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Slow Progress

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 11:46 pm
by tomcat
Have been doing the basic exercises/stretches twice a day for about a month now. Have had sciatica for +/- 6 months and been through PT and IDD (disc decompression). Sciatica is getting better, but not moving as described in the RYB book. Progress is very slow. Am wondering if i should start doing some of the back strengthening exercises or wait untill the sciatica is 100% gone? Is it typical for the sciatica to just slowly go away?

Thanks to everyone that posts their experiences and advise here, Tom

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:01 am
by SeafordMdf
Hi Tom ,

Please read my comments as a fellow back pain / sciatica sufferer only , I'm not in any way qualified to make medical comments .

Personally I cannot see any reason that you shouldn't start to do Back strengthening exercises if you feel you are ready to go .

Strengthening the back and training the core muscles around the stomach ( In my opinion ) is only going to help with sciatica .

I tend to think that it is actually likely to speed up the Sciatica relief and I cannot see it doing any harm ?

It would be interesting to get some comments from the other members of the forum just in case I am wrong :?:

PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:55 pm
by randolph
Hey Tom!

The healing of my particular sciatica has been very slow. Going on 13 months since the onset of sciatica symptoms. As best I understand, we're dealing with damage to a major nerve ... and nerves, at best, are slow to heal. Your experience seems right in line with mine.

Does it go away? Beats me. All I know is that slowly but surely I can do more and more, with less pain, from week to week, as I exercise and stretch daily, as much as I can without pain. Any excessive activity that causes pain seems to cause more nerve injury and set me back days or weeks depending on how much I've overdone it. It's taken almost a year to learn that it is very easy to overdo it. I've got no idea how much I will or can heal, no idea how long it will take. I'm just very grateful that just by doing some pretty simple exercises (including the RYB ones) I've been able to heal enough to work and do most things I really need to. And no surgery, no prescription drugs.

It would seem that because it's so important to avoid any further re-injury of the nerve that you'd want to put your back in a cast for a year or two. But healing also requires exercising and stretching. It's sort of like the process of developing muscle strength. Muscles grow stronger in response to increasing levels of exercise requiring that strength. And apparently nerves heal in response to increasing levels of activity requiring that nerve. The challenge, to heal as best you can, seems to be: to do as much as you can, but not too much.

So as for trying new exercises .... I agree with Mark. Try the back strengthening exercises, or whatever you want to try. Just be super cautious and gradually increase the reps you do of each exercise, how far you stretch with each stretch, how vigorous you do each exercise. It's my experience that you only want to do as much as you can without pain. Pain is the signal to go no further. This is a real bummer for those of us used to being very active and bouncing back fast from previous injury. But, in my experience, there is absolutely no gain in trying to push thru the pain. To win this race, it looks like we're going to have to take it slow but steady, like that turtle.

At least, this is how it's been working for me. Randolph