I'm back on my feet and walking again but still having twinges in my back and legs. Has anyone got any exercises I can try to ease this and improve my chances of not being crippled any time soon. (I've not done any exercise this week apart from walking and it's driving me crazy.)
Ouch!... Been there. Had that. I feel for you.
It depends on what the root cause of your sciatica is, of course, but I found that piriformis stretching exercises really helped:
Has there been a critical moment that you can put your finger on when the pain started or has it just crept up on you.
I did mine in 2005 and had loads of physio etc and ended up in hospital under the knife due to the severity of the damage to the disc and the way in which the inside had protruded.
The only real way to know what to do for the best is by having an MRI scan, but this will not happen for a number of years on the NHS until they have explored all other avenues, which like me could make it worse.
If you can afford private treatment go get an MRI and a specialist that knows what they are doing.
I'm fine know after my op and prob one o he lucky ones.
Hope it works out
See a physio before you do *any* exercise other than walking around to try to keep the area mobilised. You need to know what you're dealing with before you try to resolve it, and if it's a herniated disc, stretching the wrong way could put you back in hospital needing emergency surgery.
I had another MRI not long ago after which they told me I have another bulge that will need sorting at some point but I should carry on doing things as normal until that time comes. So I'm back doing relatively simple caving trips and extremely easy climbing, basically stuff I don't plan on falling off or generally shocking my spine.
So the purpose of that was basically to say chin-up, things eventually get better and if they don't straight away keep looking forward, It's hardly the end of the world.
I really sympathise, I've just been through something similar myself.
I'd like to reiterate the advice of other, don't start stretching exercises before you get a diagnosis of what the problem is as you may be making things worse. I did!
The doctor and NHS physio were useless neither could give me a diagnosis nor a prognosis, I've ended up going to a private osteopath who diagnosed the likely cause due to one of my leg reflexes not working any more (some of my foot is numb too).
His advice was that these kind of injuries take 12 weeks to get better and in the initial stages you should keep mobile but you shouldn't be doing stretches. I'm 5 weeks in and he's just given me some kind of really slow pelvic thrust exercise that I should start doing but that's it.
Obviously I am still climbing but he said that should be fine if I take it easy!
Having suggested an alternative therapy will work I will now sit back with my popcorn as flames engulf the bonfire of opinions...
> Having suggested an alternative therapy will work I will now sit back with my popcorn as flames engulf the bonfire of opinions...
I heard good things about the Bowen technique actually! How about some Feldenkrais for good old self help too? Really helped me.
Unlike random stretches and exercises, which I agree are best avoided at this stage for sure, you could see a Feldenkrais practioner straight away - as you could with a Bowen technique person - all very 'safe'
If I'm honest though when I first discovered back problems I wanted cold hard exercises and results and action! - not some airy fairy 'be aware of how you move' nonsense. Turns out it's not so simple and the airy fairy's helped me more than any amount of physio/pilates/yoga over the years. But I don't think I would have listened initially - I needed to have that journey maybe.
To the OP - providing it does settle down there are many ways to treat yourself - you need to just go with what works for you and what you can believe in. In the meantime just take it very easy and keep moving. Slowly. Good luck.
Find a good osteopath. They've always put me right over the years, although the last one wasn't tough enough on me. That culminated in a loud 'clunk' from my lower back when I stood hard on the pedals on my bike. I thought 'Help - this is either very good or very bad'. Turned out it was very good.
Ok if it crept up on you it will usually be a std ( I know there is not really a std but you know what I mean) type of problem. Find a private physio that knows about sciatica problems and go see them. They will still probably say you should get an MRI done.
I went to a gen physio and although they elevated the pain at the time it always returned and got worse. I also went to a NHS physio and the same happened. The excersises they gave me made my problem worse according to specialist. Although I don't know how it could make my problem worse with the way I ruptured my disc in the manner I did. I fell flat on back on bedrock from about 12 feet up. Over the heads of my spotters and missing the carpet of pads as well, totally freak.
The process is:-
Go see your physio.
They give you exercises.
If nothing changes, they send you for an MRI.
Then they tell you what's really wrong.
To me, if you can't single it out to a specific trauma, it may be a muscle imbalance and posture problem that may be corrected. Keep the walking up for now as inactivity will just cause all kinds of problems.
I can't see a problem with hill walking but i wouldn't go alone or carry a backpack. I find i'm ok with walking/scrambling uphill, it's just descending that i have problems. What happened on Kinder?
