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So a little more than 2 weeks ago I had the wonderful experience of sudden onset back pain, hip pain and a little sciatica. When it happened I thought I had broken a bone in my hip with only the trauma of sitting in my car for 10 minutes to drive home after a run through Forest Park. This experience has been so good for me as a physical therapist to remind me what pain feels like, the emotions that surface when we are in pain, the fear that things will not get better and the diligence it takes to help heal ourselves.

What happened was a series of events that lead to my sudden onset sciatica. It was a combinations of lots of sitting at work, in a movie, at a restaurant, going for a run and then sitting in the car on the way home. The hip and back pain was intense getting out of the car. I seriously thought I had a stress fracture, I could barely walk, I could barely put weight on my foot and standing caused excruciating pain in my back, my butt and down the side of my leg. Over the next few days things improved steadily with occasional flare ups along the way and 2 weeks later my back pain and sciatica are 90% improved.

After a thorough evaluation I had was easily classified as a disc bulge, protrusion or irritation pressing on the L4 nerve root. The treatment was simple enough. 1) lots of McKenzie press ups. 200 repetitions a day in sets of 20 (no kidding, 200 a day). 2) sit with amazing posture at all times and 3) no forward bending.

It was amazingly tough. I could do 3 sets of 20 McKenzie press ups, lay on my stomach propped on my elbows for 20 minutes and feel great. Then I’d go throw something in the trash and bend forward and all the symptoms return that easy. It took a lot of persistence and consistency but things are sure improved. Not that all the symptoms are gone, but much better. My body demands that I continue to sit with gre