5 Common Sciatica Triggers
Category: Spine | Author: Stefano Sinicropi | Date: May 30, 2022
Sciatic nerve pain plagues millions of Americans every day, and while many people try to do things to avoid irritating the largest nerve in their body, oftentimes they are unaware of some of the daily actions that compress their sciatic nerve. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at some of the common sciatic nerve triggers that you may unknowingly be doing throughout the day to make your nerve discomfort worse.
Ways You’re Making Your Sciatic Nerve Pain Worse
Your sciatic nerve branches from your lower back, through your hips and buttocks and down each leg, so pressure in basically any area of your lower body can lead to sciatic nerve irritation. However, activities and actions that strain your lower back, hips and upper leg areas tend to be most likely to trigger symptoms. Here’s a look at some daily triggers you may encounter:
- Extended Seated Periods – Many people think that activity is what disturbs their sciatic nerve, but oftentimes it’s extended periods of static pressure, like what you’ll experience if you’re sitting for a long time. Sitting may not seem like all that strenuous of an activity, but it does force areas of your lumbar spine to handle the same kind of stress for an extended period. It may not be all that much pressure, but over time it will add up, and that can irritate or compress your sciatic nerve. Tip – Break up long seated periods by getting up and moving around, even if it’s only for a couple minutes at a time.
- Stress – You may wonder how stress can lead to physical symptoms in your body and lower body, but being stressed or anxious can trigger an inflammatory response in your body. This can lead to inflammation in pints and other areas that can eventually compress areas of your sciatic nerve. Tip – Working to eliminate stress and find healthy ways to destress when you’re feeling anxious can have physical benefits for your health, so find healthy ways to manage these feelings.
- Restrictive Clothing – Fashionable items aren’t always the most functional, so if you’re constantly choosing restrictive clothing, tight belts or any clothes that you can’t easily move freely in, they could actually be contributing to your sciatic pain. Tip – We understand that you can’t always wear sweatpants and your favorite hooded sweatshirt, but try to be mindful of how your clothes may be affecting your sciatica nerve if they are restrictive in the lower back, hips or butt area.
- Disjointed Sitting – Even if you’re only sitting for a short while, if you’re sitting unevenly, it can put excess pressure on one side of your body and irritate that sciatic nerve. This is more common in men who may sit on their wallet or other items in their back pocket. Tip – Empty your back pockets or move items to different locations while you’re driving or sitting if it’s going to put extra pressure on one side.
- Obesity – Finally, being overweight can also make you more likely to suffer from a sciatic nerve flareup. Being overweight or obese will put more pressure on your lumbar spine when you’re seated, which as we mentioned above, can cause issues for your sciatic nerve. Tip – Work towards a healthier weight, and you’ll take pressure off the sciatic nerve area.
If you keep these tips in mind, and you reach out to a professional like Dr. Sinicropi if you’re dealing with sciatic nerve pain, we’re confident that you’ll be able to overcome your discomfort. For more information, or for help with your spine issue, give Dr. Sinicropi and his team a call today at (651) 430-3800.