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Sciatic Nerve

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Cuppa Tea
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2005/07/27 23:33:21 (permalink)

Sciatic Nerve

I'm hoping someone can help me of if not I read on the site some where about a resident doctor. How do i ask him/her for some advice?

I have damaged my sciatic nerve and was giving some excersies by a physio. The pain was going but it has started to come back again. I was wondering if there was anything i should be doing to strengthen my back which would help or what else can i be doing? I have stop lifting weights as i find my back/left buttock and hamstring is pretty sore for a few days after.

At the moment i am doing:

Neck exercises - forward and back then side to side

Forward and backward circles with arms

Back stretches on the mat - while flat on back bring knee to chest with both hands and curl up. Repeat with other leg and then both legs. Then bring both legs to chest and curls up then rock gently.

Lie on back with knees bent and arms out to either side. Rotate knees to the left and hold then to the right and hold.

While sitting on the floor leave one leg straight and bend the other leg over the out stretched leg. Place elbow on bent knee and twist to the side. Repeat for both legs.

Then some hamstring stretches.

Anymore advice would be wonderful as i am unable to go to the gym properly or take part in pre season for my football team as i am in real pain for days after.

Thanks
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    scruffy
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/07/27 23:40:42 (permalink)
    if it is hurting again then go see the specialist again,,, YOU SHOULD TAKE NO ADVICE FROM ANYONE WHO HAS NOT SEEN YOUR CONDITION as this may lead to further pain
    #2
    warrden1
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/07/28 04:36:41 (permalink)
    Do what scruffy says. However, I pinched mine awhile back and couldn't move for some time. The doctor had me on an electric muscle stimulater. It helped alot but I can also say that I'll still always have back issues. It hurts when the weather changes or after a long run or even from standing to long. I've learned to deal and still lift like a mad man.
    #3
    flemgribbin
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/07/28 11:59:22 (permalink)
    im suffering with the same thing.I went to see my physio on tue and she is gunna sort me some exercises for my nxt app.i can still carry on weight training but its mainly upper torso work as i find it to painful to do any leg work at the min.a good painkiller is diclofenac which is an anti inflamm drug.although ur prob on something similer.but they do really kurb the pain.hope you get through it soon as i know first hand what your going through.

    id rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal labotomy!!!!
    #4
    symzie
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/07/28 12:47:40 (permalink)
    At the risk of sounding like a broken record..

    Physios should not be diagnosing back problems, never ever ever, they don't know what they're doing

    See an osteo or a chiro and find out what's actually wrong with your back. The physio might be right but he's just as likely to be wrong.

    #5
    MikeyFive
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/07/28 13:04:12 (permalink)
    I also think standard physios aren't exactly setting the world on fire with their skills. Go see someone as specialist and respected as you can. For example, soon I'll be going to Bath Uni to see a specialist there that works at the sports village treating national athletes. This guy REALLY knows his stuff.

    m5
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    motorhead
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/07/28 15:26:21 (permalink)
    was not till i had a MRI that i fine my sciatica was cause by a prolapse disc.
    #7
    Jack The Lad
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/07/28 17:50:27 (permalink)
    I don't know how you can say that physios don't know what they are doing. I've suffered quite severe back problems for many years and found chiroprators to make it a lot worse - so I could say that they don't know what they are doing but other people have some decent results so I won't. I am pretty certain one of them caused a disk rupture after convincing me I had one leg shorter than the other and making me wear insoles. My neuro and osteo surgeons said that everyone has one leg shorter than the other and mind was less different to most people.

    My free NHS physio who is treating my shoulder knows a lot about backs and how to treat them. I am getting referred to him for my back if I can talk my doc into it since he clearly knows his sh*t. He certainly knows more than any GP - not that that says much mind.
    Physios do a lot of anatomy in their training and usually see a lot of back problems so they are a good choice for treatment IMO.

    As for the original post - you say you actually damaged the nerve? That would make it a job for a neurosurgeon or similar who should have given you very explicit instrution and a program to follow. Do you really know that you damaged the nerve or just popped a disk and suffer some nerve compression for a while? Or have you just had sciatica from an undiagnosed lumbar area problem?

    The exercises you list are some of the common stretching exercises but you don't seem to have any strengthening ones. Stretching is one thing but you need to strengthen the back, the abs, the obliques, the deep abdominals, the glutes and the hams. There are exercises to do this but you might not want to take advice from some block on the net who's not seen you! I think it's very unlikely that doing merely basic stretching like that is going to "cure" you. It might keep pain at bay for a while and allow natural healing but if you have underlying problems then you need more than that.

    Also, have they just left you to it now or do you have follow up sessions booked? Have they given you a prognosis? or how you should progress with the exercises?

    You need to progress with stretching and strengthening exercises. I've gone from simple stretches like yours to PNF stretching for the hams and glutes etc (since static stretches don't seem to really do much for them) to doing back hypers, various crunches, other core work, weighted back hypers and now SL Deadlifts with light weights. The idea of doing SLDLs a while back would have seemed like an impossible and probably insane idea but as the strength builds things get better. I dso get sore after exercising and when I do, I leave it for a while. I never exercise when the back hurts too much. I do a lot of McKenzie style back extensions and yoga Sun Salutations to ease it up after weights. I still get acute episodes every now and again and will be in some pain or stiffness in the mornings, probably for the rest of my life, but the improvement is massive. The stronger you get your core, legs, glutes, back and abs (along with staying flexible) the better it all gets.

