It has been estimated that one in every four adults suffers from sciatica at least once in his or her lifetime. This condition, which is the result of pinching of the sciatic nerve and is characterized by pain in the lower back, buttocks and legs, is quite common, but this doesn’t mean that everyone’s risk is the same. Find out what factors can make you more likely to get this condition.
Sciatica is typically caused by a herniated disc in the lumbar area, spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease. All of these conditions are more likely to occur at an older age because of the natural degeneration of the spine. Most people diagnosed with sciatica for the first time are in their 40’s, 50’s or 60’s. While you cannot literally turn back the clock, you can lead a healthy lifestyle to lower your risk of this condition.
If you sit behind your desk working all day, you are at greater risk of getting sciatic nerve compression and the associated pain compared to someone who takes stretch breaks and exercises regularly. It is important to note that with the sedentary lifestyle becoming more and more common, the number of sciatica patients increases. It’s not always easy to change the way you live, especially given all the responsibilities that you have, but any investment in your health will pay off big time.
Activities Putting Strain on the Lower Back
The list includes lifting heavy items, driving for long hours and twisting your back. People who engage in these activities as part of their day job have a higher risk of sciatic nerve compression compared to others. This does not necessarily apply to athletes such as weight lifters because they do special exercises for core strength and mobility. You should definitely include those in your workout routine, even if you don’t engage in the activities associated with a higher risk of sciatica.
The more you weigh, the greater the exertion of your spine is as it’s job is to support your body. Adverse changes in the spine can occur in people who are obese and tolerate the condition for a long time. Needless to say, obesity increases the risk not only of sciatica, but of other even more serious medical problems like heart disease. Losing weight will bring down this risk. There are special treatment options available to people who cannot achieve this naturally through diet and exercises because of their metabolism or a specific condition.
Take the necessary measures to lower your risk of sciatica.