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Sciatica!!!

Posted: 9 Nov 2020, 10:28am
by Golflad
Been diagnosed with this very painful affliction. Pain is in my lower back right side, hip, buttock, thigh and kneecap. Had it since 31/10 and Doc said 2 to 6 weeks. Dare not ride my bike for fear of making it worse. Any advice gratefully received. Thanks.

Re: Sciatica!!!

Posted: 9 Nov 2020, 1:18pm
by cyclop
Is there loss of strength/power in the quads?If a disc is bulging onto the nerves controlling the lower leg for long enough,permanent damage can result,I know,it,s happened to me with the femoral/saphenous nerve.Work on the lower lumbar muscles,it,s helped me a lot.Took 5-6 months to get fitness back despite shrunken vastus medialis.Symptoms are similar.Totally pain free now after a dreadful period of chronic pain,morphine etc.lasting 6-8weeks.Good luck.

Re: Sciatica!!!

Posted: 9 Nov 2020, 1:34pm
by Paulatic
I’ve suffered with it on and off since my thirties. The longest time it lasted was the first time when I followed a doctors advice of painkillers and rest. Two years of agony and progressive deteriorating mobility before I decided enough was enough and visited an osteopath . Three sessions and I was a new man. :D
I find sciatica wants you to twist your body to avoid the pain which in turn makes it all worse. I’ve found exercising, like cycling, which help to keep the body straight and even beneficial. Any exercise laying flat on the floor seem safe and helps me. On my back and leg movements or laid flat on stomach and doing a swimming movement. Check out Pilates it keeps me straight.

Re: Sciatica!!!

Posted: 9 Nov 2020, 2:26pm
by gcogger
I've had it, on and off, for a good few years now, but it's under control.
My doctor never told me to rest - said to start with gentle mobility and, under no circumstances, should I just rest it. That helped with the initial severe problem, but I went to see an osteopath (a highly recommended guy in my area) to try and improve things. After a few weeks of treatment that did nothing much, he did some manipulation that sent me back to the 'severe' stage :x Needless to say, I gave up on that...
After going back to the doctor, he sent me to a physio, who showed me the right sorts of exercise to do, and that has improved matters a lot.

So, after all that waffle, what I've learned (for me!) is:
    Don't rest it completely, as that just makes things worse. Obviously, don't go crazy while it's painful, but try and keep mobile as long as it doesn't make things worse.
    When things have settled down, exercise is good, but again don't go so hard as to aggravate it. Things that strengthen the lower back are helpful.
    If you can get referred to a good physio, I'd strongly recommend it (though it's pot luck on the NHS whether you get a good one!).
    I believe that cycling is a good exercise for this, or at least it is for me, once you can do it without making things worse. The riding position acts to stretch the lower back, which is very similar to some of the most helpful exercises I've used.
    This one took me a while to learn. When it's painful, don't tense up! It takes an effort of willpower, but forcing myself to relax that area if I get any pain has helped tremendously.

Re: Sciatica!!!

Posted: 9 Nov 2020, 6:54pm
by Golflad
Thank you very much for that help.

Re: Sciatica!!!

Posted: 9 Nov 2020, 7:09pm
by Phileas
I get a few bouts every year - more frequent as I age. I’ve been getting them for probably 20 years.

For me they usually last a few days to a week or two. They sometimes start when I’m doing something innocuous like cleaning my teeth.

The more I move the easier it gets i.e. getting out of bed can be tricky but later in the day things are easier if I keep moving.

It sounds like mine is relatively mild compared others’.

Re: Sciatica!!!

Posted: 10 Nov 2020, 9:41am
by ANTONISH
I used to get it about twenty years ago.
I think movement like cycling and walking is essential.
I read something in a French cycling magazine about benefits of vitamin B which seemed to help. I had an athletics colleague who tried it for her sciatica and it helped.
This has just jogged my memory about why I take vit B :)
I have no idea if it's just a placebo effect or otherwise.

Re: Sciatica!!!

