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  1. #1
    Registered User leila1120's Avatar
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    Unhappy Back pain and sciatica recovery

    So I have had low back pain and sciatica for about a year now give or take and I think I injuried it with poor posture/form. I have done literally everything recommended... stretches exercise nsaids steroids McKenzie etc...but I can't seem to shake this sciatica. There came a time this past December where I felt I was getting better for a couple months after I started gyming again but I helped a friend move one heavy box and I feel like I'm back at square one. I'm at my wits end. It's very depressing as I have always been very active. I would love to be active again but at this point all I want is to sit more than 15 min without being in severe pain esp since I have to sit for my job. I want to know if anyone has experienced a successful recovery of normal life!!! Not even heavy lifting just normal routine things. I'm very depressed at this point and feel like I'm crippled. Can anyone share their experience?

    I'm posting this on multiple threads bc I don't know exactly where to put it.
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    Registered User cierrey's Avatar
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    I'm not a doctor so can't offer any medical advice.

    I've had sciatica twice and it incredibly painful, both times I've been left unable to walk or sit when the sciatica is at it's worse. The only cure for me is Codeine, Naproxen, stretching several times a day - this worked wonders for me, hot pads and time. My last attack was just before Christmas and prevented me doing almost anything for 2 months, I couldn't sit down for 6 weeks - I ate Christmas dinner lying face down on the floor.
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    Past the acute injury stage, properly-performed squats and deadlifts help. You will require coaching, do nothing until then.

    http://startingstrength.org/index.php/site/coaches
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    Have you gone to a PT about it? I thought I just had a case of sciatica for a while, only to start working with a PT and discovered I actually had two herniated discs. It was then when we could finally treat the real problem rather than the symptoms.
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    Registered User leila1120's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by grouchyjarhead View Post
    Have you gone to a PT about it? I thought I just had a case of sciatica for a while, only to start working with a PT and discovered I actually had two herniated discs. It was then when we could finally treat the real problem rather than the symptoms.
    How long did it last for total?

    Yes I have been working with PT and it helped until I lifted the box. I think I just messed it up all over again. I'm hoping I can get back on track once this acute pain goes away.
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    Registered User leila1120's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    Past the acute injury stage, properly-performed squats and deadlifts help. You will require coaching, do nothing until then.

    ]
    That's what I was doing prior to injuring it the second time. The deadlifts and squats helped.
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    Registered User leila1120's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by cierrey View Post
    I'm not a doctor so can't offer any medical advice.

    I've had sciatica twice and it incredibly painful, both times I've been left unable to walk or sit when the sciatica is at it's worse. The only cure for me is Codeine, Naproxen, stretching several times a day - this worked wonders for me, hot pads and time. My last attack was just before Christmas and prevented me doing almost anything for 2 months, I couldn't sit down for 6 weeks - I ate Christmas dinner lying face down on the floor.
    Yes I have become way too familiar with that position. How long did your longest episode last?
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    Registered User cierrey's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by leila1120 View Post
    Yes I have become way too familiar with that position. How long did your longest episode last?
    The first episode I can't really remember as it was around four years ago. If I had to guess maybe 16 weeks from start to fully recovered, it just lasted and lasted.

    The second episode lasted for around ten weeks, I didn't seem to be making much progress then all of a sudden I was getting better everyday.
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    OP sleep on the floor . Hang from a chin up bar and swing side to side increasing intensity, this will straighten out your back releasing tension pressing on nerves . Although these two suggestions sound primitive the results will amaze .
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    First and foremost seek the advice as mentioned from a PT preferably from someone who works with athletes for an accurate answer to your issue.
    Ive trained for many,many years and have had several debilitating injuries over that time and my experience is they eventually pass.Some take longer than others.
    I would do what you can do without irritating your current problem.
    I can be as simple as just going for long walks,swimming or weight training that doesn't hurt your condition.
    Dont get to down on yourself it will go away.
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    Registered User thnknhevy's Avatar
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    Been there done that. The whole nine yards including being on large doses of narcotics and laying face down on the floor to eat. At one point my neuropathy in my left leg was so bad that when I laid in bed I had to have pillows around my foot to keep the covers from touching it. I still have nerve damage in that leg. The one thing that I had that you did not, unless you didn't list it, was a root sleeve block. This is where they go into your back and inject the pinched nerve with a anesthetic and possibly a steroid. This will allow the nerve to calm down, reduce the swelling in it and let you be more mobile which helps your spine to get back into shape.