Having had it before the cure for me was a decent physio. Luckily for me my doc sent me to a very good one so a prolonged treatment of massage, ultrasound and exercises to do at home worked a treat. Assessed every couple of weeks at first until an exercise regime was sorted that worked then the gaps between visits gradually increased until now i no longer need to go.
sciatica is horrible, people say its just a bad back but..... the people in the Know.... know what it is all about - pain....
stretching worked for me after 3 months of diasipan and dihydracodine (junkie) IT is totally manageable, you have my sympathy
(anyone have a trapped ulnar nerve??)
Good advice - if it is a large prolapse it can fill the spinal canal and put pressue on the spinal cord (stenosis, I believe is the technical term). Backwards flexion in that situation is definately not a good thing as it narrows the spinal canal even further and puts more pressure on the spinal cord.
Without an MRI, any specific or aggresive stretching is just guesswork and exposing yourself to risk.
Any loss of sensation 'between the legs' or control of bladder function, go straight to A&E (doubtless you have already been told this).
Keeping your core strong and mobile is really important though - I did lots of road biking (initially just short, really gentle sessions on the turbo - its hard to overstate the psychological benefit of just doing something initially), followed a proper fingerboard routine (strength based - day on, two days rest, really strict about intensity and quality), and amazingly, could kayak even when I could hardly walk (although the consultant did explain that if I were to come out of the boat and get bashed into any rocks it might not be a good thing - he was generally supportive though, and I decided the benefits outweighed the risk). I should add though that I had supportive friends who would carry my boat around for me so i didn't ever have to pick this up - that would definately not have been good news for the back.
Basically, as soon as you can, try to keep as active as possible and do things that don't stress your back too much or hurt.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Like others have said it depends if it's a disc issue, a piriformis condition or anything else. I've had the piriformis problems and regular exercise, good stretching and some endurance strength work on it works well. I went from being in agony walking around in a supermarket to hiking 20 miles in the mountains with guidance from a good physio. It took a couple of physios to get to the good one tho! I had a scan to determine the disc situation tho. I'd not do anything without medical advice and really try and push for a scan.
we don't know exactly wot it is ,however when I get sciatica it works for me,obviously if it makes it worse then bin the idea and try something else
Yep i agree, the Mckenzie stretch should be done under advice from her physio. You could be aggravating things. Hang-fire with stretches till you see a physio.
Nearly 4 months in, and still in no fit state to exercise or even stretch. My bike looks lonely and climbing partner is also suffering!
Search on here shows that drugs only hide pain and cause other problems.
Please get me fit enough to to climb and ride again, I was getting back to similar levels of fitness of myself 25 years ago!
(warning, moan ahead) I was just starting to get back on the hills, more strenuous hills and now I can't. Im getting cabin fever. Does anyone want to go for a walk with me and carry my pack too? Please?
I have on off neck pains that respond to nothing, however, I did once have a sciatica type pain that came only when I drove, and what fixed it was acupuncture( although I was sceptical, and to some extent still am, about alternative therapies, ) I was however, desperate and was willing to try anything.
Worth a go, if you are the end of your tether.
Anyway- good luck with yourback pains and sciatica, i really feel for you as i know what its like.
So i reakon its in your best interests to be pushy with it because your quality of life is obviously suffering and you have only got one of them lives . I think lower back trouble can and Is Life changing. Good luck with your metalwork :O)
Haven't read the whole thread, but I had a couple of bouts last year for the first time in my life, and I sympathise. I had good advice off here to consider piriformitis, and got some stretches off the 'net. My wife helped me, and within days, it was all but gone.
Now, if I feel it coming back on, I just stretch hard, (usually on walk-ins with big packs), and hey presto.
Stretching (sensibly) is a good idea anyway, so give it a go.....
I've done a lot of Yoga in the last 5 years or so, but I found that to be mostly too much stress on the back, especially thre backwards bends. But by doing those exercises and keeping my lower back mobile, I was able to recover enough to do my normal Yoga routine regularly.
Elsewhere on the site
Perhaps the perfect Xmas gift for the climber in your life... Wild Country's Crack School has two of the worlds best crack... Read more
The release of Peter Jackson's new film The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies on 12th December may not appear to link to... Read more
F ounded in 1993, Mountain Hardwear are a pretty young mountaineering clothing and equipment manufacturer but are also one of... Read more
Will Sim and Andy Inglis have made the second ascent of VIII,9 on Ben Nevis, followed by Will making a rare... Read more
PowerFingers is a simple, easy to use product which is incredibly effective for Climbers who require finger strength and... Read more