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Ow !!!

Old 10-08-08, 06:22 AM
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cranky old dude
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Ow !!!

For the last three weeks or so, the left leg has hurt something fierce.
Pain starts in the buttock(hush), and travels down the back of the thigh
and thru the calf. I can ride both the recumbents and the DF's with no
problems, it's walking, standing and sitting in chairs that's the problem.
The girl I work with thinks it's sciatica (sp?).

I've tried working thru this, that ain't working, advill doesn't seem to
stop it,.....we'll see what the Doc says tomorrow. Hopefully the prescription
will be more riding!!!!! Hey, a man's gotta have dreams.
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Old 10-08-08, 06:31 AM
  #2  
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It does sound like Sciatica, This is an inflamation of the sciatic nerve, usually caused by swelling or pinching. I am not a DR but I would suspect he will recomend an anti-infamatory like Motrin(Ibuprphen) to relieve the swelling which should relieve the numbness and or pain.
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Old 10-08-08, 07:27 AM
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If it is Sciatica, the pain can only be cured by releiving the pinch on the nerves. In worst case, this requires surgery, but often can be helped with physical therapy and some exercise. If you have a curve in the spine agrivated by a "beer belly", than that is a place to start. Core strength exercises also help.

But in the immediate future, exercise is the opposit of what your back needs. Rest for the muscles that are hurting (they are trying to realign you spine to beat the pinching and they are getting tired and screaming in pain). Try the following for some immediate relief. Find a chair or hassock or other piece of furniture that will allow you to lay on your back with you legs up and bent at the knee as if you were sitting in a chair that has been rotated back 90deg. Having your legs bent at 90deg at the hips helps straighten the spine and relieves the pinch and allows the muscles to rest. Do not put soft stuff behind your back (except perhaps a blanket to keep you away from a cold floor). This for 30 min/1 hr in the evening will help the back to relax. Use lots of Advil, its side effect is to help with inflamation.

Do not sleep on your stomach. Stop doing those things that aggrivate the back for a short period of time. Don't ride the bicycle that requires you to bend over. See your doctor for some plan to get your back back into the game.

I am not a Dr. but I have avoided surgery for an L4/L5 problem for the last 28 years.
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Old 10-08-08, 07:34 AM
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+1 on sciatica, when I had problems with it it would get so bad I cold bend over at the hip and have my leg collapse under me. Physical therapy to strengthen the supporting muscles seems to be the best treatment. My doc, back in 1976 or so, prescribed some tylenol w codine - did not help the pain and put me to sleep. I alsmost passed out on my bike one day that was the last daytime use of that drug I ever did.
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Old 10-08-08, 08:08 AM
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My symptoms were similar to what you describe, so this "may" have some relevance. See your doctor if symptoms warrant and use caution in whatever you do.

I cut this from one of my previous posts, sorry, but I couldn't figure how to link to that specific post...

I have found that a few things helped a lot with my lower back issues. I can't claim that what worked for me will work for everyone else, but will share in the hope they do for someone here.

1. My back pain comes in attacks which used to last weeks and when it is acting up, the key for me is to continue to do my stretches. I am worse off if I "rest" or take a day off from stretching or being active.
2. Staying well hydrated is critical. This makes a huge difference. Drink lots of water, I am convinced that plain water is the best thing for you.
3. An upright riding posture does not help, but actually makes things worse. You may not be able to ride with a very aggressive handlebar position at first, but it is a good idea to lean that way and as you are able lower the bars a bit at a time until you are riding with the bars at least a couple inches below the saddle and preferably lower.
4. At the very early onset of back pain stopping and stretching will head off an episode.
5. Keeping your core muscles toned is essential to maintain good back health for those with lower back problems. I find an exercise ball useful for this.

Stretches that I do only take a few minutes. There were a bunch that the PT taught me but three simple ones seem to be what works for me.

1. Press-ups - These look a little like push ups, but are different. You leave your hips on the floor and do the push up motion with your arms. The key is to bend the lower back way down at L4 and L5.
2. Hip stretches - Lying flat on back with left foot on floor and knee bent 90 degrees, put right ankle just above left knee. Push right knee forward with hands as far as it goes and hold 20 seconds. The pull right knee back as far as it goes and hold 20 seconds. do same for other side and repeat.
3. Hamstring (back of thigh) Stretch - Lying flat on back. Raise left leg up. Grab leg and pull up further until you feel a gentle pull in the hamstring Hold for 10 - 20 seconds. Switch sides. Repeat. I usually stretch my calves as part of this. If that doesn't work for you you might try adding a separate calf stretch.


