Despite an association with aging, a general weakening of muscles supporting the lower spine can also contribute to sciatic nerve pain. This is why remaining active and eating healthy are two of the most common ways to prevent sciatica, a condition often affecting one side of the body more than the other.
Any level of exercise can be good for your back, provided you get the okay from a board-certified orthopedic physician first. Stick to what’s comfortable for you and find activities you actually have an interest in to maintain your motivation. Exercises to minimize and prevent sciatica can include:
- Walking and jogging
- Swimming and water aerobics
- Yoga and Pilates
Stick to a Regular Sleep Schedule
Maintaining a regular sleep schedule that includes all stages of sleep allows the spine and supporting muscles to recover and naturally heal. Sleeping on your side with your knees bent is a position that may help reduce sciatica. It’s also worth investing in a supportive mattress and pillow.
Pay Attention to Posture
How you sit or stand can determine how much pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve. Make a conscious effort to avoid slouching and shift positions regularly when standing or sitting. Using a support cushion and adjusting your office chair to a proper height can also help.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess weight has long been associated with various healthy issues, including back pain. A combination of regular diet and exercise can play a key role in shedding pounds and reducing pressure on the spine and supporting joints and muscles. Consider a diet that includes the following back-friendly foods:
- Ginger and turmeric
- Omega-3-rich fish like salmon and tuna
- Red grapes and blueberries
- Green, leafy vegetables
If you’re already fairly active and still experiencing sciatic nerve pain, modify activities that seem to trigger discomfort. Lifting properly is also important.
Pressure along the sciatic nerve can be experienced as infrequent discomfort or debilitating bouts of pain. Patients often respond well to non-surgical spine treatments, with the application of heat and ice and the use of over-the-counter and prescription medications being among the most common sciatica remedies.
If you have been diagnosed with sciatica or another spine condition and would like to learn more about treatment options or receive a second opinion, reach out to The Spine Institute in Beverly Hills today. Call (310) 828-7757 and schedule an in-person consultation with a member of our professional team of diagnosticians and physicians.