lifting Heavy WeightsWhen you’re warming up before your workout or exercise routine, do not use heavyweights. Avoid heavy weighing objects in general as they can quickly aggravate your sciatica. You don’t want to put extra load on your spine or strain it. If you want to work out, just stretch to warm up. Start with gentle exercise to avoid inflammation of your back muscles.
Sitting for Long PeriodsMobility is important when you have sciatica. If you have been sitting for an extended period of time, get up and take a walk, especially when you’ve been sitting without any support. If you’re sitting and can’t get up, don’t bend forward. Sitting is harmful as back pain can emerge from all the stiffness, and there can also be muscle spasms. Use supportive and comfy chairs that will not worsen your posture.
Bending OverWhen you have sciatica, you have to avoid bending forward, especially to pick up any object that will put pressure or force on your spine. Gravity will exert force on your muscles and ligaments. You can’t resist this force when you’re bending forward. If you’re bending to pick up something, the object’s weight combined with the pressure and force can injure you.
Bed RestBed rest is not for you if you have sciatica. Even if you have been instructed by a healthcare professional, don’t stay in bed for too long. You should try to start moving and try gentle movements like walking, stretching, or swimming. Use medication to be in control of the pain, so you don’t feel discomfort.
Twisting Your SpineSome movements like bending sideways or forward involve twisting motions. This can aggravate pain in your joints or muscles, especially in your lower back. So do not lift heavy objects that require you to bend or twist your spine. Do exercises to improve your strength and flexibility to have a range of motions that do not require you to twist your spine.
Long Car TripsWe know long road trips are fun. But if you have sciatica pain, you have to take frequent breaks when you’re on a long car ride or trip. Whether you’re driving or are a passenger, you have to avoid slumping and sit in a position where you don’t have trouble seeing the rear-view mirror. If you do, it means you could be slumping.At this point, take a break and find a stop where you can walk around for a while or rest. Stand up straight for a bit and fix your posture.
Worrying and StressingThe most important thing to avoid when you have sciatica is worrying and stressing. Most of the time, your sciatica will get better, and sometimes surgery can fix it as well. But surgery is considered once you have exhausted all the other non-surgical routes to treat sciatica. So if you’re worried, do not be concerned and ask your professionals to improve your spine and back pain. Stony Plain or Edmonton clinic. Our trained physiotherapists are available for any treatment, including manual therapy, vestibular therapy, shockwave therapy, acupuncture, and more. You can also book a physiotherapist appointment to know more about your condition and explore treatment options before selecting your mode of recovery. Schedule a meeting with a physical therapist in Stony Plain or Edmonton today.
Ims, Massage, Physio, Physiotherapist
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