Have you been suffering from sciatica or pain through the back of your legs? It is possible that you have tried out almost all medicines and are still worried about your pain.
For many, sciatica may become a part of life; so there you are! Move yourself towards a healthy lifestyle. No matter what is the type of your sciatic pain, managing sciatica with lifestyle medicine can be the best remedy for you.
About Sciatica: What You Need To Know?
Sciatica is described as pain along the sciatic nerve, which is the longest nerve running from the back part of our pelvis, legs, reaching the feet. Any irritation or slightest compression of the nerve can cause sciatic pain. This can occur because of a herniated disc, trauma, infection, tumors and other spine disorders. Sometimes simple muscle strain too can exert pressure on the sciatic nerves.
The symptoms of sciatica can vary depending on the cause. Sciatica often presents with pain that radiates from the buttocks through the back of the thighs, legs and feet on one or both sides. Some may also experience numbness, tingling or burning sensation along this course of sciatic nerve. Your physician can confirm the diagnosis of sciatica and there goes your treatment too. However, there is much more you can do to deal with sciatica effectively.
Manage Sciatica: Modify Your Lifestyle
Your lifestyle contributes a lot to your health. Only you can work on modifying your lifestyle to counter the agony of sciatica.
1. Posture Pays
A good and healthy posture is to sit, stand and walk erect. Slouching, reading and writing while lying in bed will definitely hurt you more. Avoid sitting for long and prefer seats that provide firm back support. You can use lumbar support if advised and use a firm mattress while sleeping. It is good to sleep sideways or on the back with legs raised with a pillow under the knees. Avoid using very soft mattresses.
Make sure you refrain yourself from attaining poor posture. Learn the correct ways of lifting objects, which is ideally, bending in the knees and holding objects close to the body. Avoid bending from the back or holding objects far from the body, as such positions can strain your back.
Consider making simple modifications at home and office to suit your sitting and working needs. Take breaks from sitting work and walk in between to relieve the compressed nerve.
2. Learn Limits
Usually, bed rest is advised only if it is necessary, which too may be only for few days. Prolonged bed rest can weaken your muscles as well as your mind. Follow your physician’s advice. It is ideally recommended to perform daily activities within your range of motion and limit your speed.
Remain active within limits and carry out activities that you are comfortable doing without pain. Plan your activities so as to avoid last minute rush. Whether it is rest, recreation, exercise or work, perform activities within safety limits.
3. Fitness First
Once you are able to modify your activities and maintain good posture it is time to move towards a fitness regime. As sciatica is mainly related to lower back and legs, it is essential that you strengthen these areas. Seek advice as required and plan an exercise schedule for yourself based on your existing health condition. Aim for a healthy weight based on your Body Mass Index (BMI).
Regular exercises focusing on the back and legs will help your muscles regain their strength. They will also make your body supple and improve the tone. These should include stretches, strengthening as well as flexibility exercises and must be performed daily.
Additionally, incorporate aerobic training that will help to manage your weight too. Considering your sciatic pain, activities like swimming, cycling and walking can help you in relieving your pain. Use suitable footwear and preferably go for running or sports shoes.
4. Nurture Nutrition
Appropriate nutrition is very important and nurturing it at the right moment can add to your good health. Sciatica is a painful condition and you need to include just the right food in your diet so as to deal with this. Cut down on alcohol and smoking as they can only worsen your condition.
Include all the vital nutrients and mainly proteins, vitamin B12, vitamin D and calcium in your diet. Go for whole grain foods, skimmed milk, green leafy vegetables, sprouts lean meat cuts, fish and eggs. Most important, drink plenty of water.
5. Relax & Rejuvenate
While every effort is made to relax and strengthen the body it is important to pay attention to the emotional side too. With increasing stress, your muscles tend to get tensed and this can add to your problems.
Sciatic pain that lasts longer can make you feel upset and also increase your worries about it. Although it is easier said than done; try to relax your mind. Practice some relaxation techniques for better stress management. Take some time out and involve yourself in your favorite hobbies.
The early you start the better for you! Think about these simple lifestyle modifications for sciatica and witness a healthy, pain free you.
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