This Montana Girl: 10 Things I’ve Learned About Sciatic Nerve Pain
I've never been so unhappy or in so much pain in my entire life, and I've had a few gnarly injuries. Sciatic nerve pain is new to me, but it had taken over my entire recent life and I'll do anything to never have it again.
FYI: I'm still on this painful journey, so I'm certainly no expert on what to do or what is going to make YOU feel better. All I know is that this condition pretty much takes over your life and shreds it to bits. There are far more concerning health issues in life, but sciatic nerve pain will remind you every moment of every day that you've got it.
Other than the obvious physical pain that you find yourself in, these are just a few things that I've noticed about having sciatic nerve pain, worthy of giving others a heads up. If you don't take it easy on yourself, this will ruin your life for weeks - I speak from experience.
- You're going to look terrible. Moving around is extremely painful so basic stuff like taking a shower every day feels like the biggest challenge. Heck, standing up for more than a few minutes is hard...showering is now almost dangerous.
- You'll look like a tweaker sometimes. If your experience is anything like mine, there is no chair on the planet that is comfortable. That means you'll be fidgeting and adjusting in your seat a lot. Not the best look.
- No fun stuff for you. Leaving the house is a painful ordeal for anything. You may find yourself only leaving for the basics - work, pharmacy, quickie mart, whatever. Mark my words, the grocery store is a torturous endeavor. No concerts. No parties. No dinners out. Basically nothing, because it all freakin' hurts.
Adding on to the very first point, if things like getting your hair done, nails painted, etc., are important to you - you can forget about that stuff for at least several weeks. It just hurts too much to sit in a salon chair. So not only will you feel lazy and ugly laying on the couch, but your nails will look terrible and your roots will need a touch up.
- You're not going to get any quality sleep. Hell, you'll be lucky if your back and leg can tolerate your own bed. Hopefully you've got a decent couch, with enough room so your partner can still sit down. (Thank God we've got a good, L-shaped couch. Relationship saver the last several weeks.) When you need a nap, take one. I guarantee you're not getting 'real' rest at night.
- You will find yourself crying and yelping pain. Sciatic verve pain is no joke. It hurts a LOT. Especially in the first couple of weeks, or the days after a physical therapy session, movements will hurt so much they'll drive you to tears. Random yelps from sudden shots of pain will be common. It's not dramatic...you can't help it.
- Drugs don't help much at all. At least they did not help much for ME. With that said, if you find yourself in the same situation, don't force it. Doctors don't have a magic pill for sciatic nerve pain. Whatever they give you, is probably they best you're going to get.
You'll be walking like an old lady/old man. For a while there, I could walk fully upright but ironically, PT and trying to keep myself moving 'just enough' has brought back the need to walk hunched over. Very flattering.
Hang in there. This is a depressing injury. It hurts a LOT and it lasts a LONG time. Be good to yourself and try your best to keep your spirits up. You're going to be bored. You're going to be restless. Be patient. I'm no expert, but I DO know that trying to do too much too fast is a recipe for disaster.