Sciatica is very likely to be healed without any major treatments. A few changes in your lifestyle, rest and some specific exercises will do the trick. However, pains can become severe and you may need to turn to painkillers. All in all, severe forms of sciatica will require a doctor’s advice, yet basic pains can normally be handled at home.
Now, just because you overcome sciatica, it does not mean that you will never experience any flareups. In fact, there are some sciatica do’s and don’ts that you need to be aware of. Getting back to your unhealthy habits can cause the affection to come back. Plus, it may also aggravate it. Here is everything you need to know.
Sciatica do’s and don’ts
1. Don’t sit for too long
This is one of the main rules out there. Sciatic pain will often occur when the sciatic nerve is under pressure – such as a herniated disc. Pregnancy may cause similar effects. While lots of people work in environments that imply sitting for long periods of time, such things can aggravate the issue. Luckily, you can get a standing desk to help with the posture.
Standing at the desk may put some pressure on your legs, but at least there is no pressure on the sciatic nerve. If you do need to sit down, make sure you get a professional chair for people with back problems. It requires lots of adjustability, as well as lots of back support. It should also promote a healthy posture to prevent flareups.
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2. Don’t be inactive
When you think about it, a bit of back pain can be handled with some rest. It goes the other way with sciatica. An active lifestyle can actually prevent and treat sciatica. One of the main reasons behind herniated discs relates to weak back muscles. An active lifestyle with lots of exercise can easily provide support for the back, reducing the incidence of painful sensations.
With all these, it does not mean that you have to abuse your back. Lifting heavy objects is contraindicated. If this is what your job implies, use your legs to do it and not your back. Apart from some basic exercises for the back, many sciatica sufferers also benefit from yoga sessions – especially in the morning. Yoga helps stretch the muscles to prevent various injuries.
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3. Do use heat and cold
This piece of advice is always among the sciatica do’s and don’ts coming from your doctor. The procedure will not necessarily work against sciatica, but against the pains associated with it. Over-the-counter medicine will work, but drugs come with potential side effects – plus, some people might be allergic to certain ingredients. Instead, how about some cooling or heating pads and packs?
Heating pads will soothe your sore muscles. If they face an inflammation, they will obviously put pressure on the sciatic nerve. On the other hand, cooling packs are meant to reduce the inflammation around the nerve. It may sound confusing – what option is better? Simply alternate between the two. Use some heating pads, then move on to cooling packs a few hours later and so on.
Skin damage and discomfort may occur from both cooling packs and heating pads. Therefore, alternating between them is highly recommended. Normally, a pad or a pack should not be on the affected area for more than 15 minutes. A few such sessions a day will do the trick. You can also use these ideas when the pain actually kicks in.
Suggested article: How To Use Heat Or Ice For Sciatica Pain Relief
4. Do take physical rehabilitation into consideration
Physical rehabilitation can go in more directions. For instance, you can reach to a professional and get some training sessions. Sure, after a few sessions, you will become familiar with the exercises, so you might be able to perform these exercises yourself too. If the pain is too severe, a chiropractor might be the better option.
Then, there are so many ideas and plans for home workouts over the Internet. Sure, some of them are nonsense and may aggravate the issue, but try to find workouts on a reputable website. You do not have to wear yourself out in the gym. After all, handling sciatica with exercise implies mild exercises that target specific muscles only.
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As a short final conclusion, these are some of the most important sciatica do’s and don’ts to take in consideration. Of course, the list could be longer, but other things make common sense and do not necessarily depend on you. For instance, if the pain is too severe and you can barely move, chances are you will need to see a doctor. If you do see a doctor, you will get more advice from them. You might be given certain medication for the pain, as well as more sophisticated treatments and therapies – such as nerve blocks or perhaps reflexology. It depends on how harsh your condition is.
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