“I’m on the verge of a total breakdown. Sciatica. Taxes. Cars. Fleas, possibly. It’s an absurd existence.”
— Jonathan Ames
While the sentiment may ring true, for those suffering from a sciatica flare-up, it’s not humorous. However, most would agree that attempting to function normally in life through the debilitating pain of sciatica often border on the absurd.
Although sciatica has no known cure, nor are the triggers and causes fully understood, there are some methods and best practices that one can utilize to help prevent a sciatica flare-up.
Sciatica: The Nerve Pain from Hell
According to The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration, sciatica isn’t a condition that can be permanently “cured.” However, there are many therapies and treatments that can make this condition more manageable.
A blog article on their website notes that,
“Sciatica is a condition that can result in persistent or recurring pain, numbness, and tingling sensations extending from the lower back area and radiating to the buttocks, thighs, and legs. It’s a condition that stems from the irritation of the longest single nerve in the human body, which originates in the lower spine and travels into the legs before branching off into other nerve groups. Sciatica affects around 40 percent of the population at one time or another, according to some estimates.”
We do know that the most common cause of a sciatica flare-up is attributed to sciatic nerve irritation from a disc in the lower back that has become herniated or otherwise damaged. Often this results from some injury or age-related wear tear, also referred to as degenerative disc disease.
Other common causes include:
- Muscle spasms in the lower back or buttocks
- Excess body weight
- Lower back/nerve stress caused by pregnancy
- Spinal misalignment caused by poor posture habits
- Spinal canal narrowing in the lower back (lumbar spinal stenosis)
- A slipped vertebra (spondylolisthesis)
In addition to the various degrees of lower back or hip pain, those suffering from a sciatica flare-up can often experience discomfort in the buttocks that become more noticeable when sitting, tingling, or burning sensations down the leg, and even numbness or weakness extending to the leg and/or foot.
Sciatica pain can also be genuinely debilitating as it can cause shooting pain around the lower back and buttocks area that makes it difficult to stand up from a seated position.
Tips for Preventing a Sciatica Flare Up
Here is a list of proven tips for preventing a sciatica flare-up:
- Maintain good posture: Practice proper posture while sitting, standing, and walking to reduce stress on the lower back and sciatic nerve.
- Exercise regularly: Engage in low-impact exercises that strengthen the core muscles and promote flexibility, such as swimming, walking, or yoga. This helps support the spine and prevent sciatic nerve irritation.
- Use proper ergonomics: Ensure that your workstation is set up ergonomically, with a chair that provides good lumbar support and a desk at the appropriate height. This helps maintain a neutral spine position and reduces the risk of sciatic nerve compression.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Excess body weight can put a strain on the lower back and exacerbate sciatica symptoms. Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise.
- Avoid prolonged sitting or standing: If your job requires long periods of sitting or standing, try to incorporate regular breaks or change positions frequently. Alternate between sitting and standing if possible.
- Practice stress management: Stress can contribute to muscle tension and exacerbate sciatica. Implement stress-reducing techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or engaging in activities you enjoy.
- Use proper lifting techniques: When lifting heavy objects, make sure to bend at the knees, engage your core muscles, and avoid twisting motions. Protecting your back during lifting can help prevent sciatica flare-ups.
- Sleep in a supportive position: Choose a mattress and pillow that provide adequate support for your spine. Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees can help maintain proper spinal alignment.
Remember, these tips can help reduce the risk of a sciatica flare-up, but it’s also important to consult with a healthcare professional for a personalized assessment and advice based on your specific condition.
Aside from surgery or physical therapy treatments, Pain and Performance Solutions can often treat your sciatica condition non-invasively and often with long-term results.
Finding Relief from Sciatica Flare-Ups at Pain and Performance Solutions
According to one source, approximately 20 to 30 percent of individuals may experience sciatica for up to two years, while around five percent of sciatica sufferers never find relief. Chronic sciatica pain is particularly debilitating as it often persists indefinitely.
If you’re enduring intense, recurring, or chronic sciatic pain, and you no longer wish to accept it as a part of your life, you can embark on a journey toward genuine relief for your lower back pain.
The first step in this process is reaching out to Pain and Performance Solutions.
For example, we know that Active Release Technique® (ART) has proven effective in addressing sciatica pain. ART® is a patented, non-invasive treatment method specifically designed to target soft tissues. By identifying and eliminating scar tissue and adhesions, which can potentially lead to lasting harm to the sciatic nerve if ignored, ART® aims to provide relief. Additionally, ART® can effectively alleviate muscle spasms that often accompany sciatica. This treatment is safe, free from drugs, and highly efficient.
We encourage you to schedule an appointment today. During your initial consultation and assessment, we will collaborate with you to gain a comprehensive understanding of your current pain concerns, your history of back and leg pain, any discomfort you’ve experienced, and your current physical activity level.
Once we ascertain the origins and nature of your condition, we can commence the treatment and alleviation of your sciatica pain.
A thorough examination will enable us to determine the most suitable lower back treatment that will set you on the path to recovery. Your trust in us and your honesty are vital components of this process. Ultimately, restoring the health and proper functioning of your body is the only way to achieve complete recovery.
Reach out to us today at (707) 636-4404 or utilize our online booking form to arrange a consultation and visit our office.