The sciatic nerve starts at the spinal cord, extends through the buttocks and hips, and then branches down every leg. It’s the longest nerve in the body and influences the ability of people to control and feel their legs.
Sciatica is pain caused by injury, irritation, or compression of sciatic nerve. It occurs when the spine, herniated disk, or bone spurs is narrowed, causing pain, inflammation, and sometimes numbness in affected leg. It’s argued that up to 40% of people will suffer from at least one instance of sciatica during their lifetimes.
6 Things That Make Sciatica Worse
1. Uncomfortable Shoes
Fancy footwear like high heels causes discomfort while walking, especially to people wearing them the first time. They tend to change weight distribution, applying pressure on the front of a foot, making the wearer push their hips forward.
If someone suffering from sciatica stands or walks for a long time with their pelvis pushed forward in such a way, it stretches them by putting stress on their hamstrings. This continuous pressure due to stretching can worsen sciatica since the sciatic nerve is situated by the hamstrings.
2. Tight Pants
Tight or too-fitting pants, trousers, skirts, or shorts put lots of pressure on the hips, buttocks, legs, and even the lower back or spine. This can strain the sciatic nerve as well as the surrounding areas, causing pain.
People should wear something that won’t dig into them or cause pain, especially those who sit a lot during work.
3. Poor Sitting Habits
Poor sitting habits like too much sitting are also linked to triggering or making sciatica worse. Sitting puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, lower back, and glute muscles.
Most doctors advise people with sciatica to stand up and walk around as much as they can. Besides, desk job workers can perform back, and leg stretches for a few minutes to ensure blood flow and lower sciatica chances.
Generally, people should mind their posture, like ensuring the chairs offer enough support for the back, using armrests, and placing feet on the ground while sitting.
4. Carrying Things in Back Pocket(s)
Carrying items like wallet, phone, keys, or other bulky items in back pockets can unknowingly trigger or worsen sciatica. While this may not be an issue when walking around or standing, it becomes problematic when sitting down.
When it comes to sitting down with things in back pocket, they can apply unwanted pressure on the piriformis muscle (a small muscle that aids outward leg rotation) under which sciatic nerve runs. The best solution is to put the items in the front pockets or jacket.
5. Inactivity and Overweight
Recurring sciatica is common to overweight people who don’t exercise at all. Additional weight, mainly in the middle section of the body, exerts both pressure and strain on the lower back and pelvis.
Also, an inactive body in physical activity or exercise worsens sciatica down the line. Essentially, daily activity keeps the muscles strong enough to both ‘carry’ the body and prevent pain caused by weakness and imbalance. Adopting a workout routine to lose some pounds and also incorporating stretching or simply walking daily can lessen both back pain and sciatica pain.
6. Improper Lifting and Moving
Lifting bulky things requires someone to bend forward, which puts extra stress on a spine. Improper bending and lifting can hurt the spine, worsening sciatica.
Those with a history of sciatica or back pain should learn proper and healthy moving as well as strengthen all muscles involved in moving, mainly the hip’s extensors and flexors and core’s musculature, including the abdominal muscles, the obliques, and the erectors.
People should learn how to hinge at their hips rather than bending at their waist and involve both hips and legs in lifting instead of just legs. Folks struggling with sciatica need to exercise but under specialist supervision. Instructed lifting can speed up the recovery process.
In a nutshell, managing sciatica and performing activities that don’t trigger the pain requires the help of a massage therapist, acupuncturist, and chiropractor specializing in sciatica or other medical experts. The right treatment program, instructed movement, and a healthy lifestyle can make sciatica an afterthought. Even so, people should watch out for the above red flags to sciatica and do the right thing the next time.
How Can A 30-Second Stretch Erase Back Pain & Sciatica?
My friend and back-pain expert Emily Lark has taught this 1 strange (but extremely effective) stretch to thousands of back pain and sciatica sufferers… and the results they’ve reported are nothing short of amazing.
I convinced Emily to show you exactly how to perform this miracle stretch… escape the pain & agony that plague you every single day… AND avoid dangerous drugs and surgery.
Click on the link below to see the stretch: