6 Most Effective Ways To Manage Sciatica
Sciatica is a term that describes the pain from injury or irritation to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body that branches from your lower spine to your feet. This nerve can become pressured or irritated, resulting in pain in the buttocks, thighs, and legs. Other symptoms of sciatica include weakened muscles, tingling or burning sensations in the leg, and loss of sensation in the foot or along the leg.
A sedentary lifestyle and aging increase your risk of getting pressured sciatica nerve. Conditions like spondylolisthesis, lumbar spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease can also increase the likelihood of sciatica. Luckily there are ways you can manage debilitating symptoms from sciatica.
Keep on reading to discover the six most effective ways to relieve sciatica pain and discomfort.
1. Wear comfortable shoes
Avoid choosing fashion over comfort, especially if you’re experiencing sciatica. The type of shoes you’re wearing affects the stress on your sciatic nerve. High-heeled shoes can shift your body weight, causing you to rely on your hips more, which can contribute to the compression of the sciatic nerve in the lower back. Regardless of the underlying issue, proper shoes can help minimize the stress on the lower back and alleviate sciatica pain. Try to choose arch-supporting footwear that offers proper cushion.
2. Try physical therapy
Mild cases of sciatica can be easily managed with rest, cold compression therapy, and over-the-counter NSAIDs like Ibuprofen. However, sciatica is likely to recur if it’s caused by a condition like a herniated disc. That’s why undergoing physical therapy is the best sciatica treatment option. A physical therapist can help strengthen your back muscles, increase your flexibility, and improve your posture, helping you keep sciatica pain at bay.
3. Change you mattress
A bad mattress can certainly contribute to sciatica flare-ups. If your mattress is old, worn down, uncomfortable, or/and unsupportive, you may benefit from getting a new one. Look for a mattress that offers proper support to your lower back and reduces unnecessary pressure on shoulders and hips.
4. Try yoga
After undergoing physical therapy for your spinal health, a yoga practice may help you stay pain-free. Many sciatica patients find supportive exercise like yoga helps them stay active and reduces their discomfort. Make sure to consult your physical therapy specialist to develop an appropriate yoga exercise regimen. Best yoga poses to relieve sciatica pain include child’s, half-moon, cobra, locust, and bridge poses.
5. Avoid sitting for long periods
Many sciatica patients say that sitting for a long time worsens their pain and discomfort. This is due to increased pressure on the discs in the lower back. Even an ergonomic chair cannot save you from pinching the sciatic nerve when sitting. That’s why it’s vital to stand up and move for a little to allow proper blood flow and ease tension in your lower back. Also, try to do simple stretching exercises to loosen your glutes and piriformis muscles as they can become inflamed and pressure your sciatic nerve.
6. Change your diet
Eating more whole grains, fruits, green leafy veggies, nuts, fatty fish, healthy fats and soluble fiber can help reduce overall inflammation in your body. Turmeric, ginger, green and black tea are also high in anti-inflammatory elements that help reduce the occurrence of sciatica. Make sure to avoid inflammation-causing foods that contain artificial trans fats, sugar, omega 6 fatty acids, refined carbohydrates, mono-sodium glutamate, and gluten. Also, try to stay off alcohol as it can cause inflammation. Before making any dietary changes, consult a sciatica pain specialist to receive proper advice and ensure that your diet won’t interfere with any medications that you take.