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TOPIC: Sciatica pain...and exercise

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January 4, 2011 11:27 AM
Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone suffers from chronic sciatica pain and if they have used exercise to ease the pain?

I've gained 40 lbs and I'm pretty sure that's the main cause of my sciatica pain but it hurts when I exercise but I need to exercise so I can stretch out and lose's a bit of catch 22...

Can anyone tell me if I should suck it up and work through the pain (as long as I can still bear it) or I should really stop working out?

I'm currently doing the 30 Day Shred and I feel great after the work's the half an hour after the work, I start feel the pinch again...

Any advice would be great! Thank you!

January 4, 2011 11:31 AM
Acupuncture works great for sciatic pain. Work through the pain, it gets worse with inactivity. Stretching is very helpful for sciatic pain too.
January 4, 2011 11:35 AM
in my experience with sciatica, exercise did not help at all. It's because the muscles are squeezing the sciatic nerve. So getting tight butt muscles from exercise can make it worse. I had sciatica on the left side two summers ago, it was the worst pain I've ever had. The only thing that worked was to do stretches every day AND treat with ice for 10-20 minutes at a time about twice a day. I would use big bags of frozen peas on my lower back/butt. It totally worked, took a few weeks though before I could really exercise again. And I had to keep on top of it. Stretching is really important.

Hope this helps.
January 4, 2011 11:37 AM
I have the same problem and I just work through it. I have noticed a difference when I was doing PIYO (Pilates/Yoga). It helped to stretch all that area out. It hurt to stretch it but it felt so much better afterward.
I also see a chiropractor and massage therapist and they help a lot also.
January 4, 2011 11:38 AM
I had sciatica (and gained 20lbs as a result) a couple of years ago. I broke a piece off of a lower vertibrae and squeezed the "gel" out of the middle on 2 vertibrae- the piece that broke off ended up lodged between my sciatic nerve and bone? One night my left leg went completely numb and that lasted for over a week- I was told by a neurologist that I needed surgery. BUT being stubborn as I am- I refused and when I was able to walk again- I jumped on the treadmill. I would walk at 1.5-2.0 every day for at least 20 minutes- then after a couple of weeks I turned the incline way up and would walk at 2.0 for 30 minutes. I started feeling better and wasnt having problems standing and the numbness in my leg was mostly gone........... I still have some issues- but with that being said I avoided surgery by pushing through it with exercise.
I am NOT a dr and cant give you medical advice, as sciatica is a pretty big deal- but this worked for me. 2 years later I am back to jogging (not quite running yet) and the pain is gone.

Oh- and sitting at work was the worst for me- the pinch was always there and OH SO annoying.................Have you tried physical therapy? I went briefly and learned stretches specifically for my situation. Good luck!
Edited by doobabe On January 4, 2011 11:40 AM
January 4, 2011 11:41 AM
I've used a chiropractor for when I have sciatic pain. Working out doesn't necessarily help, unless it's helping to strengthen what is letting it get pinched - for example, if you have bones moving out of position due to not having the proper muscle support to keep them in place.

But if you are having a lot of problems, you should really see a professional instead of asking for help on here. Make sure there isn't something else wrong. :)
January 4, 2011 11:49 AM
If you are having sciatica then there is something irritating that nerve. When I had that problem in addition to 2 slipped discs, I went to a chiropractor and a physical therapist. The therapist showed me some exercises I could do to stretch the muscles that would get tight, and how to move so that I didn't continue to irritate it. The chiropractor found a minor misalignment that he corrected with a few visits using muscle trigger massage and pressure adjustments. My biggest contributor to the problem was that I have arthritis in my hip, and it will occasionally slip slightly out of place causing a gait problem that results in tight muscles, that causes the misalignment, that cause the sciatica and the pain. I will occasionally (maybe a couple times a year) go to the chiro for a "tune up" just to make sure things are still in place.

When I had the problem I had to back off on the exercise I was getting, and take motrin. Once I got the muscle spasms stopped and everything stretched back out I picked it back up.
January 4, 2011 11:55 AM
I have suffered from sciatic nerve pain since the birth of my 2nd child. I have always taken medication & used a heating pad and rested as much as possible until to pain subsides.

I hope you feel better soon....Sciatic Nerve pain is the worst!!
January 4, 2011 12:18 PM
Thanks guys!

I have seen a physio and she also told me to use ice which I did for a week solid but it just numbed the pain...not to mention it was snowing in London and it really wasn't pleasant to have a really cold butt!! The physio also told me 'not' to stretch and not do too much and I listened to her and didn't for a week but it was just getting worse.

I decided to go against the physio and started doing stretches for sciatica pains. I used to do yoga so I know quite a few stretches and I have to say...I felt so much better after the stretches! I actually thought about chiropractor so I think I might give that a try!

I've had sciatica pain before but only when I've gained weight. Yoga really fixed it when I did yoga regularly for a whole year. Then I moved to London...and got fat...

I think I will give accupunture and chiropractor a go...thanks for all the tips!!

January 4, 2011 12:50 PM
I had a slipped disc a few years ago that put pressure on my sciatic nerve causing great pain and my leg to go completely numb. I went to physical therapy and they taught me various stretches and exercises to work the muscle surrounding the area. They stressed to me that it is very important to keep moving. To not allow the muscles around the injury weaken as this will cause more pain in the long run. I find this to be very true for me. Once I start slacking on exercise my sciatica flares up, but when I start moving again I experience little to no pain. Of course, everyone is different and you should consult with your own PT or medical professional. Oh and by the way..i used to LOVE the chiropractor..used to go once a week until this happened. my lower back was incorrectly adjusted one day and was in extreme pain but the chiro refused to give me an xray as they said nothing was wrong and it was all in my head. I went to an orthopedist for a 2nd opnion and found out through an MRI that I had a slipped disc. Both the Orthopedist and my PT think that this was the result of the incorrect adjustment from the chiropractor. I have not been back since. I have a ton of back problems from multiple car accidents, but I find regular exercise and stretching keep the pain away.


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