Sciatic nerve problem relief - trapped in muscle only

Hi there, thought I would broadcast my recent successful diagnosis and physio with sciatic nerve incase anyone has a similar problem. Went to doctor because I had a pain that started from somewhere deep in the muscle in left buttock and pulsed down to my knee. It felt a little like cold water being poured inside my leg at the back. It had been bad enough to wake me at night/keep me awake. Went for physio which entailed trying to ascertain whether it was neural. Turned out that the sciatic nerve is trapped in the muscle, which is much better than trapped in vertebrae and why the pain wasn't worse. The muscles around the vertebrae are also tight and not helping. The exercises my physio gave me were:

1. Sitting on a level surface, pushed back so that the knee comes to the edge (probably a table) and with spine and head hunched over, hook toes up on one leg and lift to full extension at the same time as lifting head; 10 each leg, 2x daily if you can

2. With a foam roller lay on floor in crunch position with hands under knees. With a foam roller under the back at about the small of the back, rock backwards and forwards to massage the tight vertebrae; 10 one per day

3. Using a 'spikey ball' (same size as tennis, but rigid plastic with spikes) stand against wall with ball between offending buttock muscle and wall. Using small circular motions, massage the knotted muscle. As long as you like so long as you keep moving, I do it watching the news! Its fairly painful but the benefits are pretty instant

4. Single leg squats. As they sound, keeping straight over one leg and hook other leg out in front, squat down as close to the 90 degree position you can, WITHOUT the knee going over the foot (too much strain on the knee). If you need to steady yourself put a hand out on the wall. Its very important you keep the body weight back by pushing your bottom out here. 10 each leg, 2x per day

This has really helped me. If you have the pain as described above, you most likely have a sciatic nerve problem. If the pain is far worse, then its likely vertebrae and you will definitely need medical attention. The knock-on effect of the physio has been that I am walking straighter (I hadn't realised I wasn't) and feel much more full of energy. And, a mysterious pain in my right knee has disappeared ... as the song goes "the knee bone's connected to the thigh bone ..."

7 Replies

  • We always say on these forums "if in Doubt check it out" as non of us a doctors and wouldn't want to mis diagnose someone. There is some great advice and stretches in your post. I hope you and your physio get a resolution to your problem with all the work you are doing. Good luck.

  • I totally agree! I didn't recognise the symptoms I had as connected to Sciatic nerve, but hope if others have similar then they will get it checked out.

  • I have suffered with sciatica on and off for years. I have osteoarthritis which doesn't help. My physio told me to sit on a chair and push your knee right out to the side and hold it for a few seconds and then do the other side. This does help. Doing this exercise lying on your back and spreading your hips/legs while they are bent... to the side also helps. It stretches the piriformis muscle which is the main instigator of my pain. I have to be honest and say my sciatica also comes from the spine too. It does depend on what I have been doing as I have to do all the lifting because my husband is disabled. Most of the time I just try to ignore and it goes away...

  • Sounds like you have it nailed! Thank you for your comment, I will try the hip/leg stretch too, I am sure it will help me also.

  • Hi schtinkeri,

    Glad to hear you're improving, I am also improving and still losing weight and getting fitter although the weight is a little harder to lose now which is what I expected but I hardly notice my ruptured tendon pain anymore when I am out walking but the walk barely gets my cardiovascular system pumping no matter how hard I push myself, I think that I will persevere with it though because it is low impact and easier on the joints, anyway good luck with your tratment and training.

  • Hiya, that is really good news for you on the tendon, well done. I would say keep going, but it sounds like you have the inspiration and momentum for this anyway. I know its harder when you feel that the walking hardly gets the cardio system pumping but looking on the very bright side, your heart is coping so well with exercise that not so long ago would have been a real strain. Any routine is all about the hard upwards slog and the plateau, you will find a way to make it worthwhile, I am sure, as you have done so well. Happy Christmas!

  • Thank you for the encouragement, I have just posted another update, have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year yourself.