SCIATICA ~~ Dang !!

9:21 a.m. on April 26, 2011 (EDT)
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I have noticed a nagging, very uncomfortable sensation in my left buttock ... going down toward my hamstring muscle.

At first, I attributed this to a muscle-pull from doing too much activity on the resistance-machines in the gym.   So, I laid-off any exercises I thought might be causing this.   I did ramp-up my swimming laps, though.

Now, with the break (finally) in the weather, I've been doing some hiking ... day-hikes in regional parks.  I need to do this, anyhow, as I had two hernia-repair surgeries ( *ouchy * ) after Christmas ... and, I've been cleared by my surgeons to resume physical activity (moderate).

I now recognize these symptoms in my buttock and hamstring, as the dreaded SCIATICA.  

I had sciatica in the OTHER leg twenty-five years ago, so I do know the symptoms.

Any suggestions on how to deal with this ?

Yogi Robt

3:33 p.m. on April 26, 2011 (EDT)
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I would have suggested stretching but your profile description hints you already are doing this.  Visit a sports medicine clinic, and eliminate mechanical issues, such as nerve impingements, etc.  Sports medicine clinics usually are associated with physical therapist clinics who have a battery of strength and range of movement exercises that my be helpful.  One way to find a good clinic is to visit a runner’s store and ask for references.

Ed

9:25 p.m. on April 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks, Ed.

I ALWAYS incorporate stretching and flexibility exercises BEFORE I engage any other forms of physical activity.

Most of the time, I hit the pool first (we have a great YMCA, and I instruct there, also).   I'll do about 1/2 mile, minimum.   That always prepares me for any resistance training.

One thing that DOES help, is ice.   One can never apply too much (other than your skin turning blue).

If this condition doesn't abate, I'll take your suggestion, and consult a sports medicine clinic.   Several nearby.

Yogi Robt

10:12 p.m. on April 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey Robert,  I can relate.  I've had "the dreaded SCIATICA" for the past 25 years.  It has at times forced me stop doing whatever I was doing at the time and relegated me to bed/couch for up to 3 weeks at a time.  In my experiance you cannot excersize or streach it out as that will aggravate it.  I was having a bad bout about 15 years ago and a doctor suggested I try yoga.  That inflamed it so bad I was on the couch for three weeks.  In my experiance there are a number of things that help.   contrast hydrotherapy (alternateing hot and cold packs for a certian amounts of time, just Google it),  chiropractic care (has heled me a lot in the past), acupuncture/acupressure (has also help me in the past) and deep tissue massage (very painful in and of itself sometimes).  When I find my self in pain for sciaticta some of the most important things that make a difference form me are, staying hydrated, no alcohol (wadda mean no beer), no caffine (what, no coffee either), adequate amounts of sleep every night, and a lack of stress.  This thing is a pain in the butt (pun intended) and will sometimes continue for weeks, months, years or life if not take seriously.

11:00 p.m. on April 26, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks, Brian ~~

I was afraid of that (the Yoga-thang).   I suspected as such.  My Yoga 'guru' and I huddled on that.   She wasn't certain, either, but urged restraint.

Not familiar with 'contrast hydrotherapy'.   Will look into it.

Some of my colleagues in construction report good results with acupuncture for tendinitis of the elbow ('tennis elbow' from banging nails about a million times).

No problem with alcohol ... haven't had any in over 6-months.   But, COFFEE?   I'm in trouble.   I sleep OK ...  (I'm a 'short-sleeper' ... usually 6-hrs or  less is more than adequate ... and I DO nap in the afternoons).

Stress?   WOMEN !!   (Need I say more?)

Thanks, to both you and Ed, for v helpful suggestions.

Yogi Robt

2:15 a.m. on April 27, 2011 (EDT)
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The reason yoga can be bad is that SCIATICA is a pinching or constricting of a (some) nerve(s).  Movement of any kind can really irritate the                     nerve(s),  sometimes causing (at least for me) very intense pain, itching, and in bad cases weakness and loss of muscle control.  Take care of it if you can.

11:44 a.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Three weeks ago I had a discectomy operation to take care of this.

 

Had a ruptured disk that was pinching the sciatic nerve.  L5-S1

The procedure completely took care of the problem and the surgery and recovery were a breeze.

 

Get yourself a good spine doctor. No sense in suffering with this when it can be easily and quickly taken care of.

