It’s hard to stay active when you struggle with the low back and shooting leg pain caused by sciatica. But exercise is one of the top lifestyle adjustments you can make to improve sciatica and regain a healthy lifestyle.
Our team at iMed Regeneration Center often treats patients with sciatica and fully understands the challenges you face. Along with providing exceptional chiropractic care and physical rehabilitation, we also teach lifestyle adjustments that can help ease your sciatica symptoms.
Here are our top five lifestyle tips:
Prolonged sitting is guaranteed to aggravate your sciatica and cause your symptoms to flare up. Sitting puts extra pressure on your lower back, adding to the nerve compression that causes sciatica.
If you need to sit for your job, or you’re relaxing at home, you can prevent problems by taking a break every 20 minutes. Your break doesn’t need to be long. Just be sure to stretch and walk around for a short time.
You can also reduce the pressure on your lower back by keeping your feet flat on the floor, sitting in an ergonomic chair, or using a lumbar pillow to support your lower back. Avoid turning, bending, or twisting while sitting because these movements also trigger sciatica symptoms.
Strengthening and stretching the core abdominal and back muscles that support your lower spine can:
While regular exercise is essential for maintaining a strong spine, it’s also important to follow a regimen that doesn’t cause damage. Jumping into a workout that’s too strenuous for your lower back only adds to your sciatica problems.
We can help by creating an exercise plan that’s gentle and appropriate for your back and overall fitness level.
Walking is one of the best exercises for relieving sciatica pain. When you walk, pay attention to your posture. The postures many people assume when walking put stress on their spine and pinch the sciatic nerve.
For example, walking with your upper back bent forward (or slightly backward) is hard on your lower spine. Instead, stand up straight, keep your head centered on the top of your spine, and look straight ahead rather than downward.
Your lower spine (where the sciatic nerve is pinched) bears the weight of your upper body. Being overweight amplifies the pressure, aggravating sciatica and increasing your pain.
Anyone who is overweight is at risk for more frequent sciatica pain. But the problem is worse if you carry the weight in your stomach. Extra abdominal weight strains your lower back.
You can improve sciatica by being aware of the way you carry and lift. Use proper body mechanics every time you carry groceries, pick up your baby, or lift heavy objects.
When lifting, bend your hips and knees, squat down to pick up the item, and then hold it close to your body while you lift by straightening your legs. Don’t lift a heavy object above shoulder level, and try to avoid twisting or turning while holding something that’s heavy.
You can improve your sciatica symptoms with diligent lifestyle care and treatment from our experienced team at iMed Regeneration Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Call our office or book an appointment online today.