Bad Habits Making Your Sciatica Worse

When your sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back down through each of your legs, becomes pinched, compressed, or irritated, the result is pain ranging from mild to crippingly severe. This is a common condition known as sciatica.

Here at Delmarva Pain & Spine Center, led by Yogan Patel, MD, we understand that sciatica and other forms of pain can make it hard to enjoy life. Our caring team in Newark, DE is here to help you understand the underlying cause of your pain and treat or manage it.

Read on to learn common factors that may be contributing to your sciatica.

Common Causes of Sciatica

Sciatica typically occurs due to something pinching or irritating your sciatic nerve as it exits your lumbar spine. While this pain may not always feel severe enough to seek treatment, you may be better able to address and manage the pain you do have if you know its root cause.

1. Older age

It’s no surprise that your body deteriorates as you get older, and this is true for your spine as well. Herniated discs, which happen when your disc nucleus pushes through the exterior casing into your spinal canal, and bone spurs, which are excess bone growths, can both push on the sciatic nerve and cause the irritation and pain of sciatica.

2. Being overweight or obese

Excess weight can put a major strain on your body, including your spine. A 2014 study showed that there is an association between being overweight or obese and experiencing sciatica, for both men and women. So, if you are overweight and have sciatica, we recommend regular exercise and a healthy diet to help you shed weight and reduce your pain overall.

3. Sitting for long periods

If you sit for extended periods of time at home or at work, your likelihood for developing sciatica is higher than for people who stay active. So, make sure you get up at least once an hour to move around the house or go out for a walk, jog, or bike ride (while maintaining social distancing, of course!).

4. Work

On the other hand, if your work requires you to lift heavy objects, you also have a higher likelihood for developing sciatica. Try to reduce the strain on your back by using back support and avoiding bending over to pick up and put down heavy objects — lift from your legs, not your back.

5. Diabetes

Diabetes notoriously causes peripheral neuropathy, often leading to a burning or numb sensation in one of your legs, mirroring the symptoms of sciatica. If you’re not sure whether diabetes is the cause of your sciatica, come in for a consultation with Dr. Patel. 

Get relief for your sciatica

There are a number of ways to effectively manage your sciatica. When you come in for a consultation, Dr. Yogan asks about your medical history, symptoms, and overall health goals in order to determine which course of treatment is right for you. 

Some treatment options Dr. Patel may recommend include:

You don’t have to live with the pain and discomfort of sciatica anymore! We’re here to help you figure out what’s contributing to your sciatica and the best way to treat it. Call us today at 302-355-0900 or request an appointment right here on our website.

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