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  1. #1
    Hump, what hump? horatio's Avatar
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    Saddle height vs. sciatica/piriformis

    Does anyone know of a connection between low saddle height and piriformis
    syndrome (sciatica from irritated/injured piriformis muscle deep in the
    buttock) ? I believe I may have triggered such a problem this year.

    I've just gotten over a 10+ week bout of sciatica. Normally I attribute my
    attacks to a bulging lumbar disc, but this most recent episode began
    differently. Prior to onset of the leg/back pain, I noticed a pain in the
    left buttock. This began following a relatively short bike ride with
    moderate hills, after I had lowered my saddle height for better power (i.e.
    higher cadences) on the hills.

    I stayed off the bike afterwards, but the pain only increased. Eventually it
    became sciatica in the left leg. I am pain free now, and just beginning my
    training riding for the year.

    Has anyone experienced a similar problem related to changes in saddle
    height? Any suggestions as to how to avoid this? Should I raise my saddle to
    the old setting? I'm leaving it as is right now.

    FWIW, I posted this question on rec.bicycles.misc and so far have received no answer.

    Thanks for any info.

    Horatio

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jawbone's Avatar
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    I haven't found a connection between saddle height and the piriformis going into spasm, but it sounds like the bike riding has aggravated it a bit. I had the piriformis go into spasm when I (duh) tried to pick up my son's clothing with my foot. It went berserk, spasmed out, I lost all feeling down the back of my right leg and, 4 years later, still have numbness. It kept me off the bike for several months. But I found bike riding has actually helped, and I've ridden with various saddle heights (on different bikes) and that doesn't seem to hurt it.

  3. #3
    JLD
    JLD is offline
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    [QUOTE=horatio]Does anyone know of a connection between low saddle height and piriformis
    syndrome (sciatica from irritated/injured piriformis muscle deep in the
    buttock) ? I believe I may have triggered such a problem this year.

    ....I had back surgery about 6 years ago--the removal of a disc. Prior to that I was still cycling. On that bicycle I had a fairly narrow seat. Riding then, seemed to help control my persistent leg pain. After the surgery though, I was not allowed to ride for well on 12 weeks. The surgeon was not concerned with my far forward lean and pointed out that in the immediate post-op stage, I should not 'see-saw' at the hips. I was naturally pretty deconditioned by the time I did get back on the bike and switched to an upright bicycle. It took several trials to get the new bike seat right where it needed to be-to avoid setting off the burn in the sciatic nerve. I moved on from that retro bike to my present Norco. The seat on this is okay-not bothering my leg-but could go a long way to being comfortable for the sit bones! None the less, my impression is that any 'see-saw' movement if the seat is just not at the right level, will start the beginnings of sciatica. I would suggest raising or lowering the seat in short increments--test drive--see how it goes. Maybe as well, you need to alter that forward lean a bit too?

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