Sciatic nerve is KILLING ME!!

 
Voodoochild
I've been dealing with sciatic nerve pain for a few weeks now and I just keep hoping that it will go away on it's own but it has only gotten worse! I stretch and stretch and it will somewhat loosen up but it will hurt even worse the next day.

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It runs from the base of your spine down through your butt cheeks and all the way down the back of your legs to your toes.

My pain is generally located in my left leg right below my cheek and runs down to the back of my knee. It hurts mostly when I'm at work sitting down all day. It comes in waves of pain with a slight tingling feeling and almost feels like my hamstring is so tight it might tear right in two!! I really don't want to have to take a break from poling but I just might have to

please help!

<3 hurting voodoochild
Jan 6, 2010 from Plano, Texas, United States
2dyzzi
Poor thing! That does sound nasty...

Have you tried taking several breaks throughout the day to stretch rather than sitting for too long of a period? Stacey Nemour's Secrets of Splits and Flexibility has some really amazing stretches for the glutes, IT band, etc. - some I've never seen before and have begun recommending to some of my clients... The online DL is $10.00 - could be worth it if you can start taking breaks during the day. Is there something more erganomic for you to sit on?

Have you been to a massage therapist or physiotherapist for some passive stretching (where someone else performs the movements for you)? When the brain is not involved in doing the work, the stretch is more effective. I find that a PNF technique is particularly effective, and any trained therapist should know what to do.

And what about heat? Or accupuncture?

Everyone is different so maybe consider trying one of the above or even a combination??

Anyway I hope you feel better soon! You'll have to let us know how its going - Good Luck!
Jan 7, 2010 from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
SadiraSimone Paid Member
Awww, I'm sorry you're hurting.

2dyzzi is right - any massage therapist or physiotherapist should be able to help you. The sciatic nerve can run over, under, or through the piriformis muscle, with is deeper than your glute muscles. When people have sciatic pain it's generally due to the fact that their body just happened to be designed with the nerve running through the muscle - when that muscle tightens it impinges the nerve and causes discomfort and pain.

Speaking as a massage therapist myself, even if you can go for just a 30 minute appointment focused only on your hips, glutes, and the surrounding area - you should get some relief!
Sometimes when I work with people with sciatic pain that area can be very tender and sometimes needs a few sessions for the musculature in that area to completely release, but typically I do what we call a "pin and stretch" to that area, and some PNF as 2dyzzi mentioned and clients will get off of the table feeling at least 60% better in one session!
At home you can also try to lay on the floor and place a tennis ball under your glutes and roll around on it - you'll find the spots that need it! It it's too tender you can try it laying in bed - just don't fall asleep on it! That may help a little in the meantime - but I would definitely recommend seeing a massage therapist if you can!!

Hope you feel better soon! Keep us updated!
Jan 7, 2010 from Greensboro, North Carolina, United States
StellarMotion Paid Member
Hi Voodoochild! I experience pain in the exact same location. Part of it, for me, had to do with my posture while I was at work. I have worked as a bartender for some while which has required me to spend a fair amount of time bent over a short sink sanitising bar-glasses. But I found out that there was another part to it and it had to do with my contortion training, especially backward stretching. I have found that by using lower-intensity stretches for the hip flexors and lower back, but just prolonging them a little or doing more sets of less lengthy and intense stretches, my left sciatic nerve has inflamed less and does not cry out in despair in quite the same way. I have also had some success at alleviating sciatic nerve pain by doing hip stretches, such as resting my left ankle on my right knee and leaning forward into it.

I really think that (in addition to my work) the main cause of the extreme sciatica was the way that I was doing backward stretches for the hip flexors and lower back. I have learned how to do other stretches for those same areas which seem to be less taxing on the hip joints but which also seem to be just as effective. Do you think you could be doing something similar with your stretching? I know that sciatica is a horrible kind of pain, and that its very limiting for many activities and prevents enjoyment. Here's hoping for a quick resolution to your discomfort!
Jan 7, 2010 from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
litlbit Paid Member
That is also caused from an area of the lower spine and or hip being out of alignment. I had a bad bout 5 years ago (while working as a nurse). The NP that worked on my floor told me to see a chiropractor as she had a similar experience. I took her advise and found I had impingement because my sacrum, lower lumbar and hip were out of alignment just enough to cause me severe pain. It worked wonders...no more pain! Good luck to you.
Jan 7, 2010 from Fargo, North Dakota, United States
Voodoochild
Thank you all for your help and concern! I took a heating pad to work yesterday and today and used it a few times throughout the day and it seems to help while im sitting down. I did go to a pole class last night and worked really hard and it seemed like when im stretching my left hamstring area (and all surrounding areas that have to do with my sciatic nerve) i feel the pain and tightness but once im working out (poling/ab work/ dancing) it dosent even bother me.
I did read that most times to relieve sciatic nerve pain, you should do specific exercises and stretches to strengthen the back and lower abs and legs.

