Thursday, May 24, 2012


About a month ago (give or take), I started noticing that my right leg would go numb pretty easily.  If I crouched down for a few minutes or slept funny, my leg would fall asleep within a few minutes.  My limbs have always fallen asleep relatively easily, but I did notice this was happening a lot more.  And occasionally, my right lower back/butt would twinge, but the pain would go away within a couple of hours or with a couple of Advil.
On Sunday, after I spent a day in the park with one of my friends, I noticed that my lower back was hurting again and felt particularly bad.  My leg kept falling asleep and my back was super stiff and uncomfortable.  I took a couple of advil.  Not really helpful.
On Monday, I woke up and it still hurt.  I seriously debated going into work, which is rare for me.  I wake up every day and think, "wouldn't it be nice to relax and stay in bed?" but then I get up and get ready.  As much as I love being at home, I hate knowing I'm missing things at work.  I feel like a day off, particularly an unplanned one, is not worth it because I spend the next 4 trying to catch up on what I missed.  At least when I plan days off, I can prepare before I'm out.
I decided to go to work because I wasn't going to get any better just sitting on my couch. I figured I'd go to work, call the doctor and then leave when I got a doctor's appointment.  At least this way, I only missed part of the day.  I also hate missing work because I don't like using sick days.  I have the potential to be a hoarder, and I like to hoard sick days.
Unfortunately, my doctor was unavailable and I couldn't get an appointment until Tuesday morning.  On Tuesday, I woke up (45 minutes later than usual! Which was glorious!) went to the doctor and found out what I was pretty sure I already knew.
I have sciatica.
Sciatica is actually a symptom of an underlying condition - in this case, the doctor thinks I probably have a herniated disc.  Ouch.  Sounds painful. Essentially, my sciatic nerve is being compressed by something which causes pain and then the subsequent numbness/tingling.
An image of sciatica/what it affects
The herniated disc should resolve itself eventually, which will relieve the sciatica and make it all better.  Until then, I am supposed to go to physical therapy, do stretches... and listen to the physical therapist.
BUT!  research says that there is no difference between using NSAIDS vs. physical therapy vs. doing nothing.  So why should I do physical therapy if it doesn't improve my recovery? I would love some thoughts on this as I'm not sure how to proceed from here!
I basically have to listen to my body.  If something hurts, try not to do it. Of course, putting my pants on is uncomfortable, but I can't walk around pantless, so I just have to deal.  I think it is okay for me to continue exercising, but we'll see.

Have you had sciatica?  Have you experienced lower back pain?  


  1. Hello there@

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