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Old 05-19-2009, 02:49 PM   #1
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Default Sciatica

I have recently found out I have sciatica, damage to the sciatic nerve. I am on medication for the pain. I was told the only exercise I can do is walking. I have been doing that about a mile a day. Is there anyone else who suffers with this and have any pointers or advice on what other type of activities to do with this condition?
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:57 PM   #2
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I also have sciatica from when I was pregnant. My chiropractor and taking anti-inflammatories helped a lot. I rarely get the pain anymore. Watching my posture has also helped. I try to sit straight in chairs and try not to lean on just one leg when standing.

The chiropractor helped me the most. It was immediate relief. I had to see her often at first, but now go several months before I have issues.

I would also think that you'd be able to swim without too much pain.
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Old 05-19-2009, 04:03 PM   #3
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I had sciatica from a slipped disk. Be careful with the steroids if your doctor prescribes any, they increase your weight and then the sciatica goes worse, and then they increase the dosage and it's a circle really.
I was told the only exercize I could do was swimming but it hurt so much that I got into the right physio and he explaind me that is something hurts it's wrong to do it even if the world sais do it. They told me not to run, I started running and that made me heal, then I engaged in weightloss.
Keep moving, I understand it's hard, I remember it very well, but keep moving, that will also promote your body to produce its own antinflammatories and they'll work for you.
I was walking with a cane in August 2008, at 22 years old, 6 month later I was running on a threadmill and all what my doctor did was to overdose the steroids and making me increase 2 sizes in 1 week, crazy. Keep moving!!
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:31 PM   #4
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I have mild sciatica now, but after I herniated a disc about 14 years ago, I experienced "real" sciatic pain - it felt like someone had poured gasoline on the outside and inside of my leg and lit it on fire. Treading water was the only exercise that I could do without excrutiating pain. In fact, treading water was the only thing that relieved the pain without doing so by knocking me unconscious like the vicodin prescription did. When my sick leave ran out, the only way I was able to go back to work (I was a probation officer, at the time) was to go to the pool before work, at my lunch break, and after work. I joked to my boss that if the files were waterproof, I would set my probation clients' appointments poolside. I would have lived in the water if I could have.

When I do have a sciatic flare, walking doesn't seem to help me much (though walking does very well at preventing the flares). Swimming helps if the nerve isn't too irritated, otherwise treading water is still my favorite way to relieve sciatic pain - the exercise is secondary. At first, I could barely move my legs in the water, and mostly just moved my arms, but just being in the water, seems to really speed up the healing of sciatica for me.

Even with sciatica though, something that works great for one person can make things worse for someone else (but if your doctor oks water walking or treading water, you might want to give it a try - especially if you have a warm water exercise program (your local chapter of the arthritis foundation or your area's aging and disability resource center, would be able to tell you).
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:31 PM   #5
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thank you for all the advice. I am not sure if the medication I am taking is a steroid, I need to check it out. Thanks again.
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:31 PM   #6
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I have sciatica, though mild, it causes a problem since i have a very physical job........... I just bought a recumbent bike, and love it! you can sit back instead of being all hunched over like with an upright... I highly recommend getting one
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:41 PM   #7
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About 20 years ago (hard to believe!) I had sciatica so bad I could not sit down for more than 3 minutes at a time. I was working in an office environment and even during meetings, I had to stand and pace the entire time.

The only thing that helped me was a chiropractor. The sciatica went totally away after about 4 months or so. As soon as I feel ANY twinge of sciatica,I am back at the chiro. The episode 20 years ago was the most painful thing I have ever experienced.

Some massage therapists who do manipulation can also help if they're very very good. You need to stop the nerve being pinched to get permanent relief.
Keeping the win at my back!

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Old 05-30-2009, 10:00 PM   #8
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10 years ago when I stopped working in a piano factory I went to school for my job now. I got a painful case of sciatica. I started going to a chiropractor although I was told they were quacks for pain relief. This was the BEST thing I could have done. He got me out of pain, and told me how to avoid the flare ups..... which of course included weight loss...... I started working for the chiropractor not long after that. I do not work for him now, but I do believe in chiropractic therapy. I do not believe that it can do some of what the finatic die hard chiropractic advocates do (cure cancer, stomach problems, etc), but I do believe in "feeling fine with my spine in line".

If it were me, I would go to a chiropractor and be evaluated. Some will offer a free first consult.

I work for a spine surgeon now (can't get away from them back doctors), and it is not uncommon that somene has the same problem/diagnosis but one person cannot stand and the other cannot sit.

Hope this helped.
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Old 06-18-2009, 06:58 PM   #9
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2 years ago I had acute sciatica (came on out of the blue, incapacitated me immediately). I ended up with surgery (which worked extremely well, but is highly effective for acute-onset debiliating sciatica, not the chronic kind unfortunately).

Aside from crazy narcotic painkillers, I got a lot of relief from alternating heat and cold. I would lay on ice packs from my lower back all the way down the leg with the pain for as long as I could stand, then switch to heating pads. It was the best relief I could find. I was incapable of walking 9 feet to the bathroom without feeling like I would pass out from the pain. Icing before I took a trip to the toilet did help some.

I feel for you - hope you find something that works.
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:38 AM   #10
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I have sciatica. Between the chiro's adjustments and the physical therapist muscle work and showing me some exercises I can do, I'm doing so much better.
Google some stretches to do, also alternateing ice pack and moist heat-15 min each. really does help.
Patty H.

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Old 06-23-2009, 02:34 AM   #11
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I have the same question.
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