T Nation

Is it Just Sciatica? Or Worse?

About 7-8 months ago, I was doing some yard work in the garden. I was using a small hand shovel to dig a hole, twisted my torso at an awkward angle, and felt a sharp pain shoot up my left butt, through my lower back. Since then, the pain has been relatively constant. Kind of a dull aching pain in my butt and down my legs. I feel great in the morning, but by the end of the day, it’s much more noticeable. When the pain gets bad - as soon as I stand up, it feels like I’ve “relieved” my back for a bit.

Thankfully, the pain has never been unbearable/extreme, but it’s annoying when I have to sit for hours at my job or on the train to/from work.

However, I never feel any pain WHILE lifting. I’m currently on my 7th month of 531, and I’ve made great progress. I feel totally fine while doing heavy lifts (though the days after heavy squat, my lower back will feel particularly sore)

In an effort to combat the symptoms, lately I’ve been doing 10-15 minutes of daily inversion therapy, as well as stretching my left hams/pirformis nerve when I can. I’m also going to switch from low bar squats -> high bar. But is it safe to assume that I’m just suffering from sciatica? I imagine if I had a slipped/bulging disc, it’d feel much more terrible/impeding.

[quote]jsw1188 wrote:
About 7-8 months ago, I was doing some yard work in the garden. I was using a small hand shovel to dig a hole, twisted my torso at an awkward angle, and felt a sharp pain shoot up my left butt, through my lower back. Since then, the pain has been relatively constant. Kind of a dull aching pain in my butt and down my legs. I feel great in the morning, but by the end of the day, it’s much more noticeable. When the pain gets bad - as soon as I stand up, it feels like I’ve “relieved” my back for a bit.

Thankfully, the pain has never been unbearable/extreme, but it’s annoying when I have to sit for hours at my job or on the train to/from work.

However, I never feel any pain WHILE lifting. I’m currently on my 7th month of 531, and I’ve made great progress. I feel totally fine while doing heavy lifts (though the days after heavy squat, my lower back will feel particularly sore)

In an effort to combat the symptoms, lately I’ve been doing 10-15 minutes of daily inversion therapy, as well as stretching my left hams/pirformis nerve when I can. I’m also going to switch from low bar squats -> high bar. But is it safe to assume that I’m just suffering from sciatica? I imagine if I had a slipped/bulging disc, it’d feel much more terrible/impeding.
[/quote]

IME, stretching will not do much in the long term. Only short term relieve (a few hours). Foam rolling well, basically everything in your back and legs and jamming a ball in that pirimorfis will probably do wonders.

[quote]jsw1188 wrote:
About 7-8 months ago, I was doing some yard work in the garden. I was using a small hand shovel to dig a hole, twisted my torso at an awkward angle, and felt a sharp pain shoot up my left butt, through my lower back. Since then, the pain has been relatively constant. Kind of a dull aching pain in my butt and down my legs. I feel great in the morning, but by the end of the day, it’s much more noticeable. When the pain gets bad - as soon as I stand up, it feels like I’ve “relieved” my back for a bit.

Thankfully, the pain has never been unbearable/extreme, but it’s annoying when I have to sit for hours at my job or on the train to/from work.

However, I never feel any pain WHILE lifting. I’m currently on my 7th month of 531, and I’ve made great progress. I feel totally fine while doing heavy lifts (though the days after heavy squat, my lower back will feel particularly sore)

In an effort to combat the symptoms, lately I’ve been doing 10-15 minutes of daily inversion therapy, as well as stretching my left hams/pirformis nerve when I can. I’m also going to switch from low bar squats -> high bar. But is it safe to assume that I’m just suffering from sciatica? I imagine if I had a slipped/bulging disc, it’d feel much more terrible/impeding.
[/quote]

bulging disc and sciatica aren’t exclusive terms, the mechanism of injury you describe can and sometimes is involved in disc herniation. I can’t firmly recommend anything to you as LBP is complicated and needs physical examination prior to determining treatment. Get an exam done by a qualified professional and get on a home exercise program prescribed by them