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Stretches for Living with Sciatica Pain

What is Sciatica?

Have you ever experienced a sudden pain that radiates from your lower back down through your leg? Chances are that this pain is due to your sciatic nerve being affected or pinched in some way. Your sciatic nerve runs from your lower back all the way down through your leg. This large nerve can affect your comfort, and your mobility if the pain is bad enough. If you keep on reading on, we offer some useful stretches for living with sciatica pain! 

Potential Risk Factors Include:

  • Age: unfortunately, as we get older, our body undergoes changes, especially when it comes to our spine. 
  • Occupation: if you have a job where you are constantly lifting heavy things or twisting your back in an unnatural position, this can affect your sciatic nerve. On the opposite end of that, occupations where you’re sitting for prolonged periods of time can also place additional pressure on your spine and result in a pinched sciatic nerve. 
  • Obesity: being obese puts extra stress on your spine and is a leading cause of sciatica 
  • Diabetes: one of the major worries from diabetes is that (in addition to your blood sugar levels being difficult to manage) it can also increase your risk of being susceptible to nerve damage. 

Common causes of sciatica include herniated discs and narrowing of the spine, among other things. Often following traumatic injuries like being in a car accident, this pain can fall anywhere on a scale from mild to unbearable. Typically, pain caused by your pinched sciatica nerve only affects one side of your body. If your case is mild, it may go away on its own after time. If you feel like the discomfort is manageable, we recommend doing some of the following stretches at home to help relieve your pain. Here are helpful stretches for living with sciatica pain! 

6 stretches to help relieve sciatic nerve pain

Reclining Pigeon Pose

Lay on your back and bring your affected leg up placing your unaffected leg behind your ankle. Use your leg and hands and pull your leg towards your head slowly engaging the stretch through your sciatic nerve.

Sitting Pigeon Pose

Start sitting with your legs in front of you at a 90-degree angle. Bring your affected leg up to where your ankle is laying on top of your other knee. Slowly bend forward into the stretch while trying to touch your toes.

Forward Pigeon Pose

Start in a tabletop position with your arms placed shoulder-width apart and your knees on the ground underneath your hips. Slowly bring your affected leg underneath you and straighten your back leg, placing the majority of your weight on your legs and hips. Lean forward into the stretch and try to touch your nose to the ground. 

Knee to Opposite Shoulder

Laying down flat on your back, bring your affected leg into a 90-degree angle, grabbing onto your knee. While keeping your other leg straight, slowly rotate toward the side opposite of your pain (for example: if your nerve pain is on your right leg, you would rotate your hips to your left side). 

Sitting Spinal Stretch

Start in a seated position with your legs directly in front of you at a 90-degree angle. Bring your affected knee up and place it over your other leg so your foot is flat on the ground. Let’s say you were experiencing sciatica pain in your right leg. You’d bring your right leg up and cross it over your left. Using your left arm, you’d place your elbow behind your right knee and rotate your shoulders backward. This twist will help your spine decompress which releases pressure on your sciatic nerve.

Standing Hamstring Stretch

If you are able to, stand with your affected leg elevated up to a 90-degree angle. Slowly lean forward and touch your toes while keeping your other foot planted flat on the floor. To deepen the stretch, try touching your nose to your knee. 

For more severe cases of sciatica, these stretches will be helpful, but may not relieve as much of your pain. The important thing to know is that this pain, although it can feel uncomfortable or even debilitating, can have a natural solution.

What should I do if my sciatica is severe or worsens?

If these stretches for living with sciatica pain do not help and you are experiencing excruciating pain that lasts more than a week, we encourage you to reach out to a reputable chiropractor. In cases where you’re experiencing numbness or muscle weakness, ignoring it shouldn’t be an option. An experienced chiropractor, like Dr. Silvio Cozzetto at Be Well Lifestyle Centers, will be able to realign your spine and relieve pressure from your sciatic nerve. Many of our patients come to us searching for a solution and leave feeling ten times better than when they walked through our doors. 

Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Discomfort anywhere along the sciatic nerve path
  • Tightening of the thigh and calf
  • What may feel like an electric shock through your lower back and buttocks
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Muscle weakness and more

Contact us for natural pain relief!

