SCIATICA RISK FACTORS

Information is Power!

This is a theme that I emphasize throughout this website.  Risk factors for sciatica are an important part of determining what some of the causes of your sciatica.

Sciatica & Age is the #1 Factor

Graph of Age Risk Factors

If you were given the opportunity to consider the number one risk factor for sciatica pain it would have to be AGE.  Given the reality of the aging that our bodies go thru it is not hard to imagine that as we age the chance of sciatica developing becomes more and more likely.  Your spine creates the physical protection for our spinal column.  Each of the vertebra in our spine are cushioned by spinal discs. The more physical activity each of us is exposed to the better chance of damage to those cushioning discs that are critical to our flexibility.  Therefore as we age from our 30’s to 40’s to 50’s and onward it is obvious that the ageing process can take a critical toll on our spine and lower backs.

Sciatica caused by whole body vibration

In addition to age as a sciatica factor there are several other factors that can cause sciatica in all of us.  One of those factors is whole body vibration.  If you drive a car or more specifically a larger vehicle you subject yourself to constant vibration and this has a detrimental effect on the health of our spine and subsequently our sciatica pain level.  The duration of that vibration increases the possibility of sciatica developing in most adults.

Sciatica caused by lifting heavy loads

Another risk factor is repetitive lifting and handling of heavy loads.  The possibility of sciatica developing is increased depending on the distance you have to carry those loads or if you are in an awkward positions. If these conditions are repetitive it can definitively increase the sciatica risk involved.  Back supports are not a good answer to the long term health of your back.

Sciatica caused by osteoporosis

There are medical conditions that can create a greater risk for sciatica.  One of those is osteoporosis.  It is a medical condition that is the result of bone density reduction. There are ways to reduce the impact osteoporosis such as exercise and calcium supplementation.

Sciatica caused by adverse office conditions

Another risk factor is the general office conditions that are prevalent in today’s workplace. Being seated at a desk for long periods of time can place an undue stress on the your lower back. There are several methods to alleviate this stress such as getting up and walking aroung the office or going the the restroom.  This creates better blood flow in the lower back and consequently, less chance of inflammation of the sciatic nerve and hence less chance of sciatica developing.

Sciatica caused by stress

And finally it is an accepted fact that our emotional state will impact our overall health.  Here is why-stress is a major contributor to tight muscles and hence the cause of inflammation in the nerves in our lower back.  If you eliminate stress or at least reduce the level of stress we are exposed to you will eventually eliminate the cause of pain in our systems.  Now I know that total elimination of stress is impossible.  However, you can change the way you deal with that stress.  That is why many of us have found that a simple walk, stretching exercises or Yoga will help us to deal with stress on a daily basis.  Once I worked on a program to reduce the stresses I dealt with on a daily basis I found my pain level ramped down a notch or two.