How to Get Help for Your Chronic Sciatica

Sciatica is the inflammation of your sciatic nerve — the longest and largest nerve in your body. When this nerve is inflamed or pinched, it can cause shooting pain or tingly sensations down your leg. Because the nerve is so long, the pain can run from your buttocks down through your leg.

Sciatica can be mild or severe, and it limits your ability to enjoy your favorite activities. That’s why the providers at The Vanguard Clinic encourage you to come see us when your sciatica flares up.

What causes sciatica?

There are many causes of sciatica, and determining the source of your pain is key to finding a treatment that successfully reduces your pain. According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, the most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disc. Treating the underlying condition can help prevent sciatica from lingering. 

Other risk factors include obesity, sitting for prolonged periods of time, and having underlying conditions such as diabetes. 

Exercise 

If you’re always struggling with sciatica, you might be tempted to lay in bed, but too much bed rest can make sciatica and related back pain worse. It can seem counterintuitive to exercise, but gentle exercises can improve the flexibility in your back, strengthen your muscles, and keep your sciatic nerve mobilized. Try walking (or even walking in a pool), yoga, pilates, and gentle jogging.  

Start and end your day with stretches

In addition to exercise, stretching can be an easy way to help reduce sciatica symptoms. Grab your yoga mat and try these stretches: 

Stretches are particularly helpful if tight hamstring muscles are pinching your sciatic nerve. These stretches help relax your muscles and improve flexibility.

Avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time

Sitting for prolonged periods of time can make chronic sciatica worse. That’s because the pressure of sitting affects the discs in your spine. If you have a desk job, sitting can be unavoidable, but you can promote a healthy spine by using proper posture and taking regular breaks to stand up and stretch.

Maintain a healthy weight

If you’re struggling with chronic sciatica, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight. Regular exercise can help you stay in shape and lose weight (if needed). 

Don’t ignore sciatica 

Lifestyle changes — like avoiding sitting for too long — can help reduce the severity of sciatica; but if you aren’t getting the relief you need, we can help. At The Vanguard Clinic, we can create customized sciatica treatment plans depending on your specific needs. Sciatica treatments can include heat and ice therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and even spinal adjustments. 

Still dealing with chronic sciatica? We can help!

At The Vanguard Clinic, our providers don’t just want to mask your symptoms. We strive to treat chronic sciatica by uncovering the root cause of the problem. As integrative medicine specialists, we treat your whole person — not just your symptoms. 

If you’re dealing with chronic sciatica, call our St. Louis, Missouri clinic at 314-230-0876. You can also request an appointment via our website. 

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