Sciatica is a condition in which discomfort begins in the lower back and radiates down the leg. This problem of the lower back is often caused by an irritated or herniated disc pushing against the sciatic nerve’s root. While taking it easy for a few days may help alleviate the pain, some activities may cause it to return in seconds. The following are five items that can aggravate your sciatica:
1. Bending Your Body Forward
If you have sciatica, you should avoid bending forward from the waist. Because the sciatic nerve passes through the buttock to the leg, engaging this muscle can worsen sciatica pain. This is because leaning forward might irritate the sciatic nerve by rubbing the buttock muscles against it.
2. Sitting for an Extended Period of Time
Sitting for an extended period of time has also been known to aggravate sciatica, as sitting can compress the sciatic nerve as it passes over the buttock. Indeed, many experts urge that you stand as much as possible while suffering from sciatica. If you do require rest, resting flat on your back is the best position for this condition. This is because the pressure is distributed evenly throughout the back of your body rather than concentrated on the buttock.
3. Lifting Heavy Objects
Lifting a big object not only requires bending forward but also puts additional strain on the spine. The increased tension can further compress the disc that is pinching the sciatic nerve, and as a result, lifting heavy objects can aggravate sciatica.
Coughing may not appear to have an effect on sciatica, but it can significantly worsen the pain. Consider what your body does when you cough for a moment. The majority of people slouch forward, which adds stress to the lower back. As with lifting, this increased tension might aggravate sciatic nerve pinching, causing your symptoms to worsen.
5. Sleeping On One Side
Finally, if you have sciatica, you should avoid sleeping on your side. When you sleep on your side, there is a greater likelihood that your spine will be crooked, putting additional tension on your lower back. Many side sleepers also raise their knees slightly up, which aggravates sciatica. This is because the fetal posture activates the buttock muscles, which might irritate the sciatic nerve even more.
Get Treatments That Do Not Aggravate Sciatica
At American Chiropractors, our team takes pride in assisting patients with painful back ailments such as sciatica. Take the next step toward pain relief from sciatica. Contact our team today for additional information or to arrange for an initial consultation.