I’ve self-diagnosed myself with sciatica. Ok, ok, I know what you’re going to say, “You need to see a doctor!” But doctors are expensive (I spend more on healthcare now that I have health insurance than I did before… someone please explain that), and I”m poor. I DO have a chiropractor appointment on Monday, so don’t give me too hard of a time. Basically, I just want the chiropractor to tell me that I need massages. I’m pretty sure the sciatica issues are stemming from the GIANT knots that have invaded my back muscles. Rolling around on a tennis ball is fine, but I need a massage, and if my chiropractor recommends it, I only have to pay the co-pay.
Ok, so Sciatica. Here’s what I’ve learned.
Symptoms: The symptoms can be anything from a sharp pain to a numbing sensation. I’ve had all of those kinds of pain, and they go from from my lower back to my foot on the left side. It started as a tight hamstring, moved to a sore hamstring and now I have a sore hip and a numb foot. Since Sciatica tends to localize on one side, that’s how I came to the conclusion that it was the problem.
Causes: Sciatica indicates another problem, which is causing the sciatic nerve to be pinched. I’m guessing (and this is where I’ll get a professional opinion, I promise) that it’s due to the discomfort and knots I have in my lower back. I’ve always gotten knots in my back muscles pretty easily, but for the past few weeks they have been out of control. I’ve been doing everything to get rid of them, but it’s not working. I’m guessing that sitting on my butt at my desk job 8 hours a day is finally catching up with me.
In the meantime, here is what I’m doing to control my symptoms:
Yoga, obviously. Stretching really seems to help! After doing three yoga sessions last week, my pain was gone for a few days. However, I haven’t done any yoga since Sunday, and I’ve ran about 11 miles so I’m feeling the pain again. Last night I did a Google search for a good yoga routine to help with Sciatica and I found this:
I did this routine last night, and then again before and after my run this morning. It’s just seven poses, and while last night I combined a flow into them, this morning I just held the poses for about 30 seconds each. I plan to try to hit a yoga class tonight, tomorrow morning and Saturday morning as well.
I also need to get back into making sure I get up from my desk every so often. I was doing very well for a while with that, but I’ve fallen out of the habit. So I will start standing when I answer my phone and getting up every 30 minutes to stretch/walk around.
Finally, I will work on strengthening my abdomen/lower back muscles. I’m really bad about neglecting those muscle groups when I do my workouts. I basically hate traditional ab workouts!
So, this morning, I started out my workout with a 30 minute treadmill run. I’ve been getting bored on the treadmill recently, so this morning I pulled out the big guns: Alias on Netflix!
Jennifer Garner’s body in that show is a huge motivator! I also switched up my speed a lot. I set the incline at 1.0, and then I alternated between a sprint for 45 seconds, a slow jog for 15 seconds and a walk for 15 seconds. I did that for about 2 miles and then walked at incline 10.0 for 2 minutes and ended with a 1 minute sprint followed by a 1 minute incline walk for the final mile. I finished 3 miles in 30 minutes and then I headed down to the weight room. I did my own abs/lower back routine which included lower back extensions with an 8 lb medicine ball, weighted side crunches, side leg lifts with a three pound medicine ball and then I finished with a 1 minute plank hold.
Question of the Day:
Do you watch Netflix on the treadmill? What’s your favorite thing to watch?
My favorite thing to watch on the treadmill is any show with a kick-ass female lead, like Alias or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.