Sciatica or sciatic nerve damage is characterized by pain that travels down your back along the sciatic nerve. This pain moves from your lower back through to your hips, buttocks, back of your thighs and sometimes all the way down to your calves. Sciatica can be chronic and severe, and can come on suddenly or develop over time, often only affecting one side of your body.
It is difficult to live with this type of pain. If you are experiencing pain due to sciatica or sciatic nerve damage, there are some tips that might help relieve your pain and/or prevent it from occurring altogether.
Low-impact exercise: One of the most important ways you can help treat or prevent sciatica pain is exercise. The types of exercise you can try are low impact such as aerobics, dancing, walking, jogging, bicycling and swimming. These exercises increase your heart rate and should not cause you pain making them a great choice to avoid and relieve your lower back pain.
Stretching: Another great way to help alleviate your pain is stretching. This is a good option if the exercises mentioned above are difficult for you to perform. Stretching can help increase the flexibility of your spine and increase your range of motion.
These stretches can be simple such as raising your arms over your head or twisting your torso side to side. This is an easy way to build your core and strengthen your spine. Stretching can help warm up your body before exercising so that you do not strain your muscles.
Maintaining a healthy weight: Being obese or overweight can increase your risk of sciatica. The excess weight puts extra pressure on the spine and can cause sciatic nerve pain or a herniated disk. Simple exercises like the ones mentioned above along with a healthy diet can help to shed some of the extra weight and decrease the inflammation and pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Hot or Cold Compress: When you are experiencing pain or inflammation you can use a cold or hot compress. This can help to significantly relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Applying an ice pack or heating pad for 30 minutes or taking a warm bath can increase blood flow and release tension to the nerves in your lower back, hips and legs.
Good Posture: Good posture is important to avoid and relieve sciatica. Make sure your body is in a neutral position when sitting and standing with your shoulders back. Do not slouch. If you sit at a desk most of the day, consider investing in an ergonomic chair that can help keep your back in the correct position throughout the day. You can also place your computer or TV screen higher so that you do not need to look down and hinder your posture.
If you are suffering from lower back pain related to sciatica or sciatic nerve damage, try these tips. You will be surprised at how much better you will feel by making these simple adjustments. If you would like more information on how to relieve your sciatica pain call our office today (614) 412-5009.