It is more common than you think to hear someone say, “My sciatica is acting up,” The Sciatica is usually a pain, numbness or weakness that radiates down the leg, caused by the nerve. The pain can start slowly and sometimes only in one leg. For many people the pain only gets worse at night, due to long periods of standing or sitting at work. Even something as simple as a sneeze or laugh can irritate the nerve. If you think that the pain is originating from your leg, it isn’t. The pain is due to a problem in the spine. It happens usually due to a herniated disc. The original cause of the damage isn’t always clear. But there are some things you can do to help control the pain without surgery.
Weight Control: Maintaining your proper weight puts less stress on your back and on the nerve.
Epidural Shot: An epidural injection of steroids can provide relief.
Be active: When at work and you have a break use the time to move around or sit down depending on your job. If possible take a walk around the office building or parking lot. If you need to sit after standing for long periods, find a quiet spot and rest.
Physical Therapy: Not all of us are discipline enough to do what we need to help the pain, so having a routine set up from physical therapy with a professional can help. Structured exercise can help build endurance and strength.
Sleep on Firm Mattress: This helps take the stress off your back. Consider sleeping with two pillows between your legs.
Stretching: If you are unable to hire a physical therapist consider purchasing a stretching video and doing the exercises 30 minutes each day, three times a week.
Swimming: This is a great exercise to do since the water provides a balance. If possible try doing some strokes in the pool.
Purchase a Ergonomic Chair: If you are having to sit at work for a extended period of time, ask your boss if you can bring in your own chair. A chair that is designed as ergonomic helps your spine. You can purchase it online, at a medical store, or your local office store may carry them as well.
Walking/Cycling: This goes along with being active. Anything that takes stress of the herniated disc, helps to relieve the sciatica nerve.
Most people, do not need surgery to repair the nerve. By following the above advice, the situation can be helped enough that the flare ups should lessen. If the pain cannot be resolved, seek the advice of a spinal doctor who can make sure that the problem is not more serious.