Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video


Posted by Dorothy on 10/09/03 at 04:57 (133020)

I have asked questions about this before but I'd like to discuss this further. I THINK that somehow or other the sciatic nerve or something like the sciatic nerve is related to the foot and now, I think, Achilles pains and calf pains and upwards sometimes. Today I've actually had some left leg weakness which is new, but this left leg/left foot pain syndrome, I will call it, seems to kind of travel - although it is always present in the foot. What are some proven effective movements for the sciatic problems? I really gravitate toward more 'natural' things as much as possible. In truth, I haven't gotten much good movement of any sort this week so that might be contributing to this problem - but the sciatic problem (I think) bothers me from time to time. I'm going to say something heretical now: I rarely go to doctors and try to avoid doing so at all costs. I am somewhat attracted by the ESWT treatments and I am very interested in ART, but I haven't done either - yet. I keep hoping to get myself healed through other ways. Anybody here Christian Scientist? I am not,but I think about it and often find comfort in the readings that appear in the great newspaper The Christian Monitor about Christian Science. I don't know enough about it to say whether I could follow it or not but I know I find comfort and peace in those readings and in reading the Psalms. I guess I can post this Treatments/Symptoms/Products.

Re: Sciatica

SteveG on 10/09/03 at 09:31 (133046)

Dorthy - I was able to help my back by doing a series of stretching and strengthening exercises. There is a book called Back in Shape that outlines a series of exercises that will help you.

Re: Sciatica

john h on 10/09/03 at 09:49 (133054)

Steve I think that book is the one that was written by the founder of the Texas Back Institute, Dr Steven Hockschuler? I have been to that institute on two occasions. They did put out a wonderful quarterly publication on the latest in back treatment,etc. They have been on The NBC show in the morning on several occasions and are one of if not the premier back center in the country. They are located in North Dallas next to the Southwest Hospital. I bet you just are looking at those pictures of that well knonw lady body builder. What is the diagnosis on your back problem? Have you ever tried Lidocaine Patches? They are without side effects, can be worn every day and can be effective for many types of back pain.I have failed back surgery syndrome resulting from a helicopter crash in Vietnam. Basically that means the surgery did not work and they do not know what the devil is wrong? Sort of a catch all diagnosis.

Re: Sciatica

john h on 10/09/03 at 09:57 (133062)

Dorothy as you know most sciatic pain comes from a pinched nerve in the low back. This can lead to atrophy of the muscles in that leg after a long time. Since I had surgery on the low back the circumferece on my left leg is less than my righ leg. Have you ever had an MRI of the low back? Can you reproduce the leg pain by bending? Try walking across the room first on your heels and then on your toes. You should normally be able to do this with no problem or pain. A foot an ankle surgeon who sometimes uses a muscles stimulator for PF places a number of electrical pads around the calf among other places to exercise and loosen up those muscles so I think most of the Docs who post here think good calf muscle tone and achilles tone are important to good foot health. I think you have to think that also would include the low back muscles and hamstring. The book steve mentioned can be ordered from Barnes & Noble and is excellent..

Re: Yep, that's it

SteveG on 10/09/03 at 10:11 (133069)

John - yes this is the book written by Hockschuler, and the pictures were,
for me, an added bonus. I have not tried the patches. The diagnosis was degenerative disease, with some nerve root involvement. If I keep my weight down and do the exercies on a daily basis, I can keep it pretty much in control. If I slouch in a chair for any length of time, I can have a problem for a few days.

I notice that more and more exercise is being placed on exercise and less on surgery. Of my friends that have had surgery, none of them have had a complete success, which is why they are reluctant to do it. In, fact, even more aggressive exercise routines are being used these days -


Re: Sciatica

Rick R on 10/09/03 at 11:10 (133091)

Not long ago I was whining about my back. I have been able to sustain a long enough period sans spasms to begin exersising. I couldn't believe what I had done to myself. By avoiding any movement or lifting that might set off my back I let certain muscles turn into jelley. I could hardly do a stinking garden variety bent knee situp. I'm up to 30 and seem to have hit a plateau. I feel much better, I have lost a bit of that fear that I'm going to fall apart every time I try to tie my shoe. I took the air conditioners out and put up the storm windows withouht waiting for my daughter to get back from school. Talk about embarrassing....I mean for my son. I do think that this is a bit of chicken and egg scenario.

