My Story of Living with Sciatica

I first experienced the symptoms of sciatica in February 2000 while on vacation with my family.  We had been walking around Disney World for 5 days. A lot of that time, my 2 year old son was on one of my hips. I remember walking down a ramp to the parking lot when all of sudden I felt this sharp crippling pain shoot from my butt to my knee.  I kept my son, who was again on my hip, from hitting the ground as I went down.  I had to sit there for a moment to try to get a handle on what the he— just happened.

I was able to get up and walk after a few minutes, being careful how I walked, sat and generally moved for a couple days after.  This was the first of many episodes of sciatica that I had experienced.  Sometimes, it wasn’t so bad.  A little bit of pain as a reminder to be careful how I moved to excruciating, drop me to the floor, pain. 

A few years later the doctors office where my family went to regularly was holding a health fair with all the departments having some type of exhibit explaining what they did and what they could do for their patients.  When I found the Pain Management Clinic, I thought “oh, they must know how to get rid of this pain”.  After talking with them, I realized why they call it a pain MANAGEMENT clinic.  They help you manage the pain, not help you alleviate the cause of the pain.    They told me to take 4 ibuprofen every four hours until the pain stays gone.  They told me the sciatica that I was experiencing was caused by inflammation and ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory drug.

The next time I had a particularly painful episode, I took the ibuprofen as they recommended and it did help.  But, I found that it did not get rid of the sciatica for good.  It kept coming back.

In 2010 I enrolled in massage therapy school to help other people relax and find relief from pain.  I had no idea that it would be my answer to finally getting rid of the painful sciatica episodes.  In one of my classes the instructor was teaching us about working in the gluteal region (buttocks) and the common issues that clients have.  She told us that sciatica was commonly caused by one of the muscles becoming tight and putting pressure on the sciatic nerve that goes from the sacrum down the back of the leg to the foot.   She showed us how to release that muscle to relieve the  pressure on the nerve.  I could not wait to get on that table and have someone loosen up that muscle in my body.  

We learn in school that many of the issues in the body happen over a period of time and therefore the treatment of those issues also takes time to correct.  This is when I really learned how true that is.  It took quite a few classes and massages from students in clinic before I could say that the sciatica was gone.  By the time I graduated, I realized that I was not having any symptoms at all. 

Six years later I can say that I have not had any significant symptoms of sciatica.  Since the muscles have been loosened up, I stretch that area regularly to keep the muscles loose.  I definitely do not want to experience that crippling pain every again.

Since graduating, I continue to learn more about the body and techniques for finding relief.  I am especially drawn to articles, research and any information about sciatica and piriformis syndrome, which is similar to sciatica. I understand the pain my clients experience and want to help them.

In my practice, there have been a lot of people who have come in saying they have sciatica or sciatica-like symptoms.  For the clients who have had true sciatica, we have been able to get them significant relief or completely alleviated the problem with massage therapy. It takes more than just one session to keep those muscles in a relaxed state, but everyone has told me that it was worth it.

 

The information on this entire website is not intended to replace a personal relationship with a qualified health care professional and is in no way intended as medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure disease, and is not meant to replace medical advice. I encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and with a qualified health care professional.

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