5 Factors That Could Be Contributing to Your Sciatica

Sciatica Bergen Pain & Rehab.  

Sciatica describes your symptoms; it isn’t a medical condition in and of itself. Five nerves come together and form the sciatic nerve, which begins at the base of your spine and branches to run down through your buttocks and each leg.

Sciatica pain usually only affects one side of your body, and it radiates from the bottom of your spine down the back of your leg. It may be a mild ache, excruciating pain, or anywhere in between those extremes. You may feel it as a burning sensation, an electric shock, numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness.

One common cause of sciatica is a herniated disc in your lower back, but it can also be caused by degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis, which is vertebrae slippage. Any time the sciatic nerve is compressed, you’re likely to experience pain from your lower back to your calf, along the path of the nerve.

Most of the time, sciatica pain resolves on its own, and if you’re experiencing mild sciatica,  some common factors may be contributing to your pain.

Wearing high heels

If you have sciatica, avoid wearing high heels. Heels change the curvature of your spine and put extra stress on your lower back -- right where your sciatic nerve begins.

Choose shoes that are comfortable, supportive, and help ease your pain. You may find that a shoe store specializing in running shoes can help.

Sometimes, you may have to wear certain kinds of shoes. For example, you may have to wear heels at work. If that’s the case, change into heels when you arrive at work, and change out of them as soon as possible. Choose shoes with heels lower than two inches, and make sure your heels fit properly so that your foot doesn’t slide forward.

Sitting for too long

People who are sedentary tend to be more susceptible to sciatica. Maintaining an active lifestyle can help. If you must sit at work, try to set a timer to remind you to get up and move around for a few minutes every hour.

Experts, including Dr. Lee, strongly recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate activity per week for good health. Whether you prefer to walk, swim, bike, play a sport, work in your garden, or do some other activity, moving will help you avoid sciatica.

Being overweight

Obesity is a risk factor for sciatica. If you’re carrying around extra weight, losing it could lessen the number of sciatica flares you experience.

Eat a nutritious diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, and follow the recommendation to get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier weight.

Aging

There isn’t much you can do about this one, but age may be a factor in your sciatica. Older people have more sciatic nerve pain and experience herniated discs and other conditions related to sciatica more often than younger people do.

Having diabetes

If you have diabetes, you have a greater risk of nerve damage than a person who doesn’t have diabetes. Keeping your symptoms in check, getting enough exercise, and eating properly can help limit your risk.

Dr. Lee’s innovative and extremely effective approach to treating pain, A-IMS® or automated intramuscular stimulation, is often a successful method for treating sciatica. If you’d like to find out if you’re a good candidate for A-IMS, book an appointment online or by phone at Bergen Pain & Rehab.  

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