Is Walking Good for Sciatica?
Doing the correct exercise is one of the best solutions for relieving the pain caused by sciatica. If you are a sciatica sufferer, then take note that a good exercise for you is walking.
Many experts recommend a brisk walk as it aids in relieving the pain. Learn more about how good walking is for sciatica patients like you through this article.
So What is Sciatica?
First things first, it is important to gain a full understanding of what sciatica is. It is important to note that humans have discs in their nerves and back that tend to exit in every spinal level. In case your spinal nerves experience irritation due to pressure or chemicals, there is a great chance that they will become overly active.
The result is a kind of pain that reaches down to your legs. It is known as sciatica. If you have the problem, then take note that the specific area the nerve pain travels is dependent on the specific nerve that will get ramped up or pinched.
Prolonged Sitting can Worsen Sciatica
If you sit too long, then you are at risk of experiencing more sciatica pain and worsening your condition. Remember that the discs in your back have water within them as well as glycosaminoglycans that refer to specialized natural chemicals.
If you sit for a prolonged period, then there is a risk that the water will be pushed out of your disc, resulting to it slightly flattening out. The problem is that this slight flattening at first tends to worsen as you age since it damages the cells over time or causes the degenerated discs to be unable to produce the right amount of the specialized natural chemicals.
Such further leads to the lower amount of water inside the disc. Sitting will also cause the low amount of water to be pushed out easily, triggering the disc to flatten out more. This further results to slight bulges, adding more pressure on your spinal nerve. Such is the main reason behind the zinging, painful feeling that reaches down your leg.
Can Walking Help?
Now that you know that prolonged sitting can worsen your sciatica problem, it is time to understand that it is possible for you to prevent it from worsening through exercising. Walking is your best buddy, in this case, as it helps relieve the pain as well as other symptoms of sciatica.
Through regular or brisk walking, expect to obtain relief from sciatic pain as it stimulates the release of endorphins that fight pain while also reducing the risk of inflammation. Just make sure that you walk correctly with the right posture as poor walking also has the tendency of worsening your symptoms.
Ensure that you use walking as a way to exercise gently, giving your body enough time to rest and heal for a couple of weeks after incurring a sciatic injury. The best way to walk is to do it on level surfaces. It should have minimal or zero incline.
You should also walk at either a slow or moderate pace. Ensure that you slow down in case you experience any symptoms. If the symptoms still persist even after you have slowed down, then maybe it’s time for you to stop and take your much-needed rest.
By ensuring that you walk correctly with the right shoes for sciatica, it is possible for you to use this habit as one of the easiest solutions to receive rehabilitation, especially if you lost your physical functionality because of chronic leg or back pain. While it’s not a permanent cure for sciatic nerve pain, it is a big help in relieving its symptoms.
Walking is also a big help in increasing localized blood circulation, especially to the areas in your lower back, legs, and buttocks that experience the most pain. The good news is that walking is a low-impact exercise, so it is good for you, especially if you noticed that other activities tend to elicit pain.
I have already emphasized how important it is to walk correctly if you want to gain the best results for relieving sciatica nerve pain. Here are some guidelines that you can use:
1, Take Short Strides
Doing such is a big help in protecting your sciatic nerve. Note that if you take long strides then there is a risk for you to irritate your sciatic nerves as the strides might compress your lumbar discs. If you tend to take long strides, then the best way to shorten them is to avoid reaching using your toes.
Ensure that you land in between your heel and midfoot. You should roll onto your toes gently then push off once you take your next stride. Doing such can shorten your strides naturally since it will be hard for your feet to roll when they’re away from your body.
2, Slow Down
Avoid rushing your pace too much. Note that if you slow down your pace, then you can also shorten your steps. You know that you’re taking a short and comfortable stride if you don’t find it hard to maintain a conversation when you are walking.
3, Support Your Spine
It’s possible by ensuring that your core muscles are engaged when you walk. The good thing about getting your abdominal muscles engaged is that it is a big help in reducing the pressure that you put on your spine, thereby offering protection to the roots of your sciatic nerve.
4, Increase Your Endurance
Do it slowly, though. It is possible for you to raise your endurance, in this case, if you increase your distance and speed gradually every day.
5, Stay Hydrated
Note that walking, even if it’s advisable for you to do it at a slow pace, is still an exercise. That said, it is important to hydrate yourself, so you can replace all the lost fluids from your exercise.
While walking is not a complete cure for sciatica, it is still a big help in ensuring that you don’t suffer too much from the pain that comes with the condition, as well as its other symptoms. Avoid underestimating the importance of a good walk.
Aside from helping you relieve sciatica symptoms, you can also use it in clearing your mind while also giving your body a good exercise.