Report: Pope Francis getting massages, injections for sciatica

(Crux) According to an Aug. 10 report in the widely read Italian news magazine Famiglia Cristiana, Pope Francis is spending part of his reduced summer schedule in 2017 seeking treatment for a sciatica condition that continues to irritate him.

As part of that regime, according to the magazine, the 80-year-old pontiff is receiving both massages and injections twice a week in order to reduce pain in his leg. The account did not offer details of who’s delivering the treatments, or where they’re taking place.

So far the Vatican has not commented on the report, and traditionally takes the position that such matters pertain to the pope’s private life.

Pope Francis first revealed that he suffers from sciatica, a nerve condition usually resulting from the herniation of a spinal disk, in 2013, during an in-flight press conference on his return from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, following a World Youth Day celebration.

In response to a question about his health, Francis said, “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!” [More]