T Nation

Sciatic Nerve Problem

2 weeks ago i strained my lumbar area from squatting. i saw a friend in the weight room and he talked my ear off all through my warm up and work sets and i wasn’t really prepared for exercise. it pretty much healed in 2-3 days. dunking, squatting, rdls, and heavy barbell hip thrusts (heaviest loaded bar out of the three movements) are the exercises in my training routine. after my next time training my back just felt stiff espessially from dunking.

very recently i started doing barbell hipthrusts. i do them dynamically and just snap my glutes back (feels like an awesome contraction) but because i just implemented these, compounded w/ that i think the only muscle pattern i have developed for such fast extension is from dunking, my dominate leg tends to contract much much more forcefully which sometimes results in the bar being thrown up at severe angles (45 degrees!) i know this sounds very dangerous. . .

anyway, the top of my right glute max where it connects to the illium and vertebreas has been very very tight and sore. unlike any muscle soreness i’ve ever experienced. my back has sorta frozen up. in the last 24 hours i’ve been stretching my back and i have increased my comfortable ROM by like x2. during this time i’ve noticed some very subtle tingling and numbness at my toes on the same leg.

the soreness in my glute is exactly where the sciatic nerve appears to run (by looking at the pic on wikipedia) im beginning to think that i have seperate issues, one being a lumbar strain and the second is some type of glute overuse thats pinching on my nerve? squatting feels fine. can i continue to squat?? glute bridges/ hip thrusts feel fine too.

as long as i control the bar can i keep doing these? i do not have comfortable ROM to do RDLs. when i bend over at the waist and gently hang my back feels much better as far as stiffness but i also only notice the tingling right after doing this.

it might be worth mentioning this
12/14 squatting, initial strain (?)
12/21 took a week off, back feel pretty much normal, after squatting, rdl, hip thrusts back was stiff
12/22 dunked outside it was kinda cold, i had tights on. lumbar was feeling stiffer throughout
12/23 squatting felt fine did not do RDLs cause of pain. hip thrusts felt fine
12/25 dunking on christmas day!

the past few days the sensations have changed. less lumbar pain. stretched which seems to be improving me. not much change in glute soreness.

yeah i do kinda do things ass backwards. . . plyo the day after strength. . . but my thinking at the time is like “well damn lemme see how high i can get even when im not on top of my game” im impulsive :confused:

additional tidbit

i have the tendency to hyperextend my lumbar when doing standing overhead presses. in the last month i think i’ve figured out that i have a lot of anterior pelvic tilt. i’d have mild discomfort in my lumbar but i couldn’t link it to any lower body exercises i was doing.

dunking and overhead presses are the only things that seems to hyperextend my back or hurt it at all. i have never strained my back squatting before this which REALLY pissed me off at the time

Not to be the bearer of bad news, but I would look to rule out any kind of disc pathology going on at your lumbar spine. From some of your description, it sounds a bit more than just sciatica IMO.

Mate if I were you I would half the weight and do some more reps to flush fresh blood back into the muscle, even do less than half, try 20% to start with. Than just slowly but surely work your way back up over the next month or so. It sounds silly, but its what I do when I get injured to stay in the game and continue lifting. You gonna have to focus on the long term here, don’t fuck yourself up because you wanna be a hard basted, just work through whatever it is very slowly and methodically.

update: lumbar pain is basically gone. i think my glute is been fucked the shit outta and its just swollen and compressing the nerve

This is a Spinal Slump Stretch: http://www.sportsmed.net.nz/patient-info/neck-and-spine/slump-stretch/ See if you can do these a few times a day to see how they feel. If you put you chin into your chest and stretch out without screaming you are sweet, if you scream then you have a pinched sciatic nerve.

If the pain is gone then that is good, however, you should consider this as well: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radicular_pain. This basically means that you could have hurt you back and it has spilled out onto your nerve and this is what hurts. It certainly sounds like it. The back could still be injured but you can’t feel it.

Yeah I’d be willing to bet that it’s your back causing the sciatic symptoms. While your glut max runs over the area where the sciatic nerve runs, it doesn’t come in contact with it. If a muscle is going to compress the sciatic nerve it’s going to be the piriformis. There are multiple layers of muscle between the glut max and sciatic nerve. It is most likely the lumbar issue leading to radicular pain in the leg. Google the slump test or straight leg raise test for adverse neural tension and perform them. If you get a zing down your leg or back with the tests that gets worse with neck flexion or dorsiflexion then it’s a positive test.