I’ve been pretty philosophical about pain for most of my life. Psychological pain, physical pain…it’s a part of the human experience. No one likes it, but my view is to soldier on. That said, everyone reaches a tolerance.
I was near mine at the weekend. Since I last wrote about this, my (pseudo) sciatica went from painful nuisance to debilitating super pain. Friday was very bad at times. The numbness and pain ran all the way down to my big toe; I couldn’t put on my own socks in the morning or tie my own shoes. The only way I could get relief at times was by hanging my lower body by propping myself over a table. Saturday morning was the nadir. I couldn’t sleep for most of Friday night; in the morning, I couldn’t stand. I had to crawl to the banister and pull myself up. In certain positions, the pain was at an 8 or 9.
To give some idea how much I was hurting, I asked for Divine intervention, which I rarely do. I think asking Him for direct help is a weakness most of the time. Usually, I just pray for forgiveness and thanks for all of the good things in my life. Did prayer help? I think so. I had been doing some research online for information on how to rehab (pseudo) sciatic pain. I’d found some stretches, but they hadn’t helped. As an aside, the disutility of the stretches made me thing that maybe I did have true sciatica. Some information on applying heat seemed useful but only provided very temporary relief. Then I found this:
It’s not the most polished video, but this chap eventually got down to the nitty gritty. He said that one needed a therapy ball (in this case lacrosse) to isolate the knotted gluteal muscles. You essentially lie on the ball over the knot, take the pain, settle in and let the ball do the work. I spent about thirty minutes doing this and felt three serious muscle spasms in my gluteal muscles. Were my knots releasing?
Saturday night was more of the same, sadly. A lot of pain down my left leg. My better half suggested getting a hot water bottle which she did. That helped tremendously, and I was able to sleep. On Sunday morning I was able to get out of bed with minimal pain. I spent much of Sunday applying heat, stretching and using my therapy ball as explained in the Youtube video. By the afternoon, I was able to do some light gardening and clean my chicken run. The sciatic pain was almost totally gone. Monday was more of the same. I was near full mobility for most things and only felt some isolated pain in my gluteal muscles in a couple of bent positions. I even got back in the gym for an upper body workout and some elliptical work. The difference between Saturday morning and Monday afternoon was enormous. I’m writing on Tuesday morning, and I’m a little better than yesterday morning. I’ve got an appointment with an osteopath today, but it’s now more for advice on future prevention than for anything else. I’ve still got a little bit of pain in the morning when bending in certain positions, but it’s now very bearable.
As I said, I don’t like asking Jesus for help. In this case, I really do think he got involved for me one way or the other. If that makes me sound old fashioned, so be it. He got involved. On a more secular note, we live in amazing times when it comes to the amount of information that is at our fingertips. What could I have done ten or especially twenty years ago? Go to the doctor or a physio, yes. But would he have given me the advice I needed? Maybe, but probably not. He certainly wouldn’t have been able to give me the amount of advice I can find on the web. That’s one of the great things about the internet. It allows us to take control of our own health.