Video Transcript

2 Walking Tips to Avoid Sciatica Pain

Did you know walking can relieve sciatic pain? When you walk your body releases pain-fighting endorphins and reduces inflammation; however, poor walking styles can easily aggravate sciatic symptoms. Try these two tips to improve walking and relieve your pain:

One, shorten your stride. Long strides can irritate your sciatic nerve by compressing on your lumbar discs.

Slow down. A slower pace typically means shorter steps. You should be able to comfortably hold a conversation while walking.

Don’t reach with your toes. As you walk, land between your midfoot and heel, then gently roll onto your toes and push off into the next stride. This will naturally shorten your strides because it’s difficult to roll your foot when it’s far from your body.

Two, engage your core muscles. Actively engaging your abdominal muscles protects your sciatic nerve roots by minimizing pressure on your spine.

Stand upright. Keep your head and shoulders tall and focus on a spot in the distance.

Suck in your stomach. Pull your stomach slightly toward your body for the duration of your walk. Take deep breaths and keep a comfortable pace, otherwise you’ll find it challenging to engage your abdominal muscles for your entire walk.

If walking isn't for you, try one of these low-impact aerobic exercise options: water therapy, stationary bike, elliptical trainer, step machine.