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Can You Get Rid of Sciatica?

Can you?

And if you managed to, post up the exercises you did (if any) to make it go away…

Thanks

Sciatica is a generic term and considered ‘arcane.’

You need to determine the ‘type’ of pain you are having. If it is dull, achy it is considered ‘nociceptive’ back pain. If your pain spreads from the low back to the lower extremities in a fashion not consistent with a specific nerve pattern it is considered somatic referred. Sciatica is by definition a radicular pain. This stems from the dorsal root or it’s ganglion. Pain is typically lancinating, shocking or electric like. If you have changes in sensation in your lower extremity or weakness, this would be considered a radiculopathy.

Overall the natural history for a lumbar radicular pain/radiculopathy is favorable (67-90% demonstrate good improvements with time). Interventions that utilize a direction based treatment to match your signs and symptoms have shown favorable results in randomized controlled trials in the short term. If your symptoms do not move distal to your knee, this is also a favorable prognosis. Go to a well informed physical therapist (one with OCS/FAAOMPT after their name) and they can give you the best idea of your prognosis based on your signs and symptoms.

I dunno, the ‘pain’ I have is not pain at all, it’s a barely noticeable sensation. Sometimes I feel I’m imagining it because it’s so slight, but it’s definitely there.

Also, it switches legs.

There was a period of 6 months where I didn’t experience it at all, but now it’s come back.

Mr. alternate,

you are contradicting yourself with your statements…

“the pain is not pain at all…” Pain is pain, like thirst, like hunger.

“I feel like I’m imagining it, but it’s definitely there.”

What provokes your symptoms?

Is there a movement that turns them on?

Where do you experience your symptoms?

[quote]alternate wrote:
I dunno, the ‘pain’ I have is not pain at all, it’s a barely noticeable sensation. Sometimes I feel I’m imagining it because it’s so slight, but it’s definitely there.

Also, it switches legs.

There was a period of 6 months where I didn’t experience it at all, but now it’s come back.[/quote]

If you find a way to get rid of it, let me know. lol Seriously though, you can try seeing an RMT since sciatica pain can sometimes be caused by muscle spasms and can be alleviated by working that out with massage. You should get a professional opinion with anything like this though. Please read as: go see your doctor. Have you seen your doctor? You really don’t want to mess around with your back by experimenting before you know what is actually wrong with you.

What has worked for me was: a professional diagnosis, massage therapy, exercise and I find that Magnificent Mobility has helped a ton. That is just me though and observances that I’ve made over the last almost 20 years. For most with sciatica issues, it’s ongoing. I have yet to meet someone that has had issues for a period of time and then never again. Having said that, I feel that mine has gotten a little better over time. Whether the case is that it has gotten better or I have become accustomed to it and have learned to adapt is another question.

In short, see your doctor first and see what they advise you to do.

Mr. Alternate:

Here are the “medical” diagnosis options:
85-90% non-specific low back pain (i.e. unknown structural correlation to your symptoms)
5% nerve root compression (radicular/sciatica pain)
<5% medical emergency or medical pathology: tumor, fracture, cauda equina, ankylosing spondylitis, spondylolisthesis, etc

WIthin the 85-90% diagnosis:

If you see:

Surgeon: MRI (now 3x more likely to have surgery); disc herniation, DDD, spondylosis, arthritis…
MD: degenerative disc disease (normal response to aging), low back pain (not a diagnosis), disc herniation (present in majority of people)
Chiropractor: subluxation, out of alignment
Physical Therapist: weak core, disc herniation, tight muscles
Massage Therapist: trigger point, myofascial restriction, etc

What they’ll do:
Surgeon: cut you open or refer to pain management or PT
Pain management: injection and/or pills
MD: stay active, meds, refer to PT or surgeon
Chiro: crack your back, electrical stimulation, insert other non-research based intervention
PT: crack your back, core exercise, directional preferenc exercise, stretching, passive modalities
Massage therapist: rub easy, rub hard.

OK, so everyone who has sciatica pretty much has it for the rest of their lives?

I saw a physical therapist who said there was “nothing wrong with my back” - the issue was with my sacrum and hamstrings being tight.

But since then the sciatica has transferred to the other leg, and now it switches between legs randomly - but has decreased in intensity to the point of being almost indistinguishable for ‘background’ random aches and pains.

I didn’t say you’d have it for the rest of your life, I said that I don’t know anyone that I know it’s been ongoing.

Don’t just give up, you have some control over it. If it’s due to muscle tightness, then you need to stretch and work on your mobility. My absolute favorite and life saver is Magnificent Mobility done by Eric Cressey and Mike Robertson. My guess would be that when you’re not at the gym that you sit a lot too. Get up every so often and move, stretch your hamstrings out.

Muscles can also spasm, which is why I said it’s worth looking into an RMT.

When you’re in pain, try to walk as normally as you can. Try not to limp/swing legs, etc. That will just make things worse.

Those are about the only suggestions that I can think of but they’re all worth trying.

Take your wallet out of your back pocket and keep it in your side pocket. Seriously. After ongoing bouts of sciatica my chiropractor told me I should have NOTHING in my back pockets, not even a slim wallet. Those subtle differences in how you sit due to a wallet can have enormous impacts. I took his advice and haven’t had sciatica since. It’s been over ten years.

[quote]yorik wrote:
Take your wallet out of your back pocket and keep it in your side pocket. Seriously. After ongoing bouts of sciatica my chiropractor told me I should have NOTHING in my back pockets, not even a slim wallet. Those subtle differences in how you sit due to a wallet can have enormous impacts. I took his advice and haven’t had sciatica since. It’s been over ten years.[/quote]

That’s a really good point that I didn’t even think of. Carrying a heavy purse or bag on one side would always throw me out of whack. I can imagine the same would be true with a wallet making you sit differently. It’s funny, all of the little things.

[quote]olifter1 wrote:
Mr. Alternate:

Here are the “medical” diagnosis options:
85-90% non-specific low back pain (i.e. unknown structural correlation to your symptoms)
5% nerve root compression (radicular/sciatica pain)
<5% medical emergency or medical pathology: tumor, fracture, cauda equina, ankylosing spondylitis, spondylolisthesis, etc

WIthin the 85-90% diagnosis:

If you see:

Surgeon: MRI (now 3x more likely to have surgery); disc herniation, DDD, spondylosis, arthritis…
MD: degenerative disc disease (normal response to aging), low back pain (not a diagnosis), disc herniation (present in majority of people)
Chiropractor: subluxation, out of alignment
Physical Therapist: weak core, disc herniation, tight muscles
Massage Therapist: trigger point, myofascial restriction, etc

What they’ll do:
Surgeon: cut you open or refer to pain management or PT
Pain management: injection and/or pills
MD: stay active, meds, refer to PT or surgeon
Chiro: crack your back, electrical stimulation, insert other non-research based intervention
PT: crack your back, core exercise, directional preferenc exercise, stretching, passive modalities
Massage therapist: rub easy, rub hard.[/quote]

Great posts. Trigger points in the Glute minimus create a
“sciatic” type pain. Some of the population has a sciatic nerve that runs through the piriformis, which can create real havoc anytime that muscle becomes tense.

This is a real issue and much more common than actual sciatica. Active release technique or Nueromuscular therapy are effective in addressing these sorts of issues. Research some of the hip mobility articles on here and see a practitioner who can address the symptom and what is perpetuating the symptom.