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Old 01-30-2008, 09:31 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 8

Default Question for Meg from fellow Pittsburgher

Hi Meg,

Thanks for your kind words. Have been going to the gym for about a month now. Go between 5-7 times per week. For the past two weeks I have been having burning pain across low back sometimes into right hip and leg. My trainer has suggested not using any strength training equipment that uses my lower back muscles including leg extensions, torso machines, ab machines, etc. Have not been using them for about two weeks but still feel this pain to some degree everyday. Have seen a change in my body because of exercising (no weight loss yet) but was wondering if you have any suggestions in regard to this burning pain and sciatica. Don't want to stop exercising but just need some ideas. If you recall I am the person that is limited in cardio because of plantar fasciitis. Actually pushed myself last week on the arm ergometer (used my feet on it) two days in a row and have flared up my feet also. So as you can see, I am in a pickle and am a mess physically right now. Can you give me any suggestions on cardio without weight bearing. Need to get that heart rate up. Anyhoo, thanks in advance for any help that you can provide. Watch that wind today. Feels like we are in the Wizard of Oz today. Take care.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:46 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 8,974


Hi Labseb! We lost our power once today already for about 75 minutes and I'm hoping we keep it for the rest of the day. It got cold fast when we didn't have heat!

I'm no doctor, but it sounds like you might have a pinched nerve in your back. I have two of them myself due to areas of stenosis in my spine. The pain radiated down my hip and leg and all the way into my foot. The only thing that gave me relief was a series of three epidural steriod injections into the affected area. I urge you to check with your doctor to figure out what's going on and how to fix it.

As for exercise, almost every exercise engages your core (back and abs) so almost anything you do is going to affect your back and its nerves. I agree that you should avoid ab machines, especially that horrible twisting one that's considered to be one of the most dangerous machines in a gym. I put myself on a core strengthening program of low back and ab exercises and I think that's helped. Ab exercises done on the floor or on an exercise ball are better than the weighted machines. But my doctor told me to avoid leg lifts because they really strain the lower back.

You might benefit tremendously from physical therapy, both for your foot and your back. A PT can teach you how to exercise to strengthen your core and possibly help the PF in your foot. Is that something you've considered?

As for cardio without weight bearing, besides an arm bike (which you said you use), the only thing I can think of is a recumbent bike. Even though you push with your feet, it's not weight-bearing, so maybe it would work for you. Have you tried one?

Best of luck to you! I honestly think your next move should be to get your back checked out by a doctor and to consider physical therapy. Let us know how you're doing!
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:23 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 8


Thanks for the prompt response Meg. I was in PT for my feet for about 8 weeks in the summer. It actually seemed to make the symptoms worse and my podiatrist suggested stopping PT. Just have to really watch how much I use my feet. Used the pedals on the arm ergometer and irritated my feet so I am just trying to calm them down this week. I am really angry with my body for hurting if you know what I mean. Am still going to the gym daily but am lifting lighter weights and lifting much slower. Am so afraid of not going. Makes me feel mentally so much better along with my body shape changing a little. I will think about calling my dr. regarding the pain. Probably will end up doing this. The PT group that I went to, even though it didn't help my feet, were a great group of people that were very knowledgable so maybe my pcp will give me a referral to have a pt evaluation on my back. Anyway, thanks for your help. Will check with the personal trainers at my gym to see if they can give me some floor exercises to do so that my back might settle down. I will let you know how this works out. Thanks again for being so kind. Hold onto to your hat today and try not to blow away.
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