Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the dubious pleasure of suffering from an inflamed sciatic nerve. I can’t tell you how it got inflamed all I know is that it’s inflamed and really pissed off at me. If you’ve never suffered from sciatica pain consider yourself lucky.
Sciatica – More Painful Symptoms
Not realizing at first that I was suffering from a sciatic problem I would visit my chiropractor to have him put my hip back in place. I knew my left hip was giving me some issue when I moved into certain positions but I never thought of sciatica.
It wasn’t until the extreme burning sensation and lack of mobility struck hard that I knew it was something more. An angry sciatic nerve makes transitioning from standing to sitting and visa versa something you just don’t want to do. Although, in all honesty, the pain was excruciating in the morning, and subsided as the day wore on (that was weird).
Researching the Sciatica Problem/Resolution
Finding it ridiculous that the pain was so intense in the morning and non-existent later on in the day was perplexing. Was it healing during the day and flaring up at night? That didn’t make sense.
It wasn’t until I did more research that I realized my mega doses of Vitamin C during the day, which has anti-inflammatory qualities, was reducing the inflammation and the associated pain. However, when I went to sleep and my body used up the stores of vitamin C, the sciatic nerve would flare up again thus causing excruciating pain in the morning (the pain brought tears to my eyes).
To resolve the early morning angry sciatic nerve, I leave two capsules of vitamin C next to my bed. When I wake up during the night I pop of vitamin C and go back to sleep. Doing so relieves the early morning pain.
Getting to the Root of the Sciatica Matter
Vitamin C is all well and good and it does nice things to my body but I want to get rid of the sciatic issue. Therefore I’ve been going for regular chiropractic adjustments to get my hips (in particular my sacrum which seems to be the offending area) and everything aligned properly to stop resting on and aggravating my sciatic nerve.
Along with the adjustments, I’m working on stretching and strengthening exercises that will help my lower back obtain flexibility and stability to prevent sciatic inflammation in the future. From what I’ve read it can take several months to correct a painful sciatic nerve.
One of my new favorite sites has this recommendation for sciatica:
SCIATICA: Saturation of vitamin C, stretching exercises, chiropractic care and weight loss.
Although sciatica is a very painful condition, I’ve found Vitamin C to be instrumental in relieving pain, reducing inflammation and allowing me to continue performing activities as normal.
10/14/2011 UPDATE: My husband recommended that I set up an appointment with his acupuncturist. Yesterday I had my first acupuncture appointment and I am shocked at how much better I feel.
Last night I didn’t find the need to take vitamin C during the night. I even went for a run this morning (the first time in a long time). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not 100% yet and have scheduled another appointment for next week, but I feel much, much better.
8/6/2012 UPDATE: See my sciatica experiment on how I handled my latest flare up.
Comments on this entry are closed.
Please help me . Sciatica in both legs.
Oh my, Rico! Sciatica in both legs. I know that’s very, very painful!
I’ve got several posts here sharing my sciatica journey. I’ve suffered with it for many years and am finally pain free. I really have to thank my chiropractor for working with me to get rid of the pain. In addition to getting rid of the pain, he shared with me several exercises and tools to use to keep the pain at bay.
My condition was caused by a tight piriformis muscle. I believe I caused this by too much sitting at the computer and not enough exercise and movement. At the time I was building several websites and sat for 10 hours a day at the computer (I’ll never do that again). My chiropractor worked with me three times a week performing adjustments and deep muscle massages to loosen the piriformis muscle. Those deep muscle massages were rather painful, but they worked.
In addition, he instructed me to take ibuprofen to help relax the muscle, reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. I didn’t like taking ibuprofen, but it did help. He had me take a rather large daily dose in the beginning. I took the large dose of ibuprofen for 7 to 10 days. It does a number on the stomach, so if you do take it, make sure to eat.
Along with the massages, he gave me stretching exercises to perform. He started with simple ones then more intense ones as my condition improved. He also recommended purchasing an electronic stim unit (TENS). I used that on my lower back three times a day as instructed.
I continued to drink plenty of water to keep my muscles hydrated and took plenty of vitamin C. Vitamin C also helps with pain and did other good things for my body.
After the first three weeks of seeing my chiropractor three times a week, we reduced it to two times a week, then once a week, then only when I felt I needed a “tune up.” The whole process took about six weeks to totally eliminate the pain. It was six weeks of doing what my chiropractor told me.
Sometime during one of our sessions, he mentioned an inversion table (he also uses one). It does wonders to help decompress the back and keep everything moving freely. I eventually purchased one and used it regularly during the healing process. I use the inversion table periodically now when my back feels tight or I feel structurally imbalanced. A few minutes on the inversion table helps to set things right again.
Rico, there are several causes for sciatic pain. Mine was a tight muscle. The first thing you need to do is find out what is causing your pain. Once you know the source and the reason for the pain, it makes it easier to come up with a protocol to alleviate it. I’m not a medical expert, just a person who had suffered from sciatic pain for several years and am now six and a half years free from pain.
I hope this helps.
This has been extremely useful as I had suffered with mobility problems due to myelitis. This seemed to be improving according to dietary changes e.g. anti-inflammatory but then excruciating leg pain began, and I recognised sciatic nerve pain as previously suffered during pregnancy but not to this degree.
The Vit C info was raised on other web searches, but your account of how you manage this during the night in preparation for the morning has been exceedingly helpful as this pain would wake me from my sleep.
Bee, I’m glad this post helped.
I don’t know how much of my sciatica journey you’ve read here, but my sciatic condition has improved greatly. I get minor flare ups from time to time, but now when I do, I take a natural anti-inflammatory (White Willow Bark) and get back to performing the exercises as advised by my chiropractor.
I continue to take large doses of vitamin C because I find it helps on so many levels. I also take magnesium to help loosen tight muscles which is part of the cause of my sciatic condition. Keep experimenting until you find what works for you.
The natural treatments are often the best for sciatica and this includes chiropractors and acupuncture – most people will get better with a combination of one of these and some exercise/stretches.