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Something that many people suffer from in life is sciatica. It occurs when the sciatic nerve is pinched, causing tingling, pain or numbness in the back of one or both legs.

Most commonly, a muscle irritates the sciatic nerve, often the piriformis muscle in the seat. This is called false sciatica and usually heals itself, provided you rest, don't make painful movements and relieve the irritated muscle.

Unlike false sciatica, 'true' sciatica is when a disc in the back is damaged and presses on the sciatic nerve. True sciatica can be caused by an accident, heavy lifting or movements that put unnatural stress on the spine. If you think you have true sciatica, it's a good idea to visit your nearest health centre.

For both false and true sciatica, relief and good posture are important. So avoid lifting and movements when rotating your upper body. At the same time, you should tighten your stomach and remember to maintain good posture as soon as you move.

You can also get help by using a backrest, preferably in combination with ergonomic shoes or insoles. This takes the strain off your body while maintaining good posture and helping your injury to heal better.

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