What started as an uncomfortable twinge in my lower right back slowly started spreading into my leg, causing numbness and intense pain in the entire right part of my body. I was doing yoga and walking, but I wasn’t as active as I should or could have been, and then once I was in pain, all I wanted to do was lie flat on my back and wait for it to go away. It didn’t go away though, and I hadn’t done anything to my knowledge to cause this pain.
I decided to go try a chiropractor for the first time. She got me on the table almost immediately and made adjustments and sent me on my way. For a week I felt great. I thought it was that easy and done with, but sadly I was very wrong. It came back full force a little over a week later.
I was still looking for a primary care physician at the time and saw an ad for a local well known chiropractor and acupuncturist offering free community days and promptly signed up for both figuring it couldn’t hurt to try again. Upon going into this new chiropractor, he spent at least 20 minutes talking to me about my pain and told me it sounded like Sciatica. I hadn’t even heard of it, so he briefly explained the condition, then he told me he would do some adjustments to help with the immediate pain and gave me some tips on how to keep a proper posture, but then said that I should seek out a physical therapist for long-term relief. The adjustments paired with his posture tips and an acupuncture session my pain went away for a couple weeks, but it did eventually come back again.
It still took me another couple of months to work out issues with insurance to find a primary doctor. I had told her about my pain, what I had done thus far and that I’d really like to start physical therapy. While she thought that was a good idea, she decided to start me off with a six-day steroid regimen in hopes of a quick-fix and set me up with another appointment with her in another month. The steroids not only gave me an insane amount of energy, but they did seem to be taking away the pain. As I assumed though, once the six days were done and the medicine gone, the pain came back and I still had three more weeks until my doctor visit.
This appointment isn’t actually until this week and I’m certain it will most likely be another week or two at least until I get a brief evaluation with a physical therapist. Luckily, I did find a Groupon for a pretty cheap massage with a reputable masseuse this week as well.
At Home Relief
In the meantime, however, I’ve been trying to keep active and keep from sitting as much as possible. Like most working people, I spend too much time at a desk. If you have Sciatica you know that light exercise actually makes you feel better than sitting down. But if you have a desk job what can you do?
For starters, if you must sit make sure your chair and computer is as ergonomic as possible. Ask your supervisor if there’s anything they can do to help provide you a more comfortable sitting situation. If you can, bring your balance ball to work with you and sit on it instead; it will force you to sit up straight. On your breaks do stretches on the ball and walk around the office whenever possible to keep your body from going stiff.
When you’re at home, find a few yoga stretches that don’t add to your discomfort. Also I would highly suggest investing in a foam roller. Even if all you do is lie on it along your spine for 10-15 minutes it will open up your hips and give you relief from possible bad posture.I mentioned before that light exercise really helps, so if you can try going for a walk around your neighborhood or using the elliptical at the gym (light exercise is the key though, don’t go too hard and make the injury worse). There are also various home exercises you can do. I’ve included some links to exercises at the end of this article for you to look into. Please let me know how they work for you. And if you are experiencing Sciatica and haven’t gone to the doctor for a referral to physical therapy yet, I recommend beginning with this step first and using my at home and in the office tips in between visits as I’m sure a physical therapist would suggest as well.
Links to Exercises