Dealing with a painful medical condition can leave you discouraged beyond measure. And in the case of experiencing sciatica pain, it’s no different. With sciatica, it can be challenging to learn how to manage it. And that’s why it’s essential to understand how to improve the condition and not make it worse.
If you’re not sure if you have sciatica, it’s best to first confirm this with a doctor.
But generally speaking, the following are some of the main symptoms of sciatica nerve pain:
- A localized pain in your lower back, spine, and sometimes in your butt and leg
- Sharp and burning pain
- Pain on one side of the body
- Sneezing or coughing causes twinges of pain
- Muscles feel weak
- Numbness and tingling in affected areas
Whether you have sciatica or suspect you may have it, here are some ways you may be making it worse. The good news is by knowing what you’re doing wrong, you can avoid these mistakes moving forward!
1. Sitting Down for Long Periods
If you spend a large part of your day sitting, you’re putting pressure on your sciatica. Unfortunately, sitting too long results in the sciatic nerve getting compressed.
Do your best to stand throughout the day to provide your body relief. Focusing on putting less pressure on your buttock, lower back, and leg should reduce the pain.
Standing a lot may be uncomfortable, but in time, you may get used to it. For example, if you work at a desk, consider getting a stand-up desk. This type of desk will allow you to switch between sitting and standing throughout the day.
2. Picking Up Heavy Items
When you have sciatica, one of the worst things you can do is pick up heavy objects.
Why is this?
Well, by putting more stress on your spine, your sciatic nerve gets pinched. When the nerve gets pinched, you experience more pain.
So, if you need to lift something, it’s best to ask a friend or family member to help you. Don’t cause yourself unnecessary pain. Even if it’s frustrating, you can’t lift something on your own, it’s not worth it.
3. Bending Forward too Much
Similar to not lifting heavy objects, you shouldn’t bend forward. If you’ve been experiencing pain when bending forward, it’s because your nerve runs over your butt and leg. When you’re stretching your back, butt, and leg, it increases pain in that region.
So, try not to bend forward. Instead, get a bench to sit on so that it’s easier to put on your shoes. And be creative in other ways to eliminate leaning forward as much as possible.
4. Wearing Tight Clothing
Wearing tight-fitting clothing like pants is another action that puts stress on the sciatic nerve. When bending over, you’re stretching your butt, legs, and lower back, which is where the nerve is.
As I’ve mentioned throughout this article, when the sciatica nerve has extra pressure, it results in additional pain.
Don’t panic though, you may not need to get rid of all your tight clothing. Before donating your clothes, experiment and see which items of clothing trigger pain. You may find that not wearing a belt or wearing stretchy tight clothing works better.
Wearing loose clothing, more specifically your pants should reduce pain. Also, with less compression on the nerve, you should experience minor discomfort.
5. Not Getting Enough Exercise
For your body to stay in good fighting shape, you should be getting enough exercise. That doesn’t mean you have to become an avid jogger, significantly if it hurts your sciatica. But you should get some form of exercise several days a week.
A low-impact exercise, like swimming, can work wonders. A sport like swimming won’t put a lot of pressure on your sciatica. Better yet, it’ll provide much-needed physical activity.
Stretching also builds up body strength and helps you become more flexible. Make time to schedule in stretching every day and you’ll likely experience less aches and pains.
Furthermore, when you’re fit and have a healthy body weight, your sciatica should improve.
Now that you know what may be making your sciatica worse, you can work on lessening the pain!
Even if you apply these tips, it’s wise to keep in touch with your doctor. They may recommend a course of treatment that’ll improve your sciatica.
Your doctor may recommend you get surgery. Or, they may suggest for you to try something more natural like a CBD cream. Veriheal has an excellent article about how CBD lotions and creams may help with nerve pain.
So, if you’re experiencing a lot of pain and discomfort, don’t give up hope. There are solutions and ways to overcome sciatica.
Take control of your health, and in time, you should find a way to manage your sciatica pain!