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anyone have problems with sciatica???(11 posts)

anyone have problems with sciatica???andydave
Jul 22, 2003 3:35 PM
I have been dealing with cronic sciatica flare-ups in my left leg for many years. Anytime I get out on the bike and get feeling good, I tend to ride a little too hard. Then the sciatica flares up and I end up missing a week+ or riding.

Anyone else have this problem? Anyone had any luck getting rid of it?
try...kidrn
Jul 22, 2003 3:57 PM
...a massage therapist and get reflexology....also read about the piriformis muscle.
took your advice and looked up piriformis musle...andydave
Jul 22, 2003 5:54 PM
because my problem generally starts with muscle soreness (mostly in the left hamstring). As this soreness wears off, the sciatica sets in. This has happened many times. Very frustrating.

I do know a good massage therapist. But what is reflexology?
look at this site...kidrn
Jul 23, 2003 4:10 PM
www.reflexology-usa.net/index.htm

your MT should be familiar with the pressure point near the heel for your problem.
Good luck...
Have an MRI yet?High Gear
Jul 22, 2003 4:13 PM
I had sciatica for two years. I couldn't take it any more and had the discectomy on the 7th. No more pain, just a little weak in the lower back right now. If you have tried all the vodoo therapy and nothing has worked an you do have a disc bulge. I would seek out a good neurosurgeon for a possible operation. Good Luck
Have an MRI yet?daniell
Jul 22, 2003 5:18 PM
My Sciatica just flared up. Two years ago I went to an orthopedist, had MRI etc. He never mentioned anything about surgery. Just Vioxx and physical therapy. I found that swimming was good therapy.

Daniel
ChiropractorFatManLittleBike
Jul 22, 2003 7:09 PM
Three visits to the chiropractor fixed my sciatica.
wow!!! I am jealousandydave
Jul 22, 2003 7:53 PM
What was your chiropractor's diagnosis? Was it a misalignment problem, pinched nerve? Just wondering
wow!!! I am jealousFatManLittleBike
Jul 23, 2003 11:52 AM
He said my pelvis was misaligned. He could feel it in my hips and see it in my leg length. The irritation to my sacroiliac joint was inflamming my sciatic nerve. He must have been right on, because it was fixed pretty quick. No problems since.
yes; here's what you doET
Jul 23, 2003 5:55 AM
Sciatica is almost always the result of one of two things: a tight piriformis muscle or a bulging disc. (Oh yes, some would say there's a third possiblity--that it's all in your mind cuz you're angry, and if you would just buy Dr. Sarno's book you'll be cured. I don't deny that stress increases backache, but I get the impression that in order for Dr. Sarno's book to help, you can't just read it, you have to *buy* it. :-))

I'd say it makes sense to first do piriformis stretching for a few weeks and see if there's any response. Lie on your back on a table and put the troubled-side leg over the other one so that the troubled-side leg's foot is resting just outside the other leg's knee. Then gently push the troubled-side knee out and down with the other side's hand, keeping the outer edge of your foot next to the other knee. You will feel the stretch. Hold for about one minute. When you get more flexible, your knee might even go below horizontal (hence the use of the table). Stretch the other leg in a similar fashion for balance. Another stretch is to lie down on the floor, soles of the feet down and knees at 45 degrees, and then cross one leg over the other (like how men sit at a formal function), and then gently push the knee downward with the same-side hand and hold. If you're unclear about this description, you could go for a visit to a physical therapist, but I don't think they'll help much more than what I'm telling you. Doing hamstring stretches and staying flexible e.g. through yoga can help too; this advice applies even if it's not a piriformis issue.

If you go a month without results, it very likely isn't the piriformis. Then request an MRI of your lumbar spine to check for bulging discs. (I presume you don't have any neck problems; if you do, be sure to tell the doc.) If positive, you join the millions who have disc problems. Some do fine with the full-fledged disc surgery and it can be warranted, but others end up regretting it. (You don't sound like you're in constant agony, so I'd be wary of jumping into it.) The recurrence rate for such surgery is higher than one might think, and future complications often lead to additional surgeries, fusions, etc., possibly in other locations.

Assuming a disc problem, there is a relatively newer and effective alternative no one here ever seems to mention: epiduroscopy. This is a series of up to three scope-guided epidural shots injecting anti-inflammatory and painkilling meds down various nerve roots. Done by a competent doc (often a pain-mgmt back doc) often in an outpatient center, the risks are minimal (it's very minimally invasive--with a teensy incision just above your butt crack--and so does not upset the back structure; if you have a desk job, you can go back to work in the next day or two), and many get total or at least partial relief from the shots, at a far greater rate than blind epidural shots. It is also of great diagnostic value. Insurance coverage varies.
yes; here's what you doandydave
Jul 23, 2003 10:14 AM
great info. Thanks. I'll start the stretches today.