Is Walking on a Treadmill Good for Sciatica?

Walking on a Treadmill Good for Sciatica

Sciatica is a common ailment that affects the nerves that supply the legs, particularly those that run down the backside of your leg. Most people experience it at one point in their lives, usually in the lower back.

Many people believe that walking on a treadmill will relieve sciatica pain. But is it that effective? That’s why we are here to discuss it in detail.

In this article, we will talk about sciatica, a better way to walk on the treadmill to treat sciatica, and how it can be helpful to reduce the symptoms of sciatica.

What Is Sciatica?

The sciatic nerve is a major nerve that runs from your lower back to your feet. It is made up of a bundle of nerve fibers surrounded by a sheath called the dura.

Sciatica occurs when the nerve is irritated or compressed. The irritation can be caused by a problem with the spinal column, such as a herniated disc.

What Are the Causes of Sciatica?

The causes of sciatica can be numerous. It may be due to a pinched nerve, a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or many more. Let’s take a look at some common causes.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a common cause of sciatica. It narrows the space that the spinal cord and spinal nerves use to travel. The narrowing of the space causes pain and pressure.

Aging

As we age, the discs that sit between the bones in our spine degenerate. The discs are made up of soft, gelatinous material, and the age of the discs affects the ability of the nerves to function. This can lead to sciatica.

Obesity

Obesity is another common cause of sciatica. As the fat around the hips increases, it presses on the nerves, causing them to be pinched.

How Does Walking on a Treadmill Relieve Sciatica Pain?

Most doctors recommend exercises to treat sciatica because they can help to ease the pain and reduce inflammation. Here, we will discuss some points that will make you understand clearly how walking on a treadmill reduces sciatic symptoms.

  • When you walk on a treadmill, the motion you are making can help move the vertebrae in your back to reduce the compression on the nerve.
  • So, when the pressure on the nerve is reduced, it will function better than before. Thus, the symptomatic pain will gradually be reduced.
  • In addition, your body’s movement can help stretch the muscles of your back and legs. Although this stretching can help improve the condition and mobility of your back and legs, it can also help relax your body.

What Precautions Should Be Considered For Treadmill Walking For Sciatic Patients?

Patients with sciatica should take some precautions before walking on a treadmill. They should know that using a treadmill will only be helpful if they do it correctly. Let’s take a look at these preventive measures.

Size

It is recommended that you have a treadmill at least 45-inches wide. This will help ensure that you have enough space to move your legs.

Speed

Speed is the most important factor that you should monitor. Make sure that the speed is not too fast. You should not run on a treadmill, especially if you are not experienced with walking on a treadmill. This is because the fast speed can cause you pain.

Be Careful with Your Foot Position.

When you are using a treadmill, you should make sure that you are not in an awkward position. You mustn’t be bending your knees too. Make sure that you are standing on the belt, not on the side.

Use the Proper Treadmill

There are a lot of good-quality treadmills designed specifically for patients with sciatica. So, it would help if you did not use a treadmill that is not designed for the proper purpose. Make sure that you are using a safe and proper treadmill.

Risks Factors of Walking on a Treadmill

If you use a treadmill to relieve sciatica, you should know some risks associated with it. Some of these risks are listed below.

Slip

If you are not experienced with walking on a treadmill, you can likely fall off the treadmill. So, you should always be careful and hold the treadmill’s handles.

Pelvic Pain

If you are using a treadmill that is not designed for your purpose, you will likely experience pelvic pain. This is because you are unnaturally moving your hips. So, you should make sure that you use a treadmill that is perfectly designed for you.

Constant Injuries

When you use a treadmill for a long time, you will likely experience some injuries. This is because you are constantly moving your legs and spine. So, it would help if you used the treadmill for a required period.

Painful Tendonitis

The continuous use of a treadmill can cause some tendonitis, and this is due to the non-stop use of muscles. So, you should take some breaks and do some stretching exercises.

Final Thoughts

Sciatica is a common problem that people are experiencing nowadays. If you are looking for a way to relieve sciatica, you should consider walking on a treadmill. However, you should know that it is not a cure for sciatica. But, it will reduce pain and some other common symptoms.

If you are planning to use a treadmill to treat sciatica, then make sure that you are doing it properly. You should also know that there are some risks associated with it that we have discussed above. We also mentioned the preventive measures to reduce those risks.

We hope that this article helped you understand the basics of walking on a treadmill to treat sciatica symptoms. If you have any questions or concerns, you can always leave a comment. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

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