If you have sciatica, your posture may be to blame for exacerbating the condition. Sciatica and your posture, especially while walking, are linked due to the alignment of the rest of your body and your sciatic nerve. Depending on your posture, various areas of your body can place stress on the nerve, causing pain.
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How walking posture can affect your sciatica
While it’s not something most consider, the way in which we walk can impact many areas of our overall health. In this instance, improper walking posture can result in excess stress placed on various areas of your body which can irritate or compress your sciatic nerve. Below are a few common improper walking postures that can lead to or exacerbate sciatica.
Walking with an increased curve in your lower back
Correct posture, both sitting or standing, involves maintaining the natural curve of your spine. When you walk with an over-pronounced curve in your lower back, it can cause the muscles that normally support your spine to become weak due to inactivity, causing other muscles to compensate to keep your spine stable.
Hunching your back while walking
If you hunch your back while walking, it can cause your upper body to tilt forward, leading to increased stress on your core muscles.
Walking with swayback posture
Opposite of hunching your back while walking, walking with a swayback posture, or with your pelvis tipped and your upper back leaning backward, can result in additional stress placed on your lower back muscles.
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Prevention tips for sciatica and your posture
Use the tips below to protect your sciatic nerve while walking.
- Keep your spine in a neutral position – maintaining its natural curves
- Position your head with your ears above your shoulders
- Slow your walking pace and focus on taking smaller steps
- Actively engage your core muscles while walking
We posted this article for educational purposes only. It is not meant to serve as medical advice.