What Happens If Your Sciatica Prevents You From Walking?


Quick Answer

If sciatica prevents an individual from walking, he should call his doctor and explain the symptoms, states Dr. Anthony Komaroff of Harvard Medical School. The doctor may want imaging tests to visualize if the sciatic nerve is compressed. In addition, the patient should rest, limit unnecessary activities, and begin gentle back strengthening exercises as pain allows to improve mobility.

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Full Answer

Pain may persist for up to six weeks, but there are ways to prevent its return. Sleep on the back or side, recommends Dr. Komaroff. Use a pillow between the knees to help keep the spine straight while resting. Avoid sitting or standing for long periods at a time, and take regular walking or standing breaks. When lifting objects, begin from a squatting position, and lift with the hips and legs. Never use the back to lift objects. Walk regularly, or join a swimming aerobics class to improve lower back strength. Most importantly, practice proper posture when standing or sitting. The hips should be aligned with the shoulders and ears when standing or sitting.

Other treatment options include regular massage therapy and acupuncture, states Physioworks. Wearing a back brace can also help keep the back straight and offer additional pain relief. Using Swiss exercise balls and lumbar D-rolls help regain and maintain mobility. A doctor may recommend using a TENS machine or refer a patient to a physical therapist.

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