Few things can hijack your life the way sciatica does, rendering even the simplest tasks, like putting on shoes, into teeth-gritting affairs. While you might think that there’s little you can do about the pain except to let it run its inevitable course, there are some steps you can take to reduce its impact, speed up recovery, and, best yet, prevent sciatica in the first place.
At Advantage Spinal Dynamics & Innovative Medicine, our team of chiropractors and physical therapists believes in a holistic and sustainable approach to musculoskeletal problems, especially those in your low back like sciatica. American adults are no strangers to low back pain with an 80% prevalence rate, which is why we’re devoted to helping our patients in Meridian, Idaho, find long-term solutions.
To that end, we’ve pulled together a list of 5 factors that could be contributing to your sciatica so that you can fight back and, with our help, lead a happy, active life free from low back and leg pain.
1. Work it out
Sciatica develops for a number of reasons, with degenerative disc disease leading the charge. Whether your disc has ruptured or is bulging, it’s pressing on your sciatic nerve, which is what leads to the pain and tingling down your back and leg.
To avoid this scenario, you’d do well to ensure that the support system surrounding your beleaguered discs is pulling its weight, quite literally. By embarking on a strength and flexibility program that shores up the supporting tissues, including your muscles, tendons, and ligaments, you can take the pressure off your discs.
Our team of physical therapists is happy to help you come up with the best regimen for your lifestyle.
2. Straighten it out
Your spine is the foundational support of your body so it can’t afford to have any problems along the length of its 33 vertebrae and 23 discs. To ensure that your spine is functioning properly, we recommend regular chiropractic treatments that align your spine. Not only do they rebalance the structure, these treatments also free up your body’s resources by eliminating the roadblocks that spine misalignments can cause. This enables your discs to get the nourishment they need for better health.
3. A better lift
If you routinely engage in activities that tax your low back, like heavy lifting, we urge you to wear a support brace and to spread the workload to your legs and knees. You’ve probably heard, “lift with your knees,” time and again, and this is excellent advice for avoiding sciatica. If you have unhealthy discs, all it takes is one lift with your low back to trigger a chain of events that will lay you flat with back pain.
4. Weight loss
As we mentioned, your spine is your foundational support and it bears a fairly hefty burden under normal circumstances. If you’re carrying extra weight, however, you’re adding to this already large workload, which can lead to sciatica. If you’d like to lighten the load, weight loss can go a long way toward preventing sciatica, as well as a host of other medical issues, making it a win-win proposition.
5. Stand up
Humans were meant to move around, not sit at desks for hours on end. Prolonged sitting compresses your back, which can cause disc problems that irritate your sciatic nerve. If you’re a desk jockey, do yourself a favor by getting up at least once an hour to stretch and move around. And when you’re at your desk, resist slouching by keeping your back straight and your shoulders back.
If you have more questions about sciatica, we’re here to help. Simply give us a call or use the online scheduling tool.