The largest nerve in your body is called the sciatic nerve. It starts at the base of your spine and travels through the buttocks and down the back of each leg, all the way to the sole of your foot. If this nerve gets damaged, inflamed and/or compressed, it may cause a painful condition called sciatica.
Painful sciatica symptoms usually affect just one side of the body. The pain often feels like an intense burning or shooting sensation down your leg that doesn’t go away. Pain may increase with certain activities like sitting or standing for long periods or while lifting heavy objects.
While sciatica pain generally dissipates with a few weeks of at-home care, it may return at any time. Here to help you prevent sciatica flare-ups is Dr. Peter Le, DC.
Our team is dedicated to helping men and women manage back pain that keeps them from enjoying their lives to the fullest. Read on for our best tips on reducing your risk of a sciatica flare-up, and what to do if it happens.
1. Stay active
Sitting for long periods, such as while driving or living a sedentary lifestyle, are two leading causes of sciatica. Staying active and making regular exercise a part of your routine is one of the best ways to prevent sciatica flare-ups. Your workouts don’t have to be intense to bring benefits. Walking, swimming, or yoga can help to keep sciatica pain at bay.
If you have a history of back pain or injury, talk to our team to find out more about what type of exercise is safe for you. We can recommend gentle activities that focus on building core strength to improve stability in your back.
2. Stretch regularly
Stretching can make a difference when it comes to treating sciatica. Gentle rotation of the hips may relieve pain and increase range of motion and strength, particularly when coupled with exercise.
Regular exercise and stretching can go a long way in reducing pain and inflammation caused by sciatica. Dr. Le is here to help you find stretches that are best for you.
3. Maintain proper posture
These days, many people have office jobs that necessitate sitting at a desk for most of the workday. Maintaining proper posture when sitting is essential if you want to reduce low back pain and sciatica. Ensure your chair has good lower back support and keep your knees level with your hips.
Practicing proper form is just as important when you’re active. When lifting heavy objects, keep your back straight and lift with your legs to help reduce your risk of spinal injury. Move up and down and avoid twisting as you lift.
4. Apply heat or ice
Sciatica is a condition that may recur even when you take preventive measures. If you begin to notice pain in your buttocks or leg, at-home care can keep the flare-up from getting worse. Many people find that applying heat or ice packs to the affected area effectively relieves pain because it helps reduce inflammation. Consult with our team to find out which is the best for your specific condition.
5. Consider non-surgical spinal decompression
At Spinal Stenosis and Disc Center, Inc., we offer a range of nonsurgical treatments for severe sciatica. Non-surgical spinal decompression can be effective if your symptoms don’t respond to more conservative treatment methods, and Dr. Le can help you determine if this is a good treatment option for you.
Spinal decompression can minimize sciatica pain by reducing pressure in the spine near your sciatic nerve. It’s a non-invasive procedure that delivers relief directly to the area that’s causing your pain.
Having sciatica doesn’t mean living with pain is inevitable. Schedule an appointment with our team at Spinal Stenosis and Disc Center, Inc. online or on the phone today.