I really think that (in addition to my work) the main cause of the extreme sciatica was the way that I was doing backward stretches for the hip flexors and lower back. I have learned how to do other stretches for those same areas which seem to be less taxing on the hip joints but which also seem to be just as effective. Do you think you could be doing something similar with your stretching?

Stellar, I have been doing alot of backbends/arches lately...maybe i should give those a rest and see if it gets better? =]

Thanks again everyone!! ill keep you posted!!

p.s. i DO plan on getting a massage soon AND hopefully seeing my chiropractor!!
Jan 7, 2010 from Plano, Texas, United States
Voodoochild
I'm getting a massage tomorrowwwww!!! HHOOOOOORAAAAAYYYYY! [www.studioveena.com]

I'm so happy this is finally happening! My nerve got better for a while I think because I was SOOO active for a week or so. Now I'm hurting pretty badly again ( it's a vicious cycle) so I finally made my appt yesterday! Omg I can't wait.

I'll post again afterwards to let everyone know (or whoever cares) how I'm feeling!

Love and Light
voodoochild
Jan 20, 2010 from Plano, Texas, United States
SadiraSimone Paid Member
Yaaaay!

I really think it will help! And everybody deserves a massage now and then! Enjoy!!
Jan 20, 2010 from Greensboro, North Carolina, United States
azzwoo
Sorry you are getting so much pain!
WIth sciatic pain you are getting compression of the nerve, usually via a dodgy disc or inflammation usually at the level where the nerve roots come out from your spinal column. What you need to do is do core stability work to increase the support around your lower back. Using an exercise ball and focussing particularly on transversus exercises often helps. Swimming is also excellent exercise for back pain, and if you can get into a warm swimming pool to do some exercises that is likely to help with the pain. I would avoid pole exercises that require you to use your core a lot (until you've strengthened it) as if its not stong and you overuse it you risk damaging your back.
Massage is great for pain relief but won't get rid of the underlying problem.
Other usual advice is:
invest in a lumbar roll (or you can sustitute a rolled up towel but its maybe not as comfortable.
take regular breaks to get up and walk around.
Don't avoid exercise, but do low impact core work instead
Never lift by bending in the middle, always bend your knees (but I would avoid any lifting anyway).
hope you feel better soon!
Jan 20, 2010 from St Peter Port,
verucablue
Sorry you are getting so much pain!
WIth sciatic pain you are getting compression of the nerve, usually via a dodgy disc or inflammation usually at the level where the nerve roots come out from your spinal column. What you need to do is do core stability work to increase the support around your lower back. Using an exercise ball and focussing particularly on transversus exercises often helps. Swimming is also excellent exercise for back pain, and if you can get into a warm swimming pool to do some exercises that is likely to help with the pain. I would avoid pole exercises that require you to use your core a lot (until you've strengthened it) as if its not stong and you overuse it you risk damaging your back.
Massage is great for pain relief but won't get rid of the underlying problem.
Other usual advice is:
invest in a lumbar roll (or you can sustitute a rolled up towel but its maybe not as comfortable.
take regular breaks to get up and walk around.
Don't avoid exercise, but do low impact core work instead
Never lift by bending in the middle, always bend your knees (but I would avoid any lifting anyway).
hope you feel better soon!

I have these exact back issues - disc crap at L4/5. One thing to I would add is that when it is acting up avoid any sort of spine circle or circular hip motion...it will aggravate it more even if it doesn't seem to be. Pilates has been a life saver for me as well...not mat class but one on one with a good instructor and on a reformer. It's great for stretching and working your core.
Jan 20, 2010 from Los Angeles, California, United States
Voodoochild
Well I got my massage last night!! It was pretty awesome except for the fact the the lady wouldn't stop talking!! Lol I'm kindof a quiet person. Anyhoo, my sciatic nerve is feeling better today! She said it was out of place and booooy did it hurt when she was rubbing my lower back area!! It is still a little sore today (which is normal) but hopefully it will subside in a few days! I plan on going to see my chiropractor on Monday (no sense in going today with a weekend full of poling ahead of me=P) so I'll keep y'all updated!

Thanks again for all the advice!!

Love!!!!
Voodoochild
Jan 22, 2010 from Plano, Texas, United States
 
Phoenix Hunter Paid Member
This really is such a good lesson. I swear no one could explain that the way you did. it makes so much more sense now!
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