Your squat will influence your pain recovery.
Why this matters: The squat is one of the most fundamental movements that we do in life. We need to get up/out/in from a chair/couch/toilet. Even the slightest tweaks of this movement can cause issues in the spine, hip, knee, ankle, and result in sciatica pain. So we can just stop doing this activity all together (Rule of: “if it hurts, stop doing it”); or we can modify it to make it less painful. Since we have to do this activity every day, let’s run with the 2nd option.
More in depth look: The squat utilizes the hip and knee joints as the area of rotation. A lot of coaches, athletes, and medical professionals will often tell you to keep your chest up as you’re squatting (with or without weight). What this action does is kick in your low back muscles, and may result in pinching at the spine. However, if we brace, the spine remains neutral, there is more core pressure/stability, resulting in more power through the hips, and less pain in the back/sciatica. Here’s an ideal squat. Do you squat with a barbell on your back? Same mechanics, a little more pressure is needed. Here’s another video.
Action steps: Look at yourself in the mirror when you squat or sit down. Even better, record yourself doing this movement and send it directly to this email. I’ll provide some free insight into how you can improve your squat without pain. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org