Sciatica - Albuquerque,NM

Updated on March 27, 2007
M.T. asks from Albuquerque, NM
24 answers

This may sound a little odd, but does anyone have any suggestions on dealing with sciatica?

Oh, I forgot to mention...heat, cold, ibuprofen and 3 visits to the chiropractor in a week haven't helped. Someone suggested massage. Has that helped any of you?

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So What Happened?

Thanks to Barbie J for reminding me to follow up. Thank you all so much for your input. I tried a lot of what was suggested. Problem is I don't know what worked. I'm thinking my wife rubbing in Sombra and helping me stretch helped the most.

My sciatica has slowly receded, though my leg is still weak. Maybe we should come up with a ribbon lapel pin, maybe mauve in color, for sciatica awareness ;)

See, that's what happens. Women have been dealing with this problem quietly for ages, but let a man get it and suddenly it's a national epidemic that needs immediate attention. I firmly believe that if men were saddled with childbirth, the species would die out.

If women banded together and stayed the course, with your unique talents and abilities you could run the world. No, really.

Thanks again for all the help!!!

One grateful dad

Featured Answers



answers from Tucson on

Try a physical therapist - not a chiropractor. Had major back and hip problems resulting in that. I recommend Tygiel Physical Therapy - see Carol. She rocks.



answers from Albuquerque on

Yea I think that all the above along with a deep tissue massage helps. I get Sciatica every now and again and that helps soo much, wishing relief soon.
Mother to be
Past due date of 03/06/07



answers from Albuquerque on

Massge works great!!! You need to find a therapist that has pworked woth this isue before though. I can recomend mt therpist Sonia ###-###-####. Good luck.

More Answers



answers from Phoenix on

Hi M.,

Assuming that you have already had plain film x-rays my next steps would be as follows. Since you have not responded to the chiropractic care that you have been receiving (and you certainly have given it a good shot at 3 times per week)I would send you for an MRI of the lumbar spine and possibly some blood work (CBC, chem panel and cRP) The MRI to rule out a large disc herniation, a sequestered fragment of the disc compressing the nerve or rarely some other space occupying lesion. The blood work, if the MRI is negative, to rule out other more pathological causes. Also from a biomechanical standpoint, make sure your chiropractor has also addressed your piriformis muscle. It is part of the gluts and in a moderate percentage of the population the sciatic nerve travels through the muscle rather than under it, thus if the muscle becomes dysfunctional for whatever reason, the nerve is usually affected. Hope this gives you a jumping off point...I could give you a much more complete answer if I knew more of your history and specific physical exam findings. Please feel free to email if you have any more specific questions.

Take care,
D. (Chiropractor)



answers from Phoenix on

My sister had sciatica while she was pregnant (I know that isn't your issue) and afterwards. This is what her doctor told her:

• Regular exercise helps to build and preserve a strong muscular core; specifically, target the muscles in the abdomen and low back. A strong core is essential for good posture and spinal alignment. Proper posture relieves pressure on the low back that contributes to sciatica.

• To reduce the risk of lumbar disc herniation that can lead to sciatica, avoid movements that involve extreme body rotation.

• Try to keep body weight close to ideal.

• Choose seating that supports the spine's natural curve and allows the feet to rest flat on the floor. Avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time. Make it a point to get up and walk around often.

• Do not sit cross-legged. This places pressure on the sciatic nerve.

• Avoid sitting on a wallet kept in the hip pocket.

• Lifting and carrying things that are heavy, bulky or awkward in shape can contribute to sciatica. Remember to hold the item close to the body, lift with the back straight using the strong leg muscles.

• Feel a big sneeze or cough coming on - try to brace yourself first.

• Select a mattress and box spring that offers good support. Slip a pillow under the knees to help relieve low back pressure. People who prefer to sleep on their side should place a pillow between their knees to help reduce hip and low back pain.

The two big ones were exercise & weight lost. Now she didn't have a lot of weight on to begin with but her body didn't like any of the extra weight one puts on while pregnant... for her it was 27 lbs. So if you are even slightly over weight & your muscles are weak that could be a big factor.

She also went had acupuncture & did yoga. But be careful with Yoga. Yoga stretches may lessen sciatica when the cause is piriformis syndrome (sometimes a controversial diagnosis). Piriformis syndrome involves the piriformis muscle found in the lower part of the spine. This muscle aids hip rotation. Gently stretching this muscle may help reduce sciatic pain. However, certain yoga stretches do not benefit sciatica. Poses such as forward folds and twisting can irritate sciatic nerve pain. Any exercise that involves stretching the back of the legs can irritate sciatica. As with any exercise, the patient must remember not to push their body beyond pain limits. Respect the pain and remember - gently stretch!

