Page 1 of 1

sciatic pain in left leg: hip and groin

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:09 am
by JJM
I have been doing the RYB program basic exercises for about 2 months now. I have sciatic pain in the left hip and groin mainly, and i also have a tilted pelvis and degenertation in my lower spine according to a chiropractor's x-rays. The chiropractor told me to use an inversion table to fix the lower spine degeneration. If anyone has any comments about using the inversion table for this, I would love to hear them.
I quit going to the chiropractor after reviewing this site and realizing he wasnt doing a damn thing for me on top of it.
Anyway, after doing the RYB basic exercises, I believe my lower back feels much stronger than before I started. However, I didn't realize that Dean's book mentioned the fact that if you still have sciatic pain after 5 days of beginning the exercises, you should start doing the shifted cobra.
So two weeks ago, the first time I did a shifted cobra, my sciatic pain completely dissapeared for about a day and a half. It came back again, and then I read on the forum about a gentleman who said to do the cobra exercises every 2-3 hours for sciatic relief, and quit doing the knee to the chest exercises. So the last 4 days I have been trying to do the cobra like he suggested. It has helped some, but my lower back is a little stiff and I have had a few cramps here and there.
I have had sciatic pain for about 3 years now, and didnt realize what it was and like an idiot just chose to tolerate the irritating inconvience I had. My question to anyone who would wish to reply is "Should I continue to do the cobra every 2 to 3 hours, and should I do it in the shifted position every time? Or shoud I continue doing the basic exercises 2 to 3 times a day along with advanced stretching for sciatic pain? Also, any comments about the inversion table helping for spinal degeneration, since I already bought the table, or should I try to get rid of it at my next garage sale?
Again, my lower back does feel stronger since I began the program. It was so weak before I started the program, it felt like it could pull out of whack at any wrong movement. So I do believe this program works for the back. Thanks Dean, I owe you for that. Now if I can just get rid of the sciatic pain. Im also doing the exercises and stretches for a tilted pelvis. Anybody with some good advice, I would very much appreciate it.
Thanks all,

Jeff M.

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 5:17 am
by Steven

If the shifted cobra is working, I'd say keep doing it. I'd have to look in the book again, but I think you're supposed to do it until the pain moves and centers in the lower back. Then you can go back to the regular cobra.

Doing the exercises two or three times a day should be sufficient.

Cramping can be caused by several things. Drink plenty of water and be sure to get plenty of electrolytes. Concentrate on relaxing when you do the exercises.

Read the book through several times. There's so much in there that you're bound to miss something.

And finally, sciatica takes a long time to heal. Just be patient and focus on your daily progress.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:29 am
by randolph
Hi Jeff

Dean recommends doing the basic exercises (exclusively) for two months before doing the advanced exercises ... which worked for me. And since you've been getting some success with the basics for two months now ... it would seem reasonable to start experimenting with the advanced exercises and stretches, including the ones Dean recommends.

I did the shifted cobra for several months before I could do the regular cobra. It just hurt too much to do the regular cobra. Early on, it was my goal to be able to do the regular cobra. So as soon as I could do the regular cobra, I abandoned doing the shifted version. I still receive great benefit from doing it every day, at least a dozen times a day for a minute or two (it just feels good to do so ... probably because it provides blessed relief from the C-position I work in, predominantly). It's definitely possible for me to do it too much ... back starts to cramp while doing it, and ache for a while afterwards. Maybe, as Steven recommends, 2-3 Xs/day is enough ... but I tend to think from the question: if something is good for me, how MUCH can I do it to maximize benefit? Guess it depends on your attitude toward exercise.

As long as using the inversion table gives you some pain relief ... I'd use it. I don't know what help using it will be for spinal (bone) degeneration ... but I would think this stretch (like any moderate stretch involving the back) would be beneficial. You've got the right idea: anything that helps strengthen your back and gives it more flexibility is good for preventing recurring back problems.

I didn't receive any benefit from the knee-to-chest exercise (one of the few RYB exercises that didn't work for me), so I discontinued it fairly early on. Dr. Stuart McGill reported that for some folks, doing that exercise (also the seal) is contra-indicated during the acute stage of sciatica.


Thanks for the advice

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:38 am
by JJM
Just want to say thanks to Steven and Randolph for their input. I think I will continue with doing the regular cobra stretch two to three times a day, or whenever my son allows me without crawling on my back.

I do get relief from my sciatic symptoms from doing the regular cobra exercise. I won't do the knee to chest anymore for certain, but continue to stick with the basic and some of the advanced stretches and strength exercises.

I have noticed reading through the forum, that most people don't report having any pain in their groin. Any suggestions on that I would appreciate hearing from anybody.