    Have you sought a 2nd opinion about what is causing it and any treatments? If not, you may want to do that, including finding another PT.

    Do you use any lumbar support when you sit? The first PT I saw suggested that I put a rolled up towel behind my back in the lumbar area. At first I did that all the time and I now only have to do it when sitting in a vehicle. If I don't use it, I will have problems. I just use a regular bath towel, roll it up and put it back there wherever it feels best.

    Long walks was one of the things Garage Rat suggested and may be very good. If I don't run for awhile I can tell that my back gets weak so that may be something that would help. Start out walking and slowly progress to light jogging then to actual running. See how you tolerate that.

    Spend some time working your abdominals but DO NOTdo crunches or sit ups. I will use the cable machine and do pull downs. Find something that engages the abdominals but does not cause the spine to bend much. I will lay flat on a bench and do a pullover with a EZ curl barbell while picking up a weight with my feet and bringing my knees up towards my chest as much as possible. By laying on the bench my back remains supported but that really works the abdominals.

    To be quite honest I'm not sure you should be doing squats and deadlifts until fully healed and that will take a long time. For me it was 1-2 years to get my back to 80-90%. If you do do them I would suggest doing them with just body weight and make sure someone who knows what they are doing can critique your form.

    Champ07 suggested hanging from a chin up bar to release tension on your back. They make a device that I believe is called an inversion table. Basically you end up hanging from it by your feet. I've used one occasionally but never could get myself to buy one because I had gotten better. Some people swear by them.

    Good luck. Back issues aren't fun.
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  12. #12
    Registered User leila1120's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thnknhevy View Post
    Been there done that. The whole nine yards including being on large doses of narcotics and laying face down on the floor to eat. At one point my neuropathy in my left leg was so bad that when I laid in bed I had to have pillows around my foot to keep the covers from touching it. I still have nerve damage in that leg. The one thing that I had that you did not, unless you didn't list it, was a root sleeve block. This is where they go into your back and inject the pinched nerve with a anesthetic and possibly a steroid. This will allow the nerve to calm down, reduce the swelling in it and let you be more mobile which helps your spine to get back into shape.

    Have you sought a 2nd opinion about what is causing it and any treatments? If not, you may want to do that, including finding another PT.

    Do you use any lumbar support when you sit? The first PT I saw suggested that I put a rolled up towel behind my back in the lumbar area. At first I did that all the time and I now only have to do it when sitting in a vehicle. If I don't use it, I will have problems. I just use a regular bath towel, roll it up and put it back there wherever it feels best.

    Long walks was one of the things Garage Rat suggested and may be very good. If I don't run for awhile I can tell that my back gets weak so that may be something that would help. Start out walking and slowly progress to light jogging then to actual running. See how you tolerate that.

    Spend some time working your abdominals but DO NOTdo crunches or sit ups. I will use the cable machine and do pull downs. Find something that engages the abdominals but does not cause the spine to bend much. I will lay flat on a bench and do a pullover with a EZ curl barbell while picking up a weight with my feet and bringing my knees up towards my chest as much as possible. By laying on the bench my back remains supported but that really works the abdominals.

    To be quite honest I'm not sure you should be doing squats and deadlifts until fully healed and that will take a long time. For me it was 1-2 years to get my back to 80-90%. If you do do them I would suggest doing them with just body weight and make sure someone who knows what they are doing can critique your form.

    Champ07 suggested hanging from a chin up bar to release tension on your back. They make a device that I believe is called an inversion table. Basically you end up hanging from it by your feet. I've used one occasionally but never could get myself to buy one because I had gotten better. Some people swear by them.

