Rain generally comes with a drop in barometric pressure. A low-pressure system you may have heard from the local weather forecast. Lower pressure outside can cause tissues inside the body to swell and irritate sensitive nerves. For those who have sciatic nerve pain, rainy, hot, humid weather can cause the nerve tissues to expand causing increased compression, inflammation, and pain.
For anyone who is prone to inflammation, there are ways to cope with rainy weather-related symptoms, including:
- Stay inside air-conditioned areas where the humidity level is lower.
- Use a dehumidifier to keep the indoor air at 40-60% relative humidity for comfort.
- Utilize vent fans in the kitchen and in laundry areas and after baths/showers in bathrooms.
Easy Physical Activity
Easing the pain can also be done through:
- At work, school, home adjust the seat to work for you. Individuals with sciatic nerve pain already know how to make adjustments to chairs and other places for sitting.
- If you’re heading out to a baseball or soccer game, you may want to use a comfortable sideline seat that provides cushion and support. If attending a pro game, check online or call to see if you can bring a therapeutic seat cushion.
- Stretch throughout the day and evening
- Try not a hunch over or crouch
- Whether job occupation, house, or yard work use a stool or a pair of kneepads
- Take a regular stand up, move around, and stretch breaks
- Walking will keep the muscles, tendons, and nerves stretched and loose
- Light exercise will help bring down swelling
Going on a trip whether road or flight, seats might not be comfortable or supportive. Tips that can help maintain comfort to mitigate the pain, include:
- Adjust the seat for proper posture to maintain spinal curvature
- Use lumbar support
- Maintaining a workout routine is key leading up to your trip. If the body is inactive for a period of time, the back muscles are more likely to spasm when having to sit in tight quarters.
- Don’t overpack. Carrying around heavy luggage increases the risk of straining the muscles.
- Pack pain medication or anti-inflammatories on hand in case of a flare-up.
- Target inflammation with ice therapy
- Using topical heat or a heating pad can get the blood circulation flowing through the area
- Wear compression garments over the affected areas to bring down swelling and promote blood and nerve circulation.
Chiropractic Rainy Day Relief
Chiropractors know the whole musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic massage therapy induces deep muscles relaxation and the release of endorphins/natural painkillers. A regular spa massage can release sore muscles and tension, chiropractic massage focuses on soothing and healing sciatica. Adjustments or spinal manipulations allow the disc/s rest back into position and relieve the pressure on the sciatic nerve. This will lessen the pain and generate nerve signal flow and mobility.
- Spinal decompression relieves the compression of the nerves that are causing sciatica pain. This includes techniques to lengthen the spine and enhance the space between the vertebrae.
- A chiropractor will recommend exercises to prevent nerve aggravation and help release the pressure that comes from the inflamed and tight muscles.
- Exercises include stretching programs that can be done at home to release pressure on the nerve and ease irritations.
Fat, also known as adipose tissue, contributes to overall body weight. This is also the type that individuals want to get rid of when talking about weight loss. Two different kinds of fat:
- Subcutaneous fat is the fat that is beneath the skin.
- Visceral fat lies deep in the abdominal cavity and surrounds the organs.
- Having a certain amount of fat tissue is necessary for a healthy body.
- The body stores unused energy from food as fat. This is to provide a reliable source of fuel when the body needs it.
- Fat tissue acts as insulation to keep the body warm and as a cushion to protect the vital organs.
- Fat is an endocrine organ. This means that it releases hormones and regulates blood sugar.
- The problem/issue is excess body fat. This is what leads to higher body weight and altered hormone release that can make the excess weight condition worse.
National Institutes of Health. (2019.) “Sciatica.” medlineplus.gov/sciatica.html.
StatPearls [Internet]. (2020) “Anatomy, Sciatic Nerve.” www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482431/
Zwart, J A et al. “Warm and cold sensory thresholds in patients with unilateral sciatica: C fibers are more severely affected than A-delta fibers.” Acta neurologica Scandinavica vol. 97,1 (1998): 41-5. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0404.1998.tb00607.x
Zwart, John-Anker, and Trond Sand. “Repeatability of dermatomal warm and cold sensory thresholds in patients with sciatica.” The European spine journal: official publication of the European Spine Society, the European Spinal Deformity Society, and the European Section of the Cervical Spine Research Society vol. 11,5 (2002): 441-6. doi:10.1007/s005860100333