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Shedding Light on Sciatica

If you have back pain or sciatic nerve pain, you're not alone. Globally, one out of 10 people suffers from lower back pain, and back pain is the number one cause of job disability worldwide. The problem appears to be particularly prevalent in the US, where it disproportionately impacts obese individuals.
 
As many as eight out of 10 Americans struggle with back pain, and this affliction has now become a primary cause of pain killer addiction. The back pain quandary is that a sedentary lifestyle is frequently an indicator of back pain and back pain may make it more difficult to adopt an active lifestyle.
   
A recent Huffington Post feature on sciatica attempted to shed light on this important health topic. Unfortunately, they took an allopathic approach and superficially examined the symptoms. The key to combating this debilitating condition is to treat the underlying causes. 

Seventy-five or more of back pain cases do resolve within two to four weeks, with or without treatment. This is particularly true for mechanical low-back pain (LBP), which is the second most common symptom-related reason for doctor's visits in the U.S.
LBP is more common in obese individuals but in many cases is also preceded by some form of injury or strain.  Another obvious culprit is prolonged sitting, which may explain why simply standing up more is part of the solution in many cases and why so many back pain sufferers are obese

Movement appears to be the most effective strategy to address most forms of back pain, not just LBP. Most people do not have the pain threshold for this approach and want to "baby" the pain. What they fail to understand is that immobility compounds the issue. 

Herbs and supplements, physical manipulation, and various mind-body techniques may be the best approach to back pain. Be very cautious about using pharmacological interventions. These may have serious drawbacks. Instead consider these four core and back strengthening exercises: toe taps, lunges, squats, and single leg balance.
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