Sciatica is a condition when pain radiates from the lower back, down through the leg, possibly as far as the feet. It occurs when the sciatic nerve is irritated, which can occur because of other conditions, such as spinal arthritis, or lumbar spinal stenosis. But it can also occur as a result of sitting for extended periods of time, especially with poor posture and therefore is closely associated with office workers. It can also occur as a result of a lower back injury. In this blog, we are going to look at several steps you can take to relieve this pain in the office.
Heat packs can help reduce pain by warming up our muscles and nerves, causing them to expand and loosen.
Heat should be applied before an activity. By loosening up the muscles, heat can help us prepare for movement, meaning our muscles will be under less stress when it actually begins. Heat packs followed by some stretches before an activity is the most effective way to reduce pain. If your pain is at its worst in the morning, keep a heat pack in your bedside locker and use it for a few minutes before you get out of bed. If your pain is at its worst in the afternoon, keep the pack in your desk and use it for the final 20 minutes of the working day.
Unfortunately, so many jobs these days involve sitting or standing in the same place for more or less the entire day. This can lead to all sorts of pain and other health issues, with sciatica being one of the most commonly reported. Fortunately, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to break this cycle. Simply make sure that you never remain sedentary for too long. You should try and take a ten-minute walk several times throughout the day. Also there are exercises that can be prescribed by a chartered physiotherapist that can help relieve pain.
As mentioned above, one of the primary problems with sciatica is that people do not have good posture. Some of us slouch, while others hunch, but generally, we could all improve our sitting posture. The easiest way to do this is to think of your body in right angles. When sitting, your eyes should be level with the center of your screen. Your ears should be directly above your shoulders, which are in turn directly above your hips. Your hips should form a right angle heading towards your knees, which should form another right angle down to your feet. Your feet, directly below your knees, will then form a right angle with the floor.
It can feel strange trying to readjust how you sit, or you may simply find that the new posture isn’t helping as much as you had hoped. If this is the case, you may find that a physio cushion can help. These can help guide your back to the proper posture, as well as offer support. Physiotherapy and acupuncture can also give relief & should take a great deal of tension off the sciatic nerve, reducing irritation, and lessening the pain you feel.