Sciatica seems to be an impossible affection once it kicks in. Pain is acute and excruciating, yet symptoms can improve after a while. Assuming you get the right treatment and you make a few changes to your lifestyle, recovering from sciatica can be a relieving experience that will make your life easier. Furthermore, you also need to work on its longterm effects. You have to understand how to minimize the risk of getting it back. Here is everything you need to do in order to alleviate the effects and prevent further returns.
Recovering from Sciatica
Recovering from sciatica involves looking after yourself. No matter how active you used to be before sciatica, chances are you will need to take a break now. The affection can be kept under control. While many restrictions are not permanent, you should see this issue as an opportunity to make some healthy changes to your lifestyle and avoid returning to bad habits.
You will most likely need to make a few lifestyle changes throughout the treatment. While medication will help, you will also have to alter your lifestyle in order to ease the painful episodes.
Exercising on a regular basis is a must – not the type of intense exercises. No pain, no gain – forget about it. You do not want pain at this stage. You do have to maintain a bit of strength in your back though, so longterm exercising is a must.
Maintaining a good posture is also highly recommended. You will have to adapt a good posture whenever you sit down – whether you are in work or at home while watching a movie. A good posture is mandatory when you walk too. If you have to stand for long periods of time, get some supportive shoes.
Whether it comes to your job or DIY tasks around your home, avoid bending over too often – not to mention lifting heavy stuff. If you need to pick something up, squat instead – put the pressure on your legs, rather than your back.
Last, but not least, stick to a healthy diet. Lose some weight if you have to. Obesity is a common risk for sciatica. The same goes for diabetes, which is often triggered by obesity.
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Now, recovering from sciatica also involves following a few rules – there are certain things you are supposed to do more often, as well as things you should avoid.
Do’s when recovering from sciatica
Lifestyle changes can be quite diversified when recovering from sciatica. More specific tips and tricks could give you a few clues about the kind of activities you have to perform.
Walking is one of the most recommended fitness solutions for those who recover from this affection. This activity is great, especially if you choose a nice area with beautiful views. Of course, it does not mean that you need to engage into intense hiking or trekking activities. Avoid going up hundreds of stairways and stay away from difficult terrains. Walking down hills can also be an issue. Look for easy walks on flat terrains instead.
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2. Low impact activities
Low impact activities are just as diversified and give you a plethora of choices. Tai chi is a great choice, but yoga is just as handy – especially it will give you some balance, relax you and improve your posture. Do not overlook pilates or aqua aerobics either. As you gain in balance, you also gain in strength. Make sure you join a class for beginners – or even better, a class for elders or those with specific health related problems.
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Stretching is also recommended and a great routine for home. The secret is to do it on a regular basis. Turn it into a habit – you do not need anything too sophisticated, but simple stretches. Yoga is excellent, yet a few stretches could be problematic for sciatica – such as greeting the dawn, the cobra or the sphinx. About half an hour a day will do.
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How about a bit of strengthening too? You do not need to get engaged into harsh workouts. Instead, do it gently. Use light weights or perhaps your own bodyweight. Longterm effects will be incredibly good.
Generally speaking, try to be active as you recover. Take it easy and do not rush – do not try too hard either. You must be gentle – make a bit of effort, but your exercises must be comfortable. As you recover more and more, you can slightly return to the activities you love, yet some of these lifestyle changes should be permanent.
Don’ts when recovering from sciatica
Some people might have been active before sciatica kicked in too. Sure, there are more reasons behind this affection. Painful sciatica can become frustrating overtime, as it prevents you from doing things you like. In other words, even the recovery may keep you away from a few types of activities – most of them are not forever though. However, even when fully recovered, you should still be cautious and avoid them as much as you can.
High impact activities are to be avoided. Whether you need to stop out of nowhere while running or change direction out of nowhere, avoid such things. Some common examples include martial arts and mountain biking.
Powerful and quick movements are also to be avoided. For example, as peaceful as it seems, golf is contraindicated because it involves swinging and bending over – lots of pressure on the lower back. Aerobics, athletics or gymnastics must be avoided too.
Lifting or moving heavy stuff is a bad idea too. Stick to light loads instead – forget about a big bag, take items out and carry one or two items at a time.
Finally, static positions are bad for sciatica, even if they involve some sort of activity. Cycling looks like a good exercise, but you mostly move your legs only – the upper body and the back are unchanged. If you do have to perform such activities, stick to light stuff only.
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