Johnny Depp Fights Sciatica Pain as Pirate and Beyond
8 minute read
He may have played a fearless pirate on screen in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, but Johnny Depp has faced his own real-life fears and pains.
Known for his quirky characters and unconventional ways, Depp was forced to work through excruciating pain. Not letting his pain dull the unforgettable characters he brings to life, Depp has endured a long battle with sciatica.
What Is Sciatica Nerve Pain?
Sciatica is the term given to a condition where pressure is placed on your sciatic nerve as the result of strain or injury. Pain radiates from your lower back, down the sciatic nerve into one or both legs.
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While filming on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Depp found himself in a great deal of pain from a back injury. Described as a grinding electricity shooting through his body, sciatica was the diagnosis he received.
While he leaves most work to his stunt doubles, Depp has taken on a few challenges and consequently has had a few scares. A back injury caused the development of sciatica, which then plagued him for many years.
Sciatica is typically caused by a herniated disk or bone spur in the spine, and the pain comes and goes like a bolt of lightning. The common symptoms of sciatica include:
♦ A constant pain in one side of the buttock or leg and rarely in both sides
♦ Leg pain that can be described as tingling, burning, and searing as opposed to a dull ache
♦ Weakness, numbness, and trouble moving your leg or foot
♦ Pain that gets worse when sitting
♦ Sharp pains that make it difficult to stand up or walk
Despite the pain, Depp was committed to his role and filming continued. The fourth installment of the Pirates franchise was greatly anticipated, and he was not going to let his fans down.
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The good news is that, even though sciatica can be painful, it doesn’t have to interfere with your life. There are ways of reducing body and joint pain.
While Depp was reported to have worked through the pain, you can choose to ease your own.
There are ways to treat sciatica, allowing time for the nerve to heal, so you can keep going.
How to Soothe Sciatica Pain
Sciatica may be a literal pain in your backside, but it doesn’t have to be a figurative one. There are several natural treatment options you can use to help ease symptoms, so you can enjoy your life pain-free.
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Traditional pain relievers, like ibuprofen, can work, but because too many can cause stomach problems, it is better to choose a more natural remedy. You don’t want to fix one problem just to cause another.
Formulated Supplements: Turmeric, Boswellia Serrata, and undenatured collagen are all natural ways to help fight chronic joint pain and promote joint health. Each ingredient has been clinically studied to show its effectiveness, and some natural supplements, like 1MD's EasyFlex, are designed specifically with this outcome in mind.
Switch Up Your Workout Routine: Exercise is a good thing in general, but strenuous workouts can aggravate sciatic nerve problems. When using gym equipment, most of your body’s movements are restricted so one core area can be focused on.
This can add to the strain already placed on your lower back when you have sciatica. It is better to switch to more natural activities, such as walking, running, and swimming.
Stretching: You might be dissuaded from stretching because it will hurt initially, but this is a great way to relieve the tension in your lower back that can compound pressure on your nerves. Remember to keep stretching gentle and you should notice that symptoms begin to improve.
Yoga: The holistic system of stretching increases your flexibility, enhances breathing and reduces tension throughout your body. Yoga also helps to correct faulty posture that contributes to the development of sciatica.
| Related: Qigong Exercises Strengthen Arthritic Knees |
There are specific poses that are highly recommended for sciatica, such as the shoulder pose, tiger pose, bow pose, and cat stretch pose.
Natural Pain Relievers: When you experience pain, your movements in the painful area become restricted or awkward, and this can be counterproductive when you have sciatica. You can increase blood circulation and accelerate healing when you gently move the affected leg and lower back region.
If it hurts while you are trying to perform these movements, you can try natural pain killers, such as ginger tea and turmeric milk to ease the pain.
Deep Massage: Getting a deep massage that traces the path of your sciatic nerve brings relief almost immediately. It may only be temporary, but it reduces pain enough that can try stretching or light exercise to get at the root of the problem.
A light massage from a certified massage therapist will work wonders and can even help you sleep better.
Acupuncture: While this may not be everybody’s cup of tea, it is definitely worth trying if your sciatic pain becomes unbearable. This ancient Chinese practice stimulates tissues and triggers the release of endorphins.
These, along with other beneficial substances like joint health supplements, work within nerve signaling and can cause immediate changes. Acupuncture also reduces inflammation which allows for increased circulation to the lumbar area and promotes healing of the nerve.
Hot and Cold Compresses: The original cause for your sciatic could be hidden deep within your tissues, and heat is the best way to relax tense muscles. Alternate hot and cold compresses to relieve pain and swelling.
Your circulation gets pumped up as a result of the change between vasodilation and constriction, thereby bringing relief to the painful area.
Abdominal Support: If your job requires lifting, bending, or other repetitive movements, you should consider wearing a lumbosacral belt. This will provide additional support to your abdominal and lumbar area so you do not exacerbate your sciatic condition.
Go Firm: If you have to sit for extended periods of time, make sure you get a firm chair and maintain proper sitting posture. You should also switch to a firm mattress for sleeping when you have sciatica to relieve pain as you sleep.
The Bottom Line
Johnny Depp is one of the most popular actors around and well-respected for the dedication he puts into his work. Back pain, even when severe, couldn’t even stop him from getting in front of the camera.
With certain techniques, sciatica can be controlled, and you too can go about your busy days. Just like Depp, you have responsibilities and commitments, so you cannot let sciatica ruin your life. After all, the show must go on.