I had sciatica, and let me tell you, it hurts. It’s a pain that’s so deep inside, I didn’t even know how to describe it. I was like, “Is it inside my hip bone? Because that’s what it feels like.” You can’t apply heat or ice to alleviate the pain because neither can penetrate deep enough. You can’t massage it or rub it out for the same reason. You just have to live with it.
My sciatica was a little out of the ordinary because I came down with it during my third trimester of pregnancy. I guess the lucky thing was that I was making frequent trips to the doctor, so I was diagnosed quickly. The unlucky thing, of course, was that I had sciatica.
The doctor told me that the true cause of my pain was that the baby was sitting on my sciatic nerve. In case that has no meaning to you, imagine a nerve ending that’s not supposed to be in contact with anything, then put on eight pound weight on it. Ow.
When I say ow, I mean I would be walking along, then bam!, I couldn’t move. I was frozen in pain. I’m little for an adult, so by my ninth month of pregnancy I looked like a had swallowed a watermelon. When people saw someone in my condition suddenly paralyzed by pain, it scared the heck out of them! When the pain would initially hit, I couldn’t talk, but I would shake my head “no” so people would know that I wasn’t in labor. (In the back of my mind, I was afraid that if I couldn’t handle this pain, I couldn’t handle labor. (But in the end, it turned out I could.))
The doctor made one recommendation to alleviate the pain, and it worked. Because the baby was sitting on my sciatic nerve, he suggested that I lie flat on my back in a tub filled with a few inches of water. Doing this would cause the baby to float upward and off of the nerve.
It was a great solution for me, and it worked every time. (Every time I was home and could get into a tub, that is.) After I had the baby, the sciatic pain diminished quite a bit. Once in a while I would have a flare-up, which I didn’t really understand since there was no baby there anymore. The flare-ups were few and far between, and not as extreme as they were when I was pregnant. Over time, I had fewer and fewer of them, and within a few years I stopped having them at all.
Years later I worked with a man who had sciatica and I really felt for him. I had an easy solution to ease the pain, he didn’t.