Exercises to keep the core in shape help a lot too. I find indoor rowing pleasant and helpful. I usually follow it with some exercises on an exercise ball, some of which I use light dumbbells for.

With all of the above I have now been mostly pain free for several years despite having had dire reports from several doctors. I used to spend a couple months a year in PT, took numerous courses of oral steroids, was constantly on muscle relaxers and pain meds, had epidural steroid injections, and was told I needed surgery.
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Old 10-08-08, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
If it is Sciatica, the pain can only be cured by releiving the pinch on the nerves. In worst case, this requires surgery, but often can be helped with physical therapy and some exercise. If you have a curve in the spine agrivated by a "beer belly", than that is a place to start. Core strength exercises also help.

But in the immediate future, exercise is the opposit of what your back needs. Rest for the muscles that are hurting (they are trying to realign you spine to beat the pinching and they are getting tired and screaming in pain). Try the following for some immediate relief. Find a chair or hassock or other piece of furniture that will allow you to lay on your back with you legs up and bent at the knee as if you were sitting in a chair that has been rotated back 90deg. Having your legs bent at 90deg at the hips helps straighten the spine and relieves the pinch and allows the muscles to rest. Do not put soft stuff behind your back (except perhaps a blanket to keep you away from a cold floor). This for 30 min/1 hr in the evening will help the back to relax. Use lots of Advil, its side effect is to help with inflamation.

Do not sleep on your stomach. Stop doing those things that aggrivate the back for a short period of time. Don't ride the bicycle that requires you to bend over. See your doctor for some plan to get your back back into the game.

I am not a Dr. but I have avoided surgery for an L4/L5 problem for the last 28 years.
Good post, I swear I was ready the laugh when I started to read the last line. I thought you were going to say "I am not a doctor but I slept at a Holiday Inn last night"
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Old 10-08-08, 11:21 AM
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Try a Chriopractor or a Reflexoligest. My Aunt was a Reflexoligest and showed me where to massage my leg,and it works 90% of the time. When that dosn't work I go to the back cracker, and problem solved.

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Old 10-08-08, 11:23 AM
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I've had sciatica, and Mrs. Road Fan has had several different forms of back ailment, twice rather severely. I'd say, get to your doctor as soon as you can. Rest then exercise has worked for me, but my case has been rather mild all my life. Hers, however, have been rather severe. The purpose of the rest phase is to try to get the disk back into place (disks were slipped in her cases), but until that is done exercise was not recommended. Lately she found a terrible PT who put her in traction, causing her pain level to go from a 4 (0 to 10 scale) to a 10.

Between us all we have a lot of good experience, but only your doc can take responsibility for advice for your case. It might sound similar to what we can tell you or it might not. You may be told to get and MRI done - the resulting pictures will show what's wrong and where.

Staehpj has a lot of experience and some of it overlaps well with ours, but not all of it.

Again, I can't say any of what we've said is right for you or wrong for you, but based on Mrs. Road Fan's experience, you don't always get the same advice for similar ailments twice. Get your own advice from your own doctors. That's the safest thing.
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Old 10-08-08, 12:51 PM
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Had sciatica, brought tears to my eyes at times, really hurts and really sucks, time, rest, and motrin eventually made it go away. Also, DON'T KEEP THE WALLET IN YOUR BACK POCKETS!!! Seriously, it puts unwanted pressure in the wrong place.
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Old 10-09-08, 12:12 PM
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Phew! No biggie, just pulled some muscles. Yippee, I've got muscles!!!!
Got some meds, should take it easy to heal soon.

p.s. that means I'll just ride slower

Happy Trails
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Old 10-09-08, 12:17 PM
  #11  
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Protein helps to heal damaged tissue so you finally have a reason to have a Steak and Kidney PIE on one of your Recovery rides.
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Old 10-09-08, 01:03 PM
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1+ on the steak; I don't know about that kidney pie. How about apple or cherry instead? Lp

Last edited by Spinz; 10-09-08 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 10-09-08, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Spinz@50 View Post
1+ on the steak; I don't know about that kidney pie. How about apple of cherry instead? Lp
That S&K PIE is aswell as- and not in place of.
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