How to Find Real Relief of Your Sciatica Pain
By Nancy Dickey, Author of Stop Sciatica Now!
When you have problems with your sciatica, taking strides to keep your back in good health should become part of your everyday routine. This goes beyond taking an anti-inflammatory or pain pill when flare ups occur. The real relief from sciatica pain comes when you make changes in your life to keep the muscles in your back healthy.
Today, many people find relief through exercise. But it is very important to see your health care professional about which stretches and exercise routines will work best for you. Plus, your health care provider will be able to rule out any other serious problems that might be causing your symptoms. Stretching exercises that will offer you some relief from your sciatica symptoms should target the muscles that cause the pain because they are tight and inflexible. The sciatica nerve runs right through certain muscles in the back and legs. When these muscles are tight, they compress the sciatica nerve, which is what causes your pain. Your health care provider will also be able to give you advice on an exercise routine that can be tailored to address the underlying cause of your sciatic pain, such as a lumbar herniated disc or spinal stenosis.
In addition to an exercise routine, you should minimize everyday stress on your lower back in order to avoid sciatica flare ups. This includes using appropriate ergonomics while lifting, and maintaining good posture. Using good posture pertains to sitting, standing, and lying down. In order to maintain good posture while you’re sitting, you should make sure that your lower back is supported. Being able to lightly rest your back on the back of your chair when you’re sitting will help. You don’t want to sit too straight or lean too far back. You could also improve your sitting posture by getting a footrest to bring your knees to the same level or a little higher than your hips. Make sure your head is not leaning too far forward in an attempt to see what you’re working on. Have your reading material at a position or height where you can read it easily without bending over. You should also adjust the height of your computer screen so that you can look at it straight on, not angled and not too low.
To maintain a healthy back, you also should avoiding sitting or standing for long periods of time. Take frequent breaks from prolonged sitting every thirty to sixty minutes. If you do need to stand for long periods of time, you can periodically shift your weight from one foot to the other, and if possible, keep the resting foot a little elevated on a box or a curb.
Try to avoid lying on your stomach as you sleep. This position puts unnecessary stress on your muscles, ligaments, and disks. If you can’t sleep without lying on your stomach, try putting a pillow under your hips to keep your spine aligned.
When sciatica problems are a part of your life, it is essential to find a permanent relief from your pain by taking the steps to care for your lower back during the day.
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