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5 tips to help cope with sciatic pain

April 4th, 2021 by
Category: Dr. Kodie Smith Sciatica

What is sciatica?

Sciatic nerve pain or sciatica refers to a pain sensation that travels from the lower back and down the leg to the foot. It is caused by a compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve and commonly affects people between the ages of 20 and 60. Sciatic nerve pain typically affects only one side and the type of pain can differ from mild to severe or radiating to sharp.

Causes of sciatic nerve pain

Sciatic nerve pain can be caused by one or more of the following – 

  • Twisting/bending movements
  • Coughing, sneezing or forceful actions
  • Disc bulge or herniation
  • Trauma or injury
  • Misalignment or restriction of the spinal joints
  • Extremely tight muscles

Top tips to help ease sciatic pain

Sciatic pain can be a debilitating and painful condition, but there are some very simple and easy things you can do to ease and relieve sciatic pain. 

1. Heat and movement

We are all told when we are sick or in pain to lay down and rest. But in order to reduce the impact of sciatic nerve pain, movement is key. It is recommended that you avoid sitting or lying down in bed for long periods of time. Instead, go for short walks or perform some gentle work/home tasks. Using a heat source like a wheat or instant heat pack over the area when in a laying down or seated position will encourage blood flow to the painful area and aid in the relaxation of surrounding muscles when you are unable to get moving.

2. Practice good posture

Practicing good posture habits can help reduce muscle tension, spinal misalignment and the overall occurrence of sciatic nerve pain. Some good posture habits include: 

3. Sciatica stretch – supine twist

The supine twist stretch is a great way to stretch the sciatic nerve and the muscles surrounding.

supine twist stretch info graphic

4. Sciatica stretch – knee hugs

This next exercise is a personal favourite as knee hugs will not only stretch the sciatic nerve, but also targets the glute muscles and lower back

info graphic showing how to perform knee hugs

5. See a Chiropractor

Chiropractors are trained allied health professionals who can help reduce and restore movement into joints which may help relieve the pressure and irritation on the muscles and nerves throughout the body. They can help with sciatic nerve pain by providing education, advice and health care required to help improve mobility and pain intensity in the lower back and leg area.

Try incorporating these simple but effective tips into your daily routine to help deal with sciatic nerve pain. If you have any questions or require tailored advice, contact us or another trusted health care professional.

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