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    Sciatic Nerve






    It has been made apparent that my back problem isnt muscular but a "sciatic nerve" problem.

    A 'chiro' took my legs and pulled them to see if my legs were aligned and he said one was shorter than the other. He says this causes this nerve to be pinched resulting in this 'pinched' pain.

    Truth is, I havent done any lower body work in over 2 months. I have stretched through some lower back pain that is now gone completely, BUT this sciatic nerve shit is worse than ever!

    My question is, how can I see my way through it? Keep stretching? I do self-myofacial release on my lower back, hams, glutes, and IT band. I stretch my hams, glutes, lower back, and hip flexors (actively and static-ly).

    This doesnt seem to be helping. I can keep getting adjusted by the chiro, but it adds up in $$.

    Anyone conquered this problem before?
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    what is the reason that your legs get out of alignment and why is one longer then the other? I don't trust most Chiro's.....most treat the symptom and not the problem..."yea, just come in every week for an adjustment." ...
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    Well, he didnt recommend to keep coming in, he basically just said I was fuckign up somewhere in my routine.

    The big thing is that I dont do any lower body work and havent for quite some time. My overhead presses are now limited as well. During this time I havent seen any dr until Monday. So thats 2 months of rest, stretching, SMR, advil, and no "adjustments."

    The only thing I can think of whats causing this is my sleep? This is all brand new to me and I am lost with this shit.
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    When types of activities cause you sciatic nerve to become irritated?

    How do you sleep? (Back, side, stomach)
    The only time it's bad to feel the burn is when you're peeing...

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    So no alignment problems with your spine. I would think the problem with alignment would lead back to the pelvis.

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    I had sciatic pain. I talked to two nurses before seeing a doctor and then saw a doctor. All 3 gave me the same thing to try...

    800 mg Ibuprofen (Advil is good but you probably aren't doing 800 mg) every 8 hours for 4 days. It is an anti-inflammatory. Once the internal swelling around the nerve is gone, it should allow the area to heal.

    In my case it didn't work... so they did MRI and found I had a herniated disk. He put me in physical therapy. That pretty much consisted of core strength exercises on an exercise ball and traction. At the end of it, the pain was still there but gradually went away over the next few months.

    From what I read about sciatic pain, it usually goes away on its own... but it usually takes at least a year for that to happen.

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    find a specialist.....A good physical therapist will be able to give you something to do.
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    I highly recommend an MRI to make sure nothing else is going on in there, i.e. a disc problem.





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    Yeah, a disc problem is nothing to fuck around with. Herniated discs causing sciatica are pretty common really.
    The only time it's bad to feel the burn is when you're peeing...

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeilPearson View Post
    I had sciatic pain. I talked to two nurses before seeing a doctor and then saw a doctor. All 3 gave me the same thing to try...

    800 mg Ibuprofen (Advil is good but you probably aren't doing 800 mg) every 8 hours for 4 days. It is an anti-inflammatory. Once the internal swelling around the nerve is gone, it should allow the area to heal.

    In my case it didn't work... so they did MRI and found I had a herniated disk. He put me in physical therapy. That pretty much consisted of core strength exercises on an exercise ball and traction. At the end of it, the pain was still there but gradually went away over the next few months.

    From what I read about sciatic pain, it usually goes away on its own... but it usually takes at least a year for that to happen.

    No I dont take that much as of now. I take 400mg 3 times a day. I can try to increase it for a while to test it out.

    A herniated disk? Oh shit. Thats not good. I dont have insurance and not a lot of money so an MRI is kinda tough right now. I dont want to half-ass this, but I really dont have a choice right now, so I am exploring my options.

    Did physical therapy come after...SURGERY?
    6' 203lbs (12-10-12)
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    Sciatica is often a problem with the piriformis being too tight. I would highly doubt if you have a disc herniation - you would know if it was that severe. Possibly a bulged disc.

    Try this: Lie on your back and bring your knee (the bad side) towards your chest until it is pointed towards the ceiling. Then gently pull it across your body to stretch the piriformis (should feel a pull in the side of your butt). It should help relieve symptoms if you keep at it.

