It's not always possible to prevent sciatica, and the condition may recur. The following suggestions can play a key role in protecting your back:
Sept. 19, 2012
- Exercise regularly. This is the most important thing you can do for your overall health as well as for your back. Pay special attention to your core muscles — the muscles in your abdomen and lower back that are essential for proper posture and alignment. Ask your doctor to recommend specific activities.
- Maintain proper posture when you sit. Choose a seat with good lower back support, arm rests and a swivel base. Consider placing a pillow or rolled towel in the small of your back to maintain its normal curve. Keep your knees and hips level.
- Use good body mechanics. If you stand for long periods, rest one foot on a stool or small box from time to time. When you lift something heavy, let your lower extremities do the work. Move straight up and down. Keep your back straight and bend only at the knees. Hold the load close to your body. Avoid lifting and twisting simultaneously. Find a lifting partner if the object is heavy or awkward.
- Bradley WG, et al. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Butterworth-Heinemann Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7506-7525-3..X5001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-7506-7525-3&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Aug. 2, 2012.
- Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed Aug. 2, 2012.
- Hsu PS, et al. Lumbosacral radiculopathy: Pathophysiology, clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 2, 2012.
- Levin K, et al. Acute lumbosacral radiculopathy: Prognosis and treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 2, 2012.
- Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05472-0..X0001-1--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05472-0&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Aug. 2, 2012.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Radiculopathy. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2003.
- Knight CL, et al. Treatment of acute low back pain. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 9, 2012.
- Acupuncture for pain. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture/acupuncture-for-pain.htm. Accessed Aug. 9, 2012.
- Shekelle P. Spinal manipulation in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 9, 2012.