Kind of get it now, would you support Rockstar’s view that I should do more rows/pullups and lunges? I have stopped all squats/deads and that has seemed to help.
How about soft tissue release from the massage therapist? that seemed to help a bit when I got it done once (was done by the better/stronger therapist).
Well, I certainly support the view that if you have symptoms of a disc bulge causing pain, for goodness sake stop doing things that make it bulge. That would include deadlifts and squats.
As far as rows and pullups, I guess so…but can you do them with good technique? How’s thoracic extension and scap retraction? How well can you activate your lats, rhomboids, lower traps?
For someone with bulge at L5-S1 causing sciatica down one leg, chances are, not well.
Along with discontinuing anything that might load that disc in a position of flexion, I would do the movements/positions that I mentioned earlier in the thread to decompress the spine and restore its proper curves.
The movements I recommend also get the muscles in spasm (like the QL, piriformis, etc) to relax somewhat. When all your muscles have normal tension, the sciatica should be mostly gone, and you should be mostly pain-free. This took me less than a week, doing these movements every day, and doing NOTHING else (no chiro, no ART, no massage).
When you are pain-free in ordinary everyday life kind of stuff, I would then go buy Cressey/Robertson/Hartman’s Assess and Correct DVD. Assess your posture and movement/ROM deficiencies, and start doing the corrective movements. Do them diligently EVERY DAY. EVERY DAY. Progress from the easier moves to the harder moves till you can do all the ones relevant to your initial deficiencies.
Once you have normal ROM and control in all these movements, intelligently program your training. Always start with mobility and activation. Always ramp up to heavier weight. Don’t overload your lower back too much in one workout, or in consecutive days.
(The thread “Cephalic_Carnage, how do you train?” has great stuff about this, though it is an epic-length thread that’s difficult to wade through, what with everyone’s routine in there.) Make sure your core is always tight and stable. Make sure your hips are mobile. (If you were diligent with Assess & Correct, they will be.)
Include single-leg movements in your programming, but be sure to do them with good technique too. It’s possible to do lunges in a way that’s hard on your spine. (Of course, even with bad technique, they’re less damaging due to less loading.)