Chronic Sciatica


I have been suffering quite a chronic sciatica nerve pain since the end of June this year. I have seen an Osteopath, Chiropractor and now a Sports Therapist/Masseuse. I am over £400 lighter for the experience too.
The deep muscle massages have certainly helped but the pain is still there.
The common opinion is that it is a muscle problem - a build up of tension within my lower back. I am doing stretches to try and help the condition but nothing much really helps.

Any other opinions?


  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    I had a bout of sciatica a while back. It was sorted by a sports physio. She gave me massages, pointed various electronic wavey doodah things at me and so on to relieve the pain and prescribed stretches to keep it at bay. Probably similar to what you've had.

    But you need to get to the root cause of it. In my case it was posture. I was stooping when walking and running and was told to stand up straight. Stand up against a wall and make sure your buttocks, shoulders and head make contact, then try and maintain that posture as you walk (and run). It feels odd at first, as if you're thrusting your pelvis at people. A few people thought I'd had a growth spurt and gone up in height a couple of inches.

    It worked for me! Hope this helps.
  • I have the same problem, too. Just got back to running since re-injuring it in the GNR.
    I've been recommended Pilates. This stregnthens the core muscles. These are so important, as when stregnthened, they improve both your posture and running style (so I've been told).
    So many physio mates have told me the same thing, so would recommend it to anyone else.
  • Many thanks for your replies, has anyone tried this Backlife thing?
  • Hey I stumbled on this site and i thought bloody hell how many people have a smilar thing to me!

    Well to start I was trainning to get in to the british military and I could not get in cause had an old injury on my ankle that did not heal correct and they told me to get it fixed and come back again so!

    I was 15 yrs old when it happen'd and was very active kid but the time came that I wanted to sign up to military so my training got harder and realy hard prepparing my self for 30mile runs with 50pounds in a bergaun on my back.
    any way military said no cause ankle,
    "said come back when fixed"

    so can u imagin my determination. Well went to see my doctor and sent me to the hospital for checks and MRI scans and X-Rays so then never got any info back and I started nagging the NHS well to cut it short the NHS took from the age of 17yrs old to the age of 23yrs old to finaly say the NHS whats wrong then opperated on me and didn't fix the problem and then opperate the second time and get it wrong again dont forget 2yrs in between the surgery now just before the second surgery I had a fall and triggerd slight pain in my right hip any way they had done the sugery and could not feel the pain in my ankle so I thought I was cured but little did i know it was because of the pain in my hip was covering the pain in my ankle
    and then just because I was stubben I went for a run to see if my ankle was ok so I got back from my run and got shooting pain down my right leg but the front of it going down to my sheen forgot to mention
    I had bought a house in the mean time and it need'd work done to it so now I thought my ankle was fixed and now I have sciatica and right hip pain and lower back pain so that was the beginning.
  • carry on to last post! 

    So then I went to my consultant at the NHS and said cant feel my ankle its like U cured it but! I've got bad pain in my right hip and right leg whats happend.

    So U can imagin how frustrated I was cause of going through this all over again but with a differant problem now,

    Any way the NHS done the propper scans like MRI,CT,X-rays and after said that I have Spondylolisthesis and thats when I found out that it was a sciatic nerve and they said to put a facet joint injection in my spine and if it fail'd to work the first time they will put it 3 times in total and then they will consider surgery (spinal fusion)image

    Any way from then I started hearing things like dont have the injections its bad and then question'd everything the NHS advised me and started literally

    throwing money at osteopahs,chiropractors,harley st specialists and that was not just 1 it was loads of these specialists, dont forget in the mean time I'm getting worse with pain and I'm still trying to fix this house pay the mortgage and pay for specialists to fix me OH! and suppose'd to work and I had a manual job wich was very bad for me cause i couldn't stand,walk,bend,sit,lay down,sleep,or pick up a two stone child and not be in pain,OH! also throwing money at internet gimicks that was suppose to help you in a week a day all those sort of lie's to get your money and cause I was deperate to be OUT of PAIN I fell for it alot.

