Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Squat Challenge That Wasn't: Fixing My Irritated Sciatic Nerve

Remember a few weeks back, when I said I was going to do the Squat Challenge during May? Well, I didn't succeed.

Womp Womp.

I got about two weeks into it, when my back started really hurting. Like so painful I almost couldn't walk, and I had issues standing. I had to go into my chiropractor's office on a Friday afternoon, after my usual Chiro had left for the weekend, and had to see one of the others. He's not a bad Chiro, just not the one I've been seeing off and on for ten years.

While I was waiting for my turn, there was a slide show on the monitors talking about the Sciatic Nerve.

According to my old friend, Wikipedia,

The sciatic nerve is formed from the L4 to S3 segments of the sacral plexus, a collection of nerve fibres that emerge from the sacral part of the spinal cord. The fibres unite to form a single nerve in front of the piriformis muscle. The nerve passes beneath piriformis and through the greater sciatic foramen, exiting the pelvis.[2]:422-4 From here, it travels down the posterior thigh to the popliteal fossa. The nerve travels in the posterior compartment of the thigh behind the adductor magnus muscle, and is itself in front of the one head of the biceps femoris muscle. At some point between the pelvis and popliteal fossa, the nerve divides into its two branches: 

Based on the slides at the Chiro's office, it sounded like I irritated it, because the symptoms it listed sounded exactly like what I was experiencing. I'm not one of those people (anymore) who goes to WebMD for every little ache and pain I seem to find. My mother is a Telephone Triage Nurse, so I usually just ask her. She's almost always right. I love it. It's like I've got medical assistance on retainer. 

Anyway, I talked to Dr. Jamie about my symptoms, and pointed to the slideshow, saying that I thought that's what I was experiencing. He said based on the symptoms I'd put on my chart when I signed in, he would agree. He adjusted me, and while I didn't feel better right away, when I got home, I was feeling much looser. 

After the day of gardening I did the next day, though, it was all starting to flare up again. I knew I couldn't afford to keep going to the Chiro for extra appointments. I mean, it helps that I rarely see a regular doctor (with a nurse mother in the same house, and a Chiro for keeping well, I just don't see the need), but I'm sure the good Chiros would love to get paid.

After a quick Pinterest search, I found this article, and it's amazing what four minutes of stretching just ONCE did for my back. The next day, I felt so much better! I've kept it up every night since, and might give the Squat Challenge another chance one the pain stops for good. I still get a twinge here and there, but it's definitely gone away. 

I guess this is a long-winded way of saying that you should always listen to your body. If you continue to do something that causes discomfort, make it stop. I had to switch to another form of working out while my back got better, but I think I'll be able to do Squats again, soon. 
  • When have you self-diagnosed and been correct?
  • How do you keep yourself in good health?
  • Do you see a Chiropractor?

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