Sciatica (pronounced sai·a·tuh·kuh) is a symptom that refers to the pain that travels along the path of the sciatic nerve – somewhere from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down to each leg. In most cases, Sciatica occurs only on one side of the body.
The most common occurrence of Sciatica happens when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine, or narrowing of the spine (spiral stenosis) presses on part of the nerve. This will cause inflammation, which can lead to numbness and pain in the leg. Pain from Sciatica can vary from numbness to mild ache to sharp excruciating pain, that can be worsened when you have a sudden body movement like sneezing or coughing.
This one-minute exercise is suitable for busy adults as well as seniors that can be practised daily to ease the pain from Sciatica. Enjoy! (Video credit: SciaticaTreatment.net)
Causes of Sciatica
- Age – Spine, herniated disks and bone spurs can be caused by through aging.
- Obesity – The increased weight stresses on your spine that can contribute to trigger Sciatica.
- Occupation – Similar to that of obesity, a job that requires you to carry heavy objects or anything that strains your back can play a part to Sciatica too.
- Prolonged sitting – Office executives who sit for prolonged periods of time are more likely to develop sciatica than active people are.
- Diabetes – This condition increases your risk of nerve damage.
As they say, “Prevention is always better than cure!” We can learn to pick up some good habits to keep our bodies active and prevent or slow down the effects of Sciatica.
- Exercise Regularly – Especially exercises that strengthens your back and abdomen can better support your body from over relying on your spine.
- Proper Sitting Posture – Choose a seat with good lower back support, armrests and a swivel base. Try to ensure to stand up and move around if you feel you are sitting way too long. Keep it at a maximum of an hour or so and move about.
- Use Good Body Postures – If you stand for long periods, rest one foot on a stool or small box from time to time. When you lift something heavy, let your lower extremities do the work. Move straight up and down. Keep your back straight and bend only at the knees. Hold the load close to your body. Avoid lifting and twisting simultaneously. Find a lifting partner if the object is heavy or awkward.