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  1. #1
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    Reputation: Ken in KC's Avatar
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    Back pain/Sciatic Nerve Recovery Question

    I've been rehabbing and working my way back (sorry) from an L5/S1 disc injury. The problem kept me off the bike, out of the gym and on my couch for several years. The back problems also presented with sciatica in my right leg.

    Now when I stretch, I notice that my right hamstring is significantly tighter than my left hamstring. I can stretch at least 3-4 inches further with my left leg than I can my right.

    My question for the forum: As part of your racing and training programs, have you encountered this while recovering from an injury and if so, what steps/actions have you take to correct it? Stretch more? Harder? Longer? Other?

    Thanks,

    Ken
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC View Post
    I've been rehabbing and working my way back (sorry) from an L5/S1 disc injury. The problem kept me off the bike, out of the gym and on my couch for several years. The back problems also presented with sciatica in my right leg.

    Now when I stretch, I notice that my right hamstring is significantly tighter than my left hamstring. I can stretch at least 3-4 inches further with my left leg than I can my right.

    My question for the forum: As part of your racing and training programs, have you encountered this while recovering from an injury and if so, what steps/actions have you take to correct it? Stretch more? Harder? Longer? Other?

    Thanks,

    Ken
    Well I feel like I've had this my whole life! I can almost always stretch more with one side than the other. It varies though from side to side and amount of difference. And also what is more or less sore and/or injured. I've had issues with lower back and sciatica stuff too and the thing that has worked overall the best for me is acupuncture. It has to be a good acupuncturist of course so I recommend a referral from someone you trust. And/or yoga I've found makes a huge difference for me in my overall flexibility
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein

  3. #3
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    Ive been dealing with sciatica too for about 3.5 yrs now. I cant answer your question directly from a racer perspective, but I can from a cycling nut perspective.

    I just recently had my 3rd ESI(epidural steroid injection) in 3 yrs, for me they last about a year. It works the best out of all Ive tried, but everyone is different.

    Like you, I have a tight hamstring and calf from the sciatica. Stretching is better on one side than the other and I'm pretty sure it will stay that way.

    For me the best results are staying active and loose. Walking, riding, stretching.

    Besides the ESI, Ive had good results from physical therapy from a place that specializes in ART (active release technique) where they work on you to release the trapped nerve and help it to "glide' freely again. These same PT people have me focus on core exercises that help to gain support in the lower back.

    Im sure yoga, or pilates would help too I just have not tried it.

  4. #4
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    I'm in the midst of battling with sciatica. PBS had Dr. Vijay Vad on tv during one of their pledge drive. He's written some books and videos. Says walking at least half hour a day as soon as you are able to is one of the best things to ease the pain. Also to take vitamin D (of course consult w/ your doctor first). Losing some weight also helps. I've been doing those things and I'm starting to see improvements. I wish you the best. Back pain and sciatica is no fun.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medeco View Post
    Ive had good results from physical therapy from a place that specializes in ART (active release technique)
    I've had some low-back issues and ART has been incredibly effective. Foam rolling is very good for self treatment (in tandem with ART/PT) and maintenance. Check out OPTP rollers - if you have some nasty triggers points the rumble roller is fantastic. Just a few minutes on one of these and you'll be stretching/mobilizing much further!

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