I was around 30 years old when I started to experience pain on my lower extremities. At first, I thought it was just a case of arthritis but some of my friends were skeptical. Thirty years old is still too young to suffer from arthritis. Besides, why is the pain limited to my buttocks down?
I tried to recall any events in my life that could have caused the pain on my lower back. When I was around 10 years old, I used to give my younger brother a ride on my back. He was only three years old but he was quite heavy. I remembered he would keep on moving up and down my back during those rides. Could this be the cause of the pain? But that was too long ago.
For a few months, the pain disappeared that I forgot about it. When summer came, my husband took us to his parents’ place for a vacation. The place was near the sea and we would take a walk every morning with our two children in tow. Then after several days of taking a walk in the morning, I felt the pain again at night. At first, it just lasted for a few minutes before it went away. As days went by, I noticed the pain lasted longer and it was more intense.
When our summer vacation ended and we went back home, the pain continued to bother me. The pain was unbearable when I sit down so I preferred to remain standing. My husband got worried and he convinced me to see a specialist. An MRI was recommended and the results shocked me. It showed that a disc was bulging in my sciatic nerve and this was the causing the pain. My condition was called sciatica.
Curious about my condition, I started reading about it. I found out that the sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and it starts from the neck going down. Once a disc bulges, it puts pressure on the nerve, causing the pain. The pain is not usually located where it is felt. A pain in the buttock, thigh, or leg actually comes from the part where the disc has bulged.
My husband’s secretary recommended a doctor for a second opinion and the findings were the same. I have sciatica and if the bulge is not treated, the pain will continue and will become unbearable. The doctor recommended surgery but when he explained the risks, I told my husband I would never go for it.
I was still hoping that I could find a solution without having to undergo surgery. It was not until around three months of sleepless nights and relying on pain relievers for a few minutes of relief that an acquaintance suggested that I try physiotherapy. Her brother suffered from sciatica, too and he was helped by this physiotherapy clinic in Werribee, which is just a 30-minute drive from our place.
I talked about this to my husband and the next day, he drove me to Wyndham Physio and Rehabilitation. We were welcomed by a receptionist who gave us the name of the doctor that we should see. I was told that they have a team of 5 doctors and one of them will handle my case.
After I told the doctor about my bouts of pain and about my previous doctor’s suggestion to have a surgery, he told me that I made the right decision not to push through with it. He ordered an MRI and said we will draw our plan to recovery once he has seen the results.
After three days, we returned for the MRI result and my doctor’s plan of action. He showed me the MRI result, which was almost the same as the previous one. Then, he told me that I will undergo physiotherapy twice a week. He then toured me and my husband around the sophisticated rehabilitation room where an array of equipment and facilities are available for the patients.
My first session was full of pain as I was made to perform routines that are supposed to press back the disc to its normal position. The pain was still unbearable at times. But I noticed some improvements although they are not remarkable enough to rejoice about.
I was in my sixth week of therapy that I realized the pain has become minimal. I can now sit and lie down without the excruciating pain that I use to feel. It was after my tenth week that I can say that the pain was almost gone. That was my 20th session and the doctor and staff of Wyndham Physio and Rehab congratulated me and my husband for the success of my therapy.
That was two years ago and today, I am free from the pain that used to turn my days and nights into agony. Last summer, we spent two weeks with my husband’s parents. We enjoyed strolling along the beach with our children in the morning without worrying about me being in pain at night.