Can You Prevent a Sciatica Flare-up?

Can You Prevent a Sciatica Flare-up?

Low back and leg pain can be due to several different conditions. However, when you have sciatica, your sciatic nerve is compressed, leading to not only low back discomfort, but pain and other symptoms in your legs, too. There are ways, though, that you can prevent your symptoms from getting worse.

At Delmarva Pain and Spine Center, located in Newark, Delaware, our team is highly experienced in pain management for several different disorders, including sciatica. Dr. Shachi Patel is our expert in both anesthesia and pain management. She uses the latest techniques to help ease your sciatica pain.

Understanding sciatica

Sciatica is a painful condition that happens when your sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back down both legs, is compressed. This nerve is the largest in your body, starting in the low back and buttocks, and branching down each leg. It ends just below your knee.

Sciatica happens when you experience pain in any area where the sciatic nerve travels. This pain is due to a number of different issues that compress on your nerve, including:

Any of these conditions can put unnecessary pressure on the sciatic and surrounding nerves. This pressure is what causes the symptoms of sciatica.

Symptoms of a flare-up

When your sciatica symptoms flare up, it causes a number of uncomfortable symptoms. These symptoms hang around sometimes, making your daily activities difficult. 

There are a lot of circumstances that lead to sciatica symptoms resurfacing. When you have a flare-up, you may experience several excruciating symptoms, including:

These symptoms sometimes strike unexpectedly, and may keep you from your normal activities for hours or days at a time. Our team not only helps you get rid of your pain, but also gives you tips to prevent sciatica pain in the future.

How to prevent sciatica from flaring up

Although sciatica is a nuisance, there are ways you can keep the condition at bay. Taking these steps makes it less likely that you’ll experience the pain and discomfort of sciatica. A few of the ways you can prevent a sciatica flare-up include:

Maintain a healthy weight

When you’re overweight, your lower spine takes a brunt of those excess pounds. This puts significant strain on your spine and nerves. By losing even 10 pounds, you lighten the load on your spine, and may prevent sciatica from flaring up.

Watch your posture

Posture is especially important when you walk, especially with sciatica. Walking is a great way to help manage your symptoms, but only if you’re walking with good posture. 

Make sure to stand up straight, without arching your back too far forward or backward. Your spine should be straight, with your head aligned with the rest of your back.

Avoid sitting too long

Sitting greatly increases the pressure on your lower spine and your sciatic nerve. Sitting for long periods is one of the main ways to aggravate your sciatic nerve. Make sure to take breaks often and stand up to stretch frequently.

Exercise regularly

Low impact exercises that target your back and core are essential for keeping your sciatica at bay. These muscles help keep your spine in the proper alignment, making it vital for preventing flare-ups.

Too much exercise or workouts that are too aggressive may actually aggravate your condition, so make sure to discuss this with Dr. Patel first. 

Use proper body mechanics

Lifting objects improperly is a sure-fire way to aggravate sciatica. When lifting anything from the floor, you want to use your legs, not your back. Avoid twisting to either side when you’re carrying something heavy, as this can strain the muscles around your nerves.

If you’re dealing with painful flare-ups of sciatica, call our office today at 302-355-0900 to schedule a consultation. You can also book an appointment with our team on the website.

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