Sciatica, Leg Pain / Extremity Pain
Pain is the body’s warning system, just like the oil pressure warning light in your car. We don’t want to merely “cover up the light and keep on driving” with medication (so to speak) without knowing the cause and exploring solutions to that cause—many of which relate to lifestyle choices.
Make no mistake—we are a nation in pain with billions spent each month on over-the-counter pain relievers in an attempt to mask our discomfort—while the underlying problem continues. Medication of pain does not equal resolution of the cause.
Limb pain can be very debilitating and is more common with each birthday. Patterns of activity, injury history, ergonomics, and anatomy are all important factors in how we develop the pain. These factors can provide important diagnostic clues. Most often, with steady attention and a change in how we sit, stand, and use our muscles we can reduce or eliminate the pain and disability that comes with it. It is important to realize that many cases of limb pain or sciatica are not due to herniated discs.
Issues to Consider
- Be sure of the diagnosis – what is the exact source of the pain?
- Review medications and supplements – often less medicine can work better.
- Review possible side effects of the medications.
- Review your ergonomics of sitting, standing, working.
- Treat the pain – to increase exercise and core stability.
- Attend to the basics: food, exercise, stress, quality sleep.
- Are there restrictions or hyper-mobile areas contributing to your pain?
Common Questions NIMC Can Address
- How much pain medication should I be taking?
- Is the medicine I am on safe? Are there any natural alternatives?
- What kind of exercise should I do or avoid?
- Keep a food log – often diet has a great deal to do with your energy level and symptoms.
- Write down: what you eat, what time you eat and how much you eat. Discuss it with your practitioners.
- Find your appropriate level of activity and try to get that amount each day.
- Ask your sleep partner if you snore, gasp for breath, and/or move your legs a lot at night.
TESTIMONIAL ~ “You changed my pain level from really high to just about zero. I was impressed; you made my life so much easier. I am able to use my hand and arm.”