Relief!! You have finally resolved the sharp low back pain radiating down your legs and have successfully achieved relief from sciatica pain.
However, you need to take certain precautions and avoid certain activities to ensure that your sciatica does not recur, and you have long-term relief from this debilitating condition.
It is not possible to prevent sciatica from returning completely once resolved, as certain conditions like pregnancy, degenerative disk disease, and aging increase the risk of developing a recurrence of sciatica. However, simple care, awareness and prevention can decrease the likelihood of developing sciatica.
Exercising regularly can help in a multitude of ways to maintain overall good health and is one of the simplest ways to prevent an onset of sciatica from recurring. Regular exercise is a great way to manage your body weight, increase muscle strength, and increase the flexibility of the spine. However, exercise and stretches should be performed with care.
Certain high-impact exercises like running should be avoided – but contact your doctor for your specific circumstances as every patient is different. Your chiropractor can recommend and demonstrate the exercises and stretches that you can perform at home to maintain a healthy spine and prevent recurrence of sciatica.
Obesity puts you at a higher risk as obesity often causes nerve inflammation that can trigger sciatica. Being overweight also puts additional stress on your spine increasing the chance of developing a herniated disc, which is the primary cause of sciatica.
Eat healthy food, avoid processed food and sugar, and exercise regularly to manage your weight. Reducing your body weight can relieve pressure on your spine, reduce the risk of developing diabetes and other medical conditions that may trigger sciatica. You may want to consider getting the advice of a nutritionist to help you work out an eating plan. Many people are surprised to learn that there are many more reasonable and delicious food options available than they previously thought.
Avoid a Sedentary Lifestyle
Certain occupations like a desk job can lead to prolonged periods of inactivity. Poor posture while sitting for long hours can put undue stress on your lower back. Make sure you sit correctly to support your spine, use lumbar or low back support for your chair, and take regular breaks to stretch and move. Try to stay active before and after your work hours. Make simple changes like parking your vehicle a little further away from your destination so you can get in more walking, get up and walk during your lunch breaks, and use stairs to compensate for your sedentary work hours.
Proper Lifting Technique
One of the most common problems that lead to several low back pain problems is incorrect lifting. Whether lifting your groceries, weights at the gym, or boxes or other heavy objects as part of your occupation, if incorrectly done can strain your lower back and put stress on your spine increasing the risk of triggering sciatica.
To properly lift, widen your legs and squat down bending at the hips and knees and slowly lift by straightening your hips and knees. Keep the object to be lifted closer to your body and walk in small steps while lifting to minimize stress on your spine.
Smoking puts you at risk of developing degenerative disc disease and inflammation of the spinal nerves which in turn may trigger sciatica. Avoid smoking to ensure good spinal health and prevent recurrence of sciatica.
Good posture prevents your spine from undue stress and keeps it aligned properly. Correct posture should be maintained while sitting, walking, standing, sleeping, and lifting as it helps balance and support the spine and prevent excess stress to spinal joints and muscles.
Checking in with your chiropractor to ensure everything is working well in your body is a great way to get ahead of any problems. You could consider it maintenance for your spine, the same way you commit to maintenance for your car – regular appointments to keep everything running smoothly.
By making simple life changes in the form of staying active, maintaining a healthy body weight, and paying attention to your posture, you can effectively prevent sciatica recurrence and prevent several back pain problems.
Needing to know about your options to help you with your Sciatica pain? Reach out to our office today to book your appointment so we can help in your return to great back health.