Whether you’re someone that works from home regularly or a work-from-home newbie in this last year, you know that staying pain-free can be, well…a pain! If you have sciatica, however, working from home may be a nightmare – sitting more, not using the right chair, all these things are just waiting to cause a flare-up, but there are ways to help manage your sciatica while working from home.
Arguably the most important step in managing your sciatic pain while working from home is keeping proper posture. Ideally, this means having an ergonomic home office set up, but we know that’s not always possible. If you have sciatica, the one thing you’re going to want to splurge on, if you can, is a proper adjustable ergonomic desk chair. This will make keeping proper posture much easier, and take the strain off your low back and glutes which is especially important if you’re experiencing a flare-up. If you find sitting more aggravating, consider a standing desk.
Set a Timer and Stand Up!
When we work from home it’s a lot easier to power through hours and hours without thinking to stand up and move! If you suffer from sciatica you’ll know that being in one position for too long can aggravate your symptoms. An easy way to remind yourself to get moving? Download one of the many “work break reminder” apps, or set timers for every 15-30 minutes. When the timer goes off; get up and walk around, grab a glass of water, take a washroom break, whatever it is, spend 5 or so minutes standing up and moving.
Stretches and exercise are a great way to manage sciatic pain at home but you need to make sure you’re doing the right ones or you could further aggravate things. Your chiropractor or physiotherapist can prescribe exercises and stretches that are best suited to your particular symptoms. If you’re lucky, your chiropractor, like Dahl Family Chiropractic, may offer an infrared sauna, which has been proven to help with joint stiffness and pain (you could even do your stretches in the sauna!).
Keep Up With Your Healthcare Appointments!
When most of your day is spent at home, it’s easy to forget to stay on top of your regular healthcare appointments. But if you have sciatica, you’ll know just how important those maintenance appointments for acupuncture or laser Therapy at Delta Physiotherapy & Rehab (or your local physiotherapist, RMT or chiropractor) can be! Make sure you’re scheduling time for your regular healthcare appointments to help keep those sciatica flare-ups at bay.
Make Friends with Your Hot/Cold Pack!
If you’re in the midst of a flare while working from home one of the best things you can do is a little hydrotherapy! Alternate heat and cold on the area of the low back, glute, or leg that’s bothering you for some immediate relief. The ice will help with any inflammation and heat will encourage blood flow to the area to help with healing as well as any muscle spasms you may be experiencing.
So, if you suffer from sciatica and find yourself working from home, know that there are many things you can do to help manage your pain and symptoms, but unfortunately, they won’t help with those painful Zoom meetings!