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Sciatic troubles

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  • Sciatic troubles

    We do a lot of body weight exercises for the butt in my class. Lots of stuff where you are on your hands and knees and one leg is flailing around, kicking and stuff. I've seen the exercises described as "dirty dog" and we do all kinds of variations of them. They are killing my sciatic nerve. I take it that when you do these you should push out your butt and that seems to help. I also understand that it's the glute opposite the leg that is moving around that is being stressed the most. However, it's the glute on the leg that's doing all the kicking and flailing that is giving me the sciatic problems. It's like the nerve seizes up and wow, that's IT for me.

    These are probably exercises I should completely skip but they really have helped build stronger glutes. I'm wondering if there's something I'm not doing right or perhaps a modification that will take the stress off. Any suggestions on how to protect my sciatic nerve?

    (And please all you heavy weight lifters with your squats and whatnot, yeah yeah yeah. Save your breath. I'm just looking for ways to survive these particular exercises. The class really helps me and I enjoy it and I'm not about to drop it for heavy-duty weight lifting at this time.)
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

  • #2
    Obligatory disclaimer: I'm just gonna give one guess without the full picture.

    Sounds like you could have a number of pelvic issues, but one thing that comes to mind is piriformis syndrome. In a small percent of the population the sciatic nerve actually goes through, rather than under or over, the piriformis muscle (a deep pelvic muscle). In those people exercises or spasms of the piriformis can cause sciatic symptoms.

    Piriformis Stretch For Back Pain and Sciatica...Done Right! - YouTube

    There are other vids to watch but thats one way of doing it. I'd try making it a regular stretch daily for a while and see if it helps.


    • #3
      acupuncture. I herniated my L5S1 and acupuncture was the only thing that worked.


      • #4
        I agree with Neckhammer. In addition, some times- as in my case-- the sciatic nerve is irritated when there is sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction.

        There are good exercises that can help this issue. All you have to do is google piriformis syndrome or SI joint dysfunction. I found a foam roller and ball such as this to be very helpful:

        The foam roller let me hit the piriformis muscle tightness. The ball, squeezed between my knees, helped realign the SI joint.. All of this was after 4 weeks of PT that didn't fix the issues but taught me how to help myself.


        • #5
          Thank you so much. The stretches definitely were felt. I did a foam roller class the other day and it was so painful and I was so uncoordinated it wasn't even funny.
          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.