T Nation

sciatica

Do any of you guys know any thing about sciatica.
What exercises to do or to aviod. This pain is a real pain in the arse and I would love to get some more info on it.
Any takers? Thanks

Since the sciatic nerve originates from the lumbar and sacral regions of the back, exercises which put stress on this region would be of concern. What caused a problem for me personally though, was performing heavy squats and leg presses. When the sciatic nerve passes through the gluteal region, it passes very close to the piriformis muscle. In some individuals it even passes right through the muscle itself. Hypertrophy of the muscles of the gluteal region (particularly the piriformis) can aggrevate the nerve. I had a severe bout of sciatica, and had to lay off of hip extension exercises entirely for 10 days and then ease back into it.

G’day mate, I can relate to the hassles that sciatica can create in your training. I had some major hassles in the L5-S1 area a few back. Things got better but then the night before christmas some dickhead ran a redlight, T-boned me and I was back to square one. I could go on forever about all the different things to consider in your training but I’ll just start with a run down.

  1. Is the prob aggravated by flexion or extension of the lower back? I’ll take a stab and assume it’s flexion.

  2. Depending on severity you may have to forgo anything that places a large degree of compression force on the spine. here’s some alternatives to movements that once caused me aggro and the alternatives that can keep you training.

Squats…replace with sprinting on sand or uphill, ergo fan resisted bike can be good too (you won’t see many cyclists with pipe cleaner legs)

Heavy shrugs…1 arm D.B. shrugs (I got them from Poliquin)or kneeling D.b shrugs. I’ve found kneeling reduces risk of injury for blokes in our circumstance.

There’s a heap to tell u but I gotta go to work and get paid for my advice. I’ll log on 2morow & give you a heap more stuff that might help.

MATT
Heavy shrugs may

I suggest you go see a doctor and find out what the cause of the sciatica is. It can happen for two reasons. One is Piraformis syndrome - inflamation of the piraformis muscle which is one of the muscle the sciatic nerve passes through- this can be treated very easily and the pain will go away in matter of days.
The second cause is a disc hernia. If this is the cause of your sciatica all I can say is it’s going to be a very painful year for you.

I herniated my L5/S1 disc around a year ago and i am still not fully recovered.I went down too low during squats when my flexibility did not allow it causing my lower back to rouund.I’m quite sure this is the cause of my hernia.
Good Luck.

First of all, don’t waste your time or money with a medical doctor. The only thing they are going to tell you is the famous “lay off of training for a while”. I’ve had a few bouts with sciatica and trust me, it can be the most painful experience of your life (if you already don’t know). One episode was so bad every time I coughed the pain shot down through my left glute and I couldn’t even get off the couch under my own power or sleep for that matter. Seek out a experienced Gonstead Chiropractor. After one adjustment during my worst sciatica episode, I was about 75% better. An adjustment every few days for a couple weeks completely alleviated the problem. Choose exercises that don’t aggravate it but GET CHIROPRACTIC HELP IMMEDIATELY!!