What is Sciatic Pain?

Sciatica pain is what happens when something goes wrong in the way your spine connects to the pelvis. Poor seating position can give you pain in anywhere from the neck to back, hips knees or foot.

It can feel like burning, tingling, shooting pain or numbness anywhere from your lower back down one or both legs. What’s more, it might also cause fatigue and weakness. So what causes sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is located in your lower back and runs down each leg to supply sensation to different parts of your legs. When it becomes irritated or compressed, sciatic pain can result.

Keep Good Posture

Sciatic pain may be caused by or aggravated by bad posture. Sitting at a desk hunched over your computer screen may not seem like it’s doing much to hurt your back, but over time it can cause damage and make other problems worse. Fixing bad posture habits can be as simple as sitting up straight and making an effort to pay attention to your body when you’re working.

Avoid Sitting Too Long in One Position

When you sit for prolonged periods of time, it’s natural to slump forward or slouch. Slouching might feel comfortable—especially when you’re sitting in an office chair with a headrest—but even small changes in your posture can have long-term health consequences.

Whether you’re at work, driving or relaxing at home, if your are sitting for more than 30 minutes at a time, stand and straighten up to improve your back health.

Try this stretching excercise to help. Note that you should be coached by a muscular skeltal practioner to ensure you are performing the stretch correctly so ensure it is helping and hindering your recovery:

The Waiter Exercise

Vary Your Activities Throughout The Day

If you sit or stand for long periods of time every day, it’s important to be mindful of your posture. Slouching and other bad positions might lead to sciatic pain down your back and legs. As much as possible, vary your activities throughout the day so that you don’t spend too much time sitting or standing. Also, change positions regularly—no more than 20 minutes at a time in one position is recommended.

Don’t Slouch

If you spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer or on public transport, make sure to be conscious of your posture. Otherwise, over time, you might develop pain and discomfort from improper spinal alignment (i.e. your neck is hunched forward, your shoulders are rounded) which can lead to sciatic nerve pain. To keep that from happening, try not to slouch in your seat when waiting for a bus or train or when flying in an airplane.

Use A Good Pillow While Sleeping

The right kind of pillow can make all the difference.

A good pillow is essential to achieving a restful night’s sleep. If you suffer from sciatica pain, make sure your mattress and pillows offer adequate support for your head, neck, shoulders and back. If these items are not properly supported during sleep, it can lead to improper spinal alignment and pain in your lower back or down one leg.

Not too high, not too low and not too hard, but not too soft. 

Sciatic Pain Treatment

If you are suffering, then trying to find some relief becomes your priority, and there are several options you might consider:

Rest and Ice 

Resting often helps alleviate sciatic pain. Often times when you get sciatic pain there’s a lot of inflammation. This can be helped with rest and ice. If you don’t have ice at home, you can simply hold on to a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel for 20 minutes. That will do more than help alleviate your sciatic pain; it will give temporary relief as well.

Musculoskeletal Treatment

You can also consider having a Musculoskeletal Practioner like Michael Butler examine and help you with sciatic pain. Michael may use one of a range of modalities to try to help with your sciatic pain.

Michael observes that his patients reporting sciatic pain, frequently have postural issues. After addressing these over a couple of treatments, the sciatic pain is eased if not completely resolved.