Good luck!




answers from Phoenix on

Hello, I use just the heating pad every 15 min's for an hour and then stretch that area. So on for 15, than turn off than try stretch, walk (wait 15) than back on for 15. IF you have atleast one or two hours for yourself. Cronic back problems I can not escape. BUT it does work for me. I have tried alot but this works so far.... Good Luck!!



answers from Phoenix on

Visit a chiropractor. Ask around for referrals from friends (or fellow Mamasourcers) and get to the office. I was amazed at how much better I felt after a few treatments. Good luck!



answers from Fort Collins on

Hi M.,
I read through all the responses and you have certainly received some great advice! It isn't something you must continue to live with because there is relief for sure available.
I would like to suggest that you research NUCCA on the internet and if there is a practicing Dr. near you they will be able to help you live without the pain. No drugs, shots, or medications, just good healthy healing.
My best to you



answers from Phoenix on

There are places around the valley, called Ceragem. They are massage beds, and it is free to go in and use one for a month, I believe. A friend of mine has sciatica and it was so bad he couldn't walk. Since going to Ceragem, he bought his own bed, uses it every day and hasn't had a problem since. My grandmother, uncle, and a few other friends have also benefitted. If nothing else it's worth a try and it's free!



answers from Phoenix on

Hi, I am dealing on and off with sciatica during my pregnancy. One side is worse then the other, but I have been consistantly going to the chiropractor once a week. In addition to being adjusted I also receive a 1/2 hour massage and that is what really helps. She massage therapist uses her elbow to move around the muscles in order to try to relieve pressure on the nerve. I also use a heating pad every now and then in the evening. There are some Yoga postures that a friend used when she had sciatica as well. There's a lot of great reasources on the web describing those postures.
The Chiropratic office that I go to is Applied Health - ###-###-####. Theu have 2 locations and this number is the downtown Phx. The other location is in Cave creak area. Hope this helps and good luck.



answers from Phoenix on

Hi M. - That's a tough one. I have suffered with sciatica for years now and the only thing that has even remotely given me relief was the two spine surgeries I had due to a couple of blown out discs, bone spurs from the discs and some debris that was in my spinal area. Have you had x-rays or an MRI to confirm if you have a bad disc or two that are pressing on your nerve?

You've tried many of the standard options for treating it w/o surgery, etc. Have you tried alternating the hot and cold? I know my hubby would take little dixie cups and freeze many of them then pop out the ice and rub it all over my lower back for about 20 minutes and that helped quite a bit when I was in a lot of pain. Also maybe a back belt for extra support can be helpful.

My husband also gave me about a million massages during some of my really bad times and we even invested in an electro stimulation unit which was AWESOME and very helpful. You attach the electrodes to the lower back and then turn it on. It will electrically stimulate your muscles and get them to relax. The cost of this unit was WELL WORTH THE MONEY.

I know some folks have gotten steroid injections and that has helped them for a period of time with their sciatica....

Sorry for the long reply but as a chronic back pain/sciatica sufferer I can relate with your quest for relief. =)




answers from Phoenix on

Massage really does work wonders. I'm a student massage therapist right now and we've been working with some sciatic release techniques. I even tried them on my dad who went to the hospital for his sciatica. He could barely walk but he went back to work after a sciatic release. If you're in the east valley I could get you the number for our student clinic or my number and they or I may be able to help some. The clinic has REALLY reasonable rates and I don't charge a lot right now, either because I'm not yet licensed.
Good luck and hope you feel better!



answers from Phoenix on

My sister had sciatica really bad and has been almost pain free after regular massages from Mary. Her number is ###-###-####. She is really good and inexpensive. She also says that exercise and stretching help. Best of luck.



answers from Phoenix on

i have this problem off and on too. I see Dr. Keith Moore in Tempe, He is a chiropractor and so far the only one to help me ever!!! Never use heat, only ice. His number is ###-###-#### and he is off of Rural and southern. Great guy and not in it for the money as most are...



answers from Phoenix on

it sounds like it would hurt, but it helped me... point your toes forward, toward your nose, then grip your ankle and bend your knee, pulling your heal toward your butt. It loosens the cramp a little, sometimes. My mom told me that if you breath in and out deep, that would help because sometimes the pain is caused by lack of oxegyn. I know that only eases it a little bit, good luck! Maybe if you try a chiropractic that specializes in nerve damage, they can help you... I hope you find answers! If you do, let me know because I deal with the same thing!




answers from Tucson on

Sciatica is a pain in the leg caused by compression and/or irritation of one of five nerve roots that are branches of the sciatic nerve. The pain is felt in the lower back, buttock, and/or various parts of the leg and foot.

Sciatica is generally caused by the compression of the lumbar spine verve root L4 or L5 or sacral nerve roots S1, S2 or S3, or far less commonly by compression of the sciatic nerve itself.

Because of the many conditions that can compress nerve roots and cause sciatica, treatment options often differ from patient to patient. When the cause is due to prolapsed or lumbar disc herniation, research has shown that, with supportive treatment to help relieve pain, 90% of the disc prolapse will recover with no specific intervention.

