Sciatica is not only caused by a spinal injury, although this is the primary cause, sciatica can also surprisingly be caused by your clothes and shoes. Sciatica is defined as symptoms that include back, leg, and foot pain caused by the compression of the sciatic nerve. Other symptoms can include shooting electrical rays of pain, weakness, and numbness from your low back all the way down your legs into your feet.
Because of the intensity, many assume it has to be something serious like a work/car accident, sports injury or severe trauma. All of this can lead to sciatica, but there are also everyday things that we do daily that can also cause it. Here are some lesser-known ways of developing sciatica.
Many of us put our phones or wallets into our back pockets. When we carry these items in our pocket and then sit down on them, this can become a gradual trigger to sciatica. When we sit with these items begin to irritate the piriformis muscle. The sciatic nerve is right underneath this muscle and can get compressed. This cause has not been defined by the medical community, but a few names floating around include (back-pocket sciatica and cell-phone sciatica).
High heels push your weight forward and so your body wanting to remain upright responds by flexing the hips to keep you straight. The risk of sciatica happens when this flexing at the hips stretches the hamstrings that can irritate the sciatic nerve running alongside the hamstrings. And besides sciatica high heels can cause a bevy of other spinal problems.
Overly tight-fitting pants and underwear might look and feel great, however, they can also contribute to sciatic nerve pain. Wearing tight clothing is not bad but realize that wearing this type of clothing every day will start to compress the muscles, ligaments, and nerves. Mix it up with clothing that allows you to move freely. If your clothing cuts off circulation absolutely do not wear it. And when it comes to tight pants, change postures and don’t stay in the same position for too long, especially sitting.
Research has found an association between being overweight and having sciatica. Excess body weight puts stress on your spine. This added pressure combined with sedentarism can cause spinal disorders that include sciatica. Being able to maintain a healthy weight will greatly reduce your risk of developing sciatica symptoms.
Even if just gradual weakness develops down your leg or a sudden burst of pain comes and goes, do not ignore it and make an appointment with your doctor or chiropractor to understand the issue and underlying cause/s and set up a preventative treatment plan before it gets out of hand. There are many sciatica treatments/therapies to reduce or eliminate low back and leg pain. Your doctor/chiropractor will work with you to develop a custom sciatic preventive exercise treatment plan.
A study cited by the health magazine Prevention found that sixty percent of sciatica sufferers who failed to get relief from other treatments found their symptoms improved after chiropractic care. Please contact our chiropractic team today to schedule an appointment if you are experiencing symptoms of sciatica. We are ready to help you feel better and get back on your feet again.
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Functional & Physical Medicine & Nutritional Specialist*