After a week’s absence from The View, Whoopi Goldberg gave viewers an update on what happened – and why she had to go to the hospital.
“Yeah, it’s me. I’m back,” Goldberg said on the June 29, 2021 episode of The View. “I was outside because I was dealing with something called sciatica, which is basically a bulging disc is in your back and affects the sciatic nerve that sends pain down your leg. ”
The sciatic nerve branches off from your lower back, through your hips and buttocks, and the back of each leg, explains the Mayo Clinic. If the nerve becomes pinched, it can cause pain and discomfort that radiates down the sciatic nerve into the leg. Most commonly, a herniated or bulging disc is the cause of this pinching. But a spinal bone spur or a disease known as spinal canal stenosis can also cause sciatica.
For some people, sciatic pain is a mild pain or a sharp, excruciating feeling, explains the Mayo Clinic. Others feel something like an electric shock, tingling sensation, or even muscle weakness.
“I’m telling you it’s like a bad friend who came back to mess with me,” Goldberg said of the pain. “I tried to move my leg, impossible. It was really terrible, but I’m glad to be here. ”
Treatment for sciatica may include medications such as muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs. For more severe pain, treatment may require corticosteroid injections, which directly affect inflammation around the nerve, says the Mayo Clinic. In even more severe cases, such as when other pain relief options don’t help, or when the compressed sciatic nerve is causing bladder problems or severe muscle weakness, surgery may be needed to relieve pressure on the nerve. Once the initial pain has subsided, physical therapy can be useful to regain movement in the affected area and strengthen the back muscles to prevent further injuries.
Goldberg didn’t give too many details about her treatment process, but she said she lay in a hospital room and used a walker to get around. “I didn’t know I needed it,” she said. “And you know what? The first step with the rollator, this is my new best friend. I just slide along.”