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Walking & Sciatic Pain

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 3:15 pm
by johnW
G'day to all.

I have just joined this forum a few days ago and I must say, after reading through all your posts, that I am very fortunate to come across such a pleasant group of people. Everyone seems only too willing to share their knowledge and experiences with others and in such a positive manner.
I have bought Deans RYB and have just started the stretching excercises.
Some of you have mentioned that walking is advisable while stopping any other sport you do until the pain has gone. My delema is that while walking on the beach this morning, in the soft sand, my sciatic nerve pain severely fired up. . . should I walk through this pain or is this only inflaming the nerve, making matters worse?
I should mention that I have a herniated disk L4-L5 (MRI scan) and only get this unbearable pain when I stand up. I can go kayaking or cycling, and I'm talking 50 - 60 mile rides, totaly pain free . . until I stand up!
Do you think I should continue to cycle and kayak and stop walking?
I am extremely fit and this is shattering me. I have had to give up surfing with my son and daughter. . . yet I know I must take it slowly to rebuild my back.

I would appreciate any advice from your large pool of knowledge and look forward to reading any kind replies.

Best Regards. john

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 5:24 pm
by Steven
Hi John,

Rebuilding always seems to work best if you follow the advice in the book. Take a little time off from sport and any activities that are causing the problem and focus on getting your back 100%.

Once the sciatica problems are behind you, you can return to those sports with complete peace of mind. Believe me, it's worth taking the time off.


PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:44 pm
by johnW
G'day Steven

Many thanks for your reply, I will gladly take your advice and continue slowly with the initial exercises in the book.

Speaking of which, as I am in great sciatic pain when standing, does this mean I should only attempt the few pain free ones, eg: knee ups, cobra and hip shrugs (lying down version), leaving out the standing back bends, side bends and forward bend?
I suppose the above is more a question for Dean yet I value advice from any member of the group who has gone through this painful experience.

Best regards. john

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2005 11:34 pm
by randolph
Hello John!

First, I think Steven is correct: don't be afraid to slow down and start very elementary with even 1 month of just the basic exercises as outlined in RYB. I was also very fit at the time of my injury 3 months ago, and did way too much for several weeks before it finally got thru my hard head that I was just going to have to sloooooooow dowwwwwn. :cry: I've lost some muscle tone and conditioning, but I haven't died yet from cardiac arrest! And, truth be known, it was kinda nice getting a break from the daily exercise regimen. :D Two weeks ago, though, I started exercising on my stationary bike again, and I'm thinking I could probably have resumed that sooner than I did. I think the basic advice is: if it hurts to do it, back off; the basic exercises in RYB seem kind of wimpy compared to what we were doing before the sciatica hit, but they are very effective.

Second, I'm also recovering from sciatica, and included in that lovely mix of symptoms was, like you, not being able to stand without pain. The first month doing the basic exercises, I could not stand at all without horrible pain, so I did the hip shrug on my hands and knees (like a dog wagging its tail), and did the side and back bends "standing" on my knees. Gradually, my flexibility has increased, am doing those exercises standing up now, and doing the advanced exercises successfully. It just takes time. Day to day, I don't notice any change, but week to week, I can see definite improvement.

Hang in there, John, and keep us posted on your progress!!

PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2005 7:18 pm
by johnW
Many thanks for your kind reply randolph.

I have read one of your other posts, mate, you have certainly gone the ten rounds with a similar injury to mine. Let's hope you are back in your rig soon.

I am now doing the basic exercises as in RYB and also the hip shrug, on hands and knees as you suggested . . not a pretty sight, but the kids think it's hillarious. :D

There is a definite improvment in the last few days, the cobra gives me much relief and I can now sit on a chair to eat. Previously, I had to sit on the floor leaning against a wall with me knees pulled up to my chest . . this was an attention getter at a large dinner party recently.

I am still itching to get back on the bike and also kayaking as neither gives me any pain whatsoever ( I also have the feeling they might help in my back rebuild ). . but, I would hate to go backwards now, so I may hold off a bit longer.

May I take this opportunity to wish you (and the group) a Merry Christmas . . john

PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2005 11:53 am
by randolph
hi again John!

Great to read you're improving already!! The time it takes to heal and rebuild is quite variable from person to person ... maybe you won't have to slow down too long!! But however long (or short) it takes, what a marvellous gift we've received in the RYB program. Merry Christmas indeed :D

My kids think the butt wagging exercise is pretty hilarious too ... especially when my wife does that one. (Wise woman: she's doing the exercises BEFORE the back pain comes.) I've had some interesting public encounters, also, especially the two Sundays I had to crawl into church (I couldn't even stand to use crutches then). What really surprised me was the great number of people with back problems. (Sort of like how you only notice how many Brand X cars there are on the road after you buy one.) I'm thinking one of the first things I'm doing after I begin working again is to make up a business card I can hand out to folks with this website info.

The part that aerobic exercise plays in the rebuilding process is not specifically mentioned in Dean's books (or maybe I just missed reference to it ... quite possibly ... somebody enlighten me here please!). Only one book among the dozens I've been reading recently specifically includes it in the physical therapy programs they've outlined. So I can only report on my own experience: it's been quite valuable to do the exercise bike, if only because it felt so good to sweat again!

Continued success!!