How to Avoid Triggering Sciatica

by AZ Pain Doctors, on Oct 14, 2019 9:17:37 AM

Sciatica is a common condition in which pain signals transmit their way along the sciatic nerve: a long nerve that branches down your lower back, through your hips, and down your legs. Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is pinched by the spine —often due to a herniated disk or a spine overgrowth. Episodes of sciatica can be intense and extremely painful. Sciatic pain shoots down one of your legs from your spine and can leave you feeling pretty helpless. Sciatica often begins as an acute affliction that only lasts a couple of weeks before it resolves itself. People who have experienced their first acute sciatic episode will usually have 1 or 2 episodes a few times a year. If you aren’t taking the necessary steps to avoid triggering sciatica, it may become a chronic issue that will persist fairly often. You definitely don’t want chronic sciatica: it lasts forever. Here are some tips on how to avoid sciatic back pain in Phoenix.

Ditch the heels

Wearing high heels and uncushioned shoes could be a trigger for sciatica. It's conceivable that gravity created while you walk or stand may move up your legs to the structures of your back and hip.

Furthermore, high heels toss your weight forward, which may make you flex your hips forward, effectively misaligning your back. This is your body's method for remaining upstanding. It’s also what stretches the hamstrings toward your back. Since the sciatic nerve keeps running down along a similar course as the hamstrings, this extended position may irritate your sciatica.

Keep Your Wallet Elsewhere

Don’t sit with your wallet in your back pocket —especially for long periods of time, but preferably not at all. Sitting on your wallet for a long period of time will irritate your piriformis muscle, which sits right atop the sciatic nerve. Sitting on your wallet will add pressure to this portion of the sciatic nerve, causing you soreness.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Weighing more than your ideal body mass can put pressure on your sciatic nerve at the base of your spine. When you weigh more than you should, your chances sciatica are much higher. Keeping your back muscles strong by going to the gym or finding an effective workout activity will give your body the strength it needs to hold itself up properly. The muscles in your abdomen and lower back are important for proper alignment, so it’s important to make these muscles strong.

Manage Your Stress

Stress can be just as bad for your physical health as it is for your mental health. People who manage their stress poorly often have increased muscle tension, which leads to various body problems —including but not limited to sciatica. It’s important to take a breather when you're stressed out at work or at home. Take some time to relax your muscles with some deep meditation, as well as some stretches.

Maintain Good Posture

Be conscious of how you’re sitting or standing. It’s important to make sure that you are sitting up in a way that keeps your back properly aligned. Avoid picking up heavy objects with your back — if you have a severe case of sciatica, it’s probably not a good idea to lift anything. If you do need to haul some things, just make sure you’re lifting with your knees, and not with your back.

I Already Have Sciatica, What Now?

Don’t worry. If you’re currently suffering from sciatic pain, there are things you can do/avoid to keep yourself in the clear. Try not to rest or sit in anything too soft. Though this may seem like a great solution to ending your back pain problems, sitting in anything too cushy will only put more stress on your back. Standing and trying to move as much as you can (without hurting yourself, of course) is a better way to fight sciatica.

If you’re sciatica prone and in the middle of a flare-up, save yourself the trouble of chores that require a lot of bending over. Leave the vacuuming to someone else. Get a friend or family member to help you pick clothes out from inside the laundry machine.

It’s also important you don’t do too much heavy lifting. Though most health professionals still recommend exercise in the event of a sciatica episode, certain movements with too much weight may cause stress on any herniated discs that are causing pain in the first place. Skip movement exercises that involve any lifting, like squats, dead-lifts, leg presses, or situps. These can aggravate a herniated disc and cause worse sciatica symptoms.

Pain Management

If you’re experiencing chronic pain in Phoenix AZ, there are plenty of doctors who specialize in pain management. Visiting a clinic for pain management in Phoenix is an effective way to understand all of the options available to get you on the road to recovery.

For a holistic approach to treatment, you can attend a session of acupuncture. Developed in China, this soothing practice is an effective treatment for many pain conditions, including sciatica. Though the thought of being poked with dozens of needles doesn’t seem very enticing, most people feel very little, if anything at all. Many people begin to feel pain relief in their problem areas almost immediately after their session. You must be patient with acupuncture, however. It takes several sessions to ensure long-lasting results.

For those who desire a more hands-on approach, there is chiropractic care. You can visit a pain clinic in phoenix to see a chiropractor for a few conditions, including various types of lower back pain. If you wanted, you could also visit a chiropractor for neck pain in Phoenix. Chiropractors manipulate your joints and stretch your muscles out so you stay loose.

Back pain is extremely frustrating. But it doesn’t have to take over your life. Speak to a doctor today about pain management in Phoenix.