Creating Waves of Awareness
Sciatica and Rhus Tox
by Edward Meiggs BHSc
A new client came to me with complaints of sciatica. He was a 34-year-old truck driver who had been driving for 8 years. His wife suggested trying acupressure treatment, after having had some recent relief from neck pain herself. He reported this pain in the low right lumbar and sacrum, with radiation of pain down the leg while working for long periods. He stated this pain worsened since his new route was several hours longer out of town. This man walked in holding his back and demonstrated painful range of motions. There wasn’t previous history of back injury, but the driver was overweight in the abdomen by about fifteen pounds. His allopathic doctor, who had seen him the prior week, prescribed a common muscle relaxer and 800mg Ibuprofen. He reported that he was unable to take the muscle relaxer while working and although the Ibuprofen worked initially, no lasting affect was received.
When questioned about other problems he reported that his wife was unhappy with his longer route, as he was away from home more frequently. Relief of pain was found only when he ended his workday and was able to walk. In addition to stretching his legs, the application of warmth gave relief. Sciatica or sciatic neuritis is most often caused by compression of nerves, rediculopathy, disk herniation, piriformis entrapment, and misalignment of the vertebrae or pelvic plane. The common allopathic treatments for this are NSAIDs, analgesics and muscle relaxers. In the cases where disk herniation is involved, surgery is often necessary. At times spinal manipulation from a chiropractor gives some short-term relief. Acupressure was applied to GB48, GB30 and various other points. Reflexology was administered, as was Active Release Technique. dissipating massage to low back, buttocks, with particular deep application in the piriformis areas bilaterally was administered as well. As his homeosigns indicated Rhus Tox, he was given 6x 2 globules prior to driving, and to repeat one hour before finishing work for the day.
Appropriate stretching techniques were demonstrated with instructions to perform these every morning and evening. He was to return in two weeks for evaluation. This gentleman called me the following week to report that he no longer had to take the muscle relaxer at night, nor had he the need for Ibuprofen. He said that the first few days after treatment were completely pain free. He felt that when the pain did start to return, the stretching gave him enough relief to relax and sleep. He also reported that the “homeopathic stuff” I gave him seemed to allow him more drive time before the pain (“soreness”), and that he no longer walked with a limp or felt the need to hold his back. Note: he used the term soreness rather then pain at this point.
When he return at two weeks, the truck driver reported a 75% improvement in his pain and range of motion. He did not limp, hold his back and stood erect. Palpation of lumbar and buttocks revealed an increased relaxed state, when compared with his first visit.
His wife, who had returned with him, expressed great relief in his ability to relax at night, as the pain and related agitation had impaired their romantic life. They found that he was able to go on evening walks again, a much missed past time for the couple. There was even talk of finding employment of a local nature, as this would reduce the pressure on the affected region. Manual therapies were again applied, but the Rhus Tox was no longer required. Happy with the treatment and improvement, he said he would call back in two weeks to give me an update.
For one month I did not hear from him, but his wife did come in for a reflexology treatment. She said that he had no further complaints of pain and was starting a new job for a local dump truck company.
August 6, 2012 Edward Meiggs BHSc Homeopath & Manual Therapist