Previously we wrote about exercises to relieve sciatic nerve pain, but today we will review some habits and activities to that are aggravating your sciatica pain. So, you’ve got sciatic pain, but you’ve only just had it, and while you’re doing your stretches and applying topical treatments, what are you doing that makes it keep hurting?
Sciatica is leg pain caused by a pinched nerve in the lower back. The name comes from the sciatic nerves, which are the two longest nerves in your body. They start at you lumbar spine and run right down to your ankle bones. Sciatica pain can be caused by a myriad of things, from herniated disks to pregnancy and old sports injuries. Sciatic pain normally only shows up on one side of the body at a time and frequently goes away after 6-8 weeks. If you experience pain in both legs or if it continues for longer, you should see a doctor.
What’s Bothering Your Sciatica?
Poor posture puts a lot of strain on your spine. By applying more pressure, compacting your frame can aggravate your sciatic nerve.
Avoid High Heels
They might be cute, but high heels aren’t good for your body. Anything with a heel higher than an inch and a half, shifts your body weight forward, throws your spine out of alignment and puts more strain on your legs and back.
Avoid Tummy Sleeping
It’s bad news for committed belly-sleepers. Sleeping on your belly puts a lot of strain on your spine and neck, aggravating your sciatica. If you’re suffering sciatic pain, try sleeping on your left side or back (with a pillow under your knees). Here is an infographic on the best and worst sleeping positions.
Avoid Sitting or Standing For Prolonged Periods
Office work is bad for you, no surprise there. If you sit or stand without moving for long periods, this could be bothering your sciatica. Try getting up, doing a toe touch, or rotating your toes outward, which will turn out your hips, possibly relieving certain types of sciatic pain.
If you do a lot of lifting in your job (kitchen work, factory work) you have to lift from your legs. The extra strain on your back can pull and stretch the sciatic nerves in the wrong ways.
Exercise is good for you, but not if you’re doing it wrong. It’s easy to do something like a squat badly and injure, or put strain on, your spine. You can add high impact sports on this list too (football, soccer, rugby, ballet).
Lacking Core Strength
This one is not an activity, more likely a lack of one. Your back and stomach muscles need to be able to support your body to ease the strain on your spine. When lacking, exercising is in order, and what better place to start than planks (7 Things That Will Happen When You Start Doing Planks Every Day). You can do a variety of plan exercises, all strengthening your core. This is a good resource: 30 Gifs of Plank Exercises. Also remember that your abdominal muscles are crucial for supporting your body and spine – The Top 10 Best Home Abs Exercises – No Equipment.