When you have sciatica, pain can radiate along your sciatic nerve, which extends from your lower back, through your buttocks, and down one leg. But you probably already knew that by experience.

It may begin as a light, tingling discomfort, but can increase in severity until it becomes so intense that it interferes with your daily life.

The last thing you need is anything that adds to your pain, but there are several factors that may be making it worse. Here are five to look out for.

1. Illness

If you have another illness, then the symptoms from that may be aggravating your sciatica. Any symptoms that cause your body to shake can increase the pain, from coughing to wheezing to sneezing.

In addition to commonplace illnesses, conditions like diabetes may also be contributing to your sciatica. Diabetes can cause diabetic neuropathy that comes with symptoms like tingling, pain, and numbness in your legs and feet.

2. Obesity

If you are overweight for your height, this additional weight may be placing undue stress on your body. Specifically, the additional pounds increase the load that your spine must support.  

This can directly affect your sciatic nerve and the lower trunk of your body. If you have recently had weight gain, then this could be contributing to the pain associated with your sciatica.

3. Occupational health

Occupational health is just what is sounds like: any health risks that are determined by your occupation or jobs that you perform.

Any job that requires you to lift a lot of heavy objects, twist your back often, or operate a motor vehicle could be related to the severity of your sciatica. If you are able to minimize the time during your workday that you are doing these actions, it may lessen your sciatic symptoms.

On the flip side, if you have a job that requires you to be sedentary, or sit in one place without moving much for over eight hours a day, this may also cause inflammation in the sciatic nerve.

Try to maintain a balance in your workday where you are moving around, standing and sitting in turn.

4. High heels

Experts recommend that, while they may be difficult for you to give up, you should avoid wearing stilettos and other high heels, as well as non-cushioned shoes.

If you do have a fancy event to go to, or a job that requires you to don formal attire at times, then seek shoe companies and brands that provide more than adequate support for your heels. Your feet provide the foundation for your back and the areas that the sciatic nerve goes through.

5. Stress levels

Like many other pain-inducing illnesses and diseases, stress can have reactive effects on sciatica. There is a mind-body connection that allows the stress in your life to increase the symptoms that you feel.

It might be time to take inventory of the stress triggers in your life, and look for ways to avoid those stressors in order to manage your symptoms.

If you have been diagnosed with sciatica, or you think that you may have it, then scheduling a consultation with a sciatica specialist is key for successful treatment.

Dr. Evangelia Augoustiniatos and the compassionate team at Evia Medical Center are ready to help ease your sciatica pain. Call or book an appointment online today to see one of our talented providers at our office in Smithtown, New York.

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