Since several of you have asked…
The pain in my leg has gone away. I took the prescription-strength naproxen for a few days, and then I stopped and the pain didn’t come back. I feel very fortunate. :-)
I went to the physical therapist twice. He basically said I’ll be fine. He gave me some exercises to do that will help relieve the pressure. He said if I have good posture and don’t strain my back then it will keep the pain from returning. He recommended pilates – take a class or buy a video. (I have a video, I just never do it!).
I also talked to my cousin who is a nurse and has experience with back pain. She recommended I lose weight… Yeah, yeah, heard that one before! ;-)
Why did this happen? Well one very plausible explanation is it’s because of my mild scoliosis. I have a slight curvature of the back, which I discovered when I was getting my physical before heading to college. (Random fact about me: due to this, my right shoulder and right hip are higher than my left.)
Another thing my mom mentioned to me today is that both she and my grandmother have sciatica. According to Wikipedia:
Sciatica is a set of symptoms including pain that may be caused by general compression and/or irritation of one of five nerve roots that give rise to the sciatic nerve, or by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve itself. The pain is felt in the lower back, buttock, and/or various parts of the leg and foot. In addition to pain, which is sometimes severe, there may be numbness, muscular weakness, and difficulty in moving or controlling the leg. Typically, the symptoms are only felt on one side of the body.
Hmm, sounds exactly like what I was feeling!
So I don’t know. It feels okay now. I just need to (continue to) lose weight, and practice good posture. That means getting a different chair for my computer, I think! It also means being careful how I sit, how I bend over, etc. I also need to exercise my lower back and abdominal muscles so they can hold my back straight. Basically it all comes back to eat healthy and exercise. Why does it seem that the simplest solution is also the hardest to do??