*Physical therapy and exercise, which generally is best done in a controlled, progressive manner and will include some combination of stretching, strengthening and cardio conditioning.

*Massage therapy

*Anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs or oral steroids)

*Epidural steroid injections to deliver local anti-inflammatory agents (and possibly a pain medication) directly to the affected area

*Alternative medicine treatments such as chiropractic manipulation or osteopathic manipulation

You might want to do a little more research on
*Back pain
*Piriformis syndrome
*Spinal disc herniation

Hope you get better soon to spend some quality time with your family!



answers from Tucson on

Hi M.,
I couldn't tell from your post, but is it you or your wife that has the sciatica? Is she currently pregnant? If that is the case, I can personally relate...actually...I have to wonder who it was worse for me or my husband! I don't want to scare you, but I don't have a whole lot of positive things to say about this topic but I will recommend that you do see a chiropractor only to get properly diagnosed. I will just tell you what happened in our situation and you decide for yourself if it is comparable.

When I was about 12 weeks pregnant, I started to notice a tingling and numbing sensation in my left leg in the upper, outer thigh area. It felt like pins and needles at times too. As the pregnancy progressed, it got worse and worse until it was almost unbearable pain. My OBGYN kept telling me that it was sciatica. I finally got fed up and went to see a chiropractor and she told me that it was a form of nerve compression called "Myalgia Paresthetica."

It was really really bad for me. I think the pain was almost as severe as the contractions I experienced later on in labor. In some ways, for me, it was worse. I literally wanted to cut my left leg off at times and I was willing to saw it off myself.

The ONLY relief I ever got during the entire time was when I could keep myself mentally busy so I wouldn't focus so much on the pain. The nights were the worst because there wasn't anything to keep me busy.

It was really hard on my husband because he had to spend a lot of time massaging my leg to at least provide some other type of stimulus that was different from the pain. We also tried getting me into a swimming pool. It didn't take the pain away despite getting the weight off of the nerve, but it was at least a bit of an outlet for me.

Our son is 8 months old now and I still have some residual pain and numbness left but I would say the worst of it didn't subside until he was about 5 months old.

I don't know if this helps but all I can say is that there is a dim light at the end of the tunnel and eventually, as weight is lost and pressure is taken off of that nerve, the pain does eventually lessen more and more.

The main key with this is weight loss as it seems this is what causes the nerve to compress. Obviously, a pregnancy is a not a good thing for nerve compression, but the baby we got was worth it!

Best of luck to you!!



answers from Phoenix on

As a massage therapist, I can tell you that massage is GREAT for sciatica pain. I worked on a few clients, who all said that massage was the only thing to make them feel better. It may not totally feel better after the first time but it should help, after a few visits, if massage doesn't help, I would seek the advice of a healthcare professional specializing in sciatic pain. Good Luck to you!



answers from Phoenix on

My massage therapist said that you can prevent sciatica with stretching. I especially like the stretches where you sit in the floor with your legs in a V and lean forward and to both sides and where you sit on the floor with both legs in front of you and lean forward. Stretcing the hamstring should help prevent it.



answers from Tucson on

I have had severe sciatica since having children, and it flares up now and then even after 3 years since my last child was born. Massage can definitely help, and ask for someone who has specific experience with sciatia. They can also offer stretches and techniques to help minimize it between visits. Also, rolfing a more intense form of massage/therapy helped me. I saw a D.O. and he helped me be aware of my posture, stretching often, and using good form when you sit, get up (from sitting/laying down) - it really helped me a lot!

Good luck!



answers from Albuquerque on

Try yoga and decreasing red meats in your diet. I could explain in detail from a chemical stand point as to why but it would be to long. Try it and see how it goes.



answers from Houston on

i suffer from sciatica also, chiropractors didnt help until i found dr. stein, he is on union hills just west of I-17, known as the tallest chiropractor, he uses a different type of chiropractic medicine...and it helped, massage helps also, i use massage envy on bell and 76th....also, look at your daily routine and see what you might be doing to irritate sciatic nerve...i did home health and drove all day, that was my culprit so i had to spend some big bucks on temperpedic back and butt supports for car seat....walking helps, might look at temperpedic bed.....good luck



answers from Flagstaff on

Yes, massage therapy would be a good place to look. I practiced massage therapy for years before taking a break to be an at-home-mom to a wonderful 16 month old. Sometimes sciatica can result from the muscles of the hips and buttocks tightening around the nerve as it travels through the pelvis into the legs. Various kind of massage may help relieve it or make it go away. I would recomend finding a neuromuscular therapist, a massage therapist with specific training in deep tissue massage and trigger points.
You may also find that consulting with a physical therapist may help. They are a wonderful resource for learning exercises and stretches that you can do to work on muscular problems at home.
Also, some people I knew in the past with sciatica found some relief from sitting on golf balls. The trick is to move them around until you find the right spots.
Good luck, and never give up.

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