Here’s Why People with Sciatica Should Avoid Tight Clothing

Here’s Why People with Sciatica Should Avoid Tight Clothing

You may not be aware of it, but wearing constrictive clothes, particularly those with extremely tight waistbands, can squeeze the sciatic nerve.

Different from other back pains that cause throbbing or piercing discomfort, sciatica, a condition that affects the sciatic nerve from the lower back down to the legs, is often accompanied by tingling and numbing pain. 

According to the Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics (CAO), sciatica is a medical condition that primarily distresses the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body. It typically occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated, causing pain, numbness, and tingling sensations in the lower back, buttocks, legs, and feet. 


The condition can be caused by a variety of factors, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease. 

Treatment for sciatica may include pain medication, physical therapy, and, in some cases, surgery. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional if you suspect you may have sciatica, as early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further complications.


Generally, sciatica can be caused by anything that compresses or irritates the sciatic nerve. However, there are also several medical conditions that can cause sciatic nerve pain, such as: 

  • Herniated or slipped disc
  • Vertebra fracture
  • Bone spurs (osteoarthritis)
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal stenosis 


MayoClinic explained that there are various risk factors linked to sciatica: 

  • Age

The most frequent causes of sciatica are aging-related changes to the spine, such as herniated disks and bone spurs.

  • Obesity

Obesity puts more strain on the spine.

  • Occupation

Sciatica may be aggravated by work that requires repetitive back bending, lifting heavy objects, or long-distance driving. 

  • Prolonged sitting

Sciatica is more common in inactive people than in those who sit a lot or move around little.

  • Diabetes

Nerve damage is more likely as a result of this condition, which alters how the body uses blood sugar.

  • Stress

CAO added that emotional anxiety can trigger numerous forms of back pain, including sciatica. "In times of stress, the brain deprives the nerves in the lower back of oxygen, resulting in symptoms such as leg pain, weakness, and other electrical sensations," it added. 


Your daily routines and ability to enjoy activities can both be seriously disrupted by sciatica. While the uncomfortable and occasionally debilitating pain may prevent you from working, exercising, and getting enough rest, there are some steps you can take to protect your back and reduce the discomfort: 


CAO explained that studies have shown that the more a person weighs, the more likely they are to put pressure on their sciatic nerve. "Keeping your weight under control will go a long way to eliminating the risk of sciatic nerve damage," it said. 


Strong and stable core muscles, particularly those in the lower back and abdomen, can help you maintain good posture and engage in strenuous activities to the fullest extent possible while sparing the spine from undue strain and injury. 


As advised by MayoClinic, rest one foot on a stool or small box from time to time when standing for long periods. "When lifting something heavy, let your legs do the work. Hold the load close to your body. Don't lift and twist at the same time," it stressed.


One Oak Medical reported that a lot of people aren't aware of the connection between the feet and the back. "Your feet provide the 'anchor' for your body, and when you have very hard soles, high heels, or even flat shoes, the impact and force from walking and even standing still can be transferred up your legs and into your lower back," it said. 

"When your feet aren’t cushioned or supported properly, that 'translates' into extra strain on your lower back, and that means more pressure on the sciatic nerve," it added. 


You may think twice about putting things in your back pocket. According to CAO, sitting for extended periods of time with your wallet, keys, cell phone, or any hard object in your back pocket has been known to aggravate the piriformis muscle, under which the sciatic nerve runs. 

"This can cause pressure on the nerve and ensuing pain. The obvious solution is to tuck your wallet in your front pocket or jacket, or to use a money clip," it explained. 

To avoid placing pressure on the nerve, switch your wallet and phone to your front pocket instead. 


Lastly, as reported by CAO, wearing tight clothing, such as blue jeans and underwear with tight elastic bands, can put pressure on the sciatic nerve and cause an attack. When tight clothing compresses underlying muscles, they in turn can compress and irritate the nerve. Therefore, it’s best to avoid undergarments with tight elastic bands on the waist. 

It is strongly advised to purge your wardrobe of compressing underwear and other restrictive clothing given the clear harmful health concerns that experts are warning about when wearing tight clothes for people who experience sciatic nerve pain. Instead, go for comfortable, relief-giving clothing that is loose-fitting and more breathable.

Our hypoallergenic offerings, made with 100% organic cotton, can help with sciatica pain as they guarantee unbeatable comfort, all thanks to their allergy-free construction and non-constricting design. 

TAKEAWAY: Since people today have figured out that choosing loose and comfortable clothing over trendy but tight-fitting ones is a revitalizing idea, we are optimistic that your wardrobe deserves a comfortable and functional garments that you can relax in, sleep in, and do chores with. 

Visit our website to check our allergy-free organic cotton essentials that feel soft and look great without triggering skin conditions and sensitivities. From comfortable tops and elastic-free bottoms to non-irritating accessories and other hypoallergenic pieces, you're sure to discover a collection rooted in function and comfort.

To know more about sciatica, visit this informative resource from Penn Medicine. You may also read our previous blog: Allergy-Free Wardrobe Guide: 5 Clothing Tips for People with Interstitial Cystitis.

DISCLAIMER: The information presented on Cottonique is not, and will never be, intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content materials found on this site, from text, treatments, outcomes, charts, graphics, photographs, and study findings, are created and published for general informational purposes only. It should not, in any way, be construed as a standard of care to be followed by a user of the website. 

Thus, readers are encouraged to verify any information obtained from this website with other accurate references and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with their physician. As Cottonique strives to help those with allergies live with better days, the hypoallergenic apparel brand encourages everyone to always seek the advice of their physician or other qualified health providers with any questions they may have regarding a medical condition.

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