    Also ask the practitioner about neuro stretches.

    There is a new book worth getting: The Backsmart Fitness Plan by Adam Weiss, also the classic Back Bible by S.Keys, if you haven't already got it. If you are like me you will have a shelf full of books about back pain :-(
    #8
    symzie
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/07/28 18:31:41 (permalink)
    Jack, I agree chiros usually make the problem worse, so you need to keep going to them and they make more money but they can diagnose problems much better than a physio. All I'm saying is that it's not a good idea to let a physio diagnose the problem and then believe he knows what he's doing. I think physios are useful for some things but diagnosing back problems isn't one of them. I'm speaking from expeience here, I have a book shelf full of books on back problems too. Have you read any John Sarno?

    I was also told I had one leg shorter than the other when I didn't (my pelvis was twisted)

    I was told by more than one physio that I probably have a ruptured disk - I didn't

    In all I saw 5 physios while I had a twisted pelvis and a twisted sacrum causing SI joint pain and not even one of them could see the problem, it took an osteo a matter of seconds to see the problem but by this time it had been going on for months.

    but John Sarno is definately worth a read, especially if you have long term back, neck or hip pain
    #9
    scruffy
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/07/28 20:38:36 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: flemgribbin

    im suffering with the same thing.I went to see my physio on tue and she is gunna sort me some exercises for my nxt app.i can still carry on weight training but its mainly upper torso work as i find it to painful to do any leg work at the min.a good painkiller is diclofenac which is an anti inflamm drug.although ur prob on something similer.but they do really kurb the pain.hope you get through it soon as i know first hand what your going through.


    how on earth can you say your suffering the same thing ? have you read his medical record ? drugs should not be suggested without the specialists advice...
    post edited by scruffy - 2005/07/28 20:40:53
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    sambam
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/07/28 20:59:45 (permalink)
    I have to agree bout physios. Ones I've been to, diagnose the one leg shorter, buy insoles that'll correct problem, didnt help one bit. A GP discovered I have a prolapsed disc, and I have to be careful with what I do. The disc rubs on the sciatic nerve. Exercising and yoga helps, also avoiding stuff where I'm bent over, i.e. gardening or standing for long periods of time. Good Mornings, ab work is helping to strengthen my core. Unfortunately I did a little gardening over 2 weeks ago and I'm still suffering now. Learned my lesson though.
    #11
    Cuppa Tea
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/07/28 22:48:39 (permalink)
    Hi Guys

    Thanks for all the advice. I think i have pinched my sciatic nerve (damaged was the wrong word to use sorry). The pain is worse in the mornings and the days after training (weights and football). It mainly hurts when i try to get out of bed, get in and out of the car and if i try to bend down. The main area of pain is my glutes (left buttock) but i also have pain in my lower back (not as bad as it was) and my left hamstring feels really tight.

    I have been advised not to do any weights which involve lifting above my head as it puts pressure on my lower back. Also to sit/lie and lift weights whenever possible.

    I will start a Pilates class in September which should be of some use.

    I will look into seeing someone else as opposed to my physio. Which specialist would you suggest. Chiro? (sp)

    Thanks again guys.
    #12
    Cuppa Tea
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/07/28 22:55:14 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: flemgribbin

    im suffering with the same thing.I went to see my physio on tue and she is gunna sort me some exercises for my nxt app.i can still carry on weight training but its mainly upper torso work as i find it to painful to do any leg work at the min.a good painkiller is diclofenac which is an anti inflamm drug.although ur prob on something similer.but they do really kurb the pain.hope you get through it soon as i know first hand what your going through.


    I haven't been giving any medication. Both my physio and GP said if in pain i should take ibuprofen which is an anti inflam. I would rather not have to rely on medication as i would rather get better through excercise if possible. I've also found that GP's, Physios (not my current physio) and other people are a bit too quick to fob you off with medication.
    #13
    Walnaldinho
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/07/28 23:06:55 (permalink)
    In defence of physio's... who are my direct competition btw, they are under increasing pressure from the NHS to know a wider variety of things, and they cover things in far too brief context IMO. They aren't great with rehabilitation either, their training doesn't cover it, they are only taught to return people to a level to which they can complete day to day living.

    Physios do however tend to get decent training on backs, mainly due to the fact the majority of the population suffer a back problem at some point in their lives.

    The sciatic nerve in some people runs through the piriformis muscle (in the butt) if this muscle becomes tight it therefore effect the nerve. Therefore, i would suggest just trying to keep the glutes stretched! Might not work, but it certainly won't do you any harm either.

    Neural stretches were mentioned in an earlier post, there technically aren't such things because neural tissue can't be stretched, however the neurodynamics can be improved, might be able to find some of these on the net? Not sure myself, i haven't looked! Basically, these just improve the ability of the neural tissue to move and glide whilst the limbs are moving. This will stop any spasm in the muscles from occuring, which occurs due to the muscles tendancy to contract in order to protect the neural tissue.

