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Low back pain gone but now leg irrataion

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 9:00 pm
by goosegunner
Haven't been able to get the book yet, see post below.

I had some pretty bad low back pain for the last 2 months but it has pretty much gone away in the last 2 weeks from Physical Therapy. Mostly stretching and ab work.

Now the back pain has subsided but I seem to have tingling and some pain in my right leg. Mostly on the side, and some numbness in my calf.

Seems to be the worst if I sit too long or stand too long, moving seems to help.

Need some help here on how to settle it down. It is not debilitating, but I don't want it to get any worse.

I continue to do PT strengthening exercises, walking and swimming.


PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:33 am
by Bill
Hi gg,

Welcome to the group. The book should answer a lot of your questions and help with those sciatica symptoms. Keep us posted on your progress.


PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 6:22 am
by randolph
Hello GG

It's been over a week since you got Dean's book(s) ... finally!

:?: Just wondering what you think of the book and if you are trying the exercises? From your post above, it appeared you have a good chance of responding well to RYB. How's it goin?


PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:57 am
by goosegunner
Well, so far it hasn't done anything to help my leg irritation.

The thing that is odd for me is I have very little if any back pain left. My leg has some tingling sensation but it is Quad and calf. I would not call it pain.

If I sit too long or stand for extended periods I get a slight burn below my right buttocks.

I am backing off my exercise routine to see if that helps. My PT had me doing Ab and back work 2X a day. Last week she tested leg strength and said they are equal as far as she could tell. I am now doing once a day in morning with light stretching before bed. Cobras, side bends, hamstrings, Backbends...

I can do the cobras without pain, but the shifted one will cause pain if I hold it too long.

Not sure if I am doing the shifted cobras right.

I lay down
Move feet to right
Move upper body to right
Do Cobras in curved position

Because I am pain free I continue to be able to do

Bent knee leg lifts
Leg Extensions
Hamstring stretches
IT band stretch
Bird dog
Swiss ball squats
Lat pulldowns
Leg press (light weights)
Walking on treadmill

Cut back on Naproxen
220mg morning
375mg bedtime

My leg is not debilitating but I don't want it to get worse. It is enough of an irritation that it is a reminder something is off.


PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 9:18 am
by randolph
Hi GG!

Although my sciatic symptoms were/are very similar to yours, and, like you, I'm also very much into exercising/staying fit, I was hoping someone more knowledgable than I would reply to your latest interesting and detailed post, because all I have to offer are cautions based on anecdotal evidence (my very limited, personal experience). So here goes:

First, I'm wondering about how much naproxen you're taking. My bottle says max dose is 220 mg/12 hrs. The two times I took 375 mg at bedtime because pain was so bad (which you say is typical for you?), the next morning I was very sick inside ... so much so, thereafter, even though I wanted the naproxen's pain relief, I just "gutted it out" at night without the extra naproxen, rather than go thru another yucky, sicky morning.

Second, I had a real problem gauging how much I could exercise, and how intense and far I could go with each exercise, when my pain gauge was dulled by the NSAIDs. I frequently went way too far while feeling pain-free on the naproxen ... because the next day I'd feel wrecked. So as soon as I could gut out the day and night without too much discomfort (and get enough sleep), I gradually reduced the intake of NSAID's to zero as soon as I could ... and my exercising became much more effective in promoting pain relief, flexibility, fitness. My progress also seemed steadier, with fewer, backwards days.

Third, beginning the rebuilding program, I really fought cutting back on my rather intense level of exercising (2-3 hrs most days). For several weeks, I reluctantly and gradually reduced my exercising to doing just the basic exercises for 4 weeks as Dean recommends in RYB. Part of my reluctance was unwarranted fear that I'd turn into a marshmello. I was able to get back into using my exercise bike in plenty of time before I turned into a blimp. I'm not saying you are suffering from "exercise anxiety", just putting out the caution in case you are.

All this is offered as caution, not prescription, for your own recovery. Like a physical therapist, whom I respect, says, "you know your body best".

I can't comment on doing the shifted cobra (never did get that one down right); but, like you, I can do the regular cobra anyway, which makes doing the shifted one unnecessary ... right?

Good luck, Randolph

PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 10:16 am
by goosegunner
My 375mg naproxen is prescription. Doesn't bother my stomach.

I am now taking 220mg aleve morning and night.

Leg seems to burn a little more. But not much.

My PT thought it would be a good idea to continue with naproxen just to help inflammation. She recommended I go back to Doc if sensation was still present after 2 weeks. That will be this Weds, so I will probably be going back this week.

I am backing off on the exercises to see if that helps.


PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:13 pm
by randolph

Glad to read you've got your meds under close personal and professional scrutiny :)

It will be interesting to read your future post on what finally ends the pain for you ... exercises, time, meds, ???

Sciatic nerve damage (if that's what you are recoving from) takes months to heal. Compared to other sciatica rebuilders' posts, my case does not seem unusual: into my 5th month, able to walk almost as much as I need with just mild pain in the butt and hammies .... but still months from running and lifting like I used to (if ever ... who really knows... I am, afterall, 53).

The encouraging advice I've received from my primary care MD, and a DC and PT whose advice I respect is: as long as there is steady imporovement, continue what you are doing. And basically all I'm doing is Dean's basic and advanced exercises with enough time on the exercise bike to keep my pulse and bodyfat down. I'll focus on rebuilding strength when the back is 100%.

Good luck, Randolph

PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 2:46 pm
by goosegunner
My PT also told me that nerve irritation can take a long time to heal.

It will be 2 weeks Weds since my last appointment. She is going to call and check on my progress.

Like I have said my back pain is virtually gone. Just need to clear the leg.

One thing that concerned her was popping in my hip and lower spine area when I do Bicycle leg extensions fully. She thought the shifting could be causing Sciatic irritation.

Its fine if I don't go to full extension.

Starting to wonder about Dr Sarno's book. Maybe its stress or anxiety related.


PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 8:20 pm
by Jeanette
goosegunner wrote:One thing that concerned her was popping in my hip and lower spine area when I do Bicycle leg extensions fully. She thought the shifting could be causing Sciatic irritation.

Its fine if I don't go to full extension.

GG -- On a very quick glance, I didn't see a description of what you're calling bicycle leg extensions in Dean's manual, but it sounds like a pilates exercise I do. When I first started doing it several months ago (before the sciatic pain hit), I felt/heard a crunching in my lower back about L4,5 and S1 -- no pain, just bone on bone.

Interestingly, now as I've continued to work on ab strength with floor work and exercises on the pilates reformer, I haven't noticed the crunching. Hadn't even thought about it for awhile until I saw your post.

Also, your strategy of not going into full extension if it hurts is essentially the progression recommended for the pilates exercise and is Dean's general approach to most of the exercises he describes. Do only as many and to the extent you can without pain. Sounds like you're using good commonsense.

I've also found that I can relieve leg pain -- very much like you describe -- with the "pelvic pinch" that Dean suggests in Rebuild Your Back. Sometimes it lasts for quite awhile, sometimes I have to repeat the pinch several times just to minimize the discomfort and tingling in the calf and down the ankle. But it's nice to know that in a pinch :lol:, you can get some relief.