 

I've been given the green light to re-start my marathon training at 10 weeks after the surgery.

 

 

6:04 p.m. on April 28, 2011 (EDT)
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Three weeks ago I had a discectomy operation to take care of this.

Had a ruptured disk that was pinching the sciatic nerve.  L5-S1

The procedure completely took care of the problem and the surgery and recovery were a breeze.

Get yourself a good spine doctor. No sense in suffering with this when it can be easily and quickly taken care of.

I've been given the green light to re-start my marathon training at 10 weeks after the surgery.

 I was just accessing some information in an older "Runner's World -- Everything You Need To Know About Running" book, authored by Amby Burfoot ( yes -- his real name ... won the Boston Marathon many years ago, running barefoot!).

He says NO ICE.   Advocates anti-inflammatories, and having a good sports-medicne professional (doctor) examine.   He says most often, the cause is a bio-mechanical issue, such as one leg slightly longer than the other.

Ed G ~~  I do not have a disc problem (at least, at this juncture).   I suspect I 'overdid' something in the gym.   But, thanks for sharing your circumstance.

Yogi Robt

12:14 p.m. on May 3, 2011 (EDT)
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Yea, I didn't think I had a disk problem either. I just thought I had an inflammed sciatic nerve.

 

By the way, I used to run with Amby Burfoot every weekend. We both belonged to the Mystic River Moon Runners Club.

 

  Nice guy.  I never knew he was famous...and he was always behind me :)

9:15 p.m. on May 3, 2011 (EDT)
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By the way, I used to run with Amby Burfoot every weekend. We both belonged to the Mystic River Moon Runners Club.

 

 WOW !!    What a 'small-world', 'eh, Ed ?

Who would have thought anyone here would know OF Amby, much-less actually KNOW him?

Wonder (?) if he still  runs shoeless?

BTW -- You're scaring me with the disc thing.   Heaven help me.   I am just now recovering from four surgical procedures in the past 12 months.   I desperately want to stay out of the hospital.   However; the sciatica has abated.   I've changed my work-out routines.   Oddly, I'm not on the "rock-wall" a lot.   Just got my BELAY certification.

Yogi Robt

11:34 a.m. on May 4, 2011 (EDT)
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Ouch! Sounds painful.

I have one tip for you. When you sleep you could try sleeping in the fetal position with a pillow between your legs or if you're a back sleeper, place a pillow or rolled towel under your knees. That will help relieve pressure on the nerve.

Hopefully it goes away soon!

11:58 a.m. on May 4, 2011 (EDT)
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I would add...ditch carrying the wallet in your back pocket. THAT was what brought on my case. Sitting on a wallet with my boney a** in cars and airplanes bugged the nerve. I was doing 100K+ per year on airplanes when this hit.

Being male of course I decided to "move through the pain"....big mistake. I went out on a run and then pulled the hamstring on that same side... cost me a year off running...my first significant break in 30 years.

I got my sciatica under control with very careful and moderated stretching, run no more than two days, bicycle one or hike the other or take it off. Most importantly, I started carrying a butt pack with the fat wallet. My wife 2 years ago  bought me a high quality leather "man bag" that looks like a leather Franklin or Day Timer. Didn't like it at first so tried to go back to the wallet in back pocket. Two weeks later I was hurting again. Now a confirmed "man bag" guy.

It seems this stuff is widely variable on what brings it on. If you can figure out the direct cause like I did, it's able to be controlled better.

Good luck...it literally feels like a toothache in the butt so many of us sympathize.

12:35 p.m. on May 4, 2011 (EDT)
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here's my story:

 

back of the leg hurts like heck.  Go see my ortho doc, he gives me the 5 day seriodal anti-inflamatory pack.  Week later all is good.

 

4 months later pain in back of leg is back.

Running actually made it feel better, but it just got to the point where after an hours drive to work I could barely get out of the car.

I put up with this for about two months and then go see the doc again.

Had an x-ray which showed the gap between a couple vertabrae was pretty thin.

Doc did the testing of the reflexes, and when she tried near my achilles tendon, I had no reflex.

I was immediately scheduled for a MRI the next day.

4 hours after I had the MRI, I get called that I'm seeing a spine specialist that day.

turns out I had a ruptured disk , and the rupture was protruding and pinching the sciatic nerve.

