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Sporty DH and sciatica pain - what to do?

(20 Posts)
AreYouCrazy Tue 25-Apr-17 12:41:38

Hi all,

My husband is a very sporty type - he's particularly crazy about cycling and also loves playing football and doing other sports. Two months ago he started having really bad sciatica pain and this hasn’t been resolved. He goes to the physio every three weeks or so, but sometimes the pain is so bad he struggles to get dressed and do simple things.

The problem is - as he can't really exercise any longer, his mood is suffering quite badly. He is also putting on quite a bit of weight, nearly a stone in 2 months (but he's a 6'6" gorgeous giant, so you can't really notice the difference). He talks about feeling old and infirm (at 44!), finds it tricky to cope with work (sport used to be excellent for venting off frustrations) and he sees much less of his cycling friends as obviously he can't join in.

I worry he might slide into a depression… it is really sad to see him so low. What can I do to help him, lovely MNters?

PinkCloudDweller Tue 25-Apr-17 19:29:56

Please help!

PinkCloudDweller Tue 25-Apr-17 19:34:07

Sorry, my previous post was meant to be for a separate thread!

Op, I really feel about your husband. I have some hip pain at the moment and I absolutely hate being unable to run. I'm sure someone will soon come up with some ideas...

Lozzie12 Tue 25-Apr-17 19:58:00

Sleeping on his side with a pillow between his knees and painful leg uppermost will help relieve pressure on sciatic nerve, meaning he will hopefully start the day in a good place. Sport wise swimming is a good exercise for back pain. I hope it resolves soon.

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Tue 25-Apr-17 21:04:56

Had he tried yoga?

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Tue 25-Apr-17 21:05:14


Banderchang Tue 25-Apr-17 21:06:33

I often have bad sciatica, and two things I've found really useful are acupuncture and a tens machine.

B1rdinthebush Tue 25-Apr-17 21:09:18

I have suffered from awful sciatica for years. Pilates and acupuncture have been very effective.

RedDahlia Tue 25-Apr-17 22:18:15

Chiropractor maybe of more use than a physio

BarneyRumbleton Tue 25-Apr-17 22:27:56

This happened to me. I'm shedding the weight now but it was a horrible time.
Can he swim? Pilates is also great as is yoga.
Maybe look into sports massage to release the muscle tightness that is trapping the nerve.

I lost all confidence in my body when I was injured, and was scared of the gym because I was scared of hurting myself and setting my recovery back. It was a vicious cycle because inactivity made it worse.

I'm making really good progress working with a PT who understands my limitations and helps me train past them. It's expensive but worth every penny to have my fitness and confidence back. Would that be an option? Most offer a free consultation.

User2468 Tue 25-Apr-17 22:38:51

Ok, this may sound a bit mad but...

I'm quite sporty, about 4 years ago I started suffering from Sciatica, it would come and go but eventually I was suffering every day, I had to take a combination of Naproxen and Codiene just to be able to walk at a shuffle, physio/oestepath didn't help, Dr just prescribed more drugs.

I racked my brain looking for a trigger and I knew it had started when I got a new car, but I was now on my 3rd different car and it was still here, both manual and automatic so I couldn't work out the correlation.

I saw a post about car seats putting you in an odd position so I fiddled with the settings in my car and raised the back of the base of the seat (you could also sit on a cushion if you don't have all singing all dancing seats) and I kid you not I've not had a touch of sciatica since.

Four years of hell thinking I was going to end up crippled and unable to walk properly and I fixed it by adjusting my car seat!

Worth a punt!

peaceout Wed 26-Apr-17 00:51:17

I say find a better therapist, either a different physio or some other technique
yoga might help:


AreYouCrazy Wed 26-Apr-17 12:40:06

Hi, thank you all, some great suggestions here. User2488, you've made an excellent point - my husband often complains that the pain he gets when driving is particularly bad. He has decided to stop using his car for work as much as he can - that means going down to car use only 2 days a week, and I'll drive at the weekends.

I will gently persuade him to join a Pilates class, but at the moment he doesn't think he's got enough mobility for that (I disagree). B1rdin thebush, I will try and get him a tens machine via Ebay.

If anybody has any idea how to help with his low mood, please tell me...!

PollytheDolly Wed 26-Apr-17 12:48:10

Has he been to the GP?

Rshard Wed 26-Apr-17 12:55:24

My dh who is also a cyclist is recovering from a herniated disc which trapped his sciatic and femoral nerve. Like your dh he quickly got bored and frustrated. He also manages a long term rheumatic condition largely through exercise so that was impacted to.

What he found helped slowly. It surely was taking a course of painkillers i.e. every four hours for him this was gp prescribed tramadol and his usual ibuprofen. That got him to a point where he could do a small amount of cycling which then alleviated the other symptoms if that makes sense. He gradually increased this albeit far too slowly for his liking! weirdly his most comfortable position was bent from the waist so perfect for cycling! This Saturday he had a nerve blocking injection which has relieved the sciatic and femoral pain. Could your dh ask his gp for that? It is a hospital appointment rather than gp but he'd need a referral

peaceout Wed 26-Apr-17 13:01:05

Re low mood, can he use a different format of exercise, what about swimming?

DairyingLass Wed 26-Apr-17 13:03:48

I had really bad sciatica which started about two yrs before ds1 was born until 6 months after his birth. At its worst I couldn't even get out of bed, well I could just about crawl to the toilet. Someone recommended a chiropractor to me and it was fixed in about 6 sessions, 'twas miraculous.

That was 13 years ago and it's never come back!

AreYouCrazy Wed 26-Apr-17 16:55:00

Thanks! Yes, he's been to see his GP, who is actually a specialist in sports medicine. He recommended his physio; those of you saying a chiropractor might be better, you might have a point! I will investigate for him.

Re the nerve blocking injection, I had no idea about it - I will tell him.

PollytheDolly Wed 26-Apr-17 19:26:33

My exH went to a chiropractor and it made him much worse. End up a double discectomy and bone removal surgery after an MRI. He really needs proper investigation first.

OlennasWimple Wed 26-Apr-17 19:28:55

DH took a lot of Volterol until he got his sciatic pain sorted out through a chiropractic (not really recommended, but it meant he could keep playing sports)

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