    Good luck. Back issues aren't fun.
    I'm getting my first steroid injection next month. I do have a traction machine and I also use lumbar support where ever I go. I was doing deadlift and squats prior to reinury but very light weight as suggested by PT. I really like him. I was afraid to even enter the gym when I was following with another PT but this new guy got me back in there and it's been the only thing that has helped somewhat. I appreciate your input and it seems to be a trend that Ill have to put in the work and be patient. I'm willing to do all of that. I just needed to know that it's not too late to improve and that there was hope. Thanks!
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  13. #13
    Registered User leila1120's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Garage Rat View Post
    First and foremost seek the advice as mentioned from a PT preferably from someone who works with athletes for an accurate answer to your issue.
    Ive trained for many,many years and have had several debilitating injuries over that time and my experience is they eventually pass.Some take longer than others.
    I would do what you can do without irritating your current problem.
    I can be as simple as just going for long walks,swimming or weight training that doesn't hurt your condition.
    Dont get to down on yourself it will go away.
    I def could be walking more, I'm trying to be a bit more proactive about that. I find it difficult to start when I'm in so much pain but once I get going walking def helps. Thanks for the input!
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    Originally Posted by leila1120 View Post
    So I have had low back pain and sciatica for about a year now give or take and I think I injuried it with poor posture/form. I have done literally everything recommended... stretches exercise nsaids steroids McKenzie etc...but I can't seem to shake this sciatica. There came a time this past December where I felt I was getting better for a couple months after I started gyming again but I helped a friend move one heavy box and I feel like I'm back at square one. I'm at my wits end. It's very depressing as I have always been very active. I would love to be active again but at this point all I want is to sit more than 15 min without being in severe pain esp since I have to sit for my job. I want to know if anyone has experienced a successful recovery of normal life!!! Not even heavy lifting just normal routine things. I'm very depressed at this point and feel like I'm crippled. Can anyone share their experience?

    I'm posting this on multiple threads bc I don't know exactly where to put it.
    These asanas cure sciatica: http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/monkey-pose/ and http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/cow-face-pose/ Wherever you are in your attempt to do them, is the pose.
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    Tactical Barbell crew grouchyjarhead's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by leila1120 View Post
    How long did it last for total?

    Yes I have been working with PT and it helped until I lifted the box. I think I just messed it up all over again. I'm hoping I can get back on track once this acute pain goes away.
    To recover to where I could exercise regularly again without constraints, about 8 months. And this was being consistent with my PT appointments and my rehab exercises.

    Right now your main thing is to avoid flexion and avoid stretching your hamstrings with locked knees (so definitely avoid the monkey pose above).
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    Temporary Earthling supramax's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by grouchyjarhead View Post
    To recover to where I could exercise regularly again without constraints, about 8 months. And this was being consistent with my PT appointments and my rehab exercises.

    Right now your main thing is to avoid flexion and avoid stretching your hamstrings with locked knees (so definitely avoid the monkey pose above).
    You don't know what you're talking about. I had the river of fire called sciatica for a year until I read Iyengar's LIGHT ON YOGA and discovered that those two exercises cure sciatica.
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    Tactical Barbell crew grouchyjarhead's Avatar
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    I'm sure my DPT knows what he's talking about. Hey, if it works for you, great. But potentially pushing information that could further someone's symptoms is a disservice to him. If his PT says it's okay, great - if not, he shouldn't mess around with things that could potentially inhibit his recovery.
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    Originally Posted by grouchyjarhead View Post
    I'm sure my DPT knows what he's talking about. Hey, if it works for you, great. But potentially pushing information that could further someone's symptoms is a disservice to him. If his PT says it's okay, great - if not, he shouldn't mess around with things that could potentially inhibit his recovery.
    When I had sciatica, I desperately wanted to get rid of it. For a while, I took the stomach buggering up anti inflammatory pills. I stopped because they basically eat away the walls of your stomach. That's when I discovered cayenne pepper, but that's another story. In my search I met a lot of people that had sciatica and most of them had it for years and years and had undergone all sorts of expensive band aid therapies, electrical and massage and physical manipulation to name a few. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. All anyone with sciatica has to do is try those exercises for a while and the sciatica will disappear.

    EDIT: I just want to add that in hatha yoga, you never force a position. Be gentle with the body and flexibility will come quickly.
    Last edited by supramax; 03-19-2017 at 06:58 AM.
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    no one suggested a chiro? i have sciatica issues over the last 20 years, that comes and goes. the longest i suffered was 3 months. I had a great chiropractor the first time around (in my early 20s) i Could not move, my husband and a friend had to CARRY me into the office. I actually have an appt today for some shoulder pinching - and cannot wait.
    I sit all day at work - I have to use a hard kitchen chair the soft ones leave me with a dull, aching pain. i have also felt much better when doing dead lifts, etc, I feel like the muscle support is helpful. I am surprised running was suggested. Although i do run on occasion, it is a killer for me! i have to do some major stretching (happy baby, cat / cow) some days.
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