Sciatica pain is the painful shooting, burning, or stabbing sensation that may travel down the leg from the buttocks to the toes, often due to inflammation in the sciatic nerve.
It is a chronic condition and how to get rid of sciatica pain isn’t easy to answer. Medical practitioners believe that managing sciatica pain needs a combination of surgical and non-surgical interventions. Ergonomic chairs with high back, curved lumbar support, optimum recline angle, and a water fall seat design is one way to manage sciatic pain.
Let’s see what are the dos and don’ts of managing sciatic pain.
What is Sciatica Pain
Sciatica is a condition that affects the lower back. It is caused by a problem in the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back to the legs and feet. It usually occurs when the nerve is pinched or compressed.
The pain is often felt as a sharp or burning sensation that travels down the leg. It may feel like a dull ache or a sharp jab. It usually gets worse at night, and it is most often triggered by prolonged sitting or standing.
How You Can Get Rid of Sciatica Pain
About 90% of sciatica cases occur in a slipped disc. It is the most common form of back pain. It occurs when your sciatic nerve gets irritated and becomes inflamed.
Generally, the effective treatments for sciatica are:
- Surgery (Diseckectomy and Laminectomy)
- Physical Therapy
- Pain Killers
The dos of Managing Sciatica Pain
Sciatica pain is caused by several conditions that may be physical, psychological, or both. When the pain is severe, it can cause walking difficulties and reduced mobility. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor.
Physical Therapy and Exercise
If you think you have sciatica, go to see your doctor right away. He will examine you, ask questions and take an x-ray. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy.
A trained therapist will teach you exercises that will strengthen your muscles and help to relieve your pain. These exercises can include stretching, strengthening, and balance training.
Sometimes, your pain can be eased by taking over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).
The doctor may also suggest that you try a muscle relaxant to help with the tightness and spasms in your muscles.
Sit up Straight
Your doctor may also recommend a change in your sitting position. You should sit on a stool so that you can lean back slightly while working at your desk.
Avoid slouching and make sure you sit straight and tall. If you have back problems, you should stand or walk when possible.
Sleep on a Firm Bed and Try a Fetal position
If you sleep on a firm mattress, you’re more likely to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. If your bed is soft, you may be more likely to sleep poorly and not get a good night’s rest.
Fetal position is the C-shaped posture of sleeping as we all did in our mother’s tummy.
Some people believe that sleeping on your side is a much better position than on your stomach. As it will make your spine more flexible and allow you to sleep better.
Keep Your Body Healthy – Quit Smoking
Your body will feel better if you eat right, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking. Get plenty of sleep and drink enough water.
Take a break every couple of hours to stretch your muscles. Your doctor may also recommend taking supplements like fish oil or calcium to help keep your bones healthy and strong.
Use Heat and Cold Therapy for Sciatica Pain
An alternative for reducing pain is using either heating or cooling packs.
If you take frequent doses of pain medication, your liver and stomach must be in good shape to prevent damage.
Heating pads help to relieve sore muscles, which can be caused by tension and put extra stress on the sciatic nerve. While cold therapy can help reduce inflammation in the muscles around the nerve.
The Don’ts of Managing Sciatica Pain
Here is a list of the things you should avoid if you’re trying to manage sciatic pain:
Less Bedrest – Stay active
Unless advised by a physician, a person with sciatica pain should stay active and perform the usual activities of the day. Sitting for long hours can aggravate the condition.
Bedrest may stiffen the muscles and will make movement even more difficult.
Don’t Lift Heavy Objects
If you lift heavy objects, then it’s likely that you’ll be suffering from back pain, which is one of the major causes of sciatica.
Don’t Sleep on Soft Mattress
Try not to sleep on your back because this can put pressure on the sciatic nerve.
Use a soft mattress to sleep on and don’t sleep straight try to neutralize your spine and prevent any compression.
Avoid Strenuous Exercises
Sciatica is usually caused by muscle tightness in the lower back area, so avoid any strenuous exercises. Heavy weight lifting, pull-ups, and certain yoga positions put pressure on the spine.
Can an Ergonomic Chair Help Your Sciatica Pain
Office and living room chairs with lumbar support and adjustable seat can decrease the chances of poor posture. A bad posture can increase sciatic pain and worsen your condition.
If you’re working in an office, or you’re a student, sitting continuously will make your condition worse. And there to sit with sciatica pain, you need an ergonomic chair.
Understand the Neutral Spine Position
A neutral spine position is a great way to improve your posture and help prevent back problems. It is also a great way to improve your overall sense of balance.
A neutral spine position is where your spine is in a natural S-shaped curve. The vertebrae are well-aligned with no compression. It is when your head, neck, shoulders, and hips are aligned in a straight line with your torso. And your legs are at a 90-degree angle to the floor.
Sitting with your feet placed flat on the floor will take the pressure off your hamstrings. Also, a neutral spine position is not enough to get rid of the pain, you should take breaks from sitting. Stand and walk at regular intervals.
Get Medical Guidance
This article is not medical advice but common ways to manage pain. These are the common observations from people who have suffered from this condition.
You should consult an orthopedic to effectively lower the pain.
1. What can I do to prevent sciatica?
Sciatica pain is usually caused by an injury to your back or leg. It is important to get regular exercise to help strengthen your back and leg muscles. Also, you should avoid sitting for long periods.
2. Can I use heat or cold therapy to help with sciatica?
Yes, you can use heat or cold therapy.
3. Can I use acupuncture to help with sciatica pain?
Yes, acupuncture is believed to be effective by many.
4. What are the best exercises to do for sciatica pain?
The best exercises are those that focus on strengthening your back and leg muscles.
5. Can I take over-the-counter drugs to help with sciatica pain?
Yes, but only with a prescription, do not self-medicate.
Research shows that people who are obese are medically inclined to lower back pain. However, managing body weight, work-related ergonomics, and avoiding prolonged sitting can suppress back problems.
How to get rid of sciatica pain? The best way is by using natural methods such as acupuncture and massage.
Physical therapy is another alternative, but it will take time for you to recover completely. Be careful about the exercise you do. Keep your back straight and avoid bending or lifting heavy objects. Your physician may recommend a very effective surgery, especially for elder people.