What started out as a simple sneeze turned into an agonizing sciatic nerve injury. Sciatica is a result of an injury to the sciatic nerve and can happen to anyone. Recovery from sciatica can be accomplished without surgery utilizing proper exercise and regular visits to a chiropractor so you stay aligned.
Injuring the Sciatic Nerve
The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and runs down the back of each leg from the lower back to the bottom of the feet. Sciatica occurs when there is an injury or damage to the sciatic nerve. An injury can occur during a sudden awkward movement or simply turning wrong.
My experience with sciatica happened while I was sitting in a chair with my feet up on the desk and I sneezed. At that moment, nothing seemed wrong, but 30 minutes later intense pain developed on the sciatic nerve in the lower left back and hip area, the point of the injury.
When I tried to walk, all of the muscles of my left leg had atrophied and the back of my leg was completely numb. Without the use of these muscles, the only way I could walk was to drag my left foot.
Diagnosed with Sciatica
My doctor couldn’t see me for a couple of days, but thankfully, my mother-in-law knew of a chiropractor. When I called the chiropractor, he immediately knew what was wrong and told me to use ice on the injured area to reduce the swelling and pain. I made the initial mistake of using heat. After the swelling has subsided, you can alternate between ice and heat.
My first visit to the chiropractor was great. He found that my legs were uneven, known as pelvic tilt, and corrected this by aligning my spine, hips and legs. This immediately reduced the pain and helped me be able to start walking properly.
Recovery should not include prescription pain pills. The chiropractor explained that pain pills only mask the damage and can hinder the healing process and cause further health problems. I had weekly appointments with the chiropractor that lasted several months for proper alignment.
In order to heal sciatica, your doctor or chiropractor should teach you certain exercises and stretches to strengthen the muscles of the lower back, stomach, buttocks, legs and ankles to ensure that you stay properly aligned.
The hardest part of recovering from sciatica was to gain the size and the strength of my leg muscles again. This has taken several years of exercise and walking.