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms or just have any back pain in general, Be Well Lifestyle Centers can help you. Our patients love our customized treatment plans and the comfortable atmosphere of our centers. For sciatic nerve pain relief, call us today at (248) 792-6570 or schedule an appointment online! The quicker you call, the faster you can get started living life with less pain.

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5 Easy Ways to Relieve Back Pain at Work

Hey you! Yes, you… we see you over there slouching. Even as you’re reading this, you’re hunched over your phone, tablet, or computer taking in this scolding and denying that we can actually see you. 

While all of that is true, the ironic part is that while you clicked on an article about how to relieve back pain, you are probably currently sitting or standing in a position that directly causes your back pain. So we’re going to challenge you to sit the way you’re supposed to sit for the next 3 minutes. Put your shoulders back, keep your head up, plant your feet firmly on the ground, and read on my friends.

Time starts… NOW!

Back pain is more common than you think

A large majority of our customers come to us because they are experiencing back pain in one form or another. The reality is, at least eight out of ten people in America will experience back pain at some point in their life. Astoundingly, a large majority of this back pain will become chronic back pain after a patient experiences regular discomfort over a period of at least three months. Perhaps you wouldn’t guess this, but our friends that work in offices and sit at desks all day are more likely to suffer from chronic back pain than are people who work in physically demanding jobs. 

This fact might surprise you, but when you ponder over it, it makes sense. When you are sitting for a long period of time in the same spot, your spine begins to feel added pressure to it because it’s stuck in an unnaturally curved state. In fact, 100% Chiropractic says, “Sitting in this position puts around 200 pounds of pressure on your lumbar spine, or your lower back.” No wonder you experience so much back pain. 

Luckily, we have some simple solutions to reduce or alleviate some of your back pain. These tips are easy to implement and can result in a huge difference in the amount of back pain you feel daily. 

Still sitting with good posture? Let’s jump in. 

5 Tips for Minimizing Back Pain at the Office

1. Check your chair

In a perfect world, all office chairs would have lower lumbar support to comfortably accommodate the natural curvature of your spine, allowing you to sit back comfortably. However, the reality is that most office chairs don’t. Does this mean that you should continue to have posture like the Hunchback of Notre Dame? NO. Bring in a pillow, blanket, or a towel to position behind your lower back to make sitting more comfortable.

Also, be sure to adjust the height of your chair so that your feet can rest flat on the floor. This will help keep your legs, knees, hips, and spine in better alignment. 

Side note: If you can switch your chair for an exercise ball, that will always be better than any office chair. 

2. Mind your monitor

When possible, keep your monitor high enough that you don’t have to look down at it. This will prevent your neck from being out of alignment. Lots of us work on laptops which makes it harder not to look down. We recommend propping your laptop up on books, boxes, anything that elevates it enough to where you’re not hunched over it. It’s also a good idea to have your screen about an arm’s length away from you.

3. Rock your body

Get up and move your body during the day! Don’t be stuck in the same position in the same place for eight hours a day. Stretch, dance (to NSYNC), wiggle, take a jog to the door you can’t wait to go through at the end of the day. Whatever and however you move is better than being a statue. Take short breaks, even five minutes will do, and walk around to restore your spine to its correct position and get your blood flowing. 

Side note: if you work on strengthening your core muscles, this will also help improve your posture and reduce back pain. 

4. If you're going to be a statue, be a standing statue

If you are unable to move from your desk, better than sitting all day is to stand at your desk. Standing not only helps take the pressure off of your back, but it also will help you improve your productivity due to easier blood flow and limited opportunity for lethargicness.

5. Make an appointment with your chiropractor

If nothing else, we encourage you to an appointment with a reputable chiropractor. They will be able to restore your spine to its correct alignment, reducing your back pain and helping you to live a better life. 

Your appointment doesn’t have to be with the amazing Dr. Silvio Cozzetto if our Birmingham, MI location is too far away for you (although we’d love to welcome you to our family). Your health and wellness is more important to us than your business, and we know you deserve more than to simply accept your back pain.

However, if you are looking for one of the best chiropractors in the SE Michigan area, we highly recommend you contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cozzetto today. Our treatments are specially designed to fit your needs. Call us at (248) 792-6570 or schedule your appointment online today!