From the mouths of many people I trust, and from the severe pain I have experienced through sciatica, I’ve learned it is very important to respond quickly once your body sends a signal. Listen to it. Whether your sciatica is a symptom of imbalance in your pelvis, nerves, spinal discs or somewhere else, it is very important to curb pain and inflammation as soon as you get the signal.
For me it was 70 days ago when my lower back spoke and I started to listen and… Oops. I let it go. It’ll heal on its own… Ha! Not so much. Life had something else in mind. Ten days later, severe pain shot down the back of my left thigh from my gluteus maximus. Sciatica had entered. Listen sooner than I did if you want less pain, OK?
One day in the lightning bolt grip of sciatic pain, I pulled up to my friend Kristin’s house in too much pain to get out of the car. I sobbed and reached for the center console where my husband had a small bottle of ibuprofen. I don’t want to take pharmaceutical drugs so soon after brain surgery.
Kristin looked at me with her characteristically sunlit face and said, “Jess… taking these doesn’t mean you don’t trust your body.”
Pharmaceuticals are a Godsend in acute situations. Whether it’s ibuprofen or a steroid like Prednisone, consider for your body and soul what is appropriate. Tolerating extended pain and inflammation is not advised on a medical or spiritual level.
In my first week with sciatica, I read that most cases last 2-3 weeks. Some are shorter; some are longer. A retired General Surgeon who practiced for 40 years told me, “Sciatica can last 3 to 6 months.” Gulp. That was hard to hear.
Depending on the severity of your case, consider having images taken through MRI. Maybe you’re like me and newly totally fascinated with physiology. Maybe you want to talk to your sciatica and ask what it’s here to teach you. Hospital imaging can give you very helpful information about your specific sciatica experience that’s not available anywhere else.
Remember this. Pharmaceuticals have negative side effects. To support a conscious relationship with your body that leads to less suffering, consider how to detox whatever meds you’re taking. Detox tea, acupuncture, infrared sauna, dark leafy greens, anti-inflammatory foods, creams and supplements… more on all that coming soon in steps 3 through 10.
Here is Step One of 10 on Healing Sciatica, all about LISTENING.
Jessica Rios, Founder of Leaning into Light, is a lifelong letter writer, Love-based leader and eternal fan of Mr. Rogers. This deeply personal blog and our free recorded conversations are devoted to one of her greatest passions: illuminating the beauty of the human spirit.