4 Lifestyle Changes that Reduce Sciatica Pain

Shocks of sciatica pain that jolt through your lower back can stop you in your tracks and prevent you from doing the physical activities you enjoy.

At New Tampa Interventional Pain & Sports Medicine, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of sciatica. Our pain management expert Jose De La Torre, MD, focuses on the least invasive treatment to keep your sciatica symptoms under control.

Dr. De La Torre often recommends that individuals start with lifestyle changes before considering steroid injections and nerve blocks. Here, we review four changes that are easy to incorporate into your day-to-day routine.

Why you have sciatica

Sciatica isn’t a disease but a term that describes electric shocks of pain that moves along the sciatic nerve. This large nerve travels from your lower spine and down into your hips, buttocks, and each leg, providing sensations to these areas.

When inflammation or other conditions irritate the sciatic nerve, you can experience occasional shocks of pain with certain movements.

Aging plays a role in the development of sciatica symptoms. You might also be prone to shock-like sciatica pain due to:

Ongoing inflammation of the nerve can also lead to weakness, tingling, and numbness in the lower back, hips, buttocks, and legs. If sciatic nerve damage occurs, you may also lose control of your bladder and bowel function.

Lifestyle changes that support sciatic symptom relief

Because there are several lifestyle factors that contribute to sciatic nerve irritation and inflammation, making changes to your daily habits now can prevent a persistent sciatica symptoms.

Here are four strategies to consider using now before sciatica escalates:

1.Seek out anti-inflammatory foods

You can potentially reduce sciatic nerve inflammation through your diet. Try to incorporate foods that offer anti-inflammatory benefits to protect the health of your sciatic nerve and your overall nervous system.

Fresh foods like vegetables, salmon and other fatty fishes, fruits, nuts, and green tea all have anti-inflammatory properties. Seek out other foods that fit into your lifestyle and diet preferences.

2. Supplement your diet with nutrients

Magnesium, vitamin D, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids suppress inflammatory responses in your body. If you aren’t getting enough of these nutrients in your daily diet, consider taking them as a supplement.

You can also include B6, B12, and other B vitamins, as they support your overall nerve health.

3. Engage in low-impact water exercises

Walking and doing simple exercises in a pool or another body of water can improve the function of the muscles and nerves in the lower body without putting additional stress on your joints.

Working out in the water is also an excellent way to stay physically active when you’re already limited by pain. Because water makes your body buoyant, you can keep working out with less pain.

4. Prioritize sleep

Sleep is how your body resets and repairs itself. A good night’s sleep reduces inflammation and prevents fatigue. A lack of sleep causes inflammation-triggering substances to stay active in your bloodstream throughout the day, which can worsen your sciatica symptoms.

If you aren’t getting good quality sleep every night, make changes to your bedtime habits. Start by going to bed and waking up at the same time to regulate healthy sleep cycles. Make sure your sleeping space is free of distractions and keep the temperature cool to promote deep, restorative sleep.

If you still need help managing or preventing sciatica pain or other symptoms after making these changes, call New Tampa Interventional Pain & Sports Medicine in Wesley Chapel, Florida, today. You can also book a consultation online.

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