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Even the Pope Gets Sciatica

Even Pope Francis is not immune to low back pain and sciatica Pope Francis has apparently been suffering with sciatica recently, according to an Aug. 10 report in the Italian news magazine Famiglia Cristiana..

According to the report In Crux, the Pope has been receiving massages and injections twice weekly for his pain. The Vatican has not officially commented on the Pope's condition or about who is administering the treatments.

The report quoted the 80 year old Pontiff as saying,

“The worst thing that happened - excuse me - was an attack of sciatica - really! - that I had the first month, because I was sitting in an armchair to do interviews and it hurt. Sciatica is very painful, very painful! I don’t wish it on anyone!”

Journalist Massimo Franco reported on the Pope's sciatica in 2007, prior to his election to the papacy.  Franco reported that Pope Francis (then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires) had visited a Roman physician, Valter Santilli for treatment of the disorder.

Santilli reportedly told Cardinal Bergoglio that sciatica was a "prophetic disease.  Santilli referenced the Bible in his explanation.

“Because in the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament, in chapter 23, there’s the episode of Jacob’s struggle with the angel, who touched his sciatic nerve, on the hip joint, and that night, after his sciatic problem, the Lord changed his name to Israel.”

Santilli reports that Cardinal Bergoglio called him after being elected Pope and told him:

"I used to be called Jorge Mario Bergoglio, but the Lord has changed my name and now I’m called Pope Francis!"

About the Author

Dr. John B. Adams is board certified in Pain Management by the American Board of Medical Specialties and the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians. With almost 2 decades of experience, he offers patients access to state-of-the-art pain management, emphasizing a multidisciplinary approach to pain management utilizing precision injections, neuromodulation technology, physical therapy, behavioral medicine and judicious use of medications including help with patients titrating off opiates (narcotic pain medications).

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