Remember when you could do just about anything and not feel punished for it the next day…or the next hour? As we age, our bodies “bounce back” factor becomes less and less elastic, and any activity, like running or jumping, can cause us a lot of discomfort not long after we wrap up.
The common factor in pain as we age is often our backs. That’s because, let’s face it, our spine pretty much holds us all together from head to toe. So when we overdo it, combined with the force of gravity, our back discs start talking back to us. Sometimes they become herniated, resulting in a lot of pressure on surrounding nerves, and that’s when sciatica typically sets in.
If you’ve suffered from sciatica – usually felt as nonstop pain up and down the outside of your leg, emanating from your outer hip area – you are not alone. The most recent medical literature points to at least five percent and possibly as high as 10 percent of the US population grappling with sciatica on a regular basis. And it’s no fun at all: this nerve compression can be completely disabling if left untreated.
Fortunately, there are some very simple exercises you can do to combat it these days. Once you get more in touch with its incipient onset, you will be able to use these exercises to forestall a full-blown sciatica attack, which will greatly improve your quality of life in turn.
Mind you, it’s not a condition to barrel through or try to ignore. If left untreated, sciatica can even affect your ability to eliminate both urine and feces, and that’s a position no one wants to be in who can possibly avoid it.
But how did I get here? you may wonder. The truth is, there are many ways to develop this painful nerve condition, and if you live long enough, chances are good that you will be affected sooner or later. Many sports injuries, a car accident, a slipped disc, and even infections of the spine can bring it on.
Once you develop it, you will want to find the most positive and least harmful ways to combat its degenerative effects. Simple daily exercises are one of the best ongoing preventative measures to combat sciatica. But there are also a few other things you’ll want to think about.
One is your body posture. Sitting up straight is key, and often overlooked in our always-on-our-laptop-or-cell-phone age. Get a comfortable, but firm mattress to make sure your back and entire body are well-supported when you sleep. Even how you position your car seat is key. Finally, watch out for lifting heavy items, even things like water bottle cases, as these can quickly throw our entire bodies out of alignment.
One of the great things about the internet is you can easily look up exercises to do at home with little to no equipment. You might also consider going to physical therapy, where you can develop good workout habits under the watchful eye of someone who’s trained in all these issues.
The key is to do something, and do it regularly. By getting into good habits at the earliest onset of sciatica, you can hopefully avoid back surgery and maintain a joyful, active lifestyle for many years to come.
If you know someone who might like this, please click “Share!”