5 Ways You May Be Triggering Your Sciatica
- By PatientPoint Launch
- 13 Sep, 2016
1. Wallets, Cell Phones and Credit Cards in Your Back Pocket Sitting, especially for prolonged periods of time, with your wallet in your back pocket can irritate your piriformis muscle. The sciatic nerve courses under this muscle, which may become pressured by your wallet. When this happens, the sciatic nerve may […]
1. Wallets, Cell Phones and Credit Cards in Your Back Pocket
Sitting, especially for prolonged periods of time, with your wallet in your back pocket can irritate your piriformis muscle. The sciatic nerve courses under this muscle, which may become pressured by your wallet. When this happens, the sciatic nerve may also become pressured. In 1978, M.D. Elmar Lutz described two case studies of this phenomenon and named it “Credit Card – Wallet Sciatica.”
Wallet sciatica is also called back pocket sciatica.
Admittedly, 1978 was a long time ago. Now, in the 21st century, we can add a new potential irritant to this list of back pocket sciatica causes. The cell phone.
Orly Avitzur, M.D. specializes in neurology. In an article for Consumer Reports entitled “Cell-phone sciatica is a pain in the butt” says: “Cell-phone sciatica can now join several related nerve compression syndromes, including wallet sciatica, credit-card sciatica, and back-pocket sciatica.”
“Pressing any hard object against the derrière, home of the sciatic nerve, is a bad idea,” she adds.
2. High Heels and Uncushioned Shoes May Trigger Your Sciatica
Wearing high heels and uncushioned shoes are another “word on the street” sciatica trigger. It’s quite possible that ground forces generated while you walk or stand may transfer up your lower extremity to the structures of your back and hip.
Plus, high heels throw your weight forward, which in turn may cause you to flex forward at the hips; this is your body’s way of staying upright. The problem is, this is also the pelvic movement that stretches the hamstrings in back. Because the sciatic nerve runs down along the same route as the hamstrings, this chronically stretched position may also stretch (and irritate) your sciatica.
3.Putting the Stress on Yourself
Stop Putting the Stress on Yourself!
Stress is a mind-body trigger for sciatica, according to Dr. John Sarno Dr. Sarno. Sarno, who is Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University School of Medicine, and Attending Physician at The Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University Medical Center, has, for years, been advocating for an approach to diagnosing and managing back pain that is based on our emotions rather than things that can be picked up on an MRI or determined from a diagnostic injection. Needless to say, not all members of the conventional medical establishment have proven supportive of his simple, patient-centric focus on back pain relief.
Sarno says that it’s the people who put pressure on themselves – especially Type A people pleasers – who are most at risk.
When explaining sciatica, Sarno asserts that rather than nerve damage in the low back, the brain deprives the nerves of oxygen (in a mild way,) which results in the same symptoms. These are, of course, pain down your leg, weakness, and other electrical sensations.
4. Tight Jeans and Underwear
Medical research is generally not the place to turn to for guidance on clothing, but that doesn’t stop social media! In one Facebook discussion group, several people agreed that both tight jeans and underwear with tight elastic can trigger a bout of sciatica.
Perhaps it’s time for some sweats!
And ladies, when it comes to underwear, maybe thong style is the way to go. Check out this one, designed specifically for sciatica sufferers: Thong Underwear for Sciatica Sufferers.