OUCH. All the empathy in the world to you.
Sciatica is... so... painful. I'm on Day 50 with it today as I write to express my Love for humanity — that's you — by sharing all the things that have helped me along the way. I gave birth to a child with no medication or interventions, and yes there was some pain involved — but at least I got a child out of that! And labor was seven hours, not 50 days. OK, onward, let me share with you, precious human, and may you be free of pain ASAP.
First, now, and in every now that follows: LISTEN. It’s your body. It’s your journey. Your body knows what it needs and it is a pristine communicator.
Listen. What is it saying now? Does it need a nap? When you stretch, what feels good and what doesn’t? Listen to your body, and go with what other people tell you works when it resonates with you, not just because it worked for them.
A retired General Surgeon who treated many cases of sciatica in his 40 year MD career says the steroid injection many patients receive works for 50% of them. Is it worth it for you to try? Ask within yourself, ask trusted friends and family for their thoughts, ask your body, then decide for yourself.
He also says one thing that’s been very effective for him in relieving the nerve pain associated with sciatica is CBD+THC cream. Plants are powerful. Is this for you? That’s up to you. Listen.
Use the power of your relationship with the divine, whether you call it prayer, meditation, inquiry or something else, to help you heal. You are not your story. You are not your pain. Who are you, in your essence? Yep, deep stuff — just like the sting of sciatica. It’s physics. Like attracts like.
When we listen, we can find insights that help us heal.
Every day since neurosurgery 3 ½ months ago, I have chosen music as meditation. Singing songs based in Love and Spirit, songs based in the power of what we call God, gives me divine chills all over my body. Does it matter that I have no voice training? Nope, nada, zilch-a-zippa. The acoustic vibration within my throat and vocal chords literally zings me into feeling ecstatically high. How? It puts me in touch with Who I Am. It is medicine.
To explore this question for yourself, I recommend Eckhart Tolle’s teachings about the power of the present moment. His consciousness is a profusely clear invitation into a higher state of our own. YouTube is full of his wisdom — spiritually potent talks given for free. I also found Michael Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, to be very powerful on this topic. We can free ourselves from some of the pain by recognizing it is not who we are.
Ultimately, I believe my own experience with sciatica is life’s way of fine-tuning me to be my body’s best friend. Best friends listen well. How well do I listen to my body’s messages — her lower back pain, the pressure my spine feels when I stand too much, the streaks of lightning-like pain down the left thigh? When my body whispers her pain, do I listen? Or does she need to shout thunderously from my glut down my thigh, for me to listen?
Sciatica is a symptom of something else. If I had listened fully when my lower back began communicating it needed attention, would I have prevented the sciatic nerve from yelling 10 days later? My sense — probably. Guilt and shame? No. Lesson for a dedicated student? Yes.
Bring your attention back from the future when it goes there, to now. Now is actually all we've got. Going into worry and fear about the future can sting, and we don't want more of that!
How attentively do you respond, giving your body what it needs rather than denying it the Love it’s meant to receive from you?
What does your body need right now?
Jessica Rios, Founder of Leaning into Light, is a mother, Love-based leader, lifelong letter writer, 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.