BPS #061 Is A Hot Bath Good For Sciatica

Welcome back, guys. So today’s topic is, is it good to have a hot bath when you have sciatica? But before we get into all of that, I’m going to talk about something else. Just a short story that’s all going to be related to your sciatica and back pain. So listen up, okay?

As you guys might know by now, I’m on vacation. I’ve been doing these podcasts over the past three weeks. It’s a long vacation. It’s the longest vacation I’ve actually had for 15 years. I had three weeks off. I’m loving it. I’m doing these. I’m working a bit you know, just checking the emails and also doing these podcasts that I really enjoy. That actually relaxes me. It’s like my own therapy. So it’s great.

Anyway, so over the past six months, I’ve been doing this online stuff heavily, doing the marketing for it and that’s brand-new for me. I’ve worked as a backpain specialist for 20 years. I have some knowledge. I wrote a book and I want to get that out to the world, right?

So I’m behind the computer. I’m working quite a lot, like 70 hours a week, trying to get my message out and because of that, I haven’t exercised as much as I used to.

I put on a few pounds. I put on like two and a half, three kilos maybe, and I even feel a bit of lower back pain because I’m sitting more than I used to and I’m feeling it.

So over the vacation here, I decided you know, to live a bit healthier, even start to run a bit. I’m a big walker. If you follow me on Instagram and all of the posts, it’s all about walking. I haven’t done like serious running for the past ten years, okay?

So I’m coming to the vacation here with my mom and we’re visiting all my relatives and my brother and his wife and his kids and other relatives. And first off, I had like this big thing that I going to eat really healthy, which is the first step.

To reduce a bit of weight, you need to eat healthy. So I’m drinking my water and I’m also eating healthy, mostly salads, beans, and reducing the bread and all that.

But then again, I’m on vacation. I have my two kids here, my wife and everything and each night, every one of the family members are doing their own thing for dinner. So we had pizza and we had all the good stuff.

So that worked out for like two and a half, three days. I was doing this super healthy thing. Then I said “You know, it is vacation. I need also to relax a bit.” So I’m eating more or less what they’re eating as well, just because it’s vacation stuff.

So I’m putting on a bit of weight from just doing that. I’m eating more bread and a bit more crap, but at least, I’m going to do the running, okay, the running stuff. So I started to run and I really hate running for some reason.

I was playing ice hockey. I played soccer so I’ve done quite a bit of running before, but for some reason, I’ve never been a runner. So I was out running here. I was out running with my beautiful wife, Linda. We had a few laps here or a few runs together, and when we were running out, we ran past the lake and she was like just talking about the scenery and all this stuff.

I got kind of annoyed at first. When I run, I want it to be quiet and I’m looking down to the road quite a bit. I don’t understand why I do this, but when she was explaining what she was seeing, I actually looked up and looked around.

There are woods. There are birds. There are all kinds of stuff to look at you know. It was beautiful. Beautiful. So I had one of these kind of epiphanies when I was out running that I need to like start to look up, look up from the road and just look around, look at the scenery, look at all the beautiful stuff that’s going on.

That’s also going to make it more pleasurable. So the runs I had with my wife here during the vacation has been really an eye-opener for me. I’m looking up. I’m taking in the scenery so I’m definitely getting it more into the running stuff again, even though I’m not a good runner. I’m just like out, like moving my legs, but it’s good. So that’s my suggestion to you. You could can apply this like looking up and look at what’s around you that’s beautiful, in all aspects in your life.

Even at work everyone’s coming back to work now after vacation, but a lot of people that go back to work, they don’t like their work. But you should really look up. Maybe you should look up and try to appreciate the people that you’re working with. Maybe the people that you’re working with aren’t like your favorite people in the world all the time, but a lot of them are quite nice. You need to do that and open up your horizons a bit.

It could be other aspects, doing exercise for example. If you have back pain, the struggle that you’re going through now, when you have the back pain, you have a problem sleeping, you have problems like just getting around doing your ordinary stuff during the day, and of course, you shouldn’t like love to have back pain.

But you should maybe just lift up your eyes and look around and see that this is an opportunity for you to grow. That you’re going through something now in your life that is painful, that is hard, and you’re going to get through this.

And when you’ve done that, you’re going to enjoy being healthy, more. Okay, you’re going to take better care of yourself. You’re not going to take everything for granted, okay?

So this stuff just looking up and looking around you, you can really apply that to a lot of aspects in your life. It’s very, very important.

Okay, sorry about the rant guys. I needed to get that out, and I think most of you guys that are in different aspects in your life, you can use this, just looking up and appreciate what you have and take it in.

Okay, back to today’s topic. So is it good to have a hot bath when you have sciatica and lower back pain? As always, I’m going to — I had a patient way back. Her name is Carol. She’s 36 years old. She’s female and she’s been suffering from lower back pain and sciatica for about two years now.

