Your pain flare up is useful information for recovery.
Why this matters:
When we experience a sciatica pain flare up, it’s easy to lose hope and get frustrated. Your feelings are entirely justified. You’ve been in pain, and started to feel better, only to experience the pain again. But what if I told you that these flare ups serve as really great pieces of information that can help you manage your pain even better? When approached correctly, managing a flare up can reduce pain, but also ensure that there is more time before a flare up happens again.
1) Take a deep breath. Breathe through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds, and then hold for 4 seconds. Do this for a couple rounds. The intensity of that pain should start to calm down.
2) Go back to your symptom management exercises. These are the ones that were specifically designed to reduce your pain. I would recommend holding off on the strengthening exercises for now. If your pain reduces, keep up with your exercises. If the pain increases, then seek out help from your provider (or text me if you’re on the Patient Advocate Program)
3) Once your symptoms calm down, reflect on the previous 24 hours. What did you do differently? Were there any triggers that may have caused your pain to increase?
4) Update your plan of action.
Be sure to move in that order. The breath will calm the nerves down and clear your head. The stretches will help relieve some of your pain. The 3rd and 4th step will help you identify what you need to do to maximize your recovery. Also, be sure to notify your doctor, physical therapist, or chiropractor. They should change the plan for you.
If you need more support in your recovery, check out the patient advocate program. This is designed to help accelerate your pain relief in as little as 15 minutes a day, with support from our team. You don’t have to go through this alone, and you shouldn’t have to wait until your next appointment to update your provider. You can book your free call here.