T Nation

Psyatic (sp?) nerve?

I’m not exactly sure what this involves so I thought I’d post and see if anyone could help. My father has been having problems with this, and said he was told it happens due to weakness in the hip muscles and wanted to know some exercises he could do to help this, if there are such things. He’s never done any lifting in his life, he’s 50 btw, and I’d like to help him if possible. Would exercises like romanian deadlifts or ghr be useful?

You mean sciatica. Basically, it’s irritation of the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve of the body.

That said, it would be irresponsible for anyone to make recommendations based on the little information provided. While sciatica is normally the result of a lumbar/sacral intervertebral disc injury (e.g. herniation), no one can make recommendations because they don’t realize where in the recovery process your father is, what caused the herniation (e.g. tight hip flexors/hamstrings/erector spinae, weak glutes, etc.), or the IV disc affected.

I suggest he go to a physical therapist who can evaluate him and make qualified recommendations accordingly.

I certainly agree with Eric. Your father should be checked out by a doctor or physical therapist. That being said, I would also add that sciatic pain can be secondary to tightness in the external rotators of the hip (namely the piriformis) in the absence of, or in conjunction with, disc pathology. Relief can often be found using a proper stretching protocol and surgery can be avoided. Do a search of “sciatic pain and piriformis”. You will find a ton of information regarding this syndrome. However, make sure your father gets checked out as well. Good luck to him.

Thanks for the advice, I’ll pass it on

Some non-exercise-related advice: If your dad carries a wallet or anything else in his back pocket, have him stop this practice. When sitting, stuff in your back pocket presses against nerves and can aggrevate the problem. My yoga instructor told me to do this, and it helps quite a bit.

Hope this helps.

T.E. Young