She had a bad fall when she was in the tube station. When she was walking up the stairs there, she actually had a fall. She fell on her bum or buttocks and she injured her tailbone. You have a little tail bone in your buttocks and she actually sat on it and it got really, really irritated. It got inflamed and it started off like that.

So whenever she sat, she needed to have like a cushion to sit on, but this pain has spread. It spread to her lower back and also now for the past year, it’s gone down her left leg, down her calf, and down to her toes or feet.

It’s been horrible really for her. Usually, she’s a bit overweight. She’s average height. She loves going to the gym and she goes out for a run, and she’s active like three or four times a week, but she can’t do any of that right now because of the pain, okay, from the low back pain and the radiation down her leg.

So internally, she feels this lower back pain, leg pain and she’s described it to me like someone is like punching her in the side and sticking a knife in her buttocks, okay? This is horrible stuff and it’s on her brain constantly, constantly.

And it affects her like the external stuff that’s happening in her life. It’s affecting her entire life, her daily routine. She can’t really go shopping like she enjoys to do. She can’t go to the coffee shop with her friends, just sitting down having a chat. She needs to stand up and she can’t really enjoy the conversation. She can just drive for maybe 5, 10 to 15 minutes and she has problems sleeping you know. Maybe three four hours in conjunction. So she’s always tired. She feels sluggish and she’s irritated as well.

Then like six or seven months back, she got sick of it. So she visited a physiotherapist that was checking her out and giving her some tips and routines, and the person she visited told her that her SC joint what was rocked up, you know, locked.

So he put her on her stomach and just did some manipulation to this joint and the pain was horrible. She had a big screaming in the office there and then afterwards she couldn’t walk home at all. She couldn’t take the tube or the bus or anything. A friend of her had to come and pick her up, drove her back in the car, and for two weeks, she was off work on heavy medication painkillers.

So that kind of scared her quite a bit. So during the stuff, during this period of time, she’s gotten all kinds of different advice. You should use a physiotherapist, acupuncture, osteopaths, the chiropractors, hot/cold, whatever.

But the stuff that’s really worked for her the best is to have a really hot shower. So she has these hot showers, maybe twice a day now, for 10-15 minutes and that really helps her quite a bit.

So when she came in (Carol) to me, she had this conflict she was struggling with, because most of the people she’d been talking to told her that if you have sciatica pain, you should use cold okay, the cold. You should use cold on your sciatica because that really helps the sciatica, the inflammation you know.

The warm stuff, the heat helps because it relaxes the entire body, and it also increases blood flow and circulation in the area. But she was a bit confused what to use, to use the cold or the heat, the warmth.

So when she came to me, we had a chat about this, and I told her, it’s like this. Your body and your condition is very specific to you. Each individual is unique. So if the warm stuff, the heat is working better for you, you should go with that. You should listen to what your body says to you, if it’s feeling good and nice. So I told her you can even do more of the warm stuff if it feels good.

So we talked about having a hot bath instead, and lying in the bath for maybe 15-20 minutes a day, doing breathing exercises, doing some like meditation, listening to some music during the time as well, just to calm the nerves.

So she didn’t have a bathtub at home, but her parents that lived quite close had. So she’s going now two or three times a week, to the home of her parents and she has a dinner there and then she goes for a bath, okay?

She also had a sauna at her gym. So she’s going to the gym and she’s having a sauna two or three times a week. So I went through all the other ordinary stuff like walking.

She’s doing a half an hour walking in the morning and half an hour walking in the afternoon. She’s doing breathing exercises. She’s doing some light meditation. She’s also doing this, using the heat to reduce the pain.

So that’s like the theme of today. Whatever information you get from different therapists and friends and stuff, you need to listen to them, but you need to test it out and whatever is working for you, you need to go with that.

There’s not like one treatment that fits everyone. You need to feel what’s good for you and whatever is working for you, you need to do more of that.

That’s about it for today guys, okay, and before I go here now, I want to ask you guys a favor. I’m doing daily podcasts. I’m doing the Instagram stuff. I’m putting this information out.

So if you enjoy it, if you think I’m providing value, please share this episode and other episodes as well, if you feel it’s good. If not you, don’t. If you want to leave a comment that’d be great. I’m trying to improve this.

I hope you feel that I’m passionate. I want to get my message out, and I want to improve the message I’m putting out there and the content. So just share my stuff and also comment positive or negative. Just give me a few reviews you know so I can improve.

I love you guys. Take care.

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Robin BackPainExpert

Physiotherapists & Back Pain Expert

Twenty years ago I was lucky to survive a serious hockey injury. In a sport where big men zoomaround on hard ice and solid wood sticks are slung furiously, a difficult back injury is what every player fears.
It took a long time for me to climb back to a normal life. But when I did, I was determined to spend the rest of his life helping back pain victims everywhere.
As a physiotherapist and back pain expert I have treated thousands of patients over 20 years, built a respected back pain clinic, created the site BackPainSecrets.Com and authored the book “Back Pain Secrets.”
Learn more about me here.