Most of the people we provide chiropractic services to in the Telegraph Hill Area of San Francisco spend most of their day sitting in front of a computer for too damn long. This is very difficult on the body. Not to mention, the low back takes most of the pressure.

Sciatica occurs when pressure is put on the sciatic nerve root. Sciatica is pain that travels down one or both legs. Did you know?

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body.

The sciatic nerve is formed by branches of nerves that exit from in between the bones in your low back. Pressure on these hypersensitive nerves can cause pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs.

What is the Cause?

The primary cause of sciatica is a herniated disc in the lumbar spine (low back) or as you may commonly know as a disc bulge.  A herniated or bulging disc is a condition whereby the center gelatinous portion of the spinal disc pushes through the fibrous contained walls of the disc and agitates the spinal nerve roots.

A disc herniation can happen from a trauma such as a car crash, sports injury, or slip and fall. Or, more commonly, develop over time from abnormal wear and tear due to poor ergonomics or sleeping postures, stress, and lack of rest, and other lifestyle choices.

Sitting Is The New Smoking

Obesity is a primary cause of back pain, sciatica, and disc herniations because it puts relentless stress on the joints of the spine, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Anup Kanodia, a physician at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center said, “Sitting is the new smoking.” According to the study, every hour of television that people watch, presumably while sitting, cuts about 22 minutes from their lifespan, while it is estimated that smokers shorten their lives by about 11 minutes per cigarette.

Sitting all day for years can have a big impact on your body too. More so if you are overweight or live an unhealthy lifestyle.

There are things you can do to fix the negative effects of sitting for long periods. Exercise is high on the list. Chiropractic adjustments are at the top of the list followed closely by acupuncture treatment. Standing is not necessarily the answer. Frequent breaks are helpful. Using your breaks to stretch and walk around in between sitting is very effective. Proper hydration and eating plenty of anti-inflammatory foods can help too.

In addition, our team of doctors also recommends yoga and deep breathing techniques as a way to counter the negative effects of mental stress and the physical effects of sitting.

Unfortunately, prolonged sitting has also been linked to heart attacks, strokes, and even cancer.  The moral of the story is that we need to keep our bodies moving. Doing so will not only reduce the odds of developing sciatica but it will also be good for your mind and body.


Also published on Medium.