    I also suggest using a foam roller/medicine ball to release any trigger points in your glute area. Also google a technique called nerve flossing - once your symptoms have subsided it can help keep the nerve from getting bound up and irritated again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponyboy View Post
    Sciatica is often a problem with the piriformis being too tight. I would highly doubt if you have a disc herniation - you would know if it was that severe. Possibly a bulged disc.

    Try this: Lie on your back and bring your knee (the bad side) towards your chest until it is pointed towards the ceiling. Then gently pull it across your body to stretch the piriformis (should feel a pull in the side of your butt). It should help relieve symptoms if you keep at it.

    I also suggest using a foam roller/medicine ball to release any trigger points in your glute area. Also google a technique called nerve flossing - once your symptoms have subsided it can help keep the nerve from getting bound up and irritated again.

    Thats actually a newer stretch that I have added into my stretching routine this week and YES it is tight! Very tight! When I do my left leg its not NEARLY as tight as my right. This is good news.

    Ill google nerve flossing when I am at a better computer and I have used the foam roller, but its hard to pin point problems in my glutes. In fact, I thought I did find a problem area during my SMR (SMF?) session one day, but it turned out to be my BONE!

    Oh and CowPimp, I sleep on all sides. I guess I toss and turn.
    6' 203lbs (12-10-12)
    Bench 365 (12/3)
    Weighted Pullups 80lbs 3x3 (3/19)
    Squat 370
    Deadlift after herniation 385lbs 3x3 (3/17)
    NASM certified 2/06
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponyboy View Post
    Sciatica is often a problem with the piriformis being too tight. I would highly doubt if you have a disc herniation - you would know if it was that severe. Possibly a bulged disc.

    Try this: Lie on your back and bring your knee (the bad side) towards your chest until it is pointed towards the ceiling. Then gently pull it across your body to stretch the piriformis (should feel a pull in the side of your butt). It should help relieve symptoms if you keep at it.

    I also suggest using a foam roller/medicine ball to release any trigger points in your glute area. Also google a technique called nerve flossing - once your symptoms have subsided it can help keep the nerve from getting bound up and irritated again.
    A herniated disk is the same thing as a bulged disk... just a different name for the same thing.

    I never got surgery for my herniated disk. I just did the exercises I was supposed to. I still have the herniated disk... the pain has just went away. I do light squats (around 15-20 reps). I know I herniated mine while doing leg extensions (this is quite common too I found out later)... so I don't do those anymore at all. Now that the pain is gone. A lot of the core exercises they gave were things like crunches on an exercise ball. The one thing consistant with all these exercises is they wanted me to pull up on my abs (actually maybe even lower than the abs) and keep this flexed. It actually took a while to get used to the movement, it was kind of strange. The way he described it was to flex the same muscles you would as if you were trying to stop peeing in mid stream. It is more like pulling your abs up than it is flexing them. He told me that crunches without doing this wouldn't work the muscles that I needed to stabilize my spine in the area that I needed.

    "I would highly doubt if you have a disc herniation - you would know if it was that severe"

    ... I had no idea that I had a herniation. And I now can't tell that I ever had an issue.

    If it is less severe the 800 mg Ibuprofen may fix it up. If not I would try these kind of crunches and any other types of core body strength movements you can think of while flexing with the trying to stop peeing method. If that still doesn't do it, it may just be a matter of time. I know I had a fairly miserable year because of mine.

    Of course if you can afford to see a doctor and get physical therapy... that would be ideal.

    My pain started on the back of my leg, fairly high up and gradually moved down lower and lower.... finally into my calf and eventually just went away.

    Is the pain constant? Where in the leg is it?

    Mine was a shooting pain that only happened when I switched positions from standing to sitting or sitting to standing.

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    They also had me doing nerve flossing which helped.

    Sit down and crouch over hanging your head. Slowly extend your leg while raising the leg. This nerve goes right from your foot to your head. Doing this movement should floss the nerve through the spine.

