I’ve written before about the causes of sciatica, and it’s well worth reading that or watching the video on Sciatica for a good understanding on the topic. But, if you’re just looking for advice/tips, read on…
1. Get an accurate diagnosis
As I’ve mentioned before, “sciatica” is a description, not a diagnosis. To be certain you’re getting the right advice, you need to know what’s causing your sciatica. In very rare cases, sciatica can be caused by a more serious underlying medical condition, so it’s worth getting checked out if your pain persists for more than 2 weeks.
2. “Use it or lose it but don’t abuse it” (UIOLIBDAI)
Perhaps the commonest tip I give. It’s essential to keep moving if you’ve got sciatica; and if you’ve had the pain for a short time (less than 3 months) you would be best to try and avoid movements/activities that hurt (or that lead to more pain afterwards). But, if you’ve had your sciatica for more than 3 months, you may have to do some things despite a little pain – check out the video on “The Three Types of Pain” for an explanation.
3. Pop pills if needed
One of the dangers of sciatica (especially that due to a properly “trapped” nerve), is that you might develop a chronic pain syndrome (check out the Three Types of Pain video). It’s really important that if you have severe pain (perhaps 7 or more out of 10), that you keep your pain levels down by the judicious use of painkillers, anti-inflammatories or even stronger drugs. All of these should be taken under the guidance of your doctor.
4. Don’t worry
The vast majority of cases of sciatica do get better; worrying about it will only make it worse! Fact; anxiety tends to prolong and exacerbate pain. Rather than worry, get an accurate diagnosis.
5. Don’t listen to friends
Your sciatica could be totally different to the next person’s. What works for someone else may be exactly the wrong thing for you.
6. Try the wall-lean exercise
This isn’t guaranteed to work, and you should stick to the UIOLIBDAI rule above if you try it (so if the exercise hurts, and you’ve had sciatica for less than 3 months, don’t do it!).
- Stand side-on to a wall, arms length away
- Put your hand on the wall
- Take the foot closer to the wall and cross it in-front of your other one, so that your legs are crossed
- Now lean your hips in towards the wall, keeping a straight elbow
- Gently bounce 8 times in this position (you should be banana-shaped)
- Come up to straight for 10 secs, then do it again
If this helps, do it every hour!
Of course, if you want that accurate diagnosis (and some effective treatment), just give us a ring, fill in our contact form or drop me an email