Sciatica was always a word I was familiar with. At the same time I never thought it would be something I could get. Most diseases, syndromes, and conditions are this way. We never think we will be the one suffering from it.
Beginning with a little bit of knee pain, which I thought came from improper squatting during weightlifting, the pain grew over several months. Any diagnosis I checked online frequently pointed that sciatica was the most likely culprit. It didn’t take the doctor long to agree once I described my symptoms. Through the Lasègue test, the doctor determined my sciatica was due to a herniated disc in my lower back.
Flexibility issues in my left hip and ankle along with flat feet helped the condition get worse. Because of the poor flexibility and flat feet I was often forced into improperly rounding my back during squat workouts. While it may have been inevitable that I would eventually get sciatica anyway due to a family history of hip problems, the back rounding definitely contributed. My poor body structure also contributed greatly as each step I took made the disc worse.
Medication did very little to help. Taking a break from working out also seemed to make things worse. Sometimes a nice leg workout would have my legs feeling much fresher than if I had rested.
I found stretches specifically targeted for people with sciatica to help me deal with the pain. As anyone with the condition will know, some days are much worse than others and what works on one day may not work the next.
A major goal of mine became to get more committed to proper stretching and myofascial release. I purchased a foam roller to use as often as possible. I also began using a baseball on my hip area where the pain is often the worst, giving myself a deep tissue massage this way.
The biggest setback living with sciatica is the immobilization. At 26-years-old I am still spry enough to move around pretty well without anyone realizing how painful my leg can get at times. Calf stretches have become constant as have anything else in hopes to help make me feel better. Since I do a lot of walking to and from work along with being on my feet quite often, it seems like finding a solution through bed rest will not be an option.
Fortunately the sciatica does disappear on some days on its own. I continue my best to strengthen my body without putting any strain on the areas that hurt the most. Surgery is always an option, but at this point I believe a solution can be found by taking better care of myself.