Sciatica is no joke. It can be a very painful condition to live with. I see people with sciatica regularly as part of my work at Back & Body. Some of their treatment involves learning about ways to manage sciatic pain by following some simple guidelines.
But you can be one of the lucky people who doesn’t have to deal with it at all, if you follow these 8 ways to avoid sciatica.
Part I -Tips for sitting right.
Your sitting posture is just as important as your standing posture. Whether you’re at home or the office, the way you sit can create conditions in your body that pave the way for sciatica to strike. In fact, I know that many of the sciatica cases I treat are caused by improper sitting postures. That’s why the first four of the 8 ways to avoid sciatica fall under the rubric of “sitting right”.
- When sitting, ensure that your buttocks are touching the back of your chair. Avoid perching, as this eliminates the support your backs needs.
- Your shoulders should be down, relaxed and slightly back and your abdominal muscles pulled in. Remaining upright may seem odd, at first. But you’ll become accustomed to it and notice a change in the way you feel, as slouching affects your internal organs as well as your back.
- Don’t sit for more than 30 minutes at a time. Get up and move around. Sometimes fidgeting is a survival mechanism. Go to the water cooler, or just go look out the window.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor. Avoid crossing your legs or ankles. This is another anti-slouching strategy.
This may sound like a lot to think about, but if you practice these rules every day, they’ll start to come naturally and soon you’ll notice an improvement in your general muscle tone and overall wellbeing.
Part II – Tips for lifting right.
Lifting without proper attention to posture will result in sciatica or other injuries, sooner or later. So, these tips really matter if you want to keep your back strong and healthy.
- Don’t be cavalier about it. Prepare for your lift by having a solid footing, with feet shoulder width apart. If lifting is a regular part of your life, wear non-slip shoes.
- Lifting an object off the floor is something to be approached with caution. Bend your knees and bend from the waist to lift. Don’t attempt to lift anything at a level lower than your waistline with your legs straight.
- Hold the object you’re lifting against your body. This distributes the weight and reduces its potential for harm.
- Use your stomach muscles, as well as your head. Think carefully about your strategy for moving the object and consciously engage your abdominal muscles. Remember that these directly support your back and that thinking about where you’re going before you go is good practice.
These 8 ways to avoid sciatic pain are easy to learn and model, with a little practice. Need to know more? Contact us.