Seven Overlooked Factors Contributing to Sciatica

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DISC Sports & Spine Center (DISC) highlights common contributors to painful sciatica and helpful tips for avoiding an injury that, if left untreated, could require a microdiscectomy.

...we’ve identified factors of everyday life that could contribute to back pain and sciatica, as well as ways people can address them sooner rather than later.

The modern world is rife with factors that strain our bodies and may challenge our ability to ward off serious back pain. When this back pain radiates downward through the lower body, it may actually be sciatica, the compression of the nerve root running through the spinal column, and a condition typically resulting in a bulged or herniated disc.

The spine specialists at DISC often make their first contact with patients when damage has become severe enough to warrant a microdiscectomy. And although this outpatient procedure can be extremely successful in removing the herniated portion of the disc and easing nerve compression, patients can avoid the situation entirely if they act early to correct bad habits.

DISC orthopedic spine surgeon Dr. Hooman M. Melamed, who has performed numerous microdiscectomy procedures, wants to help patients avoid surgery if possible:

“I may not see a patient until the pain has gotten to a point where it compromises that individual’s quality of living,” he says. “In order to prevent others from suffering that same fate, we’ve identified factors of everyday life that could contribute to back pain and sciatica, as well as ways people can address them sooner rather than later, so that health issues may subside naturally, without the need for surgical intervention.”

To help avoid sciatica or other forms of back pain, consider the following overlooked factors that could be harming your spinal health:

1. Your Job - People who sit in an office all day typically don’t receive proper lumbar support. Even those with a great office chair may slump as the day wears on. Avoid this by making right angles with your body while you sit (from your knees to the floor, from your hips to your neck, and from your elbows to the keyboard).

2. Your Posture - Over the course of time, even something as simple as slouching during walking can be detrimental to back health and put one at future risk for a herniated disc. Keep your chin up high and your back straight to encourage strengthening of the spine.

3. Your Tablet - Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for a person to come home from staring at a computer all day only to play games or answer emails on a tablet. People will drape their bodies over the furniture in a number of uncomfortable positions that compromise spinal stability. When using a tablet, make sure to do so while lying down completely or sitting up straight in a chair.

4. Your Commute - Driver seats typically don’t offer the kind of back support a person needs. Think about stretching before you leave and after you reach your destination, and consider using a lumbar support cushion for your drive.

5. Your TV Viewing Habits - Binging used to be a bad thing, but people now take pride in their ability to binge-watch a television series. Sitting in front of a TV screen for lengthy periods of time can be detrimental to back health, as an individual should be using that time to move around and stay fit to counterbalance their sedentary workspace.

6. Your Weekends - Weekend warriors are at a disadvantage because they’re trying to do in two days what others spread out over the course of a week. Rather than try to squeeze in all exercise on Saturday and Sunday, exercise every day or every other day to reduce the risk of a back injury.

7. Your Foot-Dragging - Waiting to get back pain and sciatica taken care of can make minor back problems serious and serious back problems agonizing. The earlier an individual seeks out help, the more likely they are to avoid a microdiscectomy. And if surgery is needed no matter what, coming in early will increase its chances of success and improve nerve recovery. The longer an individual waits if he/she has nerve damage, the greater the chance of nerve recovery.

About DISC Sports & Spine Center
DISC Sports & Spine Center (DISC) is one of America’s foremost providers of minimally invasive spine procedures and advanced microscopic techniques. DISC’s highly specialized physicians apply both established and innovative solutions to diagnose, treat and rehabilitate their patients in a one-stop, multi-disciplinary setting. With a wide range of specialists under one roof, the result is an unmatched continuity of care with more efficiency, less stress for the patient and a zero MRSA infection rate. DISC’s ambulatory surgery centers include Diagnostic and Interventional Surgical Center (Marina Del Rey) and DISC Surgery Center at Newport Beach. Both are accredited by the AAAHC and are located within minutes of major airports. DISC is also the official medical services provider for Red Bull and a proud partner of the LA Kings. For more information, contact 866-481-DISC, or visit to learn more about a microdiscectomy from DISC.

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Garrett Bray
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