If you are like most people, you think very little about your lifting posture during the day. But if you are currently suffering from sciatica symptoms caused by a lumbar herniated disc, it's time to start paying attention.
Read on to learn about how poor lifting posture can provoke sciatica symptoms caused by a lumbar herniated disc:
How a lumbar herniated disc causes sciatica
Before we talk about how poor lifting posture can aggravate your sciatica caused by a herniated disc, let's quickly look at how a lumbar herniated disc can cause sciatica in the first place.
See Sciatica Causes
Your sciatic nerve is comprised of five nerve roots that originate in your lumbar spine (lower back). Due to a variety of factors (including stress and strain) a nearby lumbar disc may herniate, which means that the gel-like interior leaks outs.
In turn, the inflammatory proteins found in the gel-like interior can aggravate your sciatic nerve roots. Additionally, a portion of the disc may also irritate a nearby nerve root. Both of these occurrences can result in you experiencing pain, tingling, or numbness along your sciatic nerve.
Poor lifting posture and sciatica
You may not realize it, but you do quite a bit of lifting during the day. Whether it is picking up your child, placing groceries in your car, or moving dirt for your garden, you have the potential to place numerous large working loads on your lumbar discs.
This in turn can further irritate your sciatica symptoms caused by a lumbar herniated disc by placing additional stress on the disc.
To help prevent the aggravation or compression of one of your nerve roots, follow these simple steps for practicing proper lifting form:
- Maintain a strong chest. It is important that you keep a straight back while you lift, so bend your hips—not your lower back—and try to keep your chest out.
- Lead with your hips. When you change directions while lifting an object, lead with your hips to avoid unnecessary strain on your lumbar discs.
- Keep all objects close to your body. Keep the item you are lifting as close to your body as possible.
It is all too easy to think that you don't need to worry about your lifting posture if the item you are attempting to lift is light. But remember that you need to practice proper lifting form regardless of the weight of the item; as with incorrect form even a light item can result in a large working load on your lumbar herniated disc.
Additionally, if the object you are tying to lift is too wide to fit between your knees, seek the help of another person. This is advised because objects with large dimensions require lifting with a longer reach, and this increases the working load on your back.
Even if you are not currently suffering from sciatica symptoms caused by a lumbar herniated disc, proper lifting posture can help keep your spine healthy and happy for years to come.