“Doc, I think I have Sciatica” was one of those common statements my clients would provide even before the consultation. How did they know? It is through this network of vast knowledge which we now know it as the internet. Just a few simple keywords on the search engine, and voila! The internet would have given a possible 1000 or more diagnoses known to mankind to your browser. So, what is Sciatica? Is sciatica even a diagnosis?

Sciatic nerve
The sciatic nerve is made up of a few nerve roots that exits the lower back. It is comprised of nerve roots L4-S2. It governs the sensation and the motor function of the lower leg. So, when this large nerve gets irritated or compressed, one the main symptoms would be sciatica.

Sciatica
No, Sciatica is not a diagnosis. Sciatica is a debilitating sensation or a symptom in which the individual experiences pain and/or paresthesia (an abnormal sensation, pins and needles), in the distribution of the sciatic nerve or an associated lumbosacral nerve root. Sciatica pain often is worsened with forward bending of the spine, twisting, bending, or coughing. The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated or bulging lumbar intervertebral disc. For the elderly, lumbar spinal stenosis may cause these symptoms as well. If the sciatic nerve is heavily compressed, severe symptoms like reduction in muscle strength or a loss of control over bowel and bladder will likely to happen.

Risk Factors

1) Age

2) Prolonged sitting

3) Occupation

4) Obesity

How to prevent Sciatica?

1) Reduce the hours of sitting and improve sitting posture

When the body is made to sit for long hours, our spinal discs which is kept healthy through body movements, are made to absorb extra stress due to being stationary.
One of the ways you can prevent prolonged sitting is to make the effort of a minute walk every 30 minutes of sitting. If and when you realize that moving about is not an option, have yourself to practice good posture while sitting. Having a good posture minimizes the stress and strain the body puts on the spine.

2) Regular Exercises

Any form of exercises within limits are naturally good to the body. It enhances nutrient absorption to the spinal disc making sure that your spinal discs stay healthy. Also, having an active lifestyle does not only keep you in shape ensuring that stress and strain in the spine is kept at a minimum, but also keeps diseases away. So, let’s get started with that 150 minutes of exercises every week!

3) Eat Healthy

Humans require energy to carry out activities of daily living. We obtain energy through various foods. However, with high consumption of certain foods will lead to a weight gain. Researchers have found that one of the risk factors affecting Sciatica is obesity. So, to make sure we keep that extra pounds away from our body, let’s eat in moderation.

If you have any questions about Sciatica, feel free to visit us at HealthWorks or give us a call or WhatsApp us at 0189828539.