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A Piece of My Mind
December 19, 2012

A Pain in the Tuches

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Senior Editor.

Author Afilliation: Psychiatric Service, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel (psychiatry@szmc.org.il).

JAMA. 2012;308(23):2467-2468. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.68311

It took me quite a while to acknowledge the discomfort I had been feeling lately in my left leg: During several weeks I had become increasingly aware that my thighs and calves hurt just a bit more than usual during my morning runs. I was certain that this growing discomfort was caused by my sciatic nerve.

In the fuzzy way that things look at the periphery of our awareness, I pictured my sciatic nerve somehow romantically as long, sinuous, and vulnerable, and now irritated because it was impinged upon near its spinal passage. Just the way a psychiatrist, with only vague reminiscences of anatomy, might imagine how a nerve looks: thin, long, and annoying.

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