How You Aggravate Sciatica Without Realizing It
These days, many people struggle with sciatica. Luckily, there are various strategies individuals can implement to decrease the severity of symptoms associated with the condition. At the same time, however, there are various actions that a sufferer might take which actually aggravate sciatica. Here are five of them:
1. Sitting On Your Wallet.
Sitting with one’s wallet in the back pocket of jeans or trousers can irritate the piriformis muscle. Because your sciatic nerve runs right under this muscle, it can experience substantive pressure from the wallet. As such, the pain associated with this pressure is referred to as “wallet sciatica” or “back pocket sciatica.”
2. High Heels.
Individuals who wear high heels should know that they run the risk of triggering sciatica. It may be the case that the ground forces created when you stand or walk may move up the lower extremity of the body to the hip and back.
Also, high heels push the weight of your body forward. This can cause forward flexing of the hips, which is the body’s attempt to remain upright. Unfortunately, this forward flex also stretches the hamstrings. As the sciatic nerve runs along the same path as your hamstrings, the chronic stretching engendered by the use of high heels can also stretch (and thereby irritate) sciatica.
As noted in WebMD, obesity can increase the pain associated with sciatica. This is the case because carrying extra weight puts additional pressure on the sciatic nerve. Additionally, studies analyzing the connection between having sciatica and being overweight note that the more excess pounds you carry, the more likely you are to acquire the condition.
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4. Tight Clothing.
Yet another factor that can aggravate sciatica is tight clothing. Many individuals point out that wearing underwear with tight elastic or tight jeans can cause a bout of sciatica. One way to avoid the flare-ups that result from wearing tight underwear is to opt for thongs instead.
Another factor that can trigger sciatica is stress. Some industry experts, including Dr. John Sarno, argue that stress is a mind-body trigger. Sarno also argues that back pain should be diagnosed and managed based on the patient’s emotions rather than simply making judgments as a result of diagnostic injection or the MRI. Additionally, Sarno notes that individuals who put pressure on themselves are more likely to suffer from this condition. This includes Type A personalities, the group known for their people-pleasing inclinations.
In recognizing that stress can aggravate sciatica, it’s important for individuals to recognize the people, places, and things that may be inducing anxiety. Once the source of stress has been identified, the individual can implement healthy strategies to reduce or eliminate it. Luckily, there are a wide range of stress-busting techniques you can employ to mediate anxiety. One of them is investing in a monthly massage. In addition to inducing a sense of sustained calm, massages help improve the appearance of your skin as well as your digestion.
Another stress-busting strategy that you may want to implement is meditation. Meditation enables you to get in a state of deep relaxation while also becoming more conscious of any thinking patterns that are contrary to mental health.
There are several forms of meditation that you can implement to de-stress. One is breath-based. This form of meditation involves calmly inhaling and exhaling while listening to the depth and cadence of the breath. Individuals who practice this mode of meditation will often find that the quality of their breathing improves exponentially. Another form of meditation that you may want to implement is silently repeating a phrase of affirmation inside yourself. Examples would include “I love myself, “Love and light,” or “Namaste.”
Don’t Delay: Start Feeling Better Today!
It’s unfortunate to note that individuals who suffer from sciatica periodically experience a wide range of unwanted symptoms. However, learning more about factors that can trigger sciatica can empower people to avoid the pain associated with the condition. You can use the information found in this quick reference guide to avoid making mistakes that could worsen your sciatica. In so doing, you’ll be able to lead a much healthier, happier life.