I am 39 years old, and played sports along with weight lifting and jogging most of my life. I currently am only walking for exercise, and I am a stay at home dad right now going back to school online. So I have the benefit of really working at the RYB program.

I also wanted to tell Randolph that I am not using the inversion table right now. The chiropractor told me to purchase one because he said it would help with bringing my lower spinal problems back to normal again with daily use. This was his advice and since he didn't make any profit by telling me this, I wondered if anybody thought what he says is legitimate. Right now, Im totally focused on the basic exercises, and when I feel the time is right, perhaps I will try using the inversion table again and see what I think.

Other than that, I will come back and inform people on my progress overtime, and hopefully benefit somebody else with similar problems who may come across this forum.

Thanks again guys for the input

Jeff M.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:28 am
by randolph
Hi Jeff

Glad to read you've got your young son's support as you rebuild your back. My 3 young'uns really helped motivate me in my efforts: the onset of sciatica felt like the end of the world to me ... but was just an interesting challenge to play with, for them. For a while I used crutches and a wheelchair to get around, which were just new toys for them. It never occured to them that Dad might not recover ... and something in me really didn't want to disappoint them.

I did have some groin problems for several months ... but not pain per se. I lost some ability to push out poop and pee as strongly as normal. Things weren't normal down there for almost a year; I really had to concentrate hard to eliminate waste products, almost like I had to learn how to use those muscles over again ... somewhat similar to learning how to use my back and leg muscles again to walk and run. But no pain that I remember. Where exactly is the pain? Something you might want to talk with an urologist about? We men tend to be reluctant to go get medical advice about pains down there ... which is surprising, considering how important one particular function down there is to most of us men. I eventually got a cathater poked up those two tubes to make sure nothing wrong was going on there ... which wasn't very pleasant ... but it was reassuring to learn that there were no problems ... just something that would get better as I exercised. Also, my libido was never diminished ... tho, for several months, I certainly was in no physical shape to participate as vigorously as usual in sexual relations with my wife ... which was also great motivation to do the exercises and stretches.


reply to Randolph

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:06 pm
by JJM
hi Randolph,

My groin pain in my left leg has not affected me in any other ways with the exception of the soreness that is present. If i remember correctly it all started with soreness in the groin in my left leg and over months I started feeling it in my hip and butt also. Like I said before, I still ignored it and just considered it an age related issue. Now I know that is not the case.

Your case scenario sounds much worse than anything i could possibly be complaining about. Im very happy your getting better.

As for me otherwise, Im doing the basics and a few other stretches and strength exercises 2-3 times a day. I know how much better I feel after doing it and aware that it is working and I just need to be patient and stay focused. Im just blessed to have stumbled across this website. It sure has made a difference. Thanks again for the input.

Im still looking for an answer about the inversion table, if you or anyone else who reads this has one. Feel free to respond.


Jeff M.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:52 pm
by randolph
Hi Jeff

The limited info you've given in your posts didn't indicate if you've seen a GP (in addition to the DC, who may be trained to look only for "subluxations"). I'd want to find out what that groin pain is ... and it would probably be wise to speak with a GP to insure that pain is not something separate from your other sciatica pains. Just look at the Merck Manual index entry for "spinal column" and you'll see herniated disc is just one of dozens of possible problems. I recently talked with a fellow with classic sciatica symptoms ... but he also had some weird groin area pain that turned out to be an internal abdominal hernia, which had to be fixed before he could get any benefit from the RYB exercises. Not that this is necessarily what's happening with you ... but you just want to make sure what you're dealing with.

You might want to check out a dermatome map (google "dermatome") and see if your groin pain is consistent with the other sciatica pains you are experiencing. Areas where sciatica pain occurs, frequently depend on which nerves are being affected by vertebra(e) disc problems (or whatever is impinging on the compromised nerve(s) coming out of the spine). In my case, all my symptoms were consistent with problem discs between L4-L5 and L5-S1 vertebrae.

MRIs are a nice diagnostic aid in discovering which discs are problematic ... but a competent GP can get a reliable idea of any problem discs by poking and prodding you with hands, and moving your affected leg in different positions ... and eliminate more serious (but rarer) causes for your pains.


I believe I found my diagnosis

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:28 pm
by JJM
Hey Randolph,

after reading your response I have been researching and I believe I finally found a definition for my problem. On another website, I found what is called ( low back pain with referred pain). After reading it, about a page in length, it sounded identical to my symptoms.

I plan on making an appointment with my doctor and seeing what the doctor recommends. probably an MRI. Im going to continue with RYB, and hopefully continue to improve.

Just want to say thanks for all your advice. Take care

Jeff M.