    Also try stretching it by doing a similar movement. The only difference is you start with your head up and drop it down while you extend the leg.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ponyboy View Post
    I would highly doubt if you have a disc herniation - you would know if it was that severe. Possibly a bulged disc.
    not much difference, typically a disc is referred to as a buldge rather than herniated based on the severity, but they are basically the same thing.

    not true, I estimate that I had my herniated disc for at least a year maybe close to two years, I had no clue until I finally went in for an MRI and even my chiropractor was shocked at the severity.

    if you cannot afford the MRI and the pain is tolerable stop putting stress on your back. I would recommend you stop all weight lifting for at least 2 weeks to see if the pain subsides, also 1-2 doses of Advil (800mg's) per day, and ice your back, that really helps.





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    Sciatic Nerve Pain

    is invariably caused by impingement. That's pretty well established. You've been given some sage advice, particularly from ponyboy, "Sciatica is often a problem with the piriformis being too tight.", then he went off the deep end with the incorrect definition of bulging and herniated, which are, as Robert DiMaggio correctly pointed out, synonyms. Ponyboy was right on about the piriformis causing sciatic nerve problems. Anytime you do sit ups with your feet being held down, as soon as your body can (at about 15 deg off the floor) it will engage the strongest muscle for the job, the piriformis. The piriformis is the strongest muscle in your body for it's size. When it hypertrophies (grows from being worked), the belly of the muscle may press the sciatic nerve and tada, you've got misery!
    While I generally find Pfunk's advice quite good he's wrong about chiropractic. Like any professionals there are good and bad. I have the best chiropractor in the area as part of my medical support for my athletes. He works wonders. A good chiro may be able to provide some relief through adjustment. The trick is finding a good one. Anything that will increase the space where the nerve is being impinged is going to provide some relief from your pain. The key is the location of impingement.
    If it is the disc, simple kick overs may be of help. Lying on you back, with hands behind head and upper body relaxed, bring your legs up to where your calves are parallel to the floor, toes pointed at ceiling, knees bent 90 deg, your thighs are pointing straight up, back completely flat on floor. Now GENTLY bring your feet back, arching your back, belly button curling toward sternum, knees toward chest 'till your feet are over or past (if possible) your head. If the movement causes pain, STOP! (You will anyway, because it'll be a very SHARP! pain).
    Return slowly to start position, as though there's a wall to stop your feet, thighs perpendicular to floor, toes pointed at ceiling calves parallel to floor, back flat. Do NOT let your legs go too far! Legs kept in strict L shape, if you go too far the lower back arches, which is not helpful.
    If you can do this without irritating the nerve (trust me, you'll know if you are), keep doing them, 20 reps if possible. By activating the abs you'll allow your back muscles to relax a little, and with continued effort, you may be able to open the space between the vertebrae and relieve some of the pressure on the disc and the irritated sciatic nerve.
    There is research validating the efficacy of the exercise, it will increase the space between vertabrae. The question is, when? Depends on several factors, so be patient and keep doin' your kick overs.
    Lying in the same position, with something to support the lower legs, knees 90deg back completely flat, on a bed of ice for 3 20 min sessions with 20 min in between will reduce swelling and inflamation. Combined with a couple of sprays of Stopain, a topical analgesic (in my opinion, the best) and hopefully, you should be reasonably comfortable and able to sleep.

    On a personal note, I have a bilaterally fractured 5th lumbar vertbrae and the fusion surgery did not work so it's still hypermobile. Strong abs, kickovers and a great chiro have allowed me to avoid surgery for 20 years. And I still periodically annoy my athletes by outlifting them.

    I hope this helps, please keep us abreast of your progress,
    Ubercoach
    Last edited by ubercoach; 08-31-2006 at 03:05 PM.

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    While I generally find Pfunks advice quite good he's wrong about chiropractic. Like any professionals there are good and bad.
    Should have rephrased that. I hate when I speak in absolutes and get burned.

    I had a great Chrio in NYC that did all kinds of ART for me etc....

    There are terrible people in every profession. What I should have said was that you need to find someone that is a specialist in the problem that you are having and understands what is wrong. The answer "you are messing up in your routine somewhere" from a professional (doctor no less) is not good enough for me.
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    I figured you'd had poor experiences with chiros...

    'cause your so freakin' BIG! I imagine adjusting you would be quite a workout for the poor chiro tryin' to wrestle yer big ass around!

