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Sciatica Relief: My Personal Experience

| Dr David Palmer |

My Experience With Sciatica Relief.

People often assume that, because I am a Chiropractor, I must be immune to back pain and spinal problems. The truth is that I lean over people all day, pulling, pressing and generally using my body in a physical way. This opens the door for injuries and aches and pains to develop. I recently experienced Sciatica first hand, and it was not fun. Today I will share with you how I dealt with it and how I managed to stop it from setting me back. But first let me give you a little history.

After qualifying as a Chiropractor in Durban, I moved to the UK to expand on my Chiropractic work experience. My first Chiropractic locum job opened me up to the fascinating world of Posture Correction. It grabbed my attention and I decided to explore it further. I ended up working at clinics that focused on Corrective Care and fixing bad posture. This is where I learnt most of the skills that I use today.

I went through a lengthy process of regularly seeing my Chiropractor for corrective adjustments, and I spent all my free time in between patients doing specific exercises and traction. I was recommending similar things to my patients and I wanted to experience it first-hand. Within the first year, I was able to improve my posture dramatically. This has played a major role in keeping my spine healthy to date. I still see a Chiropractor for maintenance/wellness care and regularly perform specific stretches/exercises/traction. Even a healthy spine is still vulnerable to injury and we must do what we can to take care of our spines.

So let’s skip forward to what happened to me a few weeks ago. After a really busy day, I noticed a strange intermittent, achy pain in the back of my right thigh. It felt like someone was squeezing and releasing the muscle really tightly. I didn’t pay much attention to it initially, until the next day. It was worse!

The pain had spread to my ankle and it had become difficult and uncomfortable to put weight on my leg. It was very difficult to get into a pain free position, and I felt like I had to keep moving to try find some relief. If I lay on my back and lifted my leg straight up, it felt weak, but also extremely tight and sore in the thigh, calf and ankle. I did a few other tests and realised that I had Sciatica.

What I Did For Sciatica Relief.

After stressing about it for a while and wondering how I am going to survive with Sciatica, I realised that I am a Chiropractor and I am really well suited to solve this problem. So I did what I usually tell my patients to do.

I started with some piriformis and lower back stretches. They helped take away that deep ache for a moment, but it was very short lived. I then used a hard ball to work out the tension in these muscles. This was really sore, but it did give me some temporary Sciatica relief.

Next, I gave my Chiropractor a call and managed to book an appointment for the following day. It is not a great idea to try adjust/manipulate or crack your own spine, even the professionals leave it to the professionals. The hardest part came later that night whilst trying to fall asleep. After trying all sorts of different positions, I eventually found that lying on my side, with a cushion between my knees worked best for me. After a very restless night’s sleep, I was really looking forward to my visit to the Chiropractor.

My Chiropractor did a few tests and confirmed what I thought. I had Sciatica! He then adjusted both my lower and upper back, and I immediately felt some improvement. I continued to do the exercises over the course of the weekend, and each day it felt easier and easier.

Lessons I Learnt about Sciatica.

  • No matter how healthy our spines are, they are vulnerable to injury, and back problems can happen to anyone.
  • Poor posture and structure has a big influence on the health of our spines. The better aligned we are, the better we move, the better we function and generally the quicker we heal and respond to care when we do hurt ourselves. If you have not yet had your posture and spinal alignment assessed, then I recommend you should.
  • I am very glad that I worked on correcting my posture when I was younger.
  • Sciatica is not fun. It can be extremely limiting and prevent normal day to day activities. So don’t wait and hope it goes away. Go see a professional and have it assessed as soon as you can.
  • I was lucky to get Sciatica relief within a few days. For some people, it can take weeks to months to get relief. Especially if you have a bad posture and haven’t been taking care of your spine.
  • Healing takes time.

After a week or so I was feeling back to normal, but I know that if I am not careful and do something silly I can easily cause another injury. So, I will continue to see my Chiropractor, and I will continue doing my exercises for as long as I need to.

If you are looking for Sciatica relief then give us a call at Align Corrective Chiropractic on 031 562 9180.