The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body, and when it’s pinched, your whole body knows it. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back, through the hips, and down each leg. Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched. Herniated discs, spinal stenosis, muscle spasms, sacroiilitis, and pregnancy are all common causes of sciatic nerve pain. Sciatica is most prevalent in people between the ages of 30 and 50. Thankfully, around 90% of people recover from sciatica without surgery.
So, what can you do to find sciatic nerve pain relief? Walk it off!
Walking is a great way to relieve the pains of sciatica. It works by releasing endorphins, which work as the body’s natural pain killers, and reducing inflammation. A poor walking form can cause further damage though, so here are a few tips:
1. Take it in stride.
Long strides can compress your lumbar discs, so focus on taking shorter steps. You can accomplish this by walking at a slower pace. You will naturally take shorter strides if you are walking slowly. Another way to shorten your strides is to land between your midfoot and heal, then gently roll onto your toes before you push off into the next stride. It’s difficult to roll your foot when it’s too far in front of your body, so this will decrease the distance of your steps.
2. Tighten up.
You can alleviate pressure on your spine by engaging your abdominal muscles while walking. When your core muscles are engaged, it protects your sciatic nerve roots. You can accomplish this by having good posture. Keep your shoulders back and your head up while you’re walking. You can also engage your abdominal muscles by sucking in your stomach during your walk. Remember to take deep breaths and maintain a slow pace, or you won’t be able to engage your muscles for your whole walk.
Walking for sciatic nerve pain relief = relief and prevention
The beauty of walking for sciatic nerve pain relief is that it will not only give you relief for your existing pain, but it’s also a proactive step to prevent sciatica in the future. Practicing good posture and getting regular exercise are great ways to reduce the odds of sciatica returning.
Everybody needs help sometimes. If the pain is too bad, or walking just isn’t cutting it, come visit us. We’ll create a plan to heal your spine by using chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy exercises, and spinal decompression therapy. Call us today for your free consultation, and get your back back.