    Ubercoach

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    LOL.....5'5" and 180lbs would hardly qualify me as "big"....I am a midget with broad shoulders so I guess that goes a long way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by P-funk View Post
    LOL.....5'5" and 180lbs would hardly qualify me as "big"....I am a midget with broad shoulders so I guess that goes a long way.
    5'5 and 180 is fucking big. lol. Especially if you are even relatively lean.
    Quote Originally Posted by B40 View Post
    No gym for home, work out floor with 30, but is it for 20 like 30 lb when you no lift it to be for men, for 30 lbs instead? or half is 10 for 20 pounds?
    yeah, that shit!!!

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    Move To San Diego

    and Mike Burgener and I will make you a Champion Weightlifter!

    Ubercoach

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    Quote Originally Posted by ubercoach View Post
    and Mike Burgener and I will make you a Champion Weightlifter!

    Ubercoach
    lol.....this guy out here that saw me training at the gym said the same thing...he competed in some olympic trials (he is in his 50s)......

    I don't know if I can be a championship anything!
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    Grasshopper,

    Never underestimate my power!

    Seriously, NEVER UNDERESTIMATE YOURSELF!

    We produce alot of champions, all of whom thought they couldn't get there from here. That's why I get pissed at genetic determinists. No one really knows what anyone's potential is untill you give it your best effort.
    You are the perfect physical type for Weightlifting. Come to SD for a weekend and train with us at the Regional Training Center. What our athletes do in training will blow you away!

    Think "Casey Burgener- 173 kilo snatch, 210 kilo C&J US National Champion at
    6'1" and 250lbs!

    Ubercoach

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    Quote Originally Posted by ubercoach View Post
    Never underestimate my power!

    Seriously, NEVER UNDERESTIMATE YOURSELF!

    We produce alot of champions, all of whom thought they couldn't get there from here. That's why I get pissed at genetic determinists. No one really knows what anyone's potential is untill you give it your best effort.
    You are the perfect physical type for Weightlifting. Come to SD for a weekend and train with us at the Regional Training Center. What are athletes do in training will blow you away!

    Think "Casey Burgener- 173 kilo snatch, 210 kilo C&J US National Champion at
    6'1" and 250lbs!

    Ubercoach
    I wish I could afford that kind of training. Only thing I can hope for is to further my education and work for someone like you or P. Then I could benefit from the knowledge and experience of great coaches everytime I go to work/workout!! Man talk about a wet dream.....



    from the sweat....err.....from the awesome workouts....yeah.



    And the people who tout genetics as a limitation or an excuse to do something stupid because everyone is "different." Yeah that pisses me off.
    Quote Originally Posted by B40 View Post
    No gym for home, work out floor with 30, but is it for 20 like 30 lb when you no lift it to be for men, for 30 lbs instead? or half is 10 for 20 pounds?
    yeah, that shit!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ubercoach View Post
    is invariably caused by impingement. That's pretty well established. You've been given some sage advice, particularly from ponyboy, "Sciatica is often a problem with the piriformis being too tight.", then he went off the deep end with the incorrect definition of bulging and herniated, which are, as Robert DiMaggio correctly pointed out, synonyms. Ponyboy was right on about the piriformis causing sciatic nerve problems. Anytime you do sit ups with your feet being held down, as soon as your body can (at about 15 deg off the floor) it will engage the strongest muscle for the job, the piriformis. The piriformis is the strongest muscle in your body for it's size. When it hypertrophies (grows from being worked), the belly of the muscle may press the sciatic nerve and tada, you've got misery!
    While I generally find Pfunk's advice quite good he's wrong about chiropractic. Like any professionals there are good and bad. I have the best chiropractor in the area as part of my medical support for my athletes. He works wonders. A good chiro may be able to provide some relief through adjustment. The trick is finding a good one. Anything that will increase the space where the nerve is being impinged is going to provide some relief from your pain. The key is the location of impingement.
    If it is the disc, simple kick overs may be of help. Lying on you back, with hands behind head and upper body relaxed, bring your legs up to where your calves are parallel to the floor, toes pointed at ceiling, knees bent 90 deg, your thighs are pointing straight up, back completely flat on floor. Now GENTLY bring your feet back, arching your back, belly button curling toward sternum, knees toward chest 'till your feet are over or past (if possible) your head. If the movement causes pain, STOP! (You will anyway, because it'll be a very SHARP! pain).
    Return slowly to start position, as though there's a wall to stop your feet, thighs perpendicular to floor, toes pointed at ceiling calves parallel to floor, back flat. Do NOT let your legs go too far! Legs kept in strict L shape, if you go too far the lower back arches, which is not helpful.
    If you can do this without irritating the nerve (trust me, you'll know if you are), keep doing them, 20 reps if possible. By activating the abs you'll allow your back muscles to relax a little, and with continued effort, you may be able to open the space between the vertebrae and relieve some of the pressure on the disc and the irritated sciatic nerve.
    There is research validating the efficacy of the exercise, it will increase the space between vertabrae. The question is, when? Depends on several factors, so be patient and keep doin' your kick overs.
    Lying in the same position, with something to support the lower legs, knees 90deg back completely flat, on a bed of ice for 3 20 min sessions with 20 min in between will reduce swelling and inflamation. Combined with a couple of sprays of Stopain, a topical analgesic (in my opinion, the best) and hopefully, you should be reasonably comfortable and able to sleep.

