I am ecstatic to inform you that my sciatica has finally let up a little and given me a breather from the intense pain I was in almost all last week. I will also inform you of what has helped me find some relief.
The very first thing that helped, I did out of absolute desperation. One of my coworkers suggested a castor oil pack. She has been preaching to me for three years now how amazing castor oil packs are for pain and inflammation but up until now I haven’t had a reason to try it. It sounded messy and I didn’t own any of the supply’s so I was hesitant but again, this was a last-ditch effort to feel better.
I sucked it up and bought a bottle of castor oil, a little folded square of fleece/wool fabric and some saran wrap. I got home and filled a little bowl with castor oil and stuck my fabric into it. Surprisingly it didn’t absorb very easily. It took some effort to get the fabric to become fully saturated with oil. I then heated the bowl with the soaked fabric still in it in the microwave. I stripped down and had my poor husband help wrap it onto me.
Bless his heart, he is so patient with everything I make him do. He never complains about helping me, he generally looks somewhat confused by whatever it is that I am requesting help with but he complies to the best of his ability.
As I stood naked in the shower (just for easy clean up and so oil wasn’t all over our floor) holding the soaked cloth to my left SI joint, he wrapped me in clear saran. It was such a messy process! The SI joints are very inconveniently located for this; the oil was running down my butt crack and down the back of my leg.
The instructions from my coworker were to sleep with the pack on and take it off in the morning. I had to lay down a towel under me on the bed to protect my sheets and I only lasted about 3 hours before waking up and cutting it off. I saved the cloth for next time in a glass container in the refrigerator (I was relieved to find out they are reusable!). I wiped off my body and limped back to bed, grouchy that I was still in so much pain.
In the morning when I woke up and started walking about, I wasn’t limping or feeling any pain! I was walking completely normally! By 10 am the pain had returned but whether it was coincidental or was the magic of the castor oil pack, I was a happy gal. I do have to admit that is the only time I have used it. It was just so messy and I couldn’t sleep very well with it on. I will however pull it back out if the pain escalates again.
The other big thing that I contribute my pain management to is half pigeon stretch. This is a yoga pose that is a very deep hip opener and stretches the piriformis muscle. I use to do this pose all the time in my daily asana practice but it somehow has slipped away from me recently. I came across this pose as being beneficial for managing sciatica while doing a Google search for things that might help. I was skeptical but I have been diligently doing both hips every day and I have been almost completely pain free for about five days now.
The last thing that I am doing to ward off the sciatica is to wear my belly band whenever I’m on my feet for an extended period. This was a suggestion from my OB’s office that might help. It makes sense that my sciatic pain is coming from my relaxed, unstable joints and over the course of the day, my babies sink lower into my pelvis causing outward pressure. The belly band helps keep their weight lifted and supported. I use it when I go on my morning walk and when I am working which is only two, eight hour days a week, but it is on my feet the whole time.
I somehow missed taking an official front and side photo of my 19 week bump so the best I can do for you is this bathroom selfie!