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Sciatica Is a Health Problem, Not a Back Problem

When we see patients here at Vitality Semaphore for their sciatica pain, the biggest mistake we see is that they treat their sciatica as a back problem rather than an overall indicator of health. It makes sense, considering many of the symptoms of sciatica begin in the lower back and radiate outwardly from there.

However, the truth is sciatic pain is about much more than what’s going on in your spine. In fact, your pain level, and your ability to be able to heal from sciatica, are dependent on many factors.

Three of the most crucial components in your healing include your inflammation and stress levels and your diet.

Stress Less to Help With Sciatica

Stress levels are the first thing to address when you begin your path towards healing sciatica pain. Over the past three decades, thousands of scholarly articles have shown a link between stress, pain, and wound healing. These articles have highlighted the significant impact that increased stress levels have on the body’s ability to heal, from minor cuts, to colds and, yes, even sciatica.

If you want to maximise your body’s ability to heal from sciatica, you must manage your stress levels. For some, that means decreasing work hours or sticking to stringent work-home boundaries. For others, it might even mean quitting your job. It could be you need to evaluate and make decisions about boundaries in your relationships, or perhaps you need help balancing or restructuring your finances.

Whatever the cause of the stress, your body’s response will always be the same. When you’re overwhelmed by stress, your body’s ability to heal will be compromised.

Eat Foods From Nature to Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation has become a buzzword among health practitioners over the last 10 years. It is true that inflammation plays a role in almost every disease process, from dementia to heart disease and low back pain and sciatica, too.

Most of us know the inflammation and swelling that happens when we twist our ankles or our knees. However, few of us know that leading a lifestyle with poor nutrition and sleep allows inflammation to fester within the body. Poor diet is the most significant driver of inflammation we’ve observed in patients. A number of our patients have improved their sciatica by simply improving their diet.

To reduce inflammation by improving your diet, there are only four words to remember: eat foods from nature. When you eat natural foods, it is highly probable they’re already anti-inflammatory. On the other hand, when you eat foods from a factory, they’re likely pro-inflammatory and can make your sciatica worse as a result.

This means you should eat more fruits, vegetables, and meat with minimal processing and less processed, processed, sugary foods. Instead of drinking apple juice, for example, eat the apple. Instead of eating lunch meat pre-packaged chicken, cook chicken breasts and shred them for sandwiches.

Get Up and Move More

Managing your stress and decreasing inflammation will help improve the function of your spine. These are all the key ingredients to encourage both immediate and long-term relief from sciatica.

Regardless of the cause of your sciatica, whether it be a swollen or bulged disc, arthritis, or stuck and stiff joints, our chiropractors recommend the same: six to eight weeks of conservative care before considering more drastic measures, like surgery. Minimising inflammation and stress is part of this conservative approach, as is getting your spine moving consistently.

Take That First Step Towards Relief

If you need more one-on-one support with your spine and alleviating sciatica symptoms, we’d love to help. We have significant experience in helping patients with exactly this kind of thing. Schedule an appointment by calling the office at (08) 8242 1581.


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