Giving an update back in January 2022, Eamonn described the consequences of living with a trapped sciatic nerve as “emasculating”. Not only has he had to sell his car but the star frequently struggles to put his own shoes and socks on. His wife and Loose Women panellist Ruth Langsford also added: “People have asked about [Eamonn’s] health because he’s had a really rough year this year. Bulging discs in his back, he hasn’t been able to walk properly, it’s transferred down his leg and he’s really finding it hard to walk.”
When asked how his health is at the beginning of March, Eamonn told Express.co.uk that not much had really changed.
He said: “That’s the thing that has been really dominant in my life for the past 10 months and it has been very slow progress.
“I’m not so much in pain but I am restricted and not very flexible, but I work at it all the time and I have a trainer that comes to see me.
“I do a lot of physio, and I mean a lot. So it is a work [in] progress and it’s not as quick as I would like.”
The NHS explains that sciatica is where the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back to your feet, becomes irritated or compressed.
The condition commonly occurs when a herniated disc in the spine compresses the nerve, causing inflammation, pain and often numbness in the affected limb.
Sciatica pain can vary widely from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation or excruciating pain.
It can be worse when coughing or sneezing, and prolonged sitting can aggravate symptoms. Usually only one side of your body is affected. In some cases, one part of the leg may feel numb and the other painful.
Usually mild sciatica goes away over time, and symptoms tend not to last any longer than a week. However, without treatment, sciatica can potentially cause permanent nerve damage, which can lead to needing surgery.
Eamonn worries that this is exactly what he will need, adding: “I might need to go for some sort of disc operation eventually, but so far it is not needed.”
The NHS says that treatment for sciatica typically involves painkillers, physiotherapy and psychological support – in order to help individuals cope with the pain and try to get better.
In a past interview with The Sun, Eamonn said that he takes tramadol – a strong painkiller – but this is only a short-term solution, with the pain soon returning.
This is why his main focus is physiotherapy, which he does with the help of James Davies, an osteopath and recovery specialist.
Frequently updating his 700,000 social media followers on his progress, one post in particular featured a technique that Eamonn clearly isn’t a fan of.
Back in late January, Eamonn posted a picture of his foot in an ice bath, along with the caption: “My osteo @jamesdhealth wants me submerged in a bath full of ice.
“As I believe that will kill me, I’ve agreed to start with my feet first… and probably no further – ever!! Am I a hero or a wimp?? Brrrr!”
When asked his thoughts on the technique and whether he had changed his mind on the ice bath, Eamonn replied: “Showers I have done cold. And then I went off those for a while, as it takes a lot of bravery to do those.
“What I do do is put my feet up to my shins in ice water, which is hard enough. But [James] is absolutely determined, and I mean he is very serious, that we will have an ice bath, not a nice bath… an ice bath.
“I said to him, ‘It may help my neuropathy and my sciatic nerve do whatever it is failing to do, but it will give me a heart attack and kill me, I will imagine.’ So absolutely, I just cannot imagine doing this. I cannot imagine putting my chest below ice cubes, but James is determined to do it.”
Although adamant that he will avoid an ice bath at all costs, Spineuniverse – a health website – explains that ice therapy can provide immediate relief of sciatic nerve pain. The ice helps to reduce inflammation and eases painful muscle spasms that often accompany the condition. The website suggests applying an ice pack for 15 minutes once every hour.
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