Is Sciatica An Affliction Of Fashion
Most of the people I talk to that have problems with sciatica, have it after riding long distances in a car, sitting in a chair for long periods of time or doing some form of work that is out of the ordinary. If our work requires long periods at a desk or sitting, the sciatica may be from poor posture, too hard a chair or a chair that puts most of our weight on the upper parts of the legs or the tailbone, and not on the sits bones. Sciatica from sitting in a car for long periods can be from poor posture or from excess weight around the middle which can pull the lower back out of proper spinal alignment. We may also find we suffer pain in our legs after doing work that we’re not normally used to performing. There may be other underlying causes that only manifest themselves when we are in these situations.
If you drive with a wallet in your back pocket, it can press on the area where the sciatic nerve crosses over the bony part of your hip and causes the nerve to be irritated, even pockets that have rivets or are thick at the seams where sewn to the pants on can be a culprit. Another problem that can be a cause, and is generally overlooked, is fashion. If we wear a belt of any width or have pants, slacks or even sweats that have a drawstring at the waist, the problem may be the belt or drawstring is pressing on the sciatic nerve. A belt is the biggest offender when sciatica is a problem while doing manual labor. Suspenders may solve the problem, but they’re out of fashion and we have to ask ourselves what’s more important to us, not taking pain pills or wearing our shirt on the outside and over the suspenders. A slight constriction caused by a belt may not even be noticeable, but can irritate the nerve over a period of time.
Tight pants, slacks or skirts with elastic in the waist, a shirt that’s not flat where it’s tucked into the pants or any number of things that constrict, rub or are tight between the bottom of the rib cage and the middle thighs can be an offender.
I sit a lot while working at the computer and have had bouts of sciatica, most of which have been caused by belts, drawstrings and too hard a cushion. One thing that has helped is a thicker cushion that has support in the center and around the outer edges. Another thing that has helped is sitting with my feet flat on the floor so that my upper thighs aren’t pressing heavily on the front edge of the chair.
Because of an accident many years ago, if I get sciatica it’s almost always in my left leg. One thing I’ve found to be of great benefit in preventing this problem is to sit on my chair far enough to the left to be able to bend my left leg back so that the bottom of my foot is facing back and slightly up, with my lower leg almost horizontal to the floor and my toes resting on the floor with my heel is and my foot vertical. This effectively takes pressure off the area that causes the pinch in my sciatic nerve. Once I have sciatic pain though, I have to do other things.
One thing that works for me is to stand up using good posture, with both legs straight. Then, keeping one leg straight, I bend the other knee slightly. Next, I straighten the bent knee and bend the other knee slightly. This creates a rocking motion. After you get the feel of it, you need to speed it up. Try not to move the body above the waist any more than necessary, because you want all the movement in the hips, legs and ankles. If you relax your legs as much as possible, you’ll find you get a good leg massage and loosening of the muscles, ligaments and tendons. For me, this takes the pressure off the sciatic nerve and, within a very short period of time, all the pain is gone.
Since my accident many years ago, I have a slight, permanent left turn to my hips and the above may or may not work for you. You may also find that you can modify either of the above suggestions just a little and get relief. Where unnecessary pain and medication is concerned, it’s worth a try.
Tags: Sciatica , Leg , Pain , Back , Overweight
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