    Jack the Lad hit the nail on the head when he brought up strengthening of the 'core stability muscles' - i use that term very loosely due to the fitness industry taking the meaning out of context! Exercises like single leg squats, partial weight bearing to start with (possibly using a hand on the wall for balance), moving onto full weight bearing, and further onto using a step are good for this sort of thing. These cause all of the muscles that work to control these movements to work together and in unison.

    However, as pretty much everyone has said prior to me, no one can/should advise you, or more to the point, you shouldn't take they advice 100%. If the physio you have seen has been poor, try another one with a better reputation, it may cost you slightly more per session, but in the long run it will save you a lot of money! Chiropractors on the other hand do seem to have a lot of recurrant patients, but they do the job for some people, so i wouldn't rule it out completely!

    All the best with sorting your condition.
    #14
    Cuppa Tea
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/07/28 23:39:16 (permalink)
    Cheers Walnaldinho, i'll look into some of what you suggested. I'll try stretching my glutes as this will probably help.

    Thanks again
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    Jack The Lad
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/08/03 12:56:00 (permalink)
    Walnaldinho

    When you say physios are your competition - what is it that you practice?

    The reason I ask is that I'm very interested in getting into some form of physical treatment practice and am investigating physio, chiro and osteopathy. I'd like, in the long term, to become a back expert - so I can help people like me who have been through years of misery.

    Both chiropracty and osteopathy seem to be originally based on very sketchy ideas - almost quackery but have both matured so that modern practitioners know as much about anatomy etc as a physio and treat people not just with realignment but with exercise etc. I'd be interested to know what you do and how you find it.

    TYhanks
    #16
    Walnaldinho
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/08/03 14:00:40 (permalink)
    Sports Therapist - i have a different society to the physios, and we have a lot more training in rehabilition methods and soft tissue injuries. Basically physios get bogged down in all the lung physio, a beautiful task which stimulates people to bring up mucus which they can't do on their own, and other wonderful jobs like this. Also very hard to get into physiotherapy at the moment. There's about 8 universities which do Sports Therapy now, degree itself has only been going for about 6 years, but the society of sports therapists has been going about 10 years i think...

    I personally have only just graduated, so i'm still in the process of finding a job within the field. From the work i have actually done it's not too bad, learning the stuff isn't as easy as you may first think either... if you're interested in it you'll enjoy it, as with anything in life. You would be best off talking to a few people from each of the professions to find out what the differences are in each job and making your descision based on which fits your personal preference. If you don't want to be on rotation for 5 years on the NHS dealing with paediactics and the such like, i would rule out physio, plus they never get enough time to properly see through a patient. The NHS is under so much pressure that they only get people back to a 'liveable' standard, probably not what you're after by the sounds of things.
    #17
    Jack The Lad
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/08/03 14:05:59 (permalink)
    Thanks for the reply mate.

    I'd be interested to hear about how you get on with finding work.

    I'm leaning towards Osteopathy at the mo because you can do the first 2 years of the degree very part-time and it seems to have moved more away from it's quacky roots than has chiro. Even our local doctor's surgery has an osteo come in once a week. Also seems like the sort of thing that you can run your own practice with. I've not looked at sports therapy - I'll check that out. Thanks for the info on physios - I was talking to my physio about you confirm what I've been thinking.
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    Cuppa Tea
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/08/05 00:30:38 (permalink)
    Hi Walnaldinho

    I just checked what profession the guy i went to see is actually trained in after i read you were a sports therapist. THey guy i see is also a sports therapist (i just thought this was a fancy word for physio!).

    On his letter head it has sports therapist Dip.FA.T.O.I.MISST.Dip.S.T.

    Does that mean anything to you?

    Also, my football manager said he had a problem with his sciatic nerve and went to an acupunturist which sorted him out. He said it was quite amazing as one day he couldn't really walk properly then he was back to normal. I know every case is different but does this seem plausable to you? Is there anyway acupucture can help a pinched sciatic nerve? Just asking before i look into seeing someone.
    #19
    Walnaldinho
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    RE: Sciatic Nerve 2005/08/05 00:47:05 (permalink)
    Which country you in?

    If you're in England then...

    The letters he puts after his name mean nothing at all to me, if he had a degree from an English university, he would have BSc(Hons) or MSc, PhD isn't available in 'Sports Therapy' as such yet, but he could have it in something else and still be a sports therapist. Those letters don't seem like American degree either... this doesn't mean he isn't qualified though, it just means he qualified to the society of sports therapists standards before there was a degree in place. I would find out if he is a member of the society of sports therapists, or is qualified to their standards, because if he isn't eligible to be a member, by law he shouldn't be calling himself a sports therapist, just as by law i can't call myself a physiotherapist.

    Acupuncture is an odd therapy, i'm not taught in it, and the science behind it is some what cloudy, but there are people who have it and swear by it, i can only suggest trying it to find out for yourself to be honest. I don't think it did anything for me when i had it for my back problems, but as you say, youknow someone who it has worked for.
    #20
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