Candid Chatter

Just Say It

Sciatica July 7, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 7:04 am
Tags: , ,

I know there are people in this world who really need to be healed of something horrible. But sometimes our own pain seems volcanic at the time we’re experiencing it.

I am suffering from sciatica. It is excruciating pain in my right low back and rear end. If I move the wrong way it feels like I’ve been stabbed in the butt cheek. Freaking unbelievable. I get sciatica when I am pregnant or out of shape. Something in my spine pinches the sciatic nerve and it’s horrible for a few days. All the more reason to keep my weight down when I am not pregnant. I’ll tell you.

I am worn out. My father-in-law, bless that man’s heart and soul, is on his way over to care for my two very active toddlers for the morning. I will rest.

I am limping. I can’t sit for long or I can’t get up. Sleeping is nearly impossible. Lying down is a crap shoot. Some positions work, some kill me. Going to the bathroom is fine until I try to get up from the toilet. High hickly dickly.

I. Am. In. Pain.

Thank you for letting me whine.
See you when I’m better.
Gotta get up or I’ll get stuck.


24 Responses to “Sciatica”

  1. Tausha Says:

    Ok-so sorry. I get the same when i am pregnant. All the more reason why I am not going to ever do that again.
    One word babe-chiropracter.
    They are miracle workers during the whole pregnancy thing.
    Good luck!
    Yes, you have a very good F_I_L~
    when you feel better, I would make him treats!

  2. Mike Saros Says:

    How Important Is Exercise To Back Pain And Sciatic Nerve Sufferers? For back or sciatic nerve pain sufferers, exercise plays a vital and critical role in building a strong midsection or core and lower back muscles so they can lend support to the spinal column, ligaments, vertebrae, discs and nerves. This added support will take a lot of pressure off these areas and reduce pain.

    But is exercise really that important? The answer is an emphatic YES! Exercise is that important because it allows bone and muscle of the spine to grow and strengthen. And bone and muscle will only grow and strengthen if the right kinds of forces are applied to them.

    Stronger bones and more active muscles will lend greater support for your spine and reduce back pain. A good analogy is a roof supported by pillars. If the pillars supporting the roof are weak and brittle, the roof will begin to collapse. You need strong pillars of support for your spine. You need strong bones and very active muscles. I say “active” muscles because, for most people, muscles in the lower back, gluteus, and pelvic region are seldom used. This is not their fault. They are seldom used because they are not doing the right kinds of exercises to stimulate these muscles.

    Stretching alone is not really effective for relieving back or sciatic nerve pain in the long-term. People say to me, “I stretch all the time and yet I still have back pain. Please help.” I’m not surprised. Stretching might help with immediate or temporary relief from back pain but it alone is not a long-term solution for back pain. Why? This is mainly because muscles that are stretched will get tight again without growing or getting stronger. And as far as I know, stretching does not directly increase bone density or strength.

    Stretching should be combined with exercise for greatest effect on the body. Warm muscles full of oxygen will stretch much easier than cold muscles without a full supply of oxygen. This is common knowledge for most people but it is extremely important to keep in mind while trying to get rid of back or sciatic nerve pain. For instance, in between a set of squats (I will talk more about squats later) I will always stretch my quads. I will stretch my calves. I will even stretch my back. I will grab a bar above me at the gym and just hang there for several seconds to really stretch my back. This is similar to decompression therapy where you allow your spine and muscles to really stretch out.

    Bottom Line: Performing the right kinds of exercises and stretching in between sets stimulates an essential core group of muscles (i.e., quads, hamstrings, adductors, sartorius, piriformis, glutes, abs, back muscles, etc) for maximum gains; conditions the muscles or trains them to become more relaxed and less constricted when you are not exercising; and increases bone density and strength. If you can achieve this bottom line, you are well on your way to a much healthier back that will last a lifetime.

    Squats are a great way to strengthen your entire midsection and lower back as well as help you achieve this “bottom line.” I find squats to be one of the most challenging exercises. If you can get through an intense workout of squats you can get through any exercise at the gym. At first I was a little hesitant to mention them because you may be turned off by the thought of doing squats. You have to be a little crazy to do them. I have actually dragged myself out of bed on several occasions at 4:30 in the morning to go to the gym and do squats. While most peopleare snoring away, I’ve got anywhere from 225-345 pounds on my back. And then I still have a long day of work in front of me. It may sound like I’m a glutton for punishment but it helped me build a strong foundation and support system for my lower back.

    Now I’m not saying you need to go to the gym at 5 in the morning like me and try to squat a car. Many of you may not feel comfortable doing squats especially if you are suffering from a herniated disk or sciatic nerve pain right now. That is fine. In fact, you shouldn’t do squats with added weight right now if you are trying to heal a herniated disk or you suffer with sciatica or sciatic nerve pain. It’s just too dangerous; but after your disk(s) heals or your sciatica subsides, youshould definitely add them in to your exercise routine to strengthen and maintain all the areas of your spine.

