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  1. #1
    Registered User SirTristan's Avatar
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    Sciatica - squats, deadlifts - and would a weight lifting belt help?

    Last year a doctor diagnosed me with a sciatica when I got an EMG for an unrelated condition, I'd never heard the term before. Recently started kettlebell squatting and deadlifting, and have been feeling odd in my mid-to-lower back the next day (even though the kettlebell only weighs 35 lbs) - doesn't quite feel like soreness so it might be the sciatica, although I'm not sure. Don't really know what the effect of a sciatica is on working out.

    Is it OK to do squats and deadlifts if you have a sciatica?

    And would a weight lifting belt help? I'm lifting only a small weight so I wouldn't have thought to use one, until I remembered the sciatica. Also I've heard that weight lifting belts can actually hurt you, but I don't know how the sciatica factors in.
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  2. #2
    Registered User Elusive49's Avatar
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    a belt or lower back brace would definately help....the only way a brace can hurt you is if you wear it too much such as during your whole workout or during your everyday activities it can actually weaken your stabilizer muscles in your lower back since they arent being used. I would suggest wearing one while you are doing heavy squat/deadlift type excerses. It helped me alot in rehabing my lower back injury
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  3. #3
    Physiotherapist Fresch's Avatar
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    What is the causeof your sciatica??? Has that been established / investigated? Sciatica is usually the symptom of another problem.

    Have you performed any form of rehab for your sciatica?
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  4. #4
    Registered User SirTristan's Avatar
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    The cause wasn't established, no. I haven't performed any rehab - the doctors didn't say much about it. I was there for a worse condition and this wasn't related.

    Is there precedence in terms of doctor recommendations on squatting/deadlifting for people with a sciatica?
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  5. #5
    Physiotherapist Fresch's Avatar
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    NOT recommended to be done in the presence if sciatica: if you have an injured disc, you may seriously aggravate the injury.
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  6. #6
    Registered User SirTristan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Fresch View Post
    NOT recommended to be done in the presence if sciatica: if you have an injured disc, you may seriously aggravate the injury.
    That sucks...what do doctors who are weight lifters themselves say about sciaticas and squats/deadlifts?

    I talked to my internist and he said I should avoid exercises that compress the back, but it seemed like there were no set rules. Another doctor I talked to said that basically if I can handle the pain, then it doesn't matter - I can do whatever.

    I don't actually have pain - it's more a sense of odd weakness, a slightly "scary" type feeling. I want to be careful because the back and neck are two things that you don't want to take risks with - and yet squats and deadlifts are considered the two best strength training exercises. Without them I'll never come close to achieving my personal fitness objectives. So I'm conflicted...
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  7. #7
    Physiotherapist Fresch's Avatar
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    WEll, I would have the sciatica investigated, and maybe a course of physiotherapy.

    Once the cause of your sciatica is known, then advice can be given about lifting.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Elusive49's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Fresch View Post
    WEll, I would have the sciatica investigated, and maybe a course of physiotherapy.

    Once the cause of your sciatica is known, then advice can be given about lifting.

    good advice...i would definately not try to work through the pain though...consider the pain a warning...if you ignore it you could have alot of problems....get it looked at and in the mean time avoid anything that cause back pain...
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  9. #9
    Registered User MajorHart's Avatar
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    I have / had sciatica

    Originally Posted by SirTristan View Post
    That sucks...what do doctors who are weight lifters themselves say about sciaticas and squats/deadlifts?

    I talked to my internist and he said I should avoid exercises that compress the back, but it seemed like there were no set rules. Another doctor I talked to said that basically if I can handle the pain, then it doesn't matter - I can do whatever.

    I don't actually have pain - it's more a sense of odd weakness, a slightly "scary" type feeling. I want to be careful because the back and neck are two things that you don't want to take risks with - and yet squats and deadlifts are considered the two best strength training exercises. Without them I'll never come close to achieving my personal fitness objectives. So I'm conflicted...
    I had and have sciatica. Mine was caused by doing leg curls. I pulled a muscle in my leeft buttock. My left buttock and lower back hurt mostly when sitting at the computer.

    I had it once before (right side) and worked it out by doing no weight squats. SO far it hasn't stopped this one but I just did a set of deadlifts and that did hep - the pain is way down - I willl do several more sets and see what happens.

    MajorHart
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  10. #10
    Registered User I.K9009's Avatar
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    As someone said the most important information is what's causing the sciatica. Once you figure that out you can decide what to do. If this is related to your lower back then a lifting belt might not be a great idea right now as it may mask pain until after the workout so you could be hurting whatever is causing the sciatica more.
    I.K
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