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Benign but oh so painful the “crisis” affects the lower limbs located on the path of the sciatic nerve. Often associated with lower back pain, it comes from a herniated disc, osteoarthritis or trauma. But can sciatica be prevented? We take stock.

Normally, our skeleton is perfectly organized. Our vertebrae stack on top of each other. Each of them is separated by an intervertebral disc. But it happens that the machine seizes up. A disc can come out of its usual place and compress the sciatic nerve. The latter is the largest and longest in the human body: it starts from the lower back (lumbar vertebrae) then goes to the buttocks, thighs, knees, calves, feet, (at the level of the small or large toe). The pains can start on all this way. They can be either motor (muscle weakness) or sensory (numbness type). And occur at rest or on exertion.

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stretches for sciatica

9 out of 10 people have suffered from back pain… Stress, physical inactivity, teleworking: these causes accentuate lumbar problems. Lockdown didn’t helpnotes Dr. Charley Cohen rheumatologist in Paris. So can we prevent this inflammation of the nerve that starts from the lumbar region and goes down to the level of the leg or the feet?

First, you should know thatwe can only act upstream. During the crisis, it is difficult to move because if the disorder remains mild, it causes severe pain. They can also be treated after an MRI diagnosis with analgesics to calm the pain. But also muscle relaxants (to relax the nerve) or even cortisone. You can also apply specific hot patches to reduce the pain.

But before getting there, you can adopt a number of good habits to avoid it. “Daily, sudden movements are avoided, we do not lean forward suddenly. If you want to pick something up from the floor, you lean forward gently, bending your knees. If we often sit in front of a computer, we take a break every hour, we go to stretch, walk, breathe. And we take care of her sleep: you sleep lying on your left side with your knees bent, or on your back if you can. Especially not on the stomach: it accentuates the lumbar arch and it is very bad for the neckrecommends the specialist. By applying these instructions, the risks are limited. But that’s not all. We pay attention to its weight. THE overweight (BMI greater than 25) plays a big role in lower back pain in general.

Finally, the sedentary lifestyle must be banned. I’physical activity is essential in such crises. “You have to strengthen your back, warm up well and practice daily exercises under the supervision of a professional. Abdominals are indicated in prevention because without a good stomach, you cannot have a solid back that is not very prone to pain. THE pilates is excellent because it will strengthen the deep muscles. But muscle strengthening when practiced correctly and a coach or professional monitors your postures, is an excellent prevention.adds the rheumatologist. So rather than undergoing these painful episodes, move regularly, and preserve your back on a daily basis.

Thank you to Dr. Charley Cohen rheumatologist in Paris and author of “Living without pain what happiness” Editions Guy Tredaniel.

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