In this blog post, you’ll find simple tips that can make a big impact on your daily sciatica pain. Sciatica can make it difficult to do anything in your life, from standing straight to participating in activities with your family. You may find it hard to focus on enjoying those around you, because you’re distracted by your pain. You may have already tried many things to help with sciatica, but the difficulty is knowing which things will help it, and which will not.
The thing to understand about sciatica is that it’s not all the same. Some sciatica is caused by tight muscles (which is caused by muscular weakness and restriction), while others can be caused by stiff joints. Ultimately, certain exercises may help some sciatica, but make other types worse. To best help you, we’ve compiled a list of tips that will help anyone with sciatica regardless of the type to reduce their daily pain.
The best part about these tips is their simplicity. They are things that you can apply in your daily life to help take the edge off of your sciatica pain. The less you irritate your sciatica, the better it will feel. It’s best to start making these tips a habit, and don’t wait for the sciatica to start before you apply them. Be proactive in your approach and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
With this strategy you should be able to take the edge off of your sciatica.
1. Your Sleeping Position Could Be Irritating Your Sciatic Nerve
Back sleepers: When you sleep on your back, make sure you place a pillow underneath your knees. This reduces the amount of pull that your legs have on the front of your pelvis. When the legs pull the pelvis forward, it closes the joints in your spine where the nerves are. This closing of the joints can irritate the nerves.
Side sleepers: When you sleep on your side, make sure you place a pillow between your knees. This reduces the amount of rotation that occurs in your pelvis. Similar to sleeping on your back, when your pelvis rotates, it closes holes in the side of your spine which irritates nerves.
Stomach sleepers: Sleeping on your stomach is out for now. If you absolutely can’t sleep in another position, place a pillow underneath your abdomen. This is hands down the worst way to sleep, especially if you have sciatica. It compresses all of the joints in your back and can pinch the nerves. You may try getting a body pillow and rolling forward onto that, since you will likely be accustomed to having pressure along the front of your body.
2. The Way You Sit Can Aggravate Sciatica Pain, Too
When you’re sitting, make sure you’re well supported along the back of your chair. A lot of people like to use a lumbar support, but this can actually push your spine forward aggressively if it’s too much. You should be in a position where you don’t feel too flexed forward, but you also don’t feel like you’re jamming your back into an upright position.
Crossing your legs: Avoid crossing your legs at all costs. This can cause stretching in the back of your hip which compresses the sciatic nerve. It also causes twisting in your hips and pelvis which can put stress on the nerves in your back.
3. Get Help From a Physical Therapist
Sciatica is complicated. The problem is that people get stuck on treatments that are only designed to put band-aids on the pain. These treatments don’t solve the root cause of the problem. In order to identify and solve the root cause of the problem, you need the help of an expert physical therapist.
When I say expert physical therapist, I don’t mean just any physical therapist. We’re not all created equal. You need a physical therapist who understands that your sciatica pain is not just about your pain. It’s about all of the things you can’t do that you used to enjoy doing. It’s about being present with your friends and family, feeling strong and active, and feeling like yourself again. An expert will help you identify the activities that you want to get back to most, and put together a roadmap that helps you see exactly how you’re going to get where you need to go without resorting to tactics like surgery or painkillers.
Our experts at The Doctors of Physical Therapy help people overcome sciatica every single day. We help them get back to their active lives, so they can enjoy time with friends and family and not worry about if they’re going to need to take pills forever, or eventually need surgery.
End Sciatica Pain For Good
If you’ve been suffering with sciatica for longer than a week, it’s already been too long. The waiting game has already proven ineffective. You may have already tried getting relief from massage, physical therapy, chiropractic, or even injections. These are things that many of our patients have tried before coming to see us. Sometimes they work, other times they don’t. But at the end of the day these are band-aid solutions.
If you’re starting to consider that you want a long term solution to your pain so that you can get back to a life you enjoy and love, then call us today. Our phone number is 480-482-0651. If it’s after hours, call and leave a message. Don’t wait, because we know that when you go to sleep tonight, you’ll likely be thinking “it might be better tomorrow.” And guess what? It might be a little better, so you’ll put it off another day. And this can happen again and again for months.
Do yourself a favor and give us a call and inquire about what it takes to work with our expert physical therapists to finally rid yourself of sciatica pain for good. Or, you can schedule a call with us on Lesa’s Calendar yourself