It happened when I was tossed by a horse. Apparently my lower back hit a rock, knocking one of the vertebrae askew. This wasn’t a good thing, but until the rest of my body healed from the injuries the sciatica was just another area that hurt worse than words can describe.
Causes: Injuries aren’t the only things that can cause sciatica. It happens when there is a problem with a branch of the nerves or the vertebrae involved with sending impulses to that part of the body. The nerves branch off and run down the back of the legs. Age related spine degeneration, arthritis and a number of other spine related problems can cause it.
Why it hurts: Nerves are responsible for sending pain signals to the brain. Those signals tell us to stop what we are doing and attend to the damage. Sciatica pain isn’t necessarily because we’ve hurt ourselves yet again. While the signals are real the cause of the pain may have happened years ago. Instead of tending an injury we have to convince a nerve that there is no reason to send the impulse.
Pain Reduction Techniques
Medications: Let me be frank. Despite how bad it hurts the lower the dosage of medication the better. Starting out on a synthetic narcotic is going to cause problems down the road. While the physical damage the drugs do to the body is part of it, the biggest threat is when your body is used to the drugs and you need more/stronger to get the same relief. Start with over the counter medications and treatments if you can.
That doesn’t mean you have to suffer. There are some muscle relaxers that aren’t as likely to become addictive as others and they do help. You can also get products like Icy Hot or Salon Pas to convince the brain there isn’t a problem. You do have to be careful with these products as some can cause burns.
Relaxation Techniques: When something hurts we tense up. When we tense up it hurts more. This creates a vicious cycle that can bring tears to the eyes. Both deep breathing and visualization can be useful in relaxation.
Aromatherapy: I have used this for sciatica and it does help. Lavender is good but jasmine is better. A combo of the two is great. There is one cautionary note: make sure bees cannot get into the house. By the time we figured out where the bees were coming in and what they were going after we had eleven of them buzzing around.
Sciatica is not something I recommend you deal with alone. Talk to your doctor. If you are open to alternative medicine, the doctor can refer you to those who practice it. I found acupuncture to be quite helpful. We don’t have to suffer.