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Common mistakes people with sciatica make

Common mistakes people with sciatica make

Anyone who has ever experienced sciatica will appreciate that it’s not much fun. But, few people know that they could actually be making their symptoms worse. Here are some of the most common mistakes people with sciatica make.

Putting up with the pain

For various reasons, many people who experience sciatica pain delay seeking treatment or advice from a professional. But, putting up with the pain could only end up making matters worse, causing the condition to progress. The sooner you seek help from an expert, the quicker you can find the right course of treatment to ease your symptoms.

Giving up exercise

It’s natural to want to lie down and rest if you’re experiencing sciatic nerve pain, but actually this is not something that professionals recommend. Indeed, staying inactive could weaken your muscles and potentially increase the amount of pain you feel. The best thing you can do is to stay active, although get advice from a trained professional about the kinds of activities that you should be doing.

Exercising as normal

While some people give up exercise altogether when they suffer from sciatica, others will attempt to carry on as normal. However, maintaining the same exercise routine you followed prior to your sciatica flare-up isn’t good news. This could only aggravate your symptoms and make them worse. Speak to a health professional and devise an exercise plan that will heal rather than hurt you.

Be careful not to rush back into your normal exercise routine once you start to feel better. This is a common mistake that many sciatica sufferers make. Even if you notice an improvement in your symptoms, you might not be fully healed and returning to your normal routines could set you back again. If you are keen to get back to exercising, get the green light from a health professional first.

Not ditching the high heels

Wearing high heels might be part and parcel of your daily routine, but you should rethink this if you start suffering from sciatic nerve pain. High heels push your weight forward when you walk, exerting pressure on your lower back. This can annoy the sciatic nerve, increasing painful symptoms. Put the heels to the back of the wardrobe for the time being, and stick to comfortable flat shoes instead. At the very least, if you have to wear heels as part of a work uniform, limit the amount of time you wear them and choose heels with a height of two inches or less.


  1. Helen Mears on April 28, 2020 at 12:34 am

    I’ve got sciatica which has gone from my back through my buttocks and is now in my calf and it is very painful….
    I’m doing hot cold treatment but am finding it painful to stand or walk….
    Any help would be appreciated….

  2. Hazel latham on April 11, 2020 at 11:13 am

    I have sciatica but can’t feel a thing when I am sitting down it is awful when I stand up and start walking round the house I have tried the hot cold therapy but nothing seems to help I am not taking painkillers as I haven’t got any Help we are in lockdown too I am 76 thanks

    • SPRC on April 11, 2020 at 6:43 pm

      Hi Hazel,
      Sorry to hear your predicament. If this is your first time experiencing sciatica symptoms then you need to call a health care professional to talk through your symptoms. If in the UK try your GP or NHS 111. Even if it not your first time it is worth calling for advice. Talking through the symptoms and describing what you are experiencing will help to decide what needs to be done. There are also many physiotherapists that are doing phone consultations as well, which is another place you could get advice. It is important to make sure the symptoms you are experiencing definitely are sciatica symptoms. If pain medication is required then some arrangements to get this to you may be possible. We know medical services are stretched at this time but it is important to seek help and try to speak to someone. Our very best wishes.

  3. Thomas Jackson on March 11, 2020 at 11:38 am

    My wife, she is 60 this year, has been diagnosed with Sciatica in her lumbar region. She has been prescribed Naproxen and it helps with the pain. At night watching tv she has a hot water bottle on the base of her back and says it eases off the pain. She works Monday to Friday at our local hospital and does exercises she was given by a physiotherapist. She is dreading this sciatica if it reaches into her leg/s again as she suffered badly with and found walking difficult. Is there anything that can be recommended to help her ?. Regards Thomas.

    • SPRC on March 11, 2020 at 12:26 pm

      Hi Thomas,
      Sciatica is the symptom associated with back pain when pain, or numbness and tingling goes down into the leg so if your wife has had those symptoms and they are now gone then take heart from that because the recovery is going in the right direction. The hot water bottle is a great idea and the most important thing is to follow the advice the healthcare professionals your wife is seeing. Staying active while limiting aggravation as much as practicable is key. We hope your wife is better soon.

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