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For the avid golfer, rain, sleet or snow is likely the only way to keep you away from the green. However, if you suffer from sciatic nerve pain, you might be all too familiar with just how painful the twist required in the follow through of your golf swing can be.

Sciatica is a common pain associated with the sciatic nerve. This nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It extends from your lower back down the backs of each leg.

Common symptoms of Sciatica include:

  • Pain in your lower back
  • Hip pain
  • Sharp, shooting pain on one side of your lower body
  • Tingling or burning on one side of your lower body

Sciatica can be an underlying symptom of a more serious condition such as bulging or herniated discs, bone spurs, lumbar spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease. When pressure is placed on the nerve, shooting pain can travel down one or both sides of the leg.

There must be a way for you to continue playing golf despite your condition, right?

Below are some tips to help you get back out on the green without the pain of chronic sciatica.

Tips for Sciatica Relief

Take an anti-inflammatory – Before you head to the golf course, consider taking an over the counter anti-inflammatory to help reduce any swelling.

Stretch – Before you tee off at your first hole, practice some warm up stretches. Stretching your muscles before activity, especially golf, is important. Key stretches to focus on are those that stretch out your hamstrings and lower back. Consult your doctor or physical therapist if you are unsure of what types of stretches you should be doing.

Low-impact exercise –Low impact exercises like walking, swimming or biking can help strengthen abdominal muscles while improving lower back mobility

Heat or ice therapy — If you find yourself sore after a day of golfing, alternate between an ice pack and a heating pad to reduce painful inflammation and improve blood flow. Heat stimulates oxygenated blood flow through the injured area. Increased oxygen promotes pain relief. The cold from an ice pack constricts venous blood flow, but decreases painful inflammation. Alternating between them addresses pain in two ways.

Unfortunately, sciatica can be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition. If your pain persists, contact your primary care physician. Your doctor might suggest a conservative treatment of physical therapy, prescription medication and pain relieving injections.

If these treatments fail to provide relief and your quality of life is being significantly affected, your doctor may discuss surgical options. At SonoSpine®, Virginia’s premier center for minimally invasive spinal surgery, we offer a 90 minute, outpatient, ultrasonic spine surgery to treat the underlying diseases that cause sciatica. Our procedure is the least invasive and most effective way to release pinched nerves. Patients are pain free faster and fully recover in 4 weeks. That means you’re swinging your driver again just a month after surgery.

88% of our patients view their post-surgery results as excellent just four weeks after their surgery. Reach out to our spine center to find out if you are a candidate for ultrasonic spine surgery today.