April 2024 Chiropractic Newsletter Risk Factors and Prevention Strategies for Sciatica

Have you begun to experience numbness, weakness, or pain that radiates down from your lower back to one of your legs? Has this pain at times even reached your heel? If so, you're showing the main signs of sciatic nerve compression, also called sciatica.

Sciatica is one of the most common forms of nerve pain. There are two sciatic nerves, one for each leg, and they emerge from the spinal cord in the region of the lower back. Sciatica can happen when a sciatic nerve is compressed anywhere along its length, but one of the most common reasons is due to compression at its origin from a bulging or herniated disc. Read further to understand your risk factors for this condition and how you can prevent it.

How You May Be At Risk for Sciatica

Age Range

People between the ages of 30 and 50 have the highest risk. While sciatica can affect any age group, those in this age range are more susceptible due to how the body ages.

Your spinal discs may start to weaken due to the following:

  • Loss of fluid that affects shock absorption
  • Wear and tear from prolonged activity or overburdening

As a result, it's easier to get a herniated disc that can cause sciatica. However, even a teen can get sciatica if they suffer a herniated disc from an injury.


There is a reason why your mother got on you about sitting or standing up straight. It's because poor posture can overwork some soft tissues while the ones that balance them tighten and weaken. When you slouch or have a sedentary lifestyle, it weakens the muscles your spinal column depends on for support, overburdening its other components.

Work Activity

Sitting at an office desk all day isn't the only way to increase sciatica risk. Does your daily work activity involve a great deal of heavy lifting? Are you constantly pushing and pulling heavy items without the use of equipment? These types of repetitive activity can put stresses on your back that cause disc compression, or simply result in an acute injury.

Ways You Can Prevent This Nerve Issue

Sciatica is treatable, especially if you see the right chiropractor. However, you can prevent it from happening in the first place by making the right lifestyle choices.

Change Your Work Conditions

Start by dealing with your work environment. If your employment involves consistent desk work, you can:

  • Get an ergonomic chair
  • Get a standing desk
  • Take regular breaks to stretch
  • Practice proper typing posture and be mindful to avoid slouching

If your job or your hobbies involve heavy lifting, remember to practice the following techniques:

  • Use your legs to lift, not your back
  • Wear safety gear like a back brace
  • Be mindful of slippery floors, as falls can hurt your back

Take Charge of Your Health

Weight management is also essential in reducing pressure on your spine. With the advice of your chiropractor, you may be able to add healthy activity to your life by:

  • Swimming or aqua therapy
  • Yoga or pilates
  • Walking around your block

Spinal health also includes a nutritious diet. Try to eat enough calcium and Vitamin D to maintain healthy bones, and don’t forget to spend some time each week in direct sunlight.

Sciatica is highly preventable and treatable. Your local chiropractor is available for spinal adjustments, traction therapy, chiropractic massage, and other treatments that can reduce the compression on your spine. With care, you can thrive and live a well-balanced life without back or nerve pain.

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