Sciatica — chronic pain caused by irritation of the nerve that carries sensory information from the legs to the spinal cord — can feel like it originates almost anywhere on the backside of your body below the navel. It can feel like numbness, shooting pain, ‘sleep’ (pins and needles), or an inability to precisely control part of your body. In most cases, it’s limited to one side of the body. If you have it and it’s affecting your life, take a gander at these tips from a doctor who treats sciatica in Arlington, TX.
Stretch, Even If It Hurts, Because It Hurts
Sciatica is an umbrella diagnosis — all it really means is ‘something is irritating your sciatic nerve.’ What that something is, we don’t know, and it’s often very hard to tell. But one thing is certain: if your sciatic nerve is already irritated, any minor thing going on around it can cause it to fire, causing pain. So start by keeping your sciatic nerve as unmolested as possible by regularly stretching all of the muscles around it. A good starter list can be found here.
Eat Anti-inflammatory Foods
Similarly, no matter what the actual cause of your sciatica is, inflammation from any source is going to make it worse. Ease up on that nerve by easing up on inflammation body-wide. Switch from vegetable (aka soybean), corn, sunflower, cottonseed, or peanut oils to safflower, palm, or coconut oils. Consume fatty fish like salmon or tuna twice a week, and cut back on grain-based foods, especially those borne of white flour. All of this will alter the balance of fats in your body and make it much less likely for systemic inflammation to exacerbate your sciatica.
Get Professional Help
If it’s not severe, sciatica might seem like it is more annoying than debilitating — but nerve damage isn’t anything to play around with. You should schedule an appointment to see a health professional immediately, and see if a diagnosis can be made. If you assume that your sciatica is idiopathic (in other words, that it doesn’t have any apparent source), and you’re wrong, you could be missing out on a treatment that could hugely improve your quality of life.
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