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Sciatica.. any suggestions?

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Arch, 26 Oct 2007.

  1. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    York, UK
    Has anyone here had any experience of sciatica? My Mum rang last night to say she's been struck down again. When she had it really badly before the doc put her on anti-inflammatories, but she said she had a bad reaction to them (she didn't say what it was. I vaguely remember there being some horse-sized pills she could barely swallow, and her joking that she got better just out of the fear of having to take them). Last time, it wasn't so bad, and she had a couple of sessions with a physio, which eased it a bit, but generally I think it has to run its course? She's going to stick it out over the weekend, she's due at the doctors for her 'MOT' on Monday anyway. She's not keen on taking pills, are there any gentle exercises that will help? I think she's found stretching the leg helpful, but only for very brief relief...

    Poor Mum. She's doing reading for an essay on media portrayal of the elderly, which is depressing enough, and this is making her feel terribly old and decrepit. Whereas really, she's probably more active than I am...
  2. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Behind a desk
  3. Peyote

    Peyote New Member

    Don't know much abour Sciatica I'm afraid Arch, but has your Mum tried using a heat source to ease the pain? They sell all sorts of shaped pads these days for generating heat and applying it to specific parts of the body (not sure if your Mum is suffering with leg or lower back pain, but the pads I've seen cater for both).

    Or maybe even a hot water bottle, tie it in place with an old inner tube*!

    * This is a cycling forum, so I had to get a reference in!
  4. starseven

    starseven Guest

    Arch your Mum has my sympathy , Sciatica can be quite depressing its sometimes not the sharp discomforts but the annoying ache thats the worst.

    At the risk of sounding like a rep from the yoga council , the pilates recommended to Patrick(or is that Fatrick now) can help by strenghening the surrounding muscle.

    Immiediate relief can sometimes come from laying flat with the legs raised vertical to the knee, you mum may have to find what suits here with that though.

    all the best
  5. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    York, UK
    Cheers both, I'll mention those. I think she's using a hot water bottle in bed already, but a strap on heat source sounds like a good idea too... Or I'll send her an old inner tube!

    20", she said the physio she saw did some stretching and pulling of the leg ("No, seriously, I'm not Pulling your leg Madam. Well I am...";)) to untrap the nerve, is that the same sort of thing as an osteopath, or would they do other stuff?
  6. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Osteopaths can be a bit rough at times - I would definitely go to a physio in preference.
    One excercise that has helped me in the past is to do a mini press up by lying on your front and raising your chest and shoulders off the floor but keeping your hips on the floor about 10 times. Only raise as much as is comfortable. Maybe 2 or 3 times a day.
    And ibuprofen to help reduce inflammation.
  7. arch
    sorry to hear your mum is in pain i was going to say laying flat but starseven said it first. I hope its not a long spell:sad:

    x x x
  8. Is she sure it's sciatica? Problems further up the back can radiate pain down into that region. I get sciatic-like pain sometimes and the best cure is a good deep tissue massage in the lower - mid back area. If it's really bad I take voltarol, which is a prescription anti-inflammatory, very effective, and also very small!
  9. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    York, UK
    Cheers rich. And I was going to ask about suitable painkillers. She just takes paracetamol to take the edge off, but something with ibuprofen would be better? She said she'd had a bad reaction to anti-inflammatories in the past, but are there different sorts? (I'm not a pill taker either, so I don't really know about much more than a couple of paracetamol once a month...)
  10. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    York, UK
    Ooh, you're all responding faster than I can type!

    Thanks everyone. I know she has been lying flat, and stretching her leg out. She did Yoga for a while, so she probably has a few techniques. I think she's fairly sure about the diagnosis, having had it before, but she is seeing the doc on Monday anyway.

    She rang me yesterday just to moan (those were her words!), which is very unlike her. Not helped by the fact that she'd struggled into town to enquire at the council offices about her tuition fees grant, which hasn't appeared yet, and was served by a very unhelpful receptionist. Mum handed her the letter confirming the grant amount, which had all the details and the girl looked it up on the computer and said moodily "Well, we sent you a letter on Sept 16th". "Yes", said Mum, through gritted teeth, "That's the letter I've just given you". And then she was told that the person she needed to see was on holiday for 4 weeks. Which is sort of like Santa going on holiday at Christmas...

    Anyway, I'm out going to find her a funny card in the hope that it cheers her up a bit...
  11. johnny

    johnny New Member

    Have you thought about Accupuncture. Its very good for pain relief and might reduce/end the need for the horse tranquilisers. Massage is also supposed to be helpful and of course physio to correct the cause.

    Have a look here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sciatica
  12. Disgruntled Goat

    Disgruntled Goat New Member

    Acupuncture can be very effective.

    You can find an accredited practitioner here:

  13. Peyote

    Peyote New Member

    Of course! Arch, pop down the local dodgy Pub and pick her up some Ketamine, that'll sort her out!
  14. Twenty Inch

    Twenty Inch New Member

    Behind a desk
    Osteopaths come in different flavours. There are definitely those who favour good rough "manipulations". The one that I am seeing now however favours a "laying on of hands" approach, gradually and gently working on the problem and on the different layers of tissue. I've had good results from it.

    As a side note, she is a very attractive young blonde lady, and I am dreading the inevitable reflexive response to her attentions the next time that I go and see her. Although perhaps I should take comfort in the facts that it is a) entirely natural :evil: won't be the first one she's seen and c) proof, if it were needed, of my virility.
  15. girofan

    girofan New Member

    Well Arch, having suffered for a number of years myself, I found that McKenzie excercises and a good firm mattress can help.
    A number of people do not realise that a worn out mattress can cause all sorts of sciatica and back ailments!