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TOPIC: Exercising with a pinched sciatic nerve

 
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October 6, 2011 11:27 AM
I'm wondering if I should scale back on the exercise a bit since I've got a pinched sciatic nerve. I have been hurting for a few weeks but have been warming up and doing lots of stretching before exercising. It actually feels better for a bit after that but if I sit for any length of time when I go to get up I can barely put any weight Ion my right leg due to the pain. I went to the Dr. yesterday and she prescribed ibuprofen and flexirol. She also wants me to do Physical Therapy. I told her that I had been working out and she didn't say that I should stop. So I assumed that I'd be okay to exercise until I took the flexirol and it knocked me for a loop. I took it before bed last night and even after coffee this morning I still felt groggy and out of it. I didn't work out at lunch doing Zumba as I didn't have the energy still. I normally do weights 3 x's a week, walk/run on the treadmill or elliptical 3-4x's a week, 2 Zumba classes, 2 pilates classes and a yoga class every week. Should I cut it down to walking and stretching only until I'm pain free? Along with the physical therapy of course.
October 6, 2011 11:34 AM
Personally, I'd be asking my doctor specifically what I should or shouldn't do. My doctor didn't tell me until I asked that I wasn't supposed to be doing anything but laying down and doing physical therapy.
  9726705
October 6, 2011 11:35 AM
QUOTE:

Should I cut it down to walking and stretching only until I'm pain free? Along with the physical therapy of course.


Yes.
  10260287
October 6, 2011 11:35 AM
Be careful about how much you excercise with sciatica! I had the same issue last year and your #1 priority should be the excercises that your physical therapist gives you. Don't work out through the pain - you're making it worse. Definitely walk and stretch more so than you do anything. Try swimming -- it's very low impact and is supposed to be good for your back. That said, I think that running, walking, elliptical and pilates should all be fine if it doesn't bother your leg/back to do it. I'd be very careful with doing yoga because there are certain positions that you ahev to hold that can make your pinched nerve worse, as well as certain types of weight lifting that would no longer be appropriate. Also, zumba can be pretty high impact ( I would know, I have tendonitis in the knee from it!!!) so that is something I'd ask your PT about before going back to it. Definitely go get that PT evaluation before pushing yourself to excercise with your pinched nerve!!
Edited by XOXolga On October 6, 2011 11:36 AM
October 6, 2011 11:35 AM
As a licensed massage therapist my advice to you is too seek out an orthopedic therapist- they can fix you in one or two treatments- depending on which state you are in there are different lic. requirements and sometimes you have to be careful in selecting a therapist- If you go to James Waslaski's web site he will have a listing of licensed orthopedic therapists in your area- THROW AWAY the pills- pm me if you have any more questions-
October 6, 2011 11:37 AM
I used to have TERRIBLE sciatic nerve pain. For about 7 months and nothing helped. The only thing that helped me was when I went home for winter break this past December, I slept on a airbed and blew it up firm firm every night. Within about a week, the pain was pretty much gone! Didn't come back til I tried moving my living room around by myself about a month ago...

I usually don't have trouble on the elliptical, but walking on the treadmill or using a cross trainer seems to trigger pain for me.. I'm open to suggestions, too

Good luck :)
  8503713
October 6, 2011 11:37 AM
I am new to this site and I too have sciatic nerve pain. Sometimes it is unbearable and sometimes not so much this is a great question I am glad you asked it because I have been wondering the same things.
October 6, 2011 11:38 AM
PS When I went to the DR, all they told me was to lose weight. They didn't even bother to check around my sciatic...
  8503713
October 6, 2011 11:44 AM
I used to suffer with sciatica in my right leg also...ouch it hurts really, really bad!

I am not sure what the cure has been but since I have been walking everyday and lost a little weight I have not had it for around 4 months...I used to get it about every 4-6 weeks.

But I know when I used to suffer with it then it was very painful and I dont think, personally, it would have helped to exercise through it.

But I am not a doctor...maybe you can find out more on Google?? or Wikipedia?
October 6, 2011 11:47 AM
That's why I am so against prescription meds - you just never know the whole story.

I have mild scoliosis and sometimes, not often, experience pain associated with a pinched nerve.

Last month, I went through three weeks of back pain (pinched nerve). I'm too cheap to go running to the doctor for life's minor aches and pains, so, despite the back pain, I kept up with my exercise regimen: 30 minutes of elliptical @ level 1 + 60 minutes of treadmill @ 3.0mps, 20 minutes of stretching, 15 minutes of strength training, and 2 minutes of crunches and planking. During the second week, I took one day of sick leave, staying in bed, resting; my pain didn't go away, so I just pressed through, increasing the floor stretches. Then one day, the pain was gone. A mystery . . . .

I have a sedentary job, so I try to remember to get up every 30 minutes to stretch and move. It helps.
  9680661
October 6, 2011 11:49 AM
QUOTE:

As a licensed massage therapist my advice to you is too seek out an orthopedic therapist- they can fix you in one or two treatments- depending on which state you are in there are different lic. requirements and sometimes you have to be careful in selecting a therapist- If you go to James Waslaski's web site he will have a listing of licensed orthopedic therapists in your area- THROW AWAY the pills- pm me if you have any more questions-


Thanks this was very helpful. I'll check out that website.
October 6, 2011 11:55 AM
QUOTE:

I used to have TERRIBLE sciatic nerve pain. For about 7 months and nothing helped. The only thing that helped me was when I went home for winter break this past December, I slept on a airbed and blew it up firm firm every night. Within about a week, the pain was pretty much gone! Didn't come back til I tried moving my living room around by myself about a month ago...


Before going to the Doctor, I iced it and then used a heating pad, slept on the floor, slept with pillows between my legs on my side then a small pillow under my lower back. I never thought about an air mattress.

Thanks for your response hopefully you'll get some good helpful ideas too.
October 6, 2011 3:47 PM
Give yourself a week to recover. Your body needs to rest. As hard as it may be for you, just rest for one week. Then when you start again, try walking for about 15 minutes until you can build up your endurance. I hope you get better soon.
October 6, 2011 7:02 PM
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=142852
  9518520
October 6, 2011 7:14 PM
hi I have the same problem and i did go to physical therapy back in 2004 for this problem and i was laid off so i lost my insurance. It had stopped hurting but it came back dec 2010 and i've had it since them. But haven't really done anything to try to fix it. Mine is very minor only when i walk at a very fast pace and it bothers me when I've been sitting for awhile. But not as bad as the first time back in 2004. What really works and I'm actually going to try again, is to sit on a tennis ball and move in a circular motion. You really feel a relief doing that.
  10400279
October 6, 2011 7:20 PM
In my personal experience resting didnt help mine. It made it worse. The only thing that helped was doing the exercises that my PT gave me to do and then exercising on my own. But even now that I do that, if I sit for too long, it KILLS when I get up. I have just learned to deal with it. It wasnt acting up until I moved a couple months ago and now its back. If you do a google search for sciatic nerve exercises you will find some helpful ones.

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