Posted by: Lin | 2011-08-23

Sciatic inflammation

I developed sciatic inflammation a few months back. After numerous doctor visits and a few injections into the muscles, the inflammation cleared up. I started gyming again, running on the treadmill and doing weight exercises. However, the inflammation is returning.

Can you perhaps tell me what caueses the inflammation and what exercises (cardio especially) I can do without worsening the inflammation?

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Our expert says:
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Hi Lin

Sciatic nerve inflammation can be caused by a number of things. Most common is a herniated disc in the lumbar spine, which then presses against that nerve or irritates it. But the nerve can be irritated by the bone, the muscle, and even during pregnancy.

It's a really stubborn problem. Physiotherapy can be very effective, to help mobilize the muscle in the lower back, to "release" the muscular tension. You will probably find that you have this, and it may really help if you can have a few sessions. Strengthening the core helps a lot, because it allows you to unload those muscles that may currently causing the problem.

Sometimes they prescribe surgery, but that is an option of last resort, but something to bear in mind. In terms of training, the answer is whatever you can do without pain. Swimming is probably the best option, since it involves so little load. So you might try that. Running can be OK, weight training may load the back a little too much, you may have to figure out with some trial and error whether it causes the pain or not.

Good luck

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