The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve strand in your body. It runs from your lower back down into each leg all the way to your feet. It’s possible for this nerve to be irritated and inflamed, which causes pain known as sciatica.
Sciatica is characterized as a burning or stinging sensation in the lower back that spreads into the back of one of your legs. Occasional pain in the sciatic nerve can occur if you’ve been sitting for too long, but long-lasting or recurring sciatica may need medical treatment. However, your best treatment is to prevent sciatica from developing, if possible.
Preventing sciatica pain
Sciatica is not always preventable. It can be caused by conditions like a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease (DDD), pregnancy, or a traumatic injury. However, there are some steps you can take to prevent sciatica from developing for reasons like sedentary lifestyle or poor posture, including:
- Get active — A sedentary lifestyle can lead to weaker muscles in the core and back. When these muscles are weak or stiff, they provide inadequate support for the spine, which can put pressure on it. When this happens in the lower back, sciatica can develop.
Exercising, stretching, and enjoying physical activities every day can improve the condition of your back and core muscles to help prevent sciatica.
- Improve your posture — Sitting with poor posture can put additional pressure on your lower back that causes sciatica. Instead, sit with your back straight and your shoulders squared with your hips. Keep your feet planted flat on the ground and your knees level with your hips.
- Sit less — If you work a job that requires long periods of time at a desk, make sure you get up at least once an hour for a few minutes to stretch and move around. Prolonged sitting creates tension in the lower back and buttocks that can lead to sciatica.
- Quit smoking — Smoking can attribute to sciatica because it encourages the development of conditions like DDD.
Visit the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute for sciatica treatment
If you have sciatic nerve pain, you may benefit from one of our treatments at the iRISE Spine and Joint Institute. We offer a variety of treatments that help people with sciatica, including chiropractic care, interventional procedures, and minimally invasive spinal surgery. Contact us today to learn more about sciatica treatment or to schedule an initial appointment.