    But then I found 1 chiropractor and actualy started helping but just to explain it was not the chiropactor that got me slightly out pain each time I had paid for visit it was the chiropractors massage therapist that was giving me deep tissue massage and it work'd and was painful but beatyful reliefimageimageahhh

    any way had lots of deep tissue massage sessions lots,........................of them.

    any way the massage therapist started saying its not getting rid of your problem then I went to the chiropractor and he sent me to see a sports personal trainer,and he helped me alot as well,but before he did I had the facet joint injection,wich made the pain milder,"

    "I think cause at the same sort of time the PT instructor got me useing this foam roller and had to roll it up and down on the side of my leg lieing on the floor every day 7 days a week,

    (hard to explain) but any way that took the pain to a minimum Oh! and I had to stretch twice a day 7 days a week and

    deep tissue massage,oh I thought Im nearly on the mend but I was wrong again my ankle pain started coming back again and now im angry cause now I've had it,they couldn't help me with my sciactic pain so I realise'd I was doing all these treatmants but all it took is a hard days work and was feeling the simpterms again went to my chiropractor and he said you will never get rid until you fix your posture and to do that you have to fix your ankle.

    So i ask'd him if he knew any 1 that can help cause the NHS has made me worse not better with my ankle and he located a private hospital that was the specialists in Ldn foot and ankle centre and I had seen a consultant their and he said to have an MRI scan, to look at my ankle again because I had taken copies of the NHS scans but could not see my problem on those scans because the NHS could not put me a simple injection that helps highlight my insides to find the problem in my MRI ankle scans.

  • Carry on to last post!

    so any way the private consultant used that injection and could see a problem in my ankle that the NHS could not see and the consultant offered to put an Injection in that area and I think


    I havent had the pains and have'nt got the swelling in my ankle stillimageimage but going back to let the consultant know and still not sure 100% but out of pain with my ankle but not yet better with sciatica cause I still get muscle stiffness when i use my right leg and nerve hits off if i try any heavy lifting and use my hips,I suppose I just feel the triggers of it coming on with mild stiffness and pain not the actual pain still waiting to deal with this problem cause trying get my posture correct again,

    Now that I can mildly tain my cor muscle's and re train my left leg and have the same energy levels that I had when it first started.

    1-fractured at =15yrs

    2-hard military training =17/23yrs

    3-NHS surgery no.1-23yrs

    4-training again but ankle same

    begining of sciatica =23/25yrs

    5-NHS surgery no.2=25/26yrs

    6-loads of osteopaths, accupuncture,chiropractors+

    many others + facet joint injection


    7-Private hospital and payment of £2000 + sciatica still 27/28yrs

    8-28/?yrs still waiting to see

    Hope this helps alot of you sciatic sufferers try not to go down my route!

  • sean have you not seen a physio? 
  • Sean,  I found that is was my posture when not running that was causing the problem.  I too was told to do pilates and given exercises that I do every morning.  The general idea is to strengthen the back and core muscles so that the 'problem' muscles don't have to take so much strain.

    I found that I had to change how I sat at my desk, how I sat in the car and how I sat at home on the floor or sofa.

    When the pain goes away, don't stop the exercises or it will come back.

    I saw a physio about mine, which reduced some of the pain, and I go for a 'maintenance' sports massage whenever I have done something that might agrevate it - such as long distance travel.  But keeping up the exercises is the real key for me.

  • Wow Mario thats a stressful story. I have been going through similar struggles with the nhs over the past 2 1/2 years and they have been useless with me too!

    Mine started with an ankle strain, then calf tear opp leg, then sciatica original leg and now a painful knee. Thats been the past 3 years, unbelievably frustrating!

    Sean I just looked up the backlife thing and it looks good, but then I am a sucker for all of these things so I couldn't be too sure if it would be helpful.

    My sciatica came on from limping too much with a calf tear that took ages to heal. Chiropractors and ostopaths didn't help but deep massage and stretching eased it a bit. Then I was recommended a physio that specialises in body biomechanics especially how the pelvis works and he taught me a muscle energy technique (MET) that released a spasm in my piriformis (deep buttock muscle that can squish the nerve from the lower back). Within a few weeks my pain was a whole lot better. It still is a problem but I think it is improving as I am strengthening the buttock muscles and doing back stretches to release the muscle tension.

    I think that strengthening your core is the way forward but if these strengthening exercises make the problem worse, as it did with me, then you need to release the muscle spasms first. This is what has seemed to work for me anyway.

  • *waves at Caz*

    I have been given lots and lots more core exercises to do.  I think having a baby and a c-section has wiped out all my abdominal strength.  It was made glaringly obvious to me at my last fizz session when I was asked to sit on the swiss ball and lift one of my feet of the ground.  I just ended up in a heap.

