Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
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Overcoming Sciatica

Thursday, 08 Dec 2011 09:08 AM

Question: I'm a senior citizen and have a problem with sciatica. For exercise, I work in my garden and pull weeds. I mostly have pain when I sit for a while. When I get up, the pain hits me on the back of my thighs. How can I overcome this?
Dr. Hibberd's Answer:
Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve and its branches, that is, from your back down your buttock and leg. Activity is always a good thing, but try to avoid doing things that cause you pain.
To avoid stressing the muscles of your back and legs, try sitting on a low stool while pulling weeds. For pain on the back of your thighs, try cold packs up to 20 minutes several times during the day. You can try alternating with hot packs, which might ease the pain.
Under the guidance of a trained professional, you can also try slow stretching exercises to strengthen your back muscles. Over-the-counter painkillers can also relieve your pain.

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