Long-Term Prevention Plan for Sciatica

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  • One important aspect of preventing sciatica is getting regular exercise. This gives you greater flexibility, which may help lower your risk of developing back injuries
  • Preventing sciatica is simply about following a healthy lifestyle. By ensuring that your posture is correct at all times, your dietary choices are healthy and that you get regular exercise, you can help prevent sciatica

Depending on certain factors such as your height, age and lifestyle choices, sciatica can occur in almost anyone. While it is a treatable condition, preventing it from happening again is key to improving your daily quality of life.

Regular Exercise Can Strengthen Your Core Muscles

One important aspect of preventing sciatica is getting regular exercise. The main benefit of this is strengthening your core muscles, especially the ones surrounding your spine. This gives you greater flexibility, which may help lower your risk of developing back injuries.1

If you’ve just recovered from a bout of sciatica, it’s recommended that you be careful with exercising. Low-impact workouts are great because they don’t add too much stress on your spine. Good examples include riding a stationary bike, swimming or using an elliptical machine. Take your time with your sessions and start out with only a few minutes, then gradually build up as your muscle strength improves.2

Proper Posture Is Key to Preventing Back Pain

Poor posture is a common cause of sciatica and should be addressed right away. If you’ve been doing any of the following, seek help from a physical therapist right away to help yourself initiate proper posture:3

Sticking the neck out

Hunching the middle of your back

Slouching when seated

Tucking the buttocks inward

One shoulder is lower than the other

Allowing the chest to sink in and the stomach to protrude

While it’s important to observe proper posture throughout the day, it’s equally important to be mindful of your posture while you’re sleeping, as it may be another reason why you developed sciatica. You can try a sleeping position that elevates your knees to help relieve pressure from your lumbar discs throughout the night:4

1. Lie flat on your back while keeping your heels and buttocks in contact with the bed. Bend your knees slightly toward the ceiling.

2. Place a pillow underneath your knees. You may continue adding pillows until you find a comfortable angle.

3. Try sleeping in this position for a few days to see if an improvement occurs.

If the sleeping position above does not work, you can try another one, which focuses on sleeping on your side:5

1. Lie on your side, whichever is more comfortable for you.

2. Place your head on one or more pillows to align your neck with your spine. It’s important to keep them straight to prevent discomfort while sleeping.

3. Bend your knee furthest from the mattress upward toward your hips.

4. Place a few pillows under your knee so that your leg is supported.

5. Try using this position until you experience improvement.

Get Rid of Bad Habits to Help Prevent Sciatica

Though it seems unrelated, certain habits can actually increase your risk of sciatica. Recent research suggests that smoking is not a direct cause of sciatica, but it contributes to its development. Furthermore, smoking also increases your risk of lumbar radicular pain. The researchers went on to conclude that quitting smoking reduces risk, but it does not entirely eliminate the possibility of developing sciatica, as there are other contributing environmental factors.6

If you’re diabetic, you will need to treat your condition right away because it can cause various complications in your body. In the case of sciatica, it can lead to nerve damage (neuropathy), which can become permanent if not addressed right away.7 Treating it with a healthy diet and simultaneously taking out sugars and processed food may help with your condition.

All in all, preventing sciatica is simply about following a healthy lifestyle. By ensuring that your posture is correct at all times, your dietary choices are healthy and that you get regular exercise, you can help prevent sciatica.

MORE ABOUT SCIATICA

Sciatica: An Introduction

What Is Sciatica?

Sciatica Symptoms

Sciatica Causes

Sciatica Treatment

Sciatica Pain Relief

Sciatica Exercises

Sciatica Surgery

Sciatica Prevention

Sciatica During Pregnancy

Sciatica Diet

Sciatica FAQ

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