    My pelvis is now much more stable when I run, and I have ordered my Serola Belt which will help it further when I run.  Getting back into it slowly.

  •  Tips and recomendations for all you sciatica sufferers. 

    1. remember reading about some 1 who talks about ankle injury and sciatica=London foot and ankle centre in st johns & st Elizabeths hospital in st johns wood.Fix ankle = good posture then fix sciatica.
    2. If need help on muscle weekness try Sports & Spine Injuries in london
    3. Tips deep tissue/sports massage helps alot.
    4. Stretchs, any good physio and personal trainer should show you alot.also if you have sciatica going down the out side of your leg your (Quadriceps) ask you personal trainer about a foam roller that you use on the floor and roll it down the side of your quad.
    5. if you have pain in shin that roller should get rid of it strengthen abs and lower back
    6. oh dont run cause you could put your self out of running for years cause of it
    7. if you have pain just your hip dont run!thats what i did whent in to my leg.
    8. make sure you take something for  inflamation dont take drugs from your doctor
    9. take herbal based ant inflammetries like devils claw, boswellia,tumerric,ginger root
    10. B12 for help with lack of Energy
    11. Swiss ball exercise's
    12. Clinical Gym Kieser Training
    13. Pilates

     Trial an error cause what might work for me might not work for you may be cause of simptoms R differant I'm know doctor just experienced in the problem.Hope it helps!

  • I've just looked at the back life thing again and all it does is rotate your legs gently, I think it would be helpful but you can easily do exercises without the machine that will have the same effect on your back.

    It reminds me of the exercises I read about in a book by Sarah Keys a back pain specialist. I would recommend her book, I think its called the back sufferers bible, I found a lot of her exercises eased my muscles and its a lot cheaper than the backlife machine!

  • can we have a linky thing to the backlife whatsit?
  • Tell me about it robert aliviated the pain but comes back when I have stressful days to the body

    just energy levels r low plus trying to pay for doctors and work dont get much trainning time

    have get rid of everything and concerntrate only on core strenghening. 

  • Farnie, do you follow me everywhere or are you too inexplicably pulled to any thread that involves injury, just like I am?
  • image


    to both.

  • image what about a disguise then
  • I'm great now.....the original post was over 3 years ago!

    FYI, my sciatica was caused by a form of rheumatism that inflamed my sacroiliac joints that in turn nipped my sciatic nerve.

    I'm on NSAIDs (diclofenac sodium) for ever more....even my own antibodies don't like me! image

    With respect, the Backlife was no good to me and would never have been due to my problems being arthritic etc. Spent a fortune on physios, chiropractors and other quacks too.

  • ha ha thats funny! (the old post I mean)

    How did you find out that you had a form of rheumatism? Was it blood tests?

    Is diclofenac as bad as ibuprofen for taking long term?

  • Roberts,

    After about 5 months of physios, chiropractors and other "bone benders" I was advised by one of the them that the muscles on my back were all swollen and that I should see my GP and get some blood tests carried etc.

    Basically, I was picked up as having inflammatories in my blood (as well as having an under-active thyroid too). I was started on the diclofenac sodium's. It made a world of difference immediately. Managed to actually sleep without waking up in complete agony, even breathing (rib movement) caused enormous pain too. My GP passed me on to a Rheumatologist and that was 3 years ago now.

    That wasn't plain sailing either. The initial x-rays came back as negative, and his blood test (alledegly) came back negative for the inflammatories so he took me off the diclofenacs saying there was nothing wrong with me. Well, in a week I was back at my GP's with all the symptoms back, they sent me for more blood tests. The inflammatories were back. They re-referred back to the Rheumatologist again. This time he sent me for an MRI scan which did reveal that my sacroiliac joints were indeed the issue.

    He has concluded that I have Ankylosing Spondylitis. Link

    I'm only on 2 x 50mg of diclofenac sodium daily, so it isn't even a full dosage but I have been on them for just over 3 years now but they do not appear to be causing me any internal problems but I believe that they are just as bad as ibuprofen and shouldn't really be taken for over 12 months in normal circumstances. I have just had a blood test on Tuesday to confirm that they are not damaging me.

    Curently, knocking out about 45 miles a week without any problems, so life is not all bad.

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