Sciatica – A Physical or Emotional Pain?

picture of woman with sciatica

Sciatica – A Physical or Emotional Pain?

For those who know me, you will gather I have been suffering from acute Sciatica over the last couple of weeks. I’ve been pretty laid up and unable to move around much! It’s made me feel vulnerable as well as in severe pain. The feeling that I am reaching an age where I am more exposed to health problems and not quite so invincible!

In reality, the age group most susceptible to sciatica is between 40-50 and can actually happen to anyone at any time.

What is Sciatica

I’d heard of sciatica before and never really taken much notice or realised the pain it can cause. There are different levels of sciatica but basically, it is a pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically it affects only one side of your body.

Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine, or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain, and often some numbness in the affected leg.

picture of sciatica

Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched, and it is a condition that may recur. The pain can vary from a mild ache to a sharp burning sensation or excruciating pain. Some people also have numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness in the affected leg/foot.

My Symptoms

I think it first started about 5 weeks ago when I felt my leg go. (One of those moments you are with a partner and the bedroom antics are overzealous!). I was getting pain in my leg when walking. Although I tried to keep active and follow some exercises that had been recommended to me it wasn’t shifting. However, I didn’t do much about it and carried on with life (and ‘activities’) even though slightly painful.

That was until two weeks ago when I woke up in real agony. It then escalated to such severe pain my daughter called 111 for me. I literally couldn’t move. I couldn’t sit, stand, or lie down other than in one position on my side. The pain was excruciating (I can usually cope ok with some pain but this was off the roof!). However, the medics told me to dose up on Nurofen and paracetamol every two hours and then speak to my doctor the next day. If I had lost any bowel movements or sensation in my bum it is treated more seriously as it can need surgical intervention.

Recovery Treatment

I somehow got through til the next day and spoke to my GP who prescribed Naproxen and carry on with the Paracetemol. Fortunately, I had already made an appointment at the local student Chiropractic Clinic to treat my leg but now it was more severe. I had a complete rear numb leg from top to toes and constant shooting pains. My leg was unable to bend properly & I had to walk with a stick.

The Naproxen has helped relieve some pain and I have now had three sessions at the Chiropractics. The treatment they give you is massage, gentle exercises, and manipulation of all the muscles & nerves in your leg and then up your spine. The idea is that they draw up the pain from the bottom of your foot, through your leg and into the base of your spine. It can take numerous sessions, lasting 6/8 weeks, and rehabilitation.

I’m starting to feel the difference and the pain is about up to my thigh now with the intense numbness in my leg subsiding. I am feeling more pain in my lower back which is apparently normal because then they can treat that area. It will be gradual increased exercise, learning new postures of sitting, and standing to strengthen that area again.

Emotional Theory of Sciatica

I’ve read a few medical diagnoses on sciatica, and also spiritual meanings. Louise Hay describes sciatica as “being hypocritical”, not being straight with yourself. And also relates to “fear of money” and the “future”. Well, I can’t deny these could be aspects that surround me!

The metaphor of sciatica is being frozen with fear around manifestation. Struggles with time and money and fear around survival are significant contributors. A person is usually overburdened and feels like they’re carrying the weight of the world on their back. They have nobody to help them carry the load or support them. There is deep-seated resentment, survival anxiety, loss of direction, and avoidance to do what they know they need to do. A person is hypercritical, overburdened, overwhelmed, overextended, and overly independent. They don’t ask for help or want help but get disgusted when no one helps them. Like a dog chasing its tail, visualize it going in circles and not sure which way to go.’ Well, that is powerful stuff and maybe shamefully my thoughts are many of these?!!

Emotional healing is suggested to deal with resentment, frustration, anger, disappointment, and loneliness. It may indicate doubt or fear about where you are going and your ability to cope with what lies ahead. It also suggests that you are not responsible for everyone you care about. ‘If your life is overwhelmed by responsibility, then it’s time to stop doing everything and let someone else share the load. Some have said that it’s almost like the bottom has to drop out of your world before you can grasp the significance of this stuff. Listen to your sciatic nerve, what is it trying to tell you? If old wounds surface, it means that the situation you are in now is draining your energy, and will continue to drain your energy until you acknowledge the emotional triggers.’

Way Forward

I can’t deny these are relevant issues that need to be addressed. We sometimes put our heads in the sand and ignore problems or not fully face them. I shall continue with my chiropractic treatments and also explore some Reiki Treatment that my friend has suggested. To heal some of my emotional triggers may complete my recovery and prevent future flare-ups. I’m also increasing my wellbeing by taking a vitamin boost for my immune system as I think they are all related. It is a tough time for everyone at the moment with the Covid Virus and its restraints. What I will definitely realise is if anyone is also suffering from this condition, is not to take it lightly. It is genuinely extremely painful!

As far as ‘activities’ – they are no longer an issue as my on-off relationship with ‘Mr. Bubbly’ (aptly named after he always seemed to have a bottle of prosecco to hand from an initial picnic after lockdown to weekend adventures! I think he was more messed in the head than me and that is saying something! ). However onwards and upwards and addressing situations is or has to be a priority for a full recovery!

Sciatica – A Physical or Emotional Pain? – a combination of both I believe!

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