Hurricane Wilma Gave Me Sciatica

I live in Miami. In the record-breaking 2005 hurricane season, we were visited by Hurricane Wilma. Not devastating, but as usual, I had dutifully replaced our rotary roof ventilators with caps, and after the storm I climbed back on the roof to replace the vents. Unfortunately, my rickety ladder decided to give out just before I could clamber onto the roof and I landed on the ground in a standing position, with all the impact absorbed by my right leg. The immediate consequence was a fractured foot that is now essentially recovered.

Gradually, however, I have been increasingly bothered by occasional right hip pain and sciatica attacks, which I strongly doubt are coincidental. The sciatica attacks are aperiodic, ranging from monthly to 2-3 per week and lasting for 3-5 minutes, and they involve the buttocks, thighs and calves of both legs. These attacks totally disable me, temporarily. I have to sit, or lie down, and I'm unable to do anything else until the attack abates.

I can't identify triggering causes, but it sometimes happens if I rise too quickly from a resting position, such as a bed or chair. It does not seem to be provoked by exercise, such as walking or using gym weights for muscle toning.

I have learned that the duration and severity is lessened if I can put forward-directed pressure on my lower back, such as by lying on my back with my hands clasped beneath the lowest vertebrae. I have not attempted treatment or sought medical help yet.

Has anyone had similar experience, and do you have any advice for me?

Is it better to see a chiropractor or an orthopedic doctor?

Will spinal decompression help in a situation like mine, that appears to be due to a compressed or herniated disc?

I replaced the ladder, but too late.

- David


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