You may have heard that having the right body mass index (BMI) lowers your chances of suffering from lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiac problems. Did you know that your body weight can contribute to sciatic pain? While there are many coincidences in life, it may be hard for you to establish the link between weight gain and the high prevalence rate of sciatica pain. Jocelyn R. Idema, DO, and her team at Steel City Spine and OrthopedicCenter provides relief to patients suffering from sciatica in Washington, PA.
The best approach to chronic and acute sciatic pain is to prevent back pain from occurring in the first place. Sciatic pain is a common lower back problem among patients. Patient education is vital to help you know the do’s and don’ts when it comes to sciatic pain so that you can lead an active life devoid of pain. To achieve that end, below is a look at how your weight can lead to sciatic pain.
Understanding Your Lower Back
It is vital for you first to understand the anatomy of you back to help you see how sciatic pain can develop. Your lower back is made up of five large vertebrae. These lumbar spine joints contribute to your mobility, support, and the upper body’s range of motion.
In between these joints are discs, responsible for cushioning and support. The outer layer of the disc is made up of collagen, a tough material to help avoid leakage of the jelly-like substance found in the disc.
The sciatic nerve is the largest in the body and extends from the lower back to the buttocks and legs. It originates from your lumbar spine’s nerve roots. When one of the lumbar spine discs bulges out or herniates, this irritates the nerve roots in the affected area. This pain is known as sciatica, and it is characterized by tingling or numbness in the lower back or to the legs.
Impact of Weight in the Sciatica Puzzle
Your discs can be compromised by several factors, signaling the development of sciatica. You back can be compromised in ways which include:
There is no doubt that aging contributes to the weakening of your discs. However, adding extra weight worsens the condition, since it creates additional stress which speeds up the breakdown of your spinal discs. Your spine is designed to carry a specific amount of weight, and when you add extra pounds, this breaches the maximum possible weight.
To help better understand this, assume that your discs are a stack of donuts filled with jelly. Upon applying pressure, there will be a breaking point, where the donuts will begin to leak. From this analogy, it is clear that adding extra weight can predispose you to sciatica.
Being overweight is a major risk factor in sciatica. As a result, any weight reduction method you employ including exercise and diet plans, plays a crucial role in minimizing pressure on your spine for enhanced mobility and overall health.
If you want to learn more about sciatic pain, visit Steel City Spine and OrthopedicCenter today to have an experienced orthopedic surgeon attend to you.