Sciatica prevention can be difficult, because one of the primary causes is the gradual degradation of the lumbar spine (lower back) that naturally comes with age. The sciatic nerve, which begins toward the bottom of the spinal cord and threads its way down both legs, is the longest nerve in the body. When a portion of the lumbar spinal anatomy breaks down because of injury, disc degeneration or osteoarthritis, the sciatic nerve becomes vulnerable to compression. This can send shooting pain down the legs to the feet, or cause tingling, numbness or muscle weakness in the lower extremities.
Exercises for Sciatica Prevention
While the natural aging process makes preventing sciatica difficult, staying in shape can help the body cope with – or even avoid – symptoms that might otherwise become debilitating. Muscular strength is important for the stability of the lower back, and good cardiovascular health for optimum fitness. Talk to a doctor or fitness professional before beginning any exercise program, which might include one or more of the following:
- Running or jogging
- Weight training
When Sciatica Symptoms Become Overwhelming
As stated above, sciatica prevention is not always possible. Some people are genetically predisposed to developing spinal conditions – such as a herniated disc, bone spurs or spinal stenosis – which can produce sciatic nerve compression. While conservative treatments such as pain medication and physical therapy usually are enough to manage sciatica symptoms, surgery can become an option when chronic pain becomes unbearable. Contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure can help alleviate sciatica symptoms, or for a free review of ?your MRI or CT scan.