Waking up with excruciating pain running down your hamstring or the backside of your leg with occasional pain in my heel. I was dumbfounded by what this pain could possibly be. After multiple trips to my medical doctor and eventually chiropractor; the consensus was my sciatic nerve was inflamed.
What is the Sciatic Nerve?
What is the Sciatic Nerve? I had no clue, but after much research and discussion with my doctor explained in basic terms it is the largest nerve in your body. The Sciatic Nerve runs on both sides of the lower spine and in fact plays a big role in connecting the leg and foot muscles with the spinal cord. Now initially I was in so much discomfort that I just took some anti-inflammatory medication to get some relief. I had been in pain for two weeks before my doctor had an opening for an appointment. At the doctor’s appointment my physician just instructed me to rest and use the anti-inflammatory medication and I should start to get relief. Now usually I am not compliant when it comes to taking medication because I hate taking medication. However, this was probably one of the few times I was compliant and took the medication as directed and rested as much as possible. Unfortunately, by the end of two weeks the pain returned! This time I reached out to my chiropractor and he started to educate me about why my sciatic nerve was inflamed. After his examination and his simple testing he was able to determine the real cause.
The Sacroiliac Joint or the SI-joint was also part of the problem causing me discomfort. My Chiropractor Dr. Michael Boss was able to determine that my SI joint needed to be adjusted and the reason the pain didn’t subside was due to the Piriformis muscle. The piriformis muscle is a muscle located in your butt and the closest muscle to the sciatic nerve. So in order to get the pain under control we had to strengthen the piriformis muscle. Now due to my job as a dental hygienist this muscle is overworked and is always over stretched. After having an adjustment Dr. Boss just recommended for me to take some Ibuprofen and to ice the area and rest. He also gave me some tips to help at while at work. To help relief some of this stress the piriformis muscle receives; Dr. Boss suggested that I sit with a small stack of magazines under my butt to help even out my base when I sit. A great suggestion, but didn’t really work out for me. The next best thing on our treatment plan was establishing a workout plan.
Work it out
Dr. Michael Boss is such a great doctor! He set me up with my personal trainer Brent Holmes at Elevate Life Wellness and I have never felt any better. I am proud to say my personal trainer is awesome as I workout with him three times per week for thirty minutes a session and two days on my own for thirty minutes. This is not your normal “personal training session” as each session is set to focus on the whole body instead of the certain body parts that usually happen. For example, in my past when I worked with other personal trainers, it would be “leg day”, “arm day” or “cardio day”. Allowing for a whole body workout allows me to focus on my problem areas that cause me to have discomfort and allow me to strengthen and maintain the other areas as well. Brent is great as we have together established a great gym workout plan and at home plan of action as well. I now eat clean, stretch and have very minimal sciatic pain like I had 9 months ago. In addition, I am not having to get adjusted as often as well. It feels great to have my body back!
As a practicing dental hygienist I want a long career and have put things in practice to make me have a successful career. I just want to share with you on how to decrease your chances of experiencing sciatic nerve pain. Please make sure to drink lots of water, exercise at least five times per week for thirty minutes a day. A monthly massage will do wonders! The massage frequency will also depend on how many patient’s you see and your work load as a dental hygienist. If it is a workload you may need to have a massage every two weeks instead. The most important tip is stretch!! Being a former college athlete you would think this would be easy to incorporate into my daily life, but it is tough! The trick is to set time out of your day to do it! You can stretch your hands, arms, and shins while waiting for doctor to come and check your patient for the exam. Another suggestion I have actually implemented is doing yoga for 20 minutes everyday. It has helped me distress from the day and is a pre-workout/warm-up before heading to the gym. If you are looking to get fit or simply live better and smarter; I would suggest setting up a wellness plan with Dr. Michael Boss and Brent Holmes at Elevate Life Wellness. For a quicker response message him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/brent.holmes or call him at 210-885-7048.