Discover how excess weight could put you at risk for sciatica and learn practical steps you can take to mitigate these risks and enhance your quality of life.
In a world where fast food and sedentary lifestyles are becoming the norm, many people struggle with being overweight. It’s a significant health issue that goes beyond appearance and leads to many health problems. One such problem is sciatica.
Sciatica causes significant pain to travel along the path of the sciatic nerve, which runs down from your lower back to your legs. Carrying extra weight puts additional pressure on your spine and can lead to conditions like sciatica.
At Acupuncture Health Services in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, Michael Beys, LAc, DACm, uses the power of acupuncture to help manage and prevent a wide range of health issues, including those related to being overweight.
His approach is to tackle the root causes, rather than just the symptoms, and empower you to control your health.
In this article, he explains the link between being overweight and sciatica. He also explores what sciatica is, why being overweight increases your risk, and what you can do to reduce this risk.
What is sciatica?
To understand the connection between being overweight and sciatica, it’s vital first to understand what sciatica is. The term refers to pain experienced along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg.
This discomfort is usually felt on one side of your body, ranging from a mild ache to severe, sharp pain. Sciatica isn’t a standalone medical condition but a symptom of underlying issues with your lower spine, like herniated disks, bone spurs, or lumbar spinal stenosis.
The connection between sciatica and your weight
Being overweight can contribute significantly to the development and worsening of sciatica. The primary reason is the additional strain that excess weight puts on your spine. This burden can cause changes in your spinal alignment and lead to conditions like herniated disks, which directly contribute to sciatica.
Additionally, carrying extra weight, especially around your belly, changes your center of gravity. This shift can force you to alter your posture and the way you move, putting additional stress on your lower back and increasing your risk of experiencing sciatic pain.
The role of inflammation
Excess fatty tissue in the body releases inflammatory substances that can worsen sciatica and other types of pain.
The more overweight a person is, the higher their body’s inflammatory responses tend to be, causing an increased risk of developing sciatica.
The connection between being overweight and developing sciatica highlights the importance of maintaining a healthy weight for your overall spinal health.
Including regular exercise in your routine not only aids in weight loss but also helps strengthen the muscles supporting your spine, reducing the risk of back issues.
A balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can also help manage inflammation levels in your body, further reducing your risk of sciatica.
How acupuncture can help
Acupuncture works by restoring balance and proper energy flow within your body. It involves inserting fine, sterile needles at specific points on the body, known as acupuncture points.
According to traditional Chinese medicine theory, these points lie along meridians, or energy channels, which carry life force energy (or “Qi”) throughout the body.
With sciatica, acupuncture helps stimulate these points, releasing blocked energy and promoting healing. This stimulation helps relieve sciatica pain by promoting the release of endorphins, your body’s natural painkillers, and improving blood circulation to the affected area.
While acupuncture can help manage sciatica symptoms, it also has a preventative role. Regular treatments can keep the body’s energy flowing smoothly, potentially reducing the chance of future flare-ups. Acupuncture treatments also target your overall well-being, not just providing symptomatic relief.
So, if you’re dealing with sciatica or looking for a proactive way to maintain your wellness, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us or call 732-898-2284.