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Living With Sciatica in the Workplace

Sciatica is a painful condition that can cause excruciating pain that radiates from your lower back all the way down your leg. For many people who experience chronic sciatica, the pain intensifies at work.

Prolonged sitting or standing aggravates sciatica pain, so you’re more likely to experience worse symptoms if you have an office job or stand all day at work. Thankfully, according to board-certified pain management doctor Ajit Pai, MD, FIPP, of Pain Management Group, LLC, it’s possible to find a pain management routine that offers relief.

Keep reading to learn what you can do to reduce your sciatica pain in the workplace. 

Understanding sciatica

Sciatica occurs when you pinch, compress, or otherwise damage your sciatic nerve. Your sciatic nerve runs from your lower back down to the bottom of your leg, so it can cause shooting, stabbing, or electric pain down an entire side of your body.

Long periods of sitting or standing at work are one of the most common causes of sciatica. You’re also at risk if you’re overweight or obese or have a herniated or bulged disc near the sciatic nerve.

Most of the time, sciatica isn’t a dangerous condition, but the severe pain it can cause can make it almost impossible to do your daily activities. In some people, untreated sciatica can also lead to bladder and bowel control issues.

How to live with sciatica at work

It can be more difficult to control sciatica pain at work, especially if prolonged standing or sitting at your job is the cause of your pain. By following some simple guidelines and seeking further treatment if needed, you can manage your sciatica pain during the workday.

Walk around periodically during your working hours

Sciatica pain is often triggered by sitting or standing, but gentle movement tends to reduce or resolve the discomfort. Every 30 minutes, or as often as possible, walk a short distance.

Stretch your leg

From your desk or while standing, performing stretches that address sciatica pain can relieve your discomfort. Dr. Pai can teach you specific stretches customized to your needs that you can do while you’re working.

Take pain medication

Taking pain medication that lasts throughout the workday helps with sciatic symptom management. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help you feel better. Take these medications safely by following the instructions on the bottle.

If you’re still experiencing pain after trying over-the-counter medications, Dr. Pai can prescribe stronger prescription pain medications.

Seek specialized treatment

When other treatments aren’t working, Dr. Pai works with you to develop a custom treatment plan to ensure you stop experiencing pain at the office. Transforaminal epidural steroid injections (TESI) are an effective outpatient procedure that resolves at least 50% of sciatica pain.

Dr. Pai starts this treatment by numbing your lower back. Then he takes a specialized steroid solution and injects it by your spinal nerves. The solution works directly on your impacted nerves, offering targeted relief.

With the right treatment plan, you can stop suffering at work and manage your sciatica pain. To make an appointment at Mishawaka, Indiana-based Pain Management Group, LLC, call us at 574-208-9593 today.

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