    On a personal note, I have a bilaterally fractured 5th lumbar vertbrae and the fusion surgery did not work so it's still hypermobile. Strong abs, kickovers and a great chiro have allowed me to avoid surgery for 20 years. And I still periodically annoy my athletes by outlifting them.

    I hope this helps, please keep us abreast of your progress,
    Ubercoach
    Thanks for this info!! I definetly am going to try these kick overs when I get home. I almost want to call out now.

    Now if I feel that sharp pain, is that a real bad sign? And if there isnt any, just keep doing it?

    I know I should see a doc and get an MRI and that all of this shit until then is shooting into the dark, but I just cant afford it right now. I just started a new job in May and my health insurance wont kick in until JANUARY. I guess the company is making sure I am worth it.
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    akira, im having MAJOR sleeping problems as well. it fucking sucks. i was put on muscle relaxers and anti inflammitories. once the pain is gone im going to do some PT. i cant wait for this shit to go away, really messes with your head
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    Yeah Big Fella...

    I'm sorry to say sharp pain's a bad sign. Actually a good guide to doing anything is:
    Pain is not good, sharp pain is Ma Nature's way of letting you know you've got a serious problem, you're hurting yourself, so STOP IT!

    Ubercoach
    Last edited by ubercoach; 08-31-2006 at 07:55 PM.

  28. #28
    Patrick
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    Quote Originally Posted by PWGriffin View Post
    I wish I could afford that kind of training. Only thing I can hope for is to further my education and work for someone like you or P.

    Come out to AZ. I am pretty open to talking shop with anyone or going over things. I like that stuff. I used to do trainer education in NYC at the gym I was working for. I did classes on program design and advanced training concepts for the trainers. Sometimes, they would ask me to put them through workouts to teach them some stufff, sometimes they would want to shadow me training some of my clients, etc.....I am really into learning and education and everytime I taught a class or worked with someone, I learned someting new. It was a win win.
    Optimum Sports Performance

    "In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, in the experts there are few."
    -Buddha's Little Instruction Book

  29. #29
    Patrick
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    Quote Originally Posted by ubercoach View Post
    Never underestimate my power!

    Seriously, NEVER UNDERESTIMATE YOURSELF!

    We produce alot of champions, all of whom thought they couldn't get there from here. That's why I get pissed at genetic determinists. No one really knows what anyone's potential is untill you give it your best effort.
    You are the perfect physical type for Weightlifting. Come to SD for a weekend and train with us at the Regional Training Center. What our athletes do in training will blow you away!

    Think "Casey Burgener- 173 kilo snatch, 210 kilo C&J US National Champion at
    6'1" and 250lbs!

    Ubercoach

    haha....i would love to!

    I know all about it. I have read pretty much everythign on burgenger's site. casey is a monster!
    Optimum Sports Performance

    "In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, in the experts there are few."
    -Buddha's Little Instruction Book

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    Quote Originally Posted by P-funk View Post
    haha....i would love to!

    I know all about it. I have read pretty much everythign on burgenger's site. casey is a monster!
    Could you give us a link? Sorry to be a lazy.

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