Running With Sciatica – Tips To Prevent Sciatica From Affecting Your Exercise Routine

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Running With Sciatica

While there are a number of ways in which you can treat sciatica, some people believe that running also has a good effect on the symptoms sciatica is associated with. The pain also results in frequent flare-ups, and these can also be avoided by running. Despite of these effects, it is always best to consult your doctor about running. This is because there could be other medical conditions in your body, and running would only aggravate these problems and cause more damage than good. When an individual runs, a jarring activity occurs in the spine which may lead to compression of discs. If any one of these discs in the spinal cord gets compressed, possibilities of damage caused to your sciatic nerve also increases. Moreover, improper running also triggers sciatic pain, and some other factors which help in doing so are wearing wrong shoes and overusing the hip or leg muscles.


Running is an excellent exercise, and most people who run as their primary exercise do this several times in any given week. However, running can become painful and cause immense discomfort when you are suffering from a sciatica flare-up. Nevertheless, we have some tips for you to relieve sciatic pain, and also some additional hints to make running less painful for you, even when you are suffering from sciatica.

7 Tips To Help You Avoid Sciatica When Running

•    Proper Shoes – This is the first aspect to consider. Get the right shoes for your feet. If you are so much into running, it is a good idea to invest in a pair of good running shoes. These shoes may be slightly expensive, but they are completely in contrast to regular shoes which are a complete disaster. Choose a shoe which is capable of absorbing shocks when you tread on uneven surfaces.


•    Stretching – Although running in itself is an exercise, it is always good to stretch yourself before you begin your run. Additionally, many people believe that running slowly at first doubles as a warm-up. This is a misconception, and could be one of the reasons behind sciatic pain in runners. When stretching, focus on your lower back, hamstring and toes. Sufficient stretching before running also minimizes the possibilities of your spasmed muscles later.

•    Running Surface – Some may find it easier to run on hard or concrete surfaces (mainly because it helps keep a track of the distance covered), but the truth is, running on softer surfaces such as wood, grass and sand will reduce the pressure exerted on your spine when you run. This is because pressing against concrete exerts more pressure when compared to pressing against softer surfaces.


•    Spinal Care – Keeping your spine healthy is very important, and a chiropractor can be of immense help here. Have adjustments done on your spine so that it is aligned properly. Moreover, this also minimizes the possibilities of sciatic nerve pinching due to underlying problems in disc compression. People suffering from disc compressions are not allowed to run, since this may cause further damage in the discs and spine and lead to long term recovery.

•    Timing – Running for too long when you are suffering from sciatica is not a wise decision. By keeping a check on the intensity of your exercises, you can actually reduce a great amount of pain. Tests have confirmed that a flared-up nerve can take up to 3 weeks to completely heal.

•    IceUsage of ice is recommended after you have completed your run. Place ice on the affected areas, and you will save yourself from the discomfort of an inflamed and swelled up nerve.

•    Abdomen Strengthening – Our spine’s strength is largely affected by our abdominal muscles, and it is these muscles which also strengthen the nerves of our spinal column. Having weak muscles increases the risk of sciatica, up to three times. Doing abdomen strengthening exercises on a regular basis will make your running safer and even more enjoyable.


There have been no medical tests which scientifically prove that running helps ease sciatica, but these tips mentioned above will ensure that your sciatic nerve is protected, and the risks of having sciatica from running are greatly reduced.

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