I remember my first time. It was in the morning and I woke up in excruciation pain.
The sciatica pain was absolutely horrible, shooting down my lower back towards my leg, wrapped around my hip. The pain was mind-numbing, and a move to the right or left of my bed only made it intensify.
I’d heard stories from friends and my husband about the temporarily paralyzing pain of sciatica which left them immobilized on their bathroom or office floors. I always thought they were being overly dramatic or regurgitating urban legends.
To make matters worse, I was heartsick because we were supposed to depart that morning to visit friends in Boston. After a heated discussion with my husband, I called my BFF in Boston and told her my health dilemma.
She completely understood as she was a marathon runner and had periodic episodes of sciatica pain. She also delivered some excellent health advice.
She mentioned that she would pop some Tylenol and put ice on the area. She also said DO NOT lay around for more than 24 hours, and to go for a walk. Take your time, she advised, and walk very slowly to exercise and stretch the muscle.
This advice was so counter-intuitive.
Go for a walk. Is she kidding?
But I was willing to give anything a try as the pain was tremendous. By mid-afternoon, I became stir-crazy and decided to take our family dog for a walk.
I figured if I fell and was lying in the ditch screaming in pain, my dog could run home or to my neighbor’s house for help.
The most painful part of this exercise was getting out of my bed, putting on my pants and walking down the stairs.
But, after 45 minutes of ugly pain faces and 15 steps out my front door, my hip and lower back started to feel some relief.
Granted, I felt like I was walking like I had a load in my pants but the pain had finally lessened. Activity had actually made my sciatica pain lessen.
Now, to keep my sciatica demons away, I take daily walks and if I feel a slight tinge of a possible flare, I apply ice.
Also, I do sit-ups daily and try to get to the pool three or four times per week.