How it came to be
It started on a routine early evening in January; a big snowfall had just hit and I was out shoveling the driveway. I am a relatively fit person, so I knew the burden would lay more in the mental strain of having to shovel an entire driveway than the actual physical work. I was wrong.
I can’t say for certain what caused the injury, but the pain became more apparent in the days after shoveling on that day in January. Playing sports throughout my many years of growing up had taught me how to be resistant to the minor aches and pains that face an athlete on a daily basis, but the pain in my back was absolutely dreadful when I finally decided to seek the opinion of a professional. As stubborn as I am when it comes to going into the doctor, this was something that I had to do.
I eventually went in and received an MRI in late February that showed that I had a slight bulged disk around L4 in my back. Steroid injections relieved some of the pain, as well as helping with mobility, but that wasn’t something I did more than once or twice.
Move forward some seven months after the initial finding of the bulging disc, where I am watching a friend’s soccer match. My absent minded self neglected to ask anyone if there were bleachers at the game, instead assuming there would be something to sit on-there wasn’t. I hesitantly stood for the entire 90-minute match plus after match chatter and catching up.
Towards the end of it is when I started to get this sort-of dead leg feeling in the back of my right leg. The numbing feeling started in my hip and went all the way down to my toes. At first it was more of a strange feeling that became more painful with time. And to attempt at making an incredibly long story short, I eventually became diagnosed with what is known as Sciatica after deciding to go in because of this lingering sensation.
What is it?
Sciatica is an aching symptom where pain can be felt along the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back, through the hips and buttocks, branching out and down each leg. It is caused by a pinched nerve, and in my case a bulging disc that caused pressure on the nerve root.
What I did for the pain
I was thankfully lucky to be able to do a conservative treatment of active physical therapy roughly three to four times a week that would see me do loads of stretches to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. I still do frequent stretches to this day and have never had to get surgery to relieve the pressure. I consider myself lucky, as many people who suffer this symptom have more severe situations than I have had thus far.