Saturday, July 4, 2015


As someone who recently had an up close and extremely painful encounter with a pinched sciatic nerve, an article titled Sciatic Pain Relief that I found while looking for information about this caught 100% of my attention. I have never experienced anything as painful and that includes the time I dislocated my shoulder and fractured my arm.

The article said that as much as 40% of the population will get sciatica, irritation of the sciatic nerve, at some point in their life. I had no idea that it was that prevalent. After about a week of this unbelievable pain, I finally went to the doctor. Or more accurately, a friend took me because I couldn't make the necessary motions to get into my car behind the steering wheel but was able to manage the passenger seat. She also went to the pharmacy and picked up my prescriptions and even went a step farther and did my laundry.

The article went on to say that anything putting pressure on or irritating the sciatic nerve can cause pain that shoots down the back of either the left or right buttock or thigh (for me it was the left side) with the sensation of pain varying widely from a mild ache, a sharp pain, a burning sensation or extreme discomfort. It can also cause feelings of numbness, weakness, and tingling.

The part of the article that amused me stated that pain "may be made worse by prolonged sitting, standing up, coughing, sneezing, twisting, lifting, or straining." That doesn't really leave much of anything that won't aggravate it. :)  And for me, stretching out flat in bed was not possible either. With the pain on my left side, the only way I could sleep was on my right side and I had to find the precise one and only exact position that didn't hurt. The pain kept me from being on my back or stomach. Getting into and out of bed presented another serious and painful problem.

The doctor gave me three prescriptions—a series of muscle relaxant/anti-inflammatory pills, a pain pill, and another prescription to be used only in case of extreme pain. That extreme pain prescription was for oxycodone. I've never taken that before but have definitely heard of it and everything I've heard scares me. I never took any of the oxycodone. I'm one of these people who considers aspirin the miracle drug. All my life…if it hurts I take a couple of aspirins and it stops hurting. I can count on one hand the number of times in my life that I've taken prescription pain medication and the sciatic nerve was definitely one of them.

The doctor also gave me a series of exercises to do.

The article went on to mention that in some cases a steroid medication is injected into the space around the spinal nerve which apparently is a possibility if the sciatic pain is a result of a herniated or ruptured disc. My doctor determined that my pain did not radiate from a disc problem. And another possible remedy is surgery. I'm thrilled that I didn't require either of these options.

The constant pain continued for approximately six weeks. Right now it's going on five months since I initially went to the doctor with the horrible pain.  I'm still having problems with it. On occasion if I move wrong, I'll get a sudden pain. If I stand on my toes and reach up to get something off a high shelf, I'll get a sudden pain. Hopefully that will eventually go away. All-in-all, a painful and all around uncomfortable time.

Wishing one and all a pain-free sciatic nerve.

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