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Tingling in Hands/Weakness in Legs, Sciatica?

a couple months ago(Feb 2020), back in the gym after a fairly long break.

Squatting a fairly light weight(225) on the way down, felt a 'ping" and had numbness in my hands and had major leg weakness especially in a flexed position like mid-squat.

I don’t have pain that folks usually talk about with sciatica but the weakness and coordination issues are real. I can’t really run and going up and down stairs is difficult.

I have continued to train. Tried to avoid spine loaded squats. Doing goblet squats mostly.

I’ve continued to deadlift and other things.

I deloaded last week and my legs got much better. Back to about 85% but then I deadlifted on Saturday and I’m kind of back to square one.

My current best deadlift is 350 but I have done 550 in the past and I know that I can do better than 350 if my legs were working correctly.

Anyway, anyone have experience with this type of thing? Is this sciatica? I don’t want to stop deadlifts or squats all together but the deload week kind of makes me think I should.

Thanks in advance.

This is not sciatica. Sciatica cannot affect the upper limbs.

This is potentially quite serious. I would recommend you stop lifting completely until you are evaluated by a physician (which you should do asap).

Hard to say. I wouldn’t cease lifting all together, just don’t do anything that loads the spine or puts an unnecessary amount of weight upon it, especially in flexion. I had a minor herniated disc and I cured it through speed pulls against black bands (225lbs), reverse hypers (light weight), and weighted back extensions. The reverse hypers and back extensions were done with very high reps.

Following that protocol, if nothing improves, see an ortho. He may request an MRI for further investigation.

I don’t think it’s that serious. I was considering going to the ortho until I deloaded and saw major recovery. I feel like my core broke down during that squat and that was the root cause. I’m doing yoga and I’m probably going to stop deadlifts and squats for a couple weeks and do some of the lower back stuff that you recommended. Thank you both for the feedback.

I’ll just point out that @EyeDentist is both a serious lifter and an ophthalmologist. I’m not sure what the other guy’s bona fides are, but if a doctor of anything medical-related tells me something is potentially quite serious, I’d heed that advice.


Beat me to it.

OP, listen to eyedentist

You put a lot of stock in doctors, when, in actuality, the body is quite capable of healing itself, save for some exceptions. Also, how would an ophthalmologist be qualified to effectively evaluate back pain/sciatica? I’m not a doctor of anything, just a serious lifter. However, I wouldn’t run to the doctor just because my back hurts.

Thanks for the explanation. I don’t offer advice on topics I know nothing about, but if it’s working for you, great.

Actually you could have damaged your C-spine. My husband did similar and when he gets numb in arms and feet he goes to chiropractor to get aligned. He’s got disk damage in his c-spine. You should get a head/neck CT to rule out serious damage and then maybe think about chiropractor. Not a doctor her but I’m a nurse and seen my share of spine problems.

I kind of took this as a joke… But I appreciate everyone’s feedback. If I were having issues controlling my bowels and whatnot, I would have already been to the doc. It’s just not that serious though. And for instance. I deadlifted on Monday, did a ton of stretching and lacrosse ball rolling yesterday, and feel great today. Legs are working at a better clip. I was hoping that someone else had had something like this and might say “oh yeah. It’ll take a year” or “It’ll take a couple months”. Thanks again.

Why? It is a type of physician.

Maybe not a specialist, but still dramatically better informed than someone who is not a medical doctor.

Listen to @EyeDentist here. I’m not saying that because he’s an eye doctor, but because he is right. Sciatica is very specific, and clearly in no way your problem. Being symptomatic in both upper and lower limbs point at C-spine, possible herniated disc. I’ve had sciatica problems, and a herniated C4-5 (or 5-6, can’t remember), deloading helps because you’re not putting pressure on it. But you should get evaluated, you might need physical therapy.

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FWIW, all physicians recurve the same basic training that covers stuff like this in medical school.

Also, +1 @hardartery and @theBeth

Symptoms in upper and lower limb indicate some kind of pathology to the cervical AND lumbosacral spinal cord, or potentially damage to the spinal cord itself (serious)

Go see your GP, you don’t need to find a neurologist