Details about my surgery and what to look out for if you have nerve pain!

Next Tuesday I’m having surgery to remove a synovial cyst from the lumbar spine. This has literally been a pain in the bum! As well as causing numbness in my foot and knife-like pain in my groin – fun times! So why am I telling you all this fun stuff? Well, I thought it would be a great excuse to cover the various types of pain we encounter with our clients and at what stage you should see your doctor and possibly go and have a scan to find out more.

We’ll discuss sciatic nerve pain today, as it is the type of nerve pain we see the most of.

Using myself as an example, my problems started as general lower back pain but specifically in the lower right side above the sacrum (it can affect either side). As a nerve gets more irritated the pain can be felt further away from the original site. For me, it started traveling into the glute (buttock muscles) and then into the hamstring. It is usually when it travels into the glutes that people come in for treatment the first time. I was certainly no exception.

Sciatic nerve pain responds well to chiropractic adjustments and massage.  We see many people with this symptom and it is common in pregnancy. There can be a variety of causes and usually responds quickly and favourably to treatment.

I started having massages with Yuki and Mariko and continued my Chiro care with Elijah.

Unfortunately for me, the pain and symptoms progressed, and I started getting a tingling sensation in my big toe and then a numbness on the top of my foot. This is when I knew I had something more serious happening. When the nerve gets more irritated or pressure on it, pain turns into tingling or numbness and travels yet further away from where the origin of the problem.

This is the time to seek medical advice and where it’s also important to let your therapist or practitioner know what is going on, regardless whether that’s your acupuncturist, massage therapist, chiro, physio or osteo. So many people don’t and far more men than woman are guilty of this!!

Elijah and I discussed what was going on and decided on a treatment plan. After a couple of weeks, I was then off to see my doctor and for an MRI. Thankfully the cause of my symptoms was easily picked up and as a result I have surgery booked next week. There is no treatment that will magically get rid of this type of cyst, so no amount of massage, acupuncture or chiro was going to fix this problem. But thankfully I work with an amazing team and was able to get treatment that helped in the meantime, a timeline for this and a plan if that treatment failed.

From going through this experience, it has reminded me of the importance of listening to your body, being open with treatment providers and doing something in a timely manner. The longer an injury is ignored (and some of us are pretty good at saying ‘it’s nothing’), the more damage that can be done.

It is also important to note that not all nerve pains need surgery! Far from it. There are effective treatments that can help. We see it almost daily. Then for some people, unfortunately nerve pain is permanent and it becomes about managing those symptoms the best we can. But if your body is telling you something new has happened, it doesn’t feel normal, then it is advisable to talk to your practitioner about it.

I’ll be working as normal until Monday, the Op is on Tuesday, then fingers crossed I will be back the following week! I have been told to pace myself and will need to follow some of my own rehab advice. (Ed – Last line added by Catherine 🙂 )

For all of you more medically interested people here is a link to my surgeon’s web page with an example of what he is going to chop out of my back! WARNING if you’re squeamish as it shows surgery. 

As always you can follow the link below 24/7 to book in treatments at Feel Amazing – just don’t get them mixed up 😉

Cheers, Anthony