New Road BikeThere are many pleasurable things about riding a bike and many benefits too. I have just discovered a new one – Sciatica!

I have been suffering with Sciatica for the best part of three months. Now I’m not one to complain about aches and pains, I usually suffer in silence and if anyone asks I say I’m fine.

I was never molly-coddled growing up; all the childhood minor ailments, knocks and bruises were greeted with “You’re full of aches and pains nobody ever died of.” Only if I was really ill or injured was there any sympathy. Minor problems were treated at home, we only had the doctor if it was something more serious. My mother hardly ever took to her bed, if she did we knew she really was unwell. I don’t easily take to my bed either. As a mother you haven’t time to be ill. Who would get the children up, washed, dressed, breakfasted and off to school if you don’t? Who would do the shopping, washing, ironing, housework, cooking if you don’t?  Sitting at the doctor’s surgery waiting to be seen is such a waste of time that could be spent more profitably doing something else. All this means I have little sympathy for those who wallow in self-pity and take to their beds at the first sign of a sniffle declaring dramatically that they have The Flue or dash to the doctors with every big toe ache. If you have a real problem I’ll be there for you but don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.

I’m loath to admit that I have Sciatica, as far as I am concerned it is a just nuisance. Anyway only old people get Sciatica don’t they? and, just as I refuse to be ill, I refuse to be old – I’m not going to be old until I’m really old, whenever that may be. I will not give in to it. I will not limp. I walk as tall and briskly as usual as I go about my business doing my best to ignore the constant ache. Sometimes it is worse than others: sometimes I’m just aware of it in the background, but at other times it is a more persistent and painful ache across the small of my back, down my left hip, buttock and thigh, with pins-and-needles in my lower leg and foot. Then I can’t get comfortable sitting, standing, walking around, even lying in bed. Though it is often okay first thing in the morning it soon kicks in again and it is finally wearing me down. I don’t do pain-killers, they only mask the pain not cure it and I want to know if it is there or not. I want it to go away, permanently.

Two things give some relief. One is having a shower, ironic since it was getting into the shower that I had the first twinge of pain in my sciatic nerve. I allow the warm water to play over the effected areas for a couple of minutes and find that I then get a few hours relief before it kicks in again.

The other thing that helps (you knew I would get round to it eventually) is riding my bike! Whilst I am cycling along there is no pain, no ache, no nothing – all is well, and what’s more the effect lasts for several hours after I get off the bike. But eventually the nagging ache kicks in once more.

Sitting in front of the computer doesn’t help. Maybe I should turn it off now and go for a bike ride. Oh dear, no chance of that; it’s my writer’s group meeting tonight and I have yet to do any writing for it, so it looks like being another day in front of the computer.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

    Dec 12, 2016 @ 12:30:45

    I know the pain of Sciatica. The first time it hit I was about four months pregnant with my youngest child. Having two other boys already ages four and six didn’t help me at all. They did ask me why I was crawling up the stairs though. I could not even take a Tylenol to relieve the pain. I did tell my doctor and was advised the pressure from the baby was probably the cause but life goes on, to add to the problem I also had a full time job so I just had to bear the pain. However I had an old doctor friend who told me something that helped. I was to lay on my left side (that was the side affected) at night, put a pillow under my tummy area and slowly move my left leg toward my chest area and at some point the pain would subside, stop moving your leg at that point and that should help. I tried it and it worked. After my daughter was born the pain persisted for about three months and then finally went away. I thought I was finished with Sciatica but I was wrong, it has returned many times but when it does I continue with the same routine even though I am seventy three and that baby is now thirty eight it still works but I do take two Tylenol as well. If I could handle aspirin I would take that instead because Sciatica I was told is an inflammation of the nerve but aspirin affects my ulcer so I use Tylenol. Over the years the attacks have become less and less and I am hoping I am now Sciatica free. :o)


    • Libby
      Dec 12, 2016 @ 15:21:11

      Thanks for the tip Salpa. Yes I have found raising my leg towards my chest eases it in bed, but I haven’t tried it with a pillow though. I have also tried various stretches which help a bit. I guess I’ll just have to keep trying and hope that at some point it goes away!


  2. julespaige
    Dec 12, 2016 @ 14:30:39

    I’ve agree about keeping fit and young at heart. Sometime the body doesn’t agree.
    Keep cycling and it looks like Salpa has some good advice too.
    While I have not had the experience with acupuncture – could that help, since it is not a drug?

    I used to have an odd chair that was more like a triangle that made me sit straight.
    And some folks stand while typing (they’ve got that fancy desk that can be low or raised high. But I think you are on the right track with your biking.

    I’ve been walking. This month only averaging about 2 instead of 5 miles a day. I’ll wait for the better weather to get out my bike though…


    • Libby
      Dec 12, 2016 @ 15:12:30

      🙂 Accupuncture is something I hadn’t though of. Might be worth a try but will have to wait until after Christmas though as I am a bit busy right now!


  3. Pia
    Dec 27, 2016 @ 13:11:17

    Adding to the stretches you might want to try strengthening exercises too for the lower back. Just 5 minutes a day. Tingling in the foot makes me wonder if you could have a slipped disc though, in which case there are things you shouldn’t do until it’s healed (and that takes about 2 years with proper exercises etc). Mine seems to be nearly there thank goodness, so it CAN improve.


    • Libby
      Dec 28, 2016 @ 16:38:38

      Thanks for the tip Pia. If it doesn’t improve soon I shall get it checked out. As I said, some days it is worse than others – not too bad today, but I have been working in the garden so may be not so good tomorrow!


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