Posted: 10 Nov 2020, 10:34am
by Roy A
My first bout of sciatica was about 30 years ago when my main exercise was running. Training for the London Marathon it would flare up after about 7 miles. I kept running but deferred the marathon for a year by which time it subsided. Ten years later in the early 2000's it came back, but worse affecting my leg down to the heal. My GP advised physio, not NHS but privately with a sports physiotherapist. I had one session for examination and initial treatment plus advise on exercises and the Alexander technique for back problems followed by a second treatment a couple of weeks later. By this time the sciatica had mostly gone. Since then I've not had a recurrence. Periodically I lightly exercise to ensure mobility of my back and ease tension in the muscles.

Its important to get the right diagnosis, in my case my spine was very stiff and a disc was pressing on the nerve, then do the exercises to alleviate the problem. Good luck with your treatment.

Re: Sciatica!!!

Posted: 11 Nov 2020, 10:21pm
by fausto99
I used to get it (and locked shoulders and carpal tunnel syndrome) but they all disappeared by applying the Alexander Technique (Google it). Get some lessons as soon as you can afford them and we are out of lockdown.

Re: Sciatica!!!

Posted: 12 Nov 2020, 9:41am
by Golflad
Thank you everyone for the replies. Been out on bike twice now and all ok. Took it very easily on low gears. Definitely feels easier keeping mobile; the biggest problem is getting sleep. Walking around the house at 2.00am the last 2 nights. Pain does seem to be very gradually easing. Ken.

Re: Sciatica!!!

Posted: 12 Nov 2020, 10:40am
by fausto99
RE Alexander Technique: See https://www.janeclappison.co.uk/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7NBDIrqSbs&t=5s

Just 20 minutes a day lying down, giving directions as instructed, and your sciatica will slowly be a thing of the past.

Re: Sciatica!!!

Posted: 16 Nov 2020, 1:19pm
by jonny_five
Quite a good article on managing sciatica with yoga here: https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/easy-rider

Hope it helps!

Re: Sciatica!!!

Posted: 17 Nov 2020, 12:34am
by rmurphy195
Golflad wrote:Been diagnosed with this very painful affliction. Pain is in my lower back right side, hip, buttock, thigh and kneecap. Had it since 31/10 and Doc said 2 to 6 weeks. Dare not ride my bike for fear of making it worse. Any advice gratefully received. Thanks.


I had this 2 or 3 years ago - GP's advice was "Its mild sciatica (Mild???!!!), if it gets too bad take paracetamol for a bit, when that stops working come and see me".

However shortly afterwards we needed a new 3-piece suite. So we tried different ones in furiture shops - and guess what happened? Some chairs I sat in - instant pain. Some I sat in, and after a few mins they got painful. Some I sat in - no problem after several minutes. Guess which one I bough!

So maybe, just maybe, you might find the same, especially if your furniture is quite old and saggy.

So the sciatica went away, but it has been replaced by cramp ...

Re: Sciatica!!!

Posted: 17 Nov 2020, 8:27am
by Paulatic
I’d forgotten about sitting and seating :lol:
At my worst I could not sit in anything other than maybe an upright chair. I used to lie on the floor mostly to relax and have a board under my side of the mattress.
Worst for me was, I think, driving. I used to care for stock from Maybole in Ayrshire through Cumbria and as far as Newbiggin by the sea in Northumberland. Ford Escort van seat used to see me barely able to walk as I got out at my destination. Things improved when I got a VW Caddy or used the Toyota pick up

Re: Sciatica!!!

Posted: 17 Nov 2020, 1:17pm
by Golflad
After two and half weeks, I had my first half decent nights sleep last night. Did an 8 mile ride this morning and no ill effects. I have not taken any paracetamol or applied voltorol since yesterday. I think I may be winning. I agree regarding the furniture and how it affects us. We have 2 sofa's and my old wing backed chair. The sofa's cause me pain and the chair is painless. I bought the book on Alexander Technique and found that very useful. I now do the Semi-Supine lay down twice a day and I can really feel it helping with my spine. Thank you everyone who gave me help and advice. Ken.