You may not be able to diagnose sciatica by name, but you definitely know if it’s affecting you. The extreme tingling and burning pain. The numbness shooting down your leg. The way the pain drains your attention from the tasks at hand.

The good news is that there are some things you can do if you’re affected by sciatica. Take a look at what you should know about this painful nerve condition.

Compression Causes Sciatica

Sciatica occurs when a nerve in your spine or leaving your spinal column gets compressed. This can happen because of a herniated spinal disc, a narrowing of the spinal canal in your lower back, bone spurs, or even because you’ve been sitting and moving with bad posture. And yes, stress can play a part.

Some Actions Make Sciatica Pain Worse

Physicians know to check a patient for sciatica if they enter an exam room and see that patient standing, instead of sitting down. Especially if the sciatica is caused by a herniated disc, sitting causes intense pain. Heavy lifting can also inflame the pain, and even coughing can bring on spasms.

You Can Take Steps to Ease Sciatica Pain

You’re not destined to a future of pain if you experience sciatica. Start with anti-inflammatories. Yes, you want to rest, but you also want to stretch that leg. Realignment of a misaligned disc can relieve pain, and range-of-motion therapy from a trusted provider such as HealthStar also helps. Massage, chiropractic, and physical therapy can make a big difference, as can an injection-based therapy.

You Can Prevent Sciatica Pain

Good posture and maintaining a healthy weight go a long way to stopping sciatica from starting — something that can happen at any age. Adopting an exercise program that focuses on stretching the lower back and on strengthening the body’s core also builds resistance to sciatica.

Sciatica Can Become Dangerous

If sciatica symptoms progress so that you start to experience weakness in your legs, or if the symptoms spread to both legs, or include bladder dysfunction, you may have a more serious medical condition that’s only manifesting as sciatica. See a doctor urgently if you develop sciatica-like symptoms after an accident or if they’re accompanied by fever.

When sciatica hits, it’s a relief to know that you have non-surgical options available to relieve the pain and help you return to your normal activities. Contact HealthStar Clinic to learn how we can help treat sciatica.