Individuals who suffer from recurring back pain associated with sciatica or similar conditions may need to consider making lifestyle changes that reduce the amount of stress and strain on the back. Modifying activities and learning new ways of doing things can help reduce pain and discomfort that comes from many daily tasks. Lower back pain relief can be achieved by making small changes in your lifestyle.
Tips for the Management of Sciatica and Lower Back Pain:
You can begin to manage your lower back pain by avoiding forceful, prolonged or continuous movements and improving your general lifestyle by incorporating the following habits.
- Modify daily activities
- Improve your posture
- Create an exercise program to follow at home
- Manage your weight and eliminate excess pounds
- Quit smoking
- Take control of your stress level
- Evaluate and alter your environment
Modify Daily Activities
Avoid lifting heavy objects. If you have to lift, ask for assistance and make sure you use proper lifting techniques. Lift with the legs, not the back. Assume a squat position, grasp the object firmly and pull it towards the body. Lift upwards using the legs and arms.
Improve Your Posture
Improving your posture is important and goes a long way in providing lower back pain relief. Stretch often and perform basic exercises that help to improve your posture. Remember to sit up straight and evaluate your posture often. Walking and swimming are two exercises that put minimal amounts of stress on the back and can help strengthen the muscles.
Manage Your Weight and Eliminate Excess Pounds
Talk to your physician and find out what the ideal weight is for you height and body type. Maintaining a healthy weight puts less stress on muscles in the back and abdomen and helps to provide lower back pain relief. Low impact exercises can help you drop excess pounds and will allow you to start moving towards a healthier lifestyle.
Smoking affects every part of the body. It can also contribute to degenerative disc disease due to the decrease of viable oxygen being circulated through the blood. Individuals who smoke take longer to heal, especially those with spinal injuries. Patients who have had spinal surgery are encouraged to remain smoke free for several months to help tissues and bone heal properly.
Maintain Controllable Stress Levels
Stress adversely affects muscle and can depress the immune system. It can muscle tension that results in cramping and stiffness. There are several techniques, that when included in a person's daily routine, can effectively reduce stress and its impact on the body.
- Techniques that promote relaxation
- Breathing techniques and exercises
- Yoga and stretching exercises
Using these techniques and exercises regularly can reduce fatigue and offer lower back pain relief.
Evaluate and Alter Your Environment
Several things in your environment affect your health whether you realize it or not. Mattresses, for example, align the body when you sleep. Firm mattresses provide maximum support and also allow the body to relax during sleep. Sleeping on your side or your back will help maintain proper support. Avoid sleeping on the stomach. It an put undue stress on various parts of the body, causing discomfort and lower back pain.
When to Call a Doctor
Severe pain is an indicator that something may be wrong. Numbness, loss of control in the bladder or bowel, difficulty in getting around or progressive weakness should be taken seriously and reported to your physician. Any signs or symptoms out of the ordinary need to be evaluated to eliminate causes such as cancer or other debilitating conditions.