If you've been experiencing pain from your lower back into one of your legs, sciatica could be the culprit.
Sciatica pain happens when your sciatic nerve, which runs from your hips to your feet, becomes irritated. It's uncomfortable and can get in the way of your daily life. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent it.
At SEPA Pain & Spine, with six locations in southeastern Pennsylvania, our medical professionals have years of experience managing and stopping sciatica pain. Our practice has been established for over 30 years, and our providers have been practicing for close to 15-20 years.
In this month’s blog post, we discuss five simple ways to help you stop sciatica from recurring.
Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in your body. It branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg.
Sciatica is usually the result of a spinal condition, such as a herniated disc, bone spur, or spinal stenosis, which compresses part of the nerve. This compression causes inflammation, pain, and numbness in the affected leg.
While sciatica is usually self-limiting, meaning it resolves over time, the pain can be severe and debilitating.
Age, obesity, prolonged sitting, a sedentary lifestyle, and diabetes are common risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing sciatica. It's also worth noting that sciatica typically affects only one side of your body, and while the pain may be severe, permanent nerve damage is rare.
Five ways to prevent recurring sciatica
Here are five simple yet effective strategies to prevent the recurrence of sciatica.
Regular physical activity is crucial for your overall health, including your spine's health. Core-strengthening exercises support your lower back, reducing the strain on your sciatic nerve.
We often recommend yoga and Pilates because they focus on building core strength and flexibility. Always warm up before exercising to prevent injury, and seek advice from our team to ensure you're doing the exercises correctly.
How you hold yourself throughout the day, particularly when sitting for prolonged periods, can significantly affect your risk of recurrent sciatica pain.
Maintain a straight back, distribute your weight evenly, and use ergonomic furniture that supports your lower back. We often recommend standing desks or ergonomic office chairs to patients who work in desk-bound jobs to encourage healthy posture habits.
Healthy diet and weight management
Your diet affects your spinal health. Excess weight, particularly around the waistline, puts increased pressure on your lower back and can exacerbate sciatica symptoms.
Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet high in anti-inflammatory foods can go a long way in preventing recurrent sciatica pain.
Be aware of how you move throughout the day, especially when lifting heavy objects. Improper lifting can lead to lower back injuries that may irritate the sciatic nerve. Always bend at your knees, not your waist, and lift using the strength of your legs instead of your back.
Regular medical checkups
Regular checkups are vital for early detection and prevention of recurrent sciatica pain. Our physicians at SEPA Pain & Spine are experts in managing sciatica and can provide personalized treatment plans, including preventive measures tailored to your specific needs.
Though sciatica pain can be debilitating, there are practical measures that can help prevent its recurrence. Keep sciatica at bay by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, being mindful of your posture, exercising regularly, and staying in tune with your body.
With trusted health care providers like ours at SEPA Pain & Spine, managing and preventing sciatica doesn't have to be daunting. We’re always ready to guide you on your path to a healthier, pain-free life.
Book a consultation with us at any of our offices in Horsham, Langhorne, Meadowbrook, Chalfont, East Norriton, and Limerick, Pennsylvania, or call 855-235-7246. You can also request a new patient appointment here.