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Pinched Sciatic, Permanent Damage?


#1

I have a pinched sciatic nerve in my lower back, it is the S1 nerve root from what I can tell (affecting hamstring, calf, outter edge of foot and small toe). I have seen a doctor and was told to come back if symptoms did not improve in 6 weeks, however if they did improve then to not bother.

Well I am about 6.5 weeks since the injury, and while I have improved dramatically in terms of pain (initially I couldn't tolerate sitting at all- had pain even when lying down, and significant limping) I still have some significant weakness in my left leg.

Initially I could not do a 1 leg calf raise at all, now I can do about 15 of them (I could do like 20 with a 200lb person on me before), progress however has been stalled the past 3 weeks even though pain wise there has been some good improvement. My hamstring is also weak, I tested it on hamstring curls and would estimate about a 30% deficit compared to my other leg.

Now pain wise I can sit all day at work now without to much trouble, which was impossible before, and I have no pain walking or standing or lying. I can get into a deadlift type position with knees bent without pain, however I still am not be able to bend over straight legged without pain. Right now I still have some numbness in my foot, although not as bad as before.

I am concerned about the strength loss and am wondering if it will be a permanent problem, and if not, what the recovery time is. When I mentioned this to the doctor during my initial visit he didn't seem to have much to say.


#2

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#3

I have seen a couple dr's, including an ortho, who didn't seem that concerned, said lot of people have back problem and surgery isn't really that effective, and just told me to come back if I had complete foot drop or started to shit myself.


#4

It sounds like you got off easy. Do some sciatica searches and you'll get the gist of it.


#5

Bummer, I don't wish that shit on anyone, hope things get better, it eventually does. I was sent to a sports therapist after I went in the 2nd time it happened, who gave me a bunch of exercises and stretches to do and have been fine since, and regained most of my strength though I'd attribute other factors to not being where I once was. (though was advised to stay away from certain movements in the gym). My biggest mistake was not seeing a doctor the first time it happened. Piriformis stretches seemed to relieve some of the pain back then, and I still do them regularily as a preventative thing.

It's been awhile since I've read about it, but if I remember there is a difference between sciatica and piriformis syndrome, but the symptoms are very much the same, something like that correct me if i'm wrong, i'd read up on it if i were you

I've had two bouts of sciatica, one severe, and one not so severe. I had x-rays done which showed I have a slight case of rotoscoliosis which my doctor said that it is impossible to tell if it caused the injury/sciatica, or the lifting injury (and lack of treatment on my part) caused the rotoscoliosis. I had told him about how pendlay rows fukked me up once really bad the first severe time, and the 2nd time I felt a slight tinge during deadlifts). inb4 the bad form trolls start lulz.

anyway good luck with it, there is hope, as I've said with time (i'd say 18 months in my case) you'll be back to normal strength and weight training. It's a gradual process, that I didn't want to rush through for fear of reaggrevating it. I'd just keep up with the exercises they give you, it helped me.


#6

Update, I ended up getting a ct scan, I have a protruded disc at L5-S1. I have no pain anymore, that seemed to go away around 7th week, (at about 11 now) but I have, and have had, constant numbness in my outer left foot. I have had some occasional numbness in my right foot, however it is short lived and not constant, and no weakness like in the left side, which I still have some of, however the weakness has improved a fair bit.

Last week I had some saddle anthesia, in both sides, and thought I was getting cauda equina, which is very serious, so I saw a neuro, he told me I don't have it but didn't offer much advice. I still get some numbness in the saddle region depending on sitting position and duration.

Anyway the saddle area numbness is really something of concern to me, anyone experience such a sensation with a herniated or bulging disc? I find it really odd because I have no pain.