6 Main Ways of Preventing Sciatica
Sciatica is a common pain impacting the sciatic nerve, a large nerve running from your lower spine down the back of each leg. Some causes of sciatica cannot be preventable, like degenerative disk illness, pregnancy-related sciatica, or accidental falls. Although it may be impossible to prevent all occurrences of Westfield sciatica, the following steps can effectively protect your back and minimize your risk:
- Maintain proper posture
Sustaining good posture while sitting, standing, lifting items, and sleeping relieves strain on your lower back. Pain can be an early indicator that you are not properly aligned. You should adjust your posture if you begin to feel stiff or sore.
- Exercise regularly
Exercise includes stretching to sustain your joints’ flexibility and activities to improve your core – the muscles of your abdomen and lower back. These muscles help to support your spine. Also, avoid sitting for a length of time.
- Do not smoke
Nicotine lowers blood flow to your bones. It damages the spine and the vertebral disks, putting more strain on your spine and disks, causing back and spine issues.
- Protect yourself against falls
Wear proper footwear and keep stairs and pathways clear of debris to lower your chances of falling. Also, ensure your rooms are well-lit and that there are grab bars in the restrooms and rails on the stairways.
- Keep a healthy weight
Excess weight and an improper diet are linked to inflammation and discomfort throughout your body. Consider the Mediterranean diet to lose weight or develop healthy eating habits. The less pressure you place on your spine, the closer you are to your optimal body weight.
- Select physical activities least likely to cause back pain
Consider low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, yoga, or tai chi.
What does sciatica discomfort feel like?
Patients characterize sciatica discomfort in different ways, depending on the cause. Some describe the discomfort as sharp, shooting, or jolting pain. Also, others describe this pain as “burning,” “stabbing,” or “electric.” The pain may be persistent or may come and go.
Additionally, the discomfort is frequently more intense in your leg compared to the lower back. The pain might worsen if you sit or stand for a long time when you stand up and twist your upper body. A forced and sudden body mobility, such as a cough or sneeze, can also aggravate the pain.
Can sciatica make your leg or ankle swelling?
Sciatica triggered by spinal stenosis, herniated disk, or bone spur compressing the sciatic nerve can cause inflammation or swelling in your afflicted leg. Also, complications of piriformis syndrome may induce swelling in your leg.
The outlook for those living with sciatica
The excellent news is that sciatic pain normally goes away independently with time and certain self-care procedures. Most persons with sciatica (80% to 90%) recover without surgery, and almost half recover completely within six weeks. Consult your specialist if your sciatica pain is not improving and you are worried about not recovering as quickly as expected.
Most instances of sciatica do not necessitate surgery since patience and self-care are usually sufficient. However, seek medical attention if basic self-care methods do not reduce your discomfort. Your healthcare practitioner can determine the source of your pain and provide other treatments. Call Eric Whitehouse, DC, or book your appointment online to determine which sciatica treatments suit you.