What Should I Avoid If I Have Sciatica?

If you’ve ever suffered with sciatica before, you’ll know all too clearly, just how painful and debilitating the condition can be. The good news is that when it comes to sciatica treatment, you have plenty of options. One of which is of course to contact a chiropractic clinic to discuss your options. As far as sciatica is concerned, though, prevention is the best cure, which is why, rather than looking at sciatica treatment options today, we’re instead looking at things to avoid exacerbating the condition.

First off, what is sciatica?

Before we look at what you should avoid if you are plagued with sciatica, we’re first going to ensure that you’re clear with what sciatica actually is. Sciatica is not actually one individual ailment at all. Instead, it is a term which is used to describe a selection of different symptoms of pain, which include feelings of numbness, tingly, and weakness, which tends to radiate from the buttocks, hips, and lower back, down one leg via the sciatic nerve. Sciatica may be caused from several things ranging from wear and tear, to childbirth.

Things to avoid if you have sciatica

Whereas there are plenty of sciatica treatment options available, one of the best ways of preventing/managing your pain and the condition in general, is knowing what to avoid. Here are a few examples of things to avoid if you’re plagued with the condition:

Hamstring stretches – Before exercising, it is essential that you stretch and warm up your muscles. Fail to do so, and you run the risk of injury. One very common stretch before exercising is the hamstring stretch. For sciatica sufferers, this is one of the worst movements to perform. Whether leaning forwards, or stood upright, this particular stretch has been known to put pressure onto the entire sciatic nerve, resulting in a great deal of pain and discomfort.

Bent over rows – If you lift weights, one of the best exercises for the back is the bent over row. If you suffer with sciatica, though, this is an exercise you must avoid. Bent over rows can put a lot of pressure onto your sciatic nerve and lower back. Plus, there’s also the temptation to cheat to row the weight. Poor form and posture, along with heavy weights can be disastrous for sciatica sufferers.

Twisting movements – Any sport or exercise that requires you to bend and twist your torso could put you at a much greater risk of exacerbating your sciatica and making it worse. Try to avoid playing sports or doing exercises and activities which require you to twist your body. Again, this is because it could put pressure on the nerve, which would result in elevated levels of pain and discomfort.

Sitting – Okay, just to be clear, we aren’t telling you to never sit down again if you suffer with sciatica. What we are saying is that, as far as effective sciatica treatment options go, prolonged sitting is not beneficial. When you suffer with back/leg pain, the temptation is always to sit down as resting an injury is generally the done thing. However, here, one of the most effective sciatica treatment options is to avoid sitting and to try and get some gentle walking in. Sitting, and exercises and sports that require you to sit for long periods of time, are generally not beneficial when it comes to sciatica.

At Neuroworks Chiropractic help you with treatment for sciatica. We will start with a thorough case history and then a full orthopedic and neurological examination. After this we will give talk through the precise cause of your sciatica and your treatment options to the fastest resolution of your symptoms.

Should you have any signs of compressional nerve damage we will recommend an MRI which can be done at very competitive prices within a few days. In 20% of cases we find a neuro-surgical opinion is warranted and a direct referral can be made to trusted surgeons that we work with regularly.

At Neuroworks we see many cases of sciatica, please call us on 020 8566 3757.