One part of your body that you wish never experienced chronic pain is your back. Sadly, because it's so important to your movement, it's prone to damage and degenerative disorders. One of the various reasons for persistent back pain is sciatica, which may be very difficult to manage yourself.
Sometimes the pain from an irritated or compressed sciatic nerve could be intolerable. You could mistakenly believe that you are helping yourself at times. The following are a few factors that can exacerbate your sciatica:
1. Prolonged periods of sitting
Sitting, particularly when there is little support for your lower spine, can cause severe muscle spasms or stiffness. If you sit for long stretches of time, this might make your sciatica worse.
Your best bet would be, particularly if your job involves a lot of sitting, is to get up and walk a little every hour. Also, you should ensure that your back is properly supported when you are sitting.
2. Heavy lifting
Lower back pain can result from lifting heavy weights, particularly if you don't warm up your muscles beforehand. Your sciatic nerve will experience excessive pressure as a result, producing inflammation. While lifting weights, start by stretching and performing simple range-of-motion exercises. Always lift correctly, keeping your core engaged and supporting your back.
3. Hamstring exercises
Your sciatic nerve will definitely become irritated if you overstretch your hamstrings. Stretching exercises for these muscles include the yoga posture of the downward dog, bending over to touch your toes, and weighted squats. To strengthen the muscles in your lower legs while also protecting your spine, you can either take a short walk or swim a few laps.
4. Bending and twisting
You should absolutely refrain from bending down at the hips to pick anything up from the floor if you have sciatica. Your lower back will be overworked as a result, which might make your symptoms worse. To avoid exacerbating your discomfort, maintain your back straight, bend your knees, and do a small squat.
Another way you can irritate your sciatic nerve is by twisting your spine. While you don't have to fully avoid this kind of movement, avoid twisting when bending or performing other motions. Combining these motions may aggravate the joints in your lower back and increase discomfort.
5. Overly tight pants
Do you often dress in tight-fitting shorts, skirts, or pants? It's possible that this will cause unexpected sciatica pain. Your hips, butt, legs, and maybe even your lower back and spine experience a lot of pressure from bottoms that are too tight. The sciatic nerve and the surrounding tissues are under continual pressure from this compression, which causes pain and discomfort. You don't have to revamp your outfit completely! Just be careful that nothing is too tight to hurt you or dig into you.
6. Too much inactivity
When your sciatica symptoms are most severe, it may seem natural to stay in bed. However, doing so could make your pain worse. A little bit of rest is a good thing, but more than a day or so might make you stiff and cause unpleasant spasms. Your symptoms may lessen simply by getting up and moving around the house.
7. Uncomfortable, high-heeled shoes
If you have sciatica and can't seem to get rid of the pain, it's possible that the high heels you wear are to blame. Your body weight is distributed differently when you wear high heels, putting pressure on your front foot and pushing your hips forward.
As your pelvis is pushed forward during extended walking or standing, your hamstrings are stretched. Because the hamstrings are so close to the sciatic nerve, repetitive stretching and pressure can seriously harm it.
Uncomfortable and uncushioned shoes can be taxing on your hamstrings and feet. Avoid wearing heels and non-supportive shoes, such as flip-flops, and strive to wear shoes with built-in support.