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Riding with Sciatica?
 67walkon member offline
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posted 4/27/2013
at 8:29:48 PM
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Its always something, Roseanne Rossandana.

A long running issue that just got worse presents like sciatica. When I was rehabbing from my 2009 accident, I started having weakness and nerve type issues in my right, non-injured leg. It was really bad for a while in 2010 and then got better.

For a few months, I've been having a teeny bit of right leg nerve tingling and occasional numbness. Had been going to chiro and went to the orthopedic back doctor--both kind of said I have a disk issue and to deal with it by stretching and strengthening, which I have been very diligent about since the injury.

Anyway, the issue is now major pain in both butt cheeks and majorly tight/sore calves. Sometimes its so bad I can barely walk, and I can't walk far. I can ride the bike. I just finished a course of oral steroids and they didn't help much.

The internet basically says it will probably go away in 6 to 12 weeks, no matter what I do. My primary doc says the next step is to try muscle relaxers or maybe an injection.

Has anybody had this? Did you keep riding? I can ride, I'm just slower than my already typically slow pace. Not sure what to do.

Any thoughts?

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posted 4/27/2013
at 10:55:46 PM
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Riding vertically compresses your disks with every jolt. Perhaps riding horizontally, so vertical jolt cross the spine without compressing the disks.

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posted 4/28/2013
at 12:50:29 AM
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67 I have a Back 2 Life. They were on infomercials a few years ago. $200. I found mine 2 yrs ago on Craig's list for $75. Check it out to see if u can get a used one also. Works great for me. When I have symptoms I use it 2-3 times per day and it only lasts for a day or 2. Before finding this I would sometimes be incapacitated for weeks at a time. I do continue to ride also but I don't do a lot of climbing if i can help it during my episodes. Good luck

 Machka member offline
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posted 4/28/2013
at 2:51:03 AM
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Have you tried riding with a Brooks saddle?

I experienced sciatica pain for a while, after using a gel saddle, and then switched to a Brooks. No more pain.

 FatManOnABike member offline
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posted 4/28/2013
at 5:49:53 AM
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The short answer google "piriformis syndrome". Sciatica is most commonly associated with lumbar disc issues but the sciatic nerve runs under the piriformis muscle in the buttocks and can irritate the sciatic nerve. Hope this helps and good luck. See long answer below.


I had severe sciatic issues constant pain and tingling in my leg and some numbness in my foot and toes. The pain management specialist I saw tried physical therapy then injections. I took three injections $200 each out of pocket with zero results, nada, then I went to a Airrosti practitioner. It's essentially deep tissue massage. Anyhow it turns out that the sciatic nerve runs under the piriformis which is a muscle deep in the buttocks. It can agitate the sciatic nerve. While there are many stretches and foam roller technique that will help, the easiest is to put a lacrosse ball under affected hip while sitting and use your body weight to massage the prirformis. It's not to difficult to find, trust me you know when you find the right spot. I'm able to manage mine to somewhere between 0 and 10% of my original pain levels.

The foam roller is is excellent for massaging calves and butt as well. You'll find that have to ease into it. I could actually feel knots in my calves and quads it was very strange to me. If you have the problem I have, the fix is close at hand.

I have to say that I have been fortunate to not have issues while riding which has been a genuine blessing. Buddy list me if I can be of further assistance.
post edited on 4/28/2013 at 5:42:39 AM

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posted 4/28/2013
at 2:33:17 PM
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Fat, can you give more information about the foam rollers? Brand you like, how often you use them, etc. Thanks.

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posted 4/28/2013
at 4:12:10 PM
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Fat may have something there. If it is a spinal issue, I had a friend with sciatica who rigged up a traction device on his bedstead: A rope, a pulley, a broad belt, and a five pound weight. He started seeing results in a few days, and in a few weeks he was getting around without pain. He still used it periodically the last time I saw him.

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posted 4/28/2013
at 10:54:48 PM
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If it's a disc issue, you can try traction to see if it helps. If it's a piriformis issue, then try the foam roller/ball to loosen the tight muscles. Disc issues can become aggravated by hard pulling of the knees upwards(hip flexion) so go easy on the hill climbing. Good luck.

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posted 4/28/2013
at 11:18:18 PM
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Fat may have something there. If it is a spinal issue, I had a friend with sciatica who rigged up a traction device on his bedstead: A rope, a pulley, a broad belt, and a five pound weight. He started seeing results in a few days, and in a few weeks he was getting around without pain. He still used it periodically the last time I saw him.
-- posted by rmillay


This is exactly what the Back 2 Life does...Gentle traction with a slow motion...

 FatManOnABike member offline
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posted 4/29/2013
at 6:38:36 PM
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Here is a demo video www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=fkqu_WQrfKg&feature=fvwp
I bought my foam roller at Target and its green. link to Target roller www.target.com/p/gaiam-green-restore-foam-roller-18-inch/-/A-13561631 It's by the yoga stuff. It great to start. The grey/black one shown in the video is much stiffer like a styrofoam. A great stretch for you is to sit in an armless chair, a hard seat is best. Place the ankle of the affected leg over the knee of the other leg. Now rotate your body slightly and square your shoulders to the your good thigh. Slowly lean forward, keeping your back straight.Don't bounce just gently stretch. You should feel it stretching the affected area For the roller, place it on the floor. Sit on it with the affected hip. Now using essentially the same posture as in the chair gently roll your hip back and forth over the affected area placing however much of your weight it will support. The video demonstrates this technique at the 2:20 mark. For your back, lay on the roller with your body perpendicular to it's length. This will really limber up the back. Just getting my body up and down off the floor is a good workout for me. The rolling works wonders for me.
The Lacrosse ball is 2.5"(?) and made of hard rubber. I have them everywhere, chairs at work, in my truck and I sometimes sleep on one for the hip flexor. When you work that ball deep into the glute where the piriformis is, you'll feel it down the leg. Now you're massaging the knot out of the muscle which leads to relief. Good luck.
post edited on 4/29/2013 at 6:33:26 PM

 russtaitai member not displaying online status
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posted 4/29/2013
at 8:50:25 PM
post #10 viewed 6652 times
Thanks, Fat.
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