    You don’t have to do squats at the gym either. You can do them right at home. Just cross your arms, squat down and go right back up. If your back is healthy right now, I would suggest even grabbing a can of food from your pantry, a dumbbell, or a heavy book to use as a weight while doing squat exercises. This will add resistance. Be sure to hold the weight, whatever it is, very close to the middle part of your chest. Just squat down slowly until your thighs are parallel with the floor and rise back up. You must keep your back arched and your weight on your heels or the balls of your feet. Do this as many times as you feel comfortable. Take a break and do them again. Be sure to concentrate on your balance and try to keep your midsection flexed throughout the exercise. If you’ve never done squats before, have a family member or friend make sure you are doing them correctly.

    WARNING: If you are suffering from a back injury of any kind, please be sure to consult your doctor or fitness specialist first before doing squats or any weight-bearing exercise.

    If you take full advantage of squats, you will build a stronger midsection, gluteus muscles, lower back, and quadriceps. And besides burning a lot of calories you will achieve the bottom line that we talked about earlier.

    Bottom Line: Performing the right kinds of exercises and stretching in between sets stimulates an essential core group of muscles (i.e., quads, hamstrings, adductors, sartorius, piriformis, glutes, abs, back muscles, etc) for maximum gains; conditions the muscles or trains them to become more relaxed and less constricted when you are not exercising; and increases bone density and strength. If you can achieve this bottom line, you are well on your way to a healthier back without sciatic nerve pain that will last a lifetime.

    Oh and be sure to use common sense if you are lifting weights. It took me several weeks before I really reaped the benefits from an exercise like squats. Always start out with lighter weights and always wear back support. I have never lifted heavy weights without a back brace for support. If you are lifting real heavy weights at the gym, make sure you have someone there just in case. The point is not to injure your back but to strengthen it.

    [spam removed by blog author]

  3. candidchatter Says:

    Ok — who writes an entire book as a “comment” on a blog post? SPAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  4. sue Says:

    I have had sciatica from spinal arthritis for a year and after suffering the horrible results of pain relief meds decided to do without and work things out for myself, with great success.

    I walk two or three times a day making sure that I sit down for at least 20 mins or so in between. Even if I am in pain walking definitely gets rid of it as long as I keep an eye on my posture , pulling my tummy in and my pelvis down and not just bending forward – an instinctive reaction.

    But the most important thing has been to not eat ‘heavy’ food, ie. bread, biscuits, cake, batter, etc. I have found that a full digestive system or any hint of constipation causes pain and that bowel movements or releasing wind almost instantly relieves it. The position of the sciatic nerve is close to the large intestine so it seems to make sense.

    A diet of veg, salad and fruit, Ryvita or matzos instead of bread, fish, dried fruit and nuts, and a little cheese and egg(I don’t eat meat} seems to do the trick and if I eat out and slip up, a mild laxative helps.

    I can now do without my stick and my back and leg muscles are certainly stronger, which will also have helped.

    I hope this helps you too,

  5. candidchatter Says:

    Sue: Thanks for the comment. I wrote this post in July. I only suffered with the pain for a few days. I keep myself in tip-top shape when I’m not pregnant and the sciatica doesn’t bother me. Now that I’m pregnant I just have to be very careful how I twist and turn and bend. I used to be a gymnast oh so many years ago. That did it. I have had back problems off and on for years. Anyway, I hope your advice helps someone. I get almost 200 hits on “sciatica” alone so there are people out there searching for relief. Your comment will help them, I’m sure.


  6. Joey Says:

    THIS WAS GREAT info… i have these issues ever so often, and this helps me alot… keep up the great work and informative shares.

  7. Joey Says:

    WHAT i found that works is … lye on the side that hurts with leg out straight, then bend up the leg that dose not hurt as bad and try to touch the knee to the ground as you lay your arm out as if to try to lay your shoulders not he floor as you twist your knew to the floor in fornt of you…. i do this both sides ever morning to be sure not to be in so much pain if its guna be a bad day for this pain… its frustrating, debilitating and many don’t see this as an issue but you the one in more pain then being in labor.

  8. Theresa Says:

    Two words for all you Sciatica Pain sufferers….MASSAGE THERAPY (in conjunction with Chiropractic Treatment, of course!) I suffered for YEARS, popping every pill imaginable (well, almost) and nothing helped. Went to Physical Therapy and learned I don’t need to pop pills to feel better. I am now a Massage Therapist because of how PT, massotherapy and chiro treatment helped!!!

  9. Victoria Says:

    Thanks for this article! I did have this while pregnant, but that was 12 years ago. I now get it after rather rough sexual relations with my long term partner. This time was the worst. A vicodin has helped the pain, but knowing about these exercises will help me in the future to avoid this excruciating pain. I didn’t want to swear off sex, so getting stronger is the only reasonable answer.

  10. candidchatter Says:

    Wow — sorry about the pain, but a little TMI. ROFL! Good luck!

  11. Susan Says:

    I’ve had sciatic pain for around 14 years or so due to ruptured discs.

    My doctor want me to go for surgery but I’m trying erything else I can until I agree to that – including taking up Thai boxing at the age of 42!

    Unfortunately, I react really badly to most pain killers but I’m having some success with epidurals.

