Are you making your back pain and sciatica worse?- Find out more!

Are you making your back pain and sciatica worse?

How frustrating can it be?

The pain spreading down your leg and up into your back. You’ve gone into the doctor and physiotherapist but this doesn’t seem to have helped. You’re doing you’re exercises and if anything you seem to be making things worse!

When you’re busy with your job and your family, life can be hard enough without this nagging pain in your hip which now is beginning to effect your sleep. Everyday tasks like getting up and down from a chair and getting in and out of the car are sore and making you feel like a 90 year old. (No offence 90 year olds!)

Most people who are active are impatient and want to be able to play with their kids, do their job pain free and to exercise. Exercise is often a stress reliever. It helps us cope with our busy lives. If we don’t have that outlet then stress can be influential in our pain experience. Tiredness compounds the issue. Your determination to get better can lead to you doing all of your exercises and doing them daily, pushing through the pain. While that approach can work for some injuries pushing through this type of pain around irritated nerves can cause a flare up and make things worse. This hugely impacts recovery. Your determination and diligence is this case might be working against you. The frustrating thing about pain is that what is ok one day might irritate it another day. Dosage is hugely important and in these cases, sometimes less is more.

So what do you do?

1: Listen to your symptoms. If you are very sensitised, lots of things can make you sore. In this case you need to do nothing more than breathe, try to relax, get comfortable, be nice to yourself, have a bath, get an extra hour of sleep or even just take some ‘me- time’. Remember the pain will go away.

2: Don’t do things that make you worse. This seems like common sense but often people stick to their prescription of exercise even if it’s making them worse. Stop for a day or two and compare how you feel.  A slight ache during movement is generally ok, but don’t do anything that is very sore or if it causes a flare up after.  Ask yourself “Will I pay for this later”? If the answer is yes, then don’t do it. Maybe the activity or exercises are ok and you just need to adjust the DOSAGE. For example, instead of pushing through a 1 hour walk which increases your pain, do two 10 minute walks that day and see how you react. Maybe stick at that dosage for the following few days before you progress. If 15 minutes of exercise hurts you maybe do 2-3 minutes twice a day. YOU SHOULD NOT FEEL WORSE AFTER YOUR EXERCISE.

3: Realise you have more control over this then you think. Do more things that make you feel good. That could be spending time with friends, getting an hour of peace and quiet or watching TV. When you are very achy and sore it might mean you need to do less physio/exercises. If you are unsure, or are reacting badly to exercises prescribed to you by your therapist, always contact them for clarification.

If you are suffering from pain that is hanging around a bit or any pain in your back that is travelling up and down your leg, let us know here we would be delighted to help. Any questions contact


Questions, bookings or feedback? Contact me by any of the channels below. I’ll respond ASAP!

P: 086 7778047


A: Pain & Performance Clinic, 12 Trinity Court, Fonthill Business Park, Dublin 22

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