Sciatica Self-Care (Today’s Daily Presence)

I’ve been under so much mental stress that I’ve begun to lose track of my body state. I’ve noticed on and off for the past week that the outside of my right calf feels odd. When I tried to follow in a brief stretching video today, my entire leg began to cramp uncontrollably and go numb. The overall pattern of pain and discomfort suggests to me my sciatic nerve is irritated, possibly at multiple points. So, I spent my energy on finding instructions specific to soothing this area of my body.

This website had a few stretches I’d forgotten about. I found the sitting pigeon stretch to be the most accessible, as the forward pigeon stretch was what I was doing when the leg cramping and numbness flared up. I am also going to try some heat therapy and possibly even my TENS machine if I can get it charged. My body feels locked up in a way that makes me want to crank the unit up the whole way for maximum effect! If you have sciatic pain, what have you found to be helpful? What is your favorite stretch? What types of exercises or treatments work best?

Time for Warmth (Today’s Daily Presence)

Today’s card chose me more than I chose it! I’ve been having severe neck and upper back pain, which intensifies when I lay down to the point where I am yelling in pain at slight movements. Giving that this issue seems to be persisting, I decided I needed to slow down and spend some time attempting to soothe my neck muscles.

I am someone who is overheated much more often than I am cold, so turning to warmth as a solution to discomfort isn’t my first instinct. I found, though, in using an electric heating pad on my upper back and neck muscles, that this helped the spasms to relax more than the various prescription medications I’ve been taking for the last few days. The most ridiculous part of my muscle dysfunction is that I think my drawing might be the cause of it as it is on the same side as my dominant hand and seems to get worse after an illustration session. Hopefully I can also add in some scalene stretches to mitigate any problems. What activities do you notice causing muscle tension? Which areas of your body are the most affected? Which home interventions work best to release any spasms and reduce your pain?