Sciatica is a pain that occurs when your sciatic nerve is irritated, inflamed, pinched, or compressed. Sciatica is a persistent condition caused by spinal constriction, bone spurs, or a herniated disc.
Studies show that up to 40% of the population will suffer from sciatica at some point in their lives. Sciatica can go away in 4 to 6 weeks on average, but if you do specific things, it can return in seconds. Here are the 5 possible ways by which you might be worsening your sciatica.
1. Being overweight
Recurrent sciatica pain is frequent in people who are overweight. According to research, the more weight you have, the more probable it is that you will put pressure on your sciatic nerve. Maintaining a healthy weight will help to reduce your chances of suffering from sciatic nerve injury.
2. Wearing clothes that are too tight
Wearing tight pants and shorts can cause a lot of stress on your hips, buttocks, legs, lower back, and spine. Constant compression in these regions places pressure on the sciatic nerve and adjacent areas, resulting in discomfort and pain. If this is the case, wearing loose-fitting clothing should give some comfort.
3. Wearing bad footwear and high heels
When you wear high-heeled shoes, your body weight is pushed forward, requiring you to bend forward at the hips to stay upright. This pelvic movement strains the hamstring muscles in your back, potentially straining and aggravating the sciatic nerve. Shoes that aren’t comfy or padded might be painful on your feet and hamstrings. There are also shoe inserts available for those who suffer from sciatica.
4. Sitting for long durations
Sitting for long durations might sometimes cause or aggravate sciatica pain. The reason behind this is that sitting might compress the sciatic nerve where it passes over the buttock. It also exerts a lot of pressure on your glutes and lower back. You can split your work into multiple sitting sessions with regular walking or brief activity.
5. Laying on your side while sleeping
When you sleep on your side, your spine is more likely to be crooked, which can place unnecessary pressure on your lower back. Sciatica can be further aggravated when you raise your knees slightly while sleeping on your side. This posture pulls the buttock muscles, stressing the sciatic nerve.
How to prevent sciatica from worsening?
- Make sure that you avoid the mistake mentioned above.
- Sciatica improved by stretching with moderate movements, exercise, and physical therapy.
- You can apply heat and cold to the areas that are sore to decrease swelling and discomfort.
- Sit as little as possible and with excellent posture.
- Use over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) to alleviate pain, inflammation, and swelling.
- Lifting large items should be done without bending your back.
- Choose workouts that are unlikely to result in lower back problems.
You can get rid of sciatica pain with the appropriate treatment regimen, a little activity, and a healthy lifestyle. When you’ve tried everything else, and nothing seems to be working, consult a medical professional.