What to do when you have sciatic nerve pain?

The most recent statistics on lower back pain are quite alarming. They say that over 80% of the population will have lower back at one point in their life. More importantly, 40% of people with lower back pain will develop sciatic nerve pain.

So let’s put the numbers in context:
100 people
80 would have back pain
32 would have sciatic nerve pain.

The numbers on this are crazy! To think that this many people will suffer from sciatic nerve pain is absolutely unacceptable and Strive2Move wants to do something about it. If you live in Warren, New Jersey or Berkeley Heights, New Jersey please listen up!

Before we jump into what to do if you have sciatic nerve pain, let me first tell you a little more about it. 

Sciatic nerve Image

What is the sciatic nerve?

The sciatic nerve is the combination of the nerves that come out of the back and form into the nerve that goes through your glute, down your hamstring, calf, and into your foot. The sciatic nerve injury can cause pain, numbness, tingling, or even a loss of strength to your leg, calf, or foot. 

My Personal Story Dealing With Sciatic Nerve Pain

Many people don’t realize that I have personally suffered from sciatic nerve pain during my 20’s. In fact, because mine was not treated properly I had to go down the terrible road of surgery. This is why I’m so passionate about educating the Warren and Berkeley Heights community about this as I don’t want you to suffer the same way I did. 

My pain started years before as I got injured playing football. Years later, I was playing basketball during chiropractic school when my hamstring and leg started to go numb. I ended up with no feeling in my big toe and could not even move it due to the sciatic nerve impingement. 

After poor care and bad advice, I was told surgery was the only option. As I look back, I often wonder if I was treated properly from the start if I would have even needed surgery in the first place. 

I’m happy to say that for the most part, I’m ‘ok’ now BUT it’s not without complication that I wish upon nobody. I’m one of the lucky ones. Unfortunately, so many people we have met in both Warren and Berkeley Heights have not been so lucky. They have gone down the road of surgery and have not had great results. 

Poor low back surgical outcomes are very, very common. In fact, there is a specific category in the medical community that speaks directly to this. It is called failed low back surgery due to the amount of complications associated with the procedure.

In order to help the Warren and Berkeley Heights community, I wanted to share my five most important tips that have worked for us at Strive2Move. Whether you are nervous about going down the road of surgery OR want to prevent the need for surgery in the future

What To Do When You Have Sciatic Nerve Pain (5 Tips)

Correct Sitting Posture Image

Tip 1: Avoid Sitting In A Slumped Posture

So many folks work desk jobs these days and sitting for long periods of time can be horrible for your sciatic nerve pain. Couple that with the people in both Warren and Berkeley Heights who often commute to New York City, this only compounds the problem.

People think sitting posture won’t fix their sciatic nerve pain but what they fail to realize is that something so ‘small’ like sitting posture can become a HUGE deal when they do it for 8-12 hours per day!

As a general rule if you do it often, pay attention to it. We all sit more than we care to admit so it’s hugely important to be aware of it.

Tip 2: Avoid Stretching Your Hamstrings

When you have sciatic nerve pain, it can feel like your hamstring is very tight. Most commonly, your first reaction is to stretch. This would seem to make sense, except it’s often the absolute worst thing to do when it comes to treating your sciatic nerve pain.

Stretching exercise

If you simply had a tight hamstring, stretching COULD make sense. However, if this is a sciatic nerve pain and injury, stretching it will most likely make it worse… even if it feels good in the short term. 

The reason for this is due to the inflammatory process that happens during sciatic nerve injury. When the nerve is inflamed, stretching is similar to adding gasoline to a fire. It will make the fire much worse. 

If you have been stretching your hamstring and have sciatic nerve pain OR have a chronically tight hamstring that won’t go away and stretching isn’t working, stretching may be making it worse.

Tip 3: Check Your Morning Routine (Getting Out Of Bed)

One of the hardest behaviors to change is how you get out of bed in the morning. For most of us, we have been doing it a certain way for years. You may be thinking, how and why does this matter?

It’s actually quite simple. In the morning, the spinal discs in your back actually rehydrate. This means that fluid fills the discs. The issue is that first thing in the morning, due to an increase in pressure in the area, you are more likely to injure or re-injure your sciatic nerve injury as the disc in the back causes this issue.

Tip 4: Keep Moving!

Back in the day when a patient suffered from sciatic nerve pain the advice was bed rest. In other words, just lay around until it feels better. 

The good news is that the research has finally caught up to this crazy talk and recommends against it. 

In fact, the American College of Physicians (ACP) and American Pain Society (APS) recommend that patients with low back pain should remain active. They categorize this recommendation as ‘strong’ meaning you should listen!

Tip 5: See Your Local Chiropractor Who Specializes In Sciatic Nerve Pain… Without A Referral From Your Doctor

Did you know that if you live in Warren or Berkeley Heights, you could come to Strive2Move without a referral from your doctor? Most folks with sciatic nerve pain often start by going to their primary care doctor and it’s usually a wasted first step. Most PCP’s can only prescribe medication, take an X-ray, and possibly refer you out to someone like Strive2Move who works with sciatic nerve injury every day. 

At Strive2Move, we pride ourselves on specializing in treating sciatic nerve pain and injury. Even more, we really make sure we CAN help and if we can’t we will refer you for the proper imaging or to a provider that can. 

If you are currently suffering from sciatic nerve pain, Strive2Move offers all Warren and Berkeley Heights residents a Discovery Session

This is 100% free and no obligation and an opportunity for you to come to Strive2Move and receive expert advice before deciding on what your best next treatment option may be. We do this so that you can gain clarity and confidence as your health is the #1 asset you have and we pride ourselves on being a resource to the community.

If you are interested in a Discovery Visit, click HERE to fill out a short form to see if your sciatic nerve pain qualifies.

This video above does a great job of explaining exactly how to get out of bed in the morning so you don’t irritate your sciatic nerve pain. Personally, I do this each and every morning as I have trained it to now be a habit. 

Dr. Justin Rabinowitz

Dr. Justin Rabinowitz


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