Beware: Sitting for long hours can give you sciatica

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Sciatica is a common fallout of an unhealthy lifestyle and long sitting hours. But you can try forming a few good habits that will provide relief.

Sciatica is a common complaint today of working professionals. This is because most people spend long hours sitting in front of a computer without getting up at regular intervals. This pain occurs when there is inflammation or compression of the sciatic nerve. This is also the longest nerve in the human body. It can manifest as a dull ache or tingling along the back and through the legs to your toes.

There may be many causes behind this condition besides long sitting hours. Sometimes, infections, herniation of the lumbar disc, growth of tumours and irritation of the nerve from adjacent bones may also cause this pain. You may be more prone to sciatica if you are pregnant.

Diagnosis of sciatica

If you experience this kind of pain, visit your doctor. He will be the best person to tell you if this pain is sciatica or not. He may ask you to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. To rule out complications, he may also ask you to go for a spinal X-ray to rule out the presence of tumours as well as a computerized tomography (CT) scan.

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Treatment options

Your doctor will first try to identify the root of the problem. He may recommend simple exercises like stretches initially. He may also ask you to apply hot and cold packs, prescribe over-the-counter pain medications and advice proper rest for a few days. If this does not work, he may ask you to go in for physical therapy. In severe cases, you may need pain medications and corticosteroid injections to reduce the inflammation.

What you can do

Besides listening to your doctor and taking your medications, there are a few other things that you can do to deal with sciatica. There are numerous natural remedies, alternative therapies like acupuncture and massage therapies that can offer relief from the pain and inflammation. Try to maintain a correct posture at all times. This will help. Also exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet. You may also try and practice yoga. There are many yoga asanas that can provide relief from sciatica pain.

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