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Do You Have Sciatica?

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I had very similar issues about 5 years ago. I'm a long time yoga guy and figured i could beat this condition with yoga asanas. The one pose which offered some relief, and probably lots of additional benefits, was the Half Moon Pose. Basically lifting one leg horizontally out to the side of your body.  But eventually the situation worsened and i went to a MD who took a MRI scan. This showed that the big nerve was being irritated and pinched by the vertebra. Since the hole in the bone through which the nerve passes will never get bigger, and may indeed get smaller causing more bad things, i asked the Neurologist doctor his advice. He said to me that i could wait and see what happens and maybe the pain will subside. But he also said that if i were to fall off and ladder, or in a car accident, or suffer some other such trauma the nerve could be pinched and severed. Severed? Yes, and welcome to the wheel chair.  Oops, did not want that. So under controlled surgical expertise the bone hole was widened and now no more pain. I had a double laminectomy on two vertebrae. Now after 5 years never any problem. I still do all my yoga poses which includes some that are pretty tough for an old guy like me. Try the wheel, handstand, boat and half boat or full seated forward bend and see what i mean. And of course if the sciatica pain for you is bad,  talk to an Orthopedic or Neurology MD and learn if your nerve is being pinched.

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Hi all,

I have suffered back pain for some years now, sometimes major sometimes minor. The inversion table is great, best used 20 minutes a day every day and there is no need to flip upside down just a few degrees off horizontal will  do.

The best thing I did was to extend all my irons to a length of 28 inches. What a difference this has made to my back, I now play upright so not to put any stain on my back. I have had to play around with my swing but now use a long slow swing that places no stress on my body. I can now play  a whole round without needing to quit out early and its improved my handicap, or should I say the lack of pain has improved my handicap.

I will try and post a short video of my swing as soon as I can find time.

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I am plagued with this pain in the @ss! Literally! I have an extensive daily stretching routine, multiple treadmill workouts and do core strengthening home workouts(no gym membership) but I cannot get over this. I'm 31 and within a healthy weight range. Do any of you fight this same thing? If so, have you found anything that helps? I've seen a few different physicians and they refer to PT. PT's say it can usually be resolved with regular therapy treatments but their treatments are little more than stretching. It's not getting better. It's been going on for 4 - 5 years, maybe more. Anyone going through this too???

I've had lower back issues since the 1970's that were caused by a sports injury. This led to bouts of sciatica and nerve pain. I started going to a chiropractor in the 1980's, with some relief. But then in the 1990's every morning I began doing an hour of stretching and back exercises that are designed to strengthen my core muscles and make minor adjustments to the vertebrae in my lower back. These exercises have worked miracles for me. I have not had any bouts of sciatica for 20+ years, and when I do have some lower back strain, it only lasts for a few days.

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I had very similar issues about 5 years ago. I'm a long time yoga guy and figured i could beat this condition with yoga asanas. The one pose which offered some relief, and probably lots of additional benefits, was the Half Moon Pose. Basically lifting one leg horizontally out to the side of your body.

I had a major issue about 2 years ago now with this, and was to the point of considering surgical options.  I found this very stretch/exercise completely at random, and it made an almost immediate improvement.

As a side note, I did buy an inversion table, and while I found that in general it made my back feel good, it did not help with the pinched nerve.  I also found that a lot of the stretches I was doing early on to help, were actually making it worse..  DO NOT try to stretch your lower back, it only puts additional pressure on the nerve.  Instead focus on stretching your hamstrings.

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  • 7 years later...

I was reading all the stories and I can relate. As a Baseball player and avg golfer I have suffered with sciatica for about 20 yrs now!  Sometimes chiro works, I do stretches at focus on core strengthening! Planking seems to help?  But golf is the worst ! I ve decided to stay away from the range, just playing small courses at 61! Next step is acupuncture! I had it before for a bad muscle knot and it was amazing!?? Good luck Sciatica victims!! 

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  • iacas changed the title to Do You Have Sciatica?

YMMV. I used to suffer really badly. I wouldn't go anywhere without having a sciatica brace in my bag just in case. I'd left multi day ski trips and golf trips early do to extreme pain. A few things helped.

  • Monthly visit to chiropractor (I understand this is not for everybody, took a while to find a chiropractor that didn't leave me feeling like I was in an accident).
  • Improving my golf swing took pressure off my back.
  • Biggest improvement came from hip socket flexibility. Finally went to a great PT for a knee issue. She had me do a variety of step ups and different body weight exercises in different positions. She told me my knee was actually fine and that my back could be fine, but that I was compensating for my right hip being locked up. At this time I was running a few miles a few times a week and was surprised this could be an issue. I could do step ups all day with my left leg, but stepping up from static position with no momentum and I just couldn't move. My right hip was completely locked up. Once I improved that hip joint flexibility and developed a little more core strength, my back issues have improved greatly.

I still get occasional flare ups, but not like I used to have. Now I can do our annual weekend and golf 4-5 rounds in a weekend without issue. (knock on wood).

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Golf has never caused it to flair up. For me it was bad sitting posture and lack of exercise. The more I keep things moving, stretching, good range of motion I don't have any issue at all. 

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I can give you both the doctor and patient perspective, as I have both.

Doctor perspective....sciatica can be either from "pinched" nerve roots where they exit the vertebral column, or from entrapment of the sciatic nerve or other pelvic nerves at various places in the pelvis/hip region, away from the vertebral column. MRI is very good for diagnosis of the nerve root type. It can be more difficult to identify the source of sciatica when it's not from the spinal nerve roots. 

Don't necessarily give up on PT; it may seem like just stretching, but if they are good, they are very precise about what they work on, and it can have a benefit. I've heard surgeons tell me "PT is bullshit," but I've heard from more people how it helps, and I believe it helped me. 

If for no other reason, complete a course of PT under the supervision of your doctor. Here's why: So you can get an MRI. Most health insurance companies will not approve payment for an MRI for sciatica unless the person has "failed" a trial of anti-inflammatory drugs and PT. If you get an MRI, it may uncover something important or push you to surgery that you need. 

From the patient perspective...I've had mild sciatica, but I've had severe pain from the cervical equivalent (causing pain in my shoulder and down my left arm). It sidelined me from golf for a couple of years. Cervical spine pain and sciatica are basically the same process, just in different locations.

I did conservative, non-surgical treatments, including: 1) Physical therapy, which did help, but it took at least 3 weeks of PT before I noticed improvement. 2) I also took NSAIDs like advil (helped a little), and 3) I took a couple of short courses of steroids (5-7 days each, three different times), which helped alot. 

It took a full 6 months before the pain went away. It took about 4 months before I could sleep in any other position than on my back. It is still there, but very mild, and doesn't interfere with golf. I was 53 when I got it. 

I had my MRI reviewed by a neurosurgeon. I was offered surgery but was told that it was better to see if it would resolve on its own. Surgery is obviously a more extreme solution, and there are potential problems down the road with surgery that make it advantageous to wait, if you can. 

I hope you feel better soon. 


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