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View Full Version : Sciatic nerve pain and foot stance.


Alexander Karatis
07-08-2004, 05:12 AM
Two years ago, while running, I felt a sudden sting in my lower back, effectively paralyzing for a second my left leg. I fell down and was unable to resume running for another two months. My cousin, a doctor, assured me it was my sciatic nerve, which runs from our hips to our toes, and that it was probably cause by a combination of no warm-up, cold weather and inadequate clothing.

Two years later and it's slowly making its appearance again. I can feel it during the day, mostly in my hip section and it makes me uncomofortable resuming heavy weight work until I get to know something more about the probelm.

One other thing that seems to be linked to this problem is my slowly widening foot stance, especially, my right foot. When sitting in of these http://www.exrx.net/AnimatedEx/ErectorSpinae/BBBackExtension.gif

my right foot tends to point to 3 o clock, instead of 12 o clock like my left one. I have tried keeping it in the proper position but am very uncomfortable with it. There is no pain, but I feel I will hurt myself if I force it to 12 o clock while pulling serious weight.

A trainer at the gym I was at thought it might have something to do with my sciatic nerve.

Also, it is worth mentioning that in terms of flexion, my right leg is a lot better than my left leg. I am not sure if it is abductor/adductopr flexion but I am talking about where you sit down and try to pull your leg behind your neck. My right ankle can comfortable touch the back of my neck while my left stops short in front of my face.

I'm not sure if these are all related but I 'd really like to find out what has caused this, and how I can treat it. Apart from intermittent pain and discomfort, I feel that it could be limiting my performance in many areas.

Thanks in advance folks!

Brian Hand
07-08-2004, 05:43 AM
Alex, this doesn't sound too bad, I wonder if some stretching might help. The last part of your post (the put-your-heel-behind-your-head part) sounds like a tight piriformis, which was discussed recently on here, and I think Lisa_S posted some very good links to stretches.

I have had a similar problem with the uneven feet. It was just that one adductor (groin) was tighter than the other. This is a very good illustration of the idea that side to side imbalances are even more troublesome than uniform tightness / weakness.

This also might be a good illustration of how a problem in one area can surface later somewhere else. Your groin is tight on one side, so you squat crooked, which over time fouls up your hip extensors, and causes sciatic pain. Who knows, maybe it all traces back to some minor groin pull 100 yards before your sciatic nerve knocked you down two years ago.

One last note, take it a little easy while correcting the imbalance. Your body may have adapted to the skewed stance and when you straighten out you could be using your muscles in an unfamiliar way (that is, the right way!) I got ridiculously sore in part of my hamstrings (biceps femoris part) when I straightened out that one foot! Hard to believe I'm such a delicate flower :-)

Alexander Karatis
07-12-2004, 01:08 PM
Brian, thanks for the help and tips. i'll look for these stretches and see if it reduces the discomfort/pain. Would correcting that stance and especially the imbalance take considerable time? I'm curious what good progress would be.

Brian Hand
07-12-2004, 01:52 PM
Alexander, assuming we have guessed right, you might see very quick results, your stance might even out within a week. Mine did with that tight adductor. I wouldn't be surprised if it improved noticeably the first time you stretch. It depends on how tight and stubborn that muscle is. Remember not to get carried away at first, even if it feels fine.