Training & Nutrition - piriformis or sciatica
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03-31-11, 12:45 PM
Background: I've had terrible sciatica over the past two years, have worked very hard to get rid of it permanently, and thought I had. I had recently taken a month off of riding, until the weather got better, but had been keeping up my flexibility, cardio and core strength doing other stuff, absolutely no sciatic pain. I've finally lost 35 pounds over the past 6 months which could have been a big part of the problem.
Question: I just rode the trainer for the first time in over a month last night and this morning I feel the slightest tension in my a**. I went kinda hard but no overly. Is cycling a cause of piriformis, sciatica? Is it possibly a fit issue? Does anyone else have this problem? It was so painful, I'm probably over analyzing, I just don't want it back.
03-31-11, 04:10 PM
Have you had an MRI of your lower spine? My sciatica was caused by a compressed disc. I ended up having surgery for it, but I can still get sciatica if I lift something really heavy and aggravate it. Cycling doesn't aggravate it for me, quite the opposite - it actually makes it go away. I'm no doctor, but perhaps there is something in your body position or something you're doing on the bike that is causing things to shift around and put pressure on the nerves? If you're worried perhaps you should go to the doctor and get it checked out.
03-31-11, 10:50 PM
I've been to the doctor, had an MRI, shows a bulged disc, L4-L5. I've been for physio, told therapist about the disc, he claims 90% of adults over the age of 40 would show a disc bulge if they had an MRI. He told me I had tight hip flexors which pull and cause pelvic tilt, worked on my hip flexors for half an hour and took away 80% of the pain. When I cycle it seems as though the flexors tighten back up and thats when I get the pain. I am able to loosen the flexors with a foam roller, stretching and inversion, it just seems as though cycling brings it back.
04-01-11, 05:52 AM
+1 with K.Katso. I had herniated disc at L5/S1 some years ago and symptoms where exactly as OP defined. Orthopod noted that bike position opened up the area where herniation was and that explained the relief I felt after cycling. Like many herniated discs, it clears itself up after a few months. Of course, if anyone asks, my continuing to ride definitely sped that process along.
I don't think these kind of issues aren't that unusual--I've had issues somewhat similar (SI Joint). Sounds like you've done/doing most of the stuff I could think to suggest--seeing a physio, streching, core work etc.
If you have access to one in your area, it might be good to see a bike fitter who is experienced in working with people with medical issues (might be more likely to find one at physio office than at a bike shop). Seeing a massage therapist regularly would also be good if you can spend the 60 bucks once a month.
I like this for my piriformis. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9Qw4aAFdbc Get a hard foam roller. Don't get the wimpy soft ones.
04-03-11, 09:08 PM
I'll weigh in - it's sciatica - and its serious.
I'd have to talk to you in real life, but everything you posted just screams DISC PROBLEM.
Listen up, you could be in a dangerous situation. If you "push it" - a bulging disc may become fully herniated with pain you've never experienced before in your lie. (I'm talking root canal or worse)
I suppose god x-rays can detail this deal -spend the money to know for sure.
04-03-11, 11:17 PM
1. make an appointment with a neurologist
2. if they think you have a problem, they will likely recommend a MRI ("God x-rays" aren't generally available where I live)
3. a baddisc problem may result in a surgery to remove the portion of the disc pushing on the nerve, which is causing the pain and/or paralysis (drop foot)
4. 2 relatives of mine had the same problem and same surgery, both had really bad pain, and a good outcome post-op
they were both told waiting to fix the problem could result in permanent nerve damage
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