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4 Tips for Sciatica while walking

4 Tips for Sciatica while walking

Sciatica while walking

The natural instinct after experiencing sciatica while walking, when the pain hits you hard, is to take medication and then sit or lie as still as possible and wait for the worst of the discomfort to abate.

With the right level of support for sciatic pain, rest can certainly bring relief.

However, there is a strong body of opinion that what is more important is gentle physical activity such as walking, especially with recurrent sciatica that interferes with daily living.

Walking is actually one of the most often overlooked remedies for problems with the sciatic nerve. Especially as this is a medical issue that often manifests itself as searing pain in the leg, and even numbness in the foot.

In fact, low impact aerobic exercise – such as a gentle walk – can be more beneficial than long periods of bed rest and keeping your body immobile.

This is partly as it avoids the discomfort that can originate from keeping your limbs still for long periods. Moving encourages blood flow, which is vital for the healing process and keeps the body more flexible and mobile. The benefit is also because walking helps release endorphins, a hormone with proven ability to help reduce inflammation and alleviate the pain. They are the bodies own natural morphine.

That’s not to say walking always works, as it can worsen your symptoms if you do too much too soon.

Steps to relieving sciatica while walking

  1. Little and often – A few steps four or five times every hour is much better than sitting for long periods without moving
  2. Start by going for short walks – Overdoing it is a self inflicting pain. Sometimes you can over do it now and pay the price later. To help alleviate your sciatic pain gradually increase your distance and time as you feel you have the energy and your confidence grows. It is better to do a little bit under than a little bit over.
  3. Pay attention to your posture – By this we do not mean try to walk like someone who has had deportment lessons! Just be mindful to walk as upright as you can without triggering any sharp pain and try to let your whole body be part of the forward motion. Scrunching over or holding yourself stiff as you walk could worsen symptoms or add new issues.
  4. Use support if necessary – It should not be a starting point, but for people who are really struggling to get moving then using a stick, or a crutch, on the affected side to try and off-load the body weight on that side can sometimes be helpful. Whether this is possible depends on the upper body strength of the person and whether they have any other issues going on. Probably best to try both sides and whichever feels more comfortable go with that. Getting moving with a support is better than not moving at all.

In praise of rest

Those are tips to help alleviate sciatica while walking, but an important aspects after physical activity is rest and recovery. This is difficult to do while standing so the same attention to how you supporting yourself while walking applies to when you are resting to help alleviate sciatic pain. For instance, curling or leaning too much while sitting may compresses the areas around the lower back and trigger the sciatic nerve. Again we are not looking for perfection in posture as there is no such thing. Just be aware and notice what works for you. Sciatica has a habit of giving you a reminder if you don’t!

Our Sciatic Pain Relief Cushion is designed to help when you’re driving or working, but also while sitting and resting at home.

No single way of managing sciatic pain works equally well for everyone. The trick is to explore various ways to manage your way trough to recovery to find one or a combination that brings you relief.



  1. Karen Serenity FL, USA on October 25, 2021 at 7:39 pm

    My left foot fell through a rotten wood deck in June 2021. Caused me severe pain on right side from my Low back and right hip down to my right foot. Two months of bedrest and Chiro. Then MRI proved my L4 L5 Sciatica and Extrusion. Referred to Physical Therapy, which gave me hope, and now I celebrate the small achievements, like being able to walk the stairs, and driving short distances. Still have pain and stiffness, and some days are more challenging. I thought I was doing better, and they reduced my PT to once a week. Then I did 3 loads laundry, and cleaned my kitchen, and set me back a week. I learned that I still need to delegate things, and I plan to request to go back to physical therapy twice a week, as they won’t prescribe me pain pills, and I will not risk surgery or injections, as the MRI showed I have DDD. So it’s physical therapy for me, turmeric and ginger Cinnamon tea and I plan to try acupuncture. Grateful that I can do things for short periods of time most days.

    • Karen Dusenberry on January 2, 2022 at 9:56 pm

      Be careful with turmeric. It is fat soluble like vitamin A. It is stored in your body. I got dark skin patches with vitamin a that peeled and my nose skin started peeling with the turmeric. Ask a pharmacist for more information.

  2. Fiona on July 12, 2021 at 9:49 am

    I have two herniated discs in the lower lumbar region. Since I got my dog it has worsened. She pulls but not excessively, but I can feel it on my left side. I do need to walk her but only do 25mins.
    Any advice would be much appreciated.

    • SPRC on July 16, 2021 at 7:35 pm

      Hi Fiona,
      Having a dog to walk can be great exercise and staying active and moving in the long terms is good for improving sciatica symptoms. If you are feeling the pulling is exacerbating your symptoms then it is likely you are right. Pulling or sudden jarring movements is not ideal for the back. What to do prevent your dog pulling is out of our expertise:-). Perhaps a bit of dog training to help you and your dog may solve the problem. They make it look so simple on TV! Best wishes.

      • Arrik on October 10, 2021 at 9:07 am

        Try a gentle leader or any kind of head collar. I could control my 70 lb pitbull w 2 fingers when I had one.

    • Karen Dusenberry on January 2, 2022 at 10:02 pm

      Buy a pinch collar to walk the dog. Recommended by obedience trainer. I have DDD and oral prednisone is a miracle for pain relief. My husband had surgery for a herniated disc a month ago. He ha s more pain now than before and became incontinent when sleeping plus constipated even without the opioids.

      The pinch collar is $20 or so on Amazon. Also in pet stores.

  3. Naheed Maliky on February 11, 2020 at 8:53 am

    I am also suffering from sciatica for many years in the begining it was too worse but then I took some medications and cautions which helped me more. the more good remedi for sciatica is not lift heavy things and load and weight and other is normal casual walk for some 20 or 30 minuts avoid eating red meat and sour fruits like lemon and keno and vinegur. when pain or inflammation starts take rest and dont move a lot. dont try hard excercises which fall pressure on your nerves and try to take injections for sciatica pain. and always keep moving. one most effective remedi is turmeric which really heals sciatica. every third day take one tea spoon full turmeric dissolve in milk you will feel a lot difference in you pain.

  4. David Jones on November 18, 2019 at 8:12 am

    I Cannot agree more I got very bad sciatic pain after taking a miss step off a pavement. My pain was so bad that I blacked out the first night when I tried to get up for the Loo, & found myself on the floor, getting up was a slow an VERY painful process. I rested most of the following day in a chair with a hot wheat bag and my legs slightly elevated. The pain persisted, and I had a very bad night! The following day I got up early because of the pain and forced myself to gently go about my normal Sunday routine , Breakfast, load washing machine /Dishwasher, cook Dinner for the family. Although everything took twice as long as normal the pain changed from severe to just sore and I got a better night after that. So far since that I have kept active just doing normal things, avoiding climbing the stairs more than necessary, all be it more gingerly than normal I find that my pain although by no means gone has become much less severe. So thankyou for the advice to just keep moving it has REALLY helped me

    • SPRC on November 18, 2019 at 9:49 am

      A really useful post for anyone who is experiencing sciatica David. Thanks for sharing. What you describe is a very common progression for many people. Keep moving and improving.

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