I also think there is a PF parallel. Sure PF was a reason my activity level went to zip for a long time. When I decided to resume activity, despite no relief of symptoms, like magic the PF started to improve. It's still that way. If I'm down for any length of time I have to be much more careful with the feet. I stopped running March of 2002 due to 15 hour work days. I'm down to 12 hour days now and have started to take Saturday's off, woopie! So I'm just now starting to think about running again. Actually more than think, I have started more aggressive stretching to prepare. I got a little start in July on vacation and things were going well but I let the schedule beat me again.


Re: Yep, that's it

john h on 10/09/03 at 11:17 (133092)

I remember when I first received a diagnosis of Degenerative Disc Disease some 25 years ago. I had never heard of it and the Doctor did not explain it and I could just picture in my mind all my disc falling apart. I left the office in a very deep funk. As you know Degenerative Disc Disease will be suffered bay all as we age.and is part of the normal aging process. It is a catch all diagnosis. Have you tried a TENS unit? You can rent one from a Physical Thearapist with a Docs prescription.

Re: Sciatica

Dorothy on 10/09/03 at 15:02 (133137)

Thanks SteveG. ~ I appreciate that. I have that book and probably every book and video about backs that has come out (even the latest one by the Whartons about back stretching). I do do various back programs, from stretching to yoga to weight training, and you are absolutely correct and I agree 100% - I know and agree that stretching and strengthening exercises are the key. In fact, that information that someone posted here a few months ago about the latest research about using very demanding and rigorous weight-training for even the worst back problems with good success, I have been THINKING HARD about that ever since reading it. I like that book, too. For me, one of the best resources has been the video 'Say Goodbye to Back Pain' and many people sing its praises.
I have the video put out by the Texas Back Institute and use that, too, John H. I LOVE all of these resources and am always looking and reading for more. But this sciatic thing has been plaguing me especially this week and I have been 'studying' it, trying to figure out what it is doing and what I can do about it in my program. One thing is to get moving! I have been especially sedentary this week - a very bad thing for the back and, therefore, probably for the feet too. Thanks again, SteveG. I didn't know you had back issues, too. Feet, backs....man oh man!

Re: Sciatica

Dorothy on 10/09/03 at 15:16 (133146)

Thank you John H. ~ Please see my note to SteveG. I am not implying that by having/reading the books and videos that I am an expert in this stuff. I'm not. Just always looking and trying. Don't know why - the answer is pretty clear. Keep moving. Keep moving. Keep moving. Stretch and strengthen. Relax. Breathe. We all know the answers.
But thanks. I know that fellow back-people know what that's like just as fellow foot-people know what that's like; when you're back-and-foot people, man you are doubly blessed, eh?

Re: Yep, that's it

John H on 10/09/03 at 15:21 (133150)

Steve G: you can go to the Texas Back Institute web page at http://www.texasback.com

The book can be ordered from there and they usually update the latest in back care procedures and diagnostics. You may even be able to get their quarterly publication if they still send it out. Good site for anyone with back problems.

Re: Yep, that's it

johnh on 10/09/03 at 15:37 (133159)

Steve: Something that I have always been curious about is what effect with being in space with no gravity have on a person with back problems. It seems to me the disc would decompress and perhaps even relieve pinched nerves. It would be nice if one the astronauts had a back problem and could report back. Then again on blast off with all the G forces his back would be in major trouble. The worst thing for me to do is drive a long distance followed by sitting a long time.

Re: Sciatica

johnh on 10/09/03 at 15:39 (133161)

Got to agree with that keep moving philosophy. Agree somewhat wtih the post that you cannot just hang it up with bad feet. If you are in a very bad period do rest but at some point you got to get moving or else your muscles will atrophy and you could get even worse.