    You have my sympathy and my advice is keep active and build on your core stability.

  12. Jean-Paul Says:

    I know this post is quite old, but I wanted to share with you my experience as an acupuncturist. Personally I *love* treating people with sciatica because acupuncture works really really well for it. In fact, most patients only need a couple of treatments, and many people find relief after only the first treatment.

    I hope you find this helpful, and not ‘spammy’. 😉

  13. Debbie Says:

    Hey all thought I’d put my 2 cents in here also. For the last 4 1/2 years I have been suffering with sciatic pain. My story is the same as all of you, taken every pill on the market and seen every specialist around. Turns out I have a deviated sacrum from a fall I took at work, no income and no relief from the pain. Not much of a life. So now for the good news, I did find a chiro who is also a neurologist with his help I am finding the relief that is sacred to pain sufferers. I had a month of relief and no pain, wow! This coming from a girl who just spent 6 weeks in bed and couldn’t move. I could actually walk like normal people, it’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Still have a ways to go. No pills, that’s what I like about him. He found the problem where no one else could. There is help out there from good caring people like Dr. P. Freud. I’m not spamming just want to let other people like me find help. Good luck!

  14. mikey Says:

    I suffer from sciatica down my left leg from time to time,but i have found correct posture and getting to know how your back works and working on good exercises for building muscles to be the most beneficial as sometimes the local doctor will give a pill to relieve the pain pretty much but it doesnt seem to ever be a longterm answer.I suppose its like everything else,familiarity and knowledge of the nuts and bolts of the workings of your back gives you good grounding for longterm recovery,because you understand what movements cause or relieve pain and also you can better understand the need for good footwear,seating,posture,improving muscle strenght.

  15. MARY Says:

    I have sciatic pain since the first time i got pregnant which i lost it at 6 weeks than when i got pregnant with my first and second it was at it worst, it still got the pain when I’m really tired (over did it that day) or I’m on my feet all day is there any thing i should I be worry about down the road I’m only 28.


  16. […] Sciatica « Candid Chatter (tags: sciatica) […]

  17. Johnny Says:

    I think your sciatica is chronic. Taken surgery before?
    I was a chronic sciatica patient before. Based on my experience, massage, acupuncture, reflexology work great on me for a temporal basis. You can give them a try.

    There is no easy way to cure sciatica. The point is curing your wounded sciatic nerve and muscle with normal physiotherapy hurts a lot, if you tried that before you should know what I mean.

    I personally tried a muscle balance therapy exercises suggested by my doctor when I was announced Failed back surgery symptom (FBSS).

    I have written my story in my own blog ( to thank the muscle balance therapy exercise founder Jesse James for curing my sciatica and lower back pain within 4 weeks.

    But I have to warn you that the exercises therapy are not easy. It is quite pain for the first few days, but after 1 week or 2 you should see significant improvements.


  18. nicky Says:

    Hey Sciatic sufferers, I am only 24yrs old female and I have suffered since my teens with a very painful sensation in my buttocks and straight down my leg on my left side. I never thought too much to get it checked out or follow up on it via the internet or books until now. I am worried at this point b/c the dreadful sensation comes and goes and sometimes without warning. I read all the feedback on this blog and believe pregnancy, one your feet all day, over doing it, bad posture, and lack of physical exercise are all possibilities for why I may suffer from this awful ailment. Honestly I don’t mind dealing with it from time to time, my worry is that I will get it one day while in the middle of the street and cant move or doing something that requires my natural motor-skills and they fail on me and then what (disaster!) Last night I had a really bad case of the nerve pain, I was on the floor and crying b/c getting out of bed and getting up from the toilet was so difficult and painful. How can I cope with the pain is what I am looking for. I want relief and like most of you said I don’t want to pop tylenol, advil, or ibruprohen. Wish me luck!

  19. Larry Says:

    I understand your pain. After 4 back surgery’s, I have just been placed on Long-Term Disability. I shall remember you in my prayers. Larry

  20. Hilde Novak Says:

    Since I couldn’t get into therapy, which has NOT started as yet, the dull pain in my buttock is now going down my thigh; seldom did I feel the electric shock.

    I can walk out the pain during the day, but when I sit only about 15 minutes, it’s like I haven’t been out of bed for months. I can hardly stand on that leg in the morning, it hurts when I lie in bed and cannot turn over to the other side; have to sit up and shift my wait.

    My question is, should I sit on floor and do stretching exercises? Since I haven’t been to therapy, don’t know what to do. The anti-inflamatories haven’t helped much.

  21. Hilde Novak Says:

    oops talking about weight!!! not wait.

  22. candidchatter Says:

    Hilde: If you’re asking me, you’re asking the wrong person. Please consult your doctor. Thank you for your comment.

    blog author

  23. tina Says:

    i was reading this and think this may be my problem. i have the same issue at times but can’t figure out or never went to have it checked. i may look more into it now after reading this. wow. thanks!

  24. leeanne Says:

    I had the same thing and have just had surgery…..result was a synovial cyst at L5S1 joint. Now after the procedure I have no pain other than recovery. It is wonderful…….

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