Los Angeles’ Premier Pain Management Specialists located in Santa Monica, CA.

How Losing Weight Can Help Your Sciatica

How Losing Weight Can Help Your Sciatica

When you’re dealing with the pain of sciatica, every day — sometimes every moment — can feel grueling. The pain that radiates from your lower spine to your pelvis, legs, and feet, affects 10%-40% of the population at some point. 

Thankfully, both medical treatments and lifestyle steps may help bring you lasting relief.

At California Pain Medicine Center in Santa Monica, California, expert pain management specialists, Dr. Joshua Prager and Dr. Gabriel Barnard, offer noninvasive physical therapies and cutting-edge, minimally invasive solutions for your sciatica pain.

Take a few minutes to learn how losing weight may help your sciatica, too.

Sciatica and body weight

While most anyone can develop sciatica, it’s possible that the excess weight you’ve gained is fueling your symptoms. More research is needed, but studies have shown that being overweight raises your risk for back, joint, and muscle pain.

On top of that, carrying more weight that your body can healthfully tolerate can lead to breathing challenges and fatigue, which may make routine exercise difficult or even impossible. In other words, a sedentary lifestyle fueled by weight gain may lead to more pounds and more pain.

Carrying excess weight may also contribute to sciatica by causing a herniated disc. The added pounds can place undue pressure on your back, causing the middle of the disc to push out into your spinal canal. If the disc that’s “slipped” or “ruptured” is located in your lower back, pressure on nerves linked with your sciatic nerve can cause sciatica. 

Losing weight for less sciatica pain

Given that overweight and obesity can fuel back pain and nerve problems that contribute to sciatica, it makes good sense that healthy weight loss can help reduce your symptoms. 

A weight loss-friendly lifestyle may also enhance your ongoing sciatica treatment plan. If you benefit from physical therapy and medication, for example, losing excess weight may help lead to fewer and less intense flare ups.

To safely lose weight, aim for 1-2 pounds of weight loss per week, versus rapid or sudden changes through a fad diet (which bring their own risks). Eat more nutrient-dense and fiber-rich foods, such as veggies, fruits, and whole grains, and replace unhealthy fat sources, like red meat or fried chicken with baked or grilled fish. 

Meanwhile, increase your physical activity. Many people benefit from 30 minutes of aerobic activity, such as walking, most days. Your provider at California Pain Medicine Center can suggest specific recommendations and offer encouragement along the way.

To learn more about sciatica or get the care you need, call our office at 310-264-7246 or request an appointment through our website today.

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