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Old 04-19-2007, 05:42 PM   #1
Shane Upchurch
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My girlfriend has just recently gotten over a sciatic nerve injury with some physical therapy. I just got her started with the crossfit workout..starting out slow with just 3 rounds of the warmup to get her started, but after yesterday's session she says her leg is starting to feel like it did before when she had the injury. I'm assuming the squats has done something to either irritate the old injury or start a new one, not sure which.
Any ideas on what could have caused this, she did the squats with only bodyweight and her form needed a little help but wasnt bad overall.
Any ideas would be great...I dont want this to scare her off from the crossfit regimen all together.

Thanks
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Old 04-19-2007, 06:48 PM   #2
John Nolan
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Shane,
what kind of injury did she have?

what were her symptoms?

Depending on the severity of the previous nerve damage, what she if feeling may be a chronic issue that could last a very long time...the degree to which she feels it may change depending on activity, but sometimes these symptoms last a lifetime.

Generally speaking, neuro-surgeons will give a nerve a year to show improvement or say it is 'more than likely' not going to get better. That being said there are more than a few CrossFitters that are living with sciatic issues...me being one of them.

There are a variety of diagnostic body manipulations that a good PT can put your girlfriend through that can give a better idea of what is wrong. Much also depends on what your girlfriend is feeling.

From the first injury the nerve may be inflamed, irritated, scarred etc. The movement from the crossfit workouot may have re injured the nerve or it can be as simple as the nerve coming out of her spine is swollen and as the body moves the nerve will move back and forth inside the vertebrae. Obviously if the nerve is inflamed, that movement causes irritation.

IN ANY CASE: Your girlfriend needs to be honest and 'get to know her symptoms'. She should make a mental note of any particular movement, body position that causes symptoms to immediately appear as well as noticing when symptoms appear that seem to have been caused by an earlier movement. If she needs to go see a doc or PT or sports medicine type the more she can tell them the better.

If this is just a minor irritation there a number of things she can do to prevent or minimize future issues.
-Learn good back stretching techniques that will not risk addtl disk issues.
-Work on back flexibility (especially extension)
-Get a good mattress
-work core-support musculature (flexors, abductors as well as the musculature along the back)*note the most important muscles are the harder ones to get to w/ traditional abdominal exercises
-Concentrate on good posture...and while exercising ALWAYS maintaining mid line stabilization

As far as how to do CrossFit with a back injury:
The first thing she needs to do is BE CERTAIN that there is no serious injury. If is not serious start light/low intensity working on form...then work on form...then form. Take it slow, build strength from the core and be aware of the signs.

I hope this helps
Juan
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Old 04-20-2007, 03:48 AM   #3
Chris Lampe
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I had intermittent problems with sciatic pain in my right glut and leg for which I never received treatment. I started doing the Starting Strength Program (squat, deadlift, press, benchpress) and the resulting strength and flexibility I've gained from that has pretty much alleviated my problem. The only time it flares up is when I do heavy bench press and that's because my bench is pressing right into the area of the sciatic nerve.

I would definately get medical approval before doing heavy lifting, if she hasn't already.

I hope she can resolve this. I've been there and done that and it REALLY sucks.
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Old 04-20-2007, 04:51 AM   #4
Shane Upchurch
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I'm not sure how bad the injury was to start with, she consulted a PT and after about two months of stretching and working her out she was good to go and hasnt had any problems since until just the other day when she started doing the air squats.
I think if she takes the air squats out of the warmup and then works on her squat form (squat therapy) after the warmup with no weights maybe that will work without re-injuring her.
Thanks for all the help guys.
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