Had surgery the following week. two weeks off from work.

no more sciatic pain, but my leg (especially my foot) is still kinda numb.

I'm told this is normal and will go away in time.

 

moral of this story - get in there and get an MRI !!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

12:37 p.m. on May 4, 2011 (EDT)
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what happened to the edit function??  I meant steroidal, not seriodal.

8:20 a.m. on May 5, 2011 (EDT)
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Ed G ~~

Did your spine-specialist (orthopedic doc?) do the surgery?   Or, a "generic" surgeon ?

BTW -- My modified work-out routines have helped immensely.  I think I have identified the particular exercise that may have caused the sciatica.   Much as I did many years ago, when I had sciatica on the opposite side.  Presently have omitted it from my routines, and now only occasional 'twinges' and a little 'tingling'.    Swimming has helped, as well.   Have consulted with a few friends that has sciatica severe-enough to consult medical peeps.  They report that anti-inflammatories most often the first course of care.   I am being very, very cautious.  Meds sometimes only 'mask' an underlying problem, that could worsen.   I ALWAYS hesitate on meds, unless literally desperate.  If my condition exacerbates, I will consult spinal-specialist.

Yogi Robt

12:13 p.m. on May 5, 2011 (EDT)
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The spine specialist did the surgery.

 

Really easy surgery.

 They wheeled me into the OR at 4:30 PM,  woke up, immediately had two cups of coffee, two packages of graham crackers and an egg salad sandwich,  and was back home at 9:00 PM...and I live an hour away.

that night I  started my recovery by walking around my back yard for about 10 minutes.

They gave me a shot of "happy Juice" immediately before wheeling me to OR. 

I'm told as I was riding along, I was yelling "WEEEEEEEE, WEEEEEEEE, WEEEEEEEEEEE"  like Maxwell the little Geico pig.  :)

3:32 p.m. on May 5, 2011 (EDT)
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 ... Or ... the Ned Beatty character in "Deliverance".

Yogi Robt

1:00 a.m. on May 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Dang pain in the -- Uh...

Stretching, exercise, and most of all-- acupuncture. Wish I could afford to go a couple times a month just on general principle.  Helped me a ton.

12:56 p.m. on June 4, 2011 (EDT)
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You might try stretches of your piriformis muscle.  It wraps around the sciatic nerve and can cause sciatica like symptoms.  When I resumed running after, coincidentally, hernia surgery, I though I had something going on in my low back but it turned out that I had strained my piriformis. 

It took a couple months, but regularly stretching got brought me relief.

9:47 p.m. on June 4, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks, Steve.

I accessed a detailed YouTube piriformis stretching technique, as per your suggestion.  Now implementing same.

I have identified that area of the buttock as the culprit.

 ~r2~

10:39 p.m. on June 4, 2011 (EDT)
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I have the symptoms of sciatica, through peripheral neuropathy and lumbar spinal stenosis - an interesting twofer. Although I would like to eschew medications, neither of these are amenable to other treatments.

Many who suffer from peripheral neuropathy have started using SNRIs to manage the pain. SNRIs really work, the FDA has already accepted some SNRIs for this application. Personally, I have had very good pain moderation this way; well, I also use plenty of acetaminophen and the occasional Lidocaine patch as a backup.

Good luck.

Regards,

Reed

12:48 p.m. on July 3, 2011 (EDT)
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Symptoms have abated ... although, not entirely.

Have used the piriformis muscle stretching techniques ... also, generally NOT doing anything (I know of) to aggravate the condition.   Ibuprofen occasionally, to reduce perceived inflammation.

Still get a little "tingling", now-and-then.


MUCH better, though.

_______________________

  Yogi Robt

2:31 p.m. on July 4, 2011 (EDT)
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Good to hear you are getting relief.

9:01 a.m. on July 5, 2011 (EDT)
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steve t said:

Good to hear you are getting relief.

 Thanks, Steve ... and thank you for the link to the exercises.

~r2~

12:39 p.m. on July 6, 2011 (EDT)
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just an update on my sciatica...

 

had the disectomy April 4th, immediate pressure off the nerve and now (July 6th) I'm absolutley pain and symptom free and getting back into distance running.

Definetly worth having the surgery!!

 

It's like it never bothered me at all.

 

best of luck to ya with yours.

November 24, 2014
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