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-   -   Sciatica and wakeboarding (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=798656)

Michael 06-17-2013 3:37 PM

Sciatica and wakeboarding
 
Lost feeling in my leg the other day and finally went into the doctors. Apparently I have sciatica possibly due to a slipped disc in my lower back, but I wont know for sure until my MRI tomorrow.

Who has this? Can you still ride after a few months after the pain goes away? Pretty bummed right now and am praying its slightly temporary.

wakeboardern1 06-17-2013 4:13 PM

Here's my experience over the last year and a half with a bulged disc causing sciatica.

I bulged a disc December 2011 moving supply boxes at work. Extreme lower back pain and my right leg was useless. Lot of people told me that it would take forever to get better, if ever. But I followed the advice of a few people and focused on stretching every day. Picked up running around then too, and while I was way out of balance, I took it easy as the feeling returned over the course of 3 months. I also started snowboarding shortly before the bulged disc and kept at it despite it. Basically I forced my legs to have to do work and stretched religiously.

Start of March in 2012 I was doing 8+ mile runs without issue and started wakeboarding when it warmed up enough.

However, I'm not necessarily advocating doing what I did. Different people have different injuries or their bodies have different ways of recovering. That's just what worked for me in my specific case. I ignored what a lot of people (and I mean a lot) have told me I could never do and pushed myself. It worked out fine in the end, but I probably risked a lot pushing like I did.

It is easy to aggravate the old injury though, flats landings where you bend too much in the back (I love going into the flats and actually having to focus on proper landings because of my back made me way more consistent), sitting in certain chairs or having a wallet in my back pocket while sitting leads to guaranteed agony. I started doing deadlifts again this last winter and they went well for a few weeks, but at one point I let my form go on the last two reps while I was setting the weight down and I was miserable for the next two weeks, so I gave up on them. Kept up the squats and power cleans once my back stopped hurting

Basically, you'll have to feel it out. It's a surprisingly common injury and you have some people who are crippled their entire life, and others like me who recover real fast. Just follow your doctor's instructions, but also keep in mind that doctors frequently suggest an overarching set of rules for rehab rather than individualized programs and sometimes it might work different for you than others. Do what feels right and don't push it excessively.

Michael 06-17-2013 4:41 PM

Nick, thank you so much for the write up on your personal experiences with this. I was getting pretty depressed knowing that this may be a life long problem, and that I may have to give up wakeboarding. This isn't my first injury, January 2012 I slipped a disc in the center of my spine snowboarding, and I recovered from that in about 6 months.

My biggest problem with this injury is gaining control and feeling of my leg. What medication did the doc put you on?

baska 06-17-2013 4:44 PM

all I can say is stretch it out! I've had similar problems after long kiteboarding sessions,weightlifting training and sometimes after hard day on the cable. I went to my PT and he showed me a simple excercise: you lay on your side, knees bent, looking straight forward. More painful leg on the top. Then you have to straighten the leg as much as you can, to keep 90 degrees (or less) between your abs and quads, and try to look down at the same time. Hold it for 5 sec, relax for 5-10 sec. 30x each side and you will be fine ;) Even if it already hurts, try to stretch it - works for me. It might look weird but it helps.

http://youtu.be/htgyPKNHUls

bboozer 06-17-2013 6:30 PM

I had the same issue earlier this year. It just happened one morning that I noticed numbness in my foot and leg. I after several days I went to the Dr and then they got me into a neurological Dr for a MRI and it was a herniated disc putting pressure on my sciatic nerve. I after anti inflamitories and pain pills (neither hoped much if any).... I had a Shot in my spine (epidural steroid injection) and this was not a magic cure but it did help some. They said that it could take a full week to feel the full effects of the injection... After the 1st week, I still had some numbness, but I was able to feel my foot much more. I and shortly thereafter I was pretty much back to normal. I haven't really given it too much thought since I got to feeling better. When I was hurting I was stretching as much as I could and icing it as often as I could too... Both of those were really just when I got home from work (I did stretch some in the mornings though. Keep your head up and hopefully yours will pass as mine did a day just be a distant memory.....For what it is worth, I am 42 and now I am just walking around like an old man because my knees are hurting from riding this weekend... I did land my backroll again... I had lost that trick when I finally learned the Tantrum....

wakeboardern1 06-18-2013 6:53 AM

No meds on my part (was inbetween health insurance providers, like I am every time I am injured). Just lots of Aleve and stretching. It was hands down the most miserable I've ever been. Luckily I didn't lose feeling, but I had literally no motor control in the muscles on the back of my leg. It wasn't until June that I could actually stand on the tips of my toes on that foot without issue. The muscle was there, but there was no ability to activate them. I did lots of stretches for the lower back and the hamstring. There are a few stretches though that you would think are good, but are actually detrimental. I can't remember what they are called though. The doctors should tell you what all you need to do.

Good luck man.

bftskir 06-23-2013 8:02 PM

Acupuncture can give amazing results

markj 06-24-2013 12:22 AM

Hats off to Nick with his thorough detailed response. Well done.

jtiblier123 06-24-2013 4:14 AM

Props to Nick. He explained it just how I was going to for you. I ruptured my L4-L5 disc in high school. It is something I deal with everyday but I am still riding avidly. You just need to take care of it and it will take care of you. Get yourself an inversion table and stretch like crazy. You don't want the back to lead to other crap (like blown knees).

gene3x 06-24-2013 11:02 AM

you probably will eventually need at least a discectomy. I have had 3 discectomies and a partial laminectomy but against the advice of my doctor keep going out to push myself. About 3 months after ever surgery I felt 100% just with less disk space. lol

Michael 06-24-2013 12:19 PM

So a little update: I am off to get a more detailed MRI now. Apparently the one I received in the first place isn't good enough for the doctor to read, So I get to go back Monday for that. I have been stretching daily, but that hasn't really started to help yet.

Thank you all for your encouragement so far, its been tough. The worst is when I pull my roommate after work, just so he can progress.

jtiblier123 06-24-2013 12:44 PM

Dont let yourself get down. Watch film, make film, train handle passes, etc... Just stay busy and the time will fly

FunkyBunch 06-24-2013 2:27 PM

I have this issue but the cause for me is not a slipped disk. Mine is from my hips being misaligned. When my hips are misaligned one of them pinches the the sciatica. Went to an osteopath that also does ART therapy. The therapy sucks but it has almost eliminated my sciatica. I also have to stretch multiple time daily to keep my hips aligned correctly. In the xrays he took I also have one spot where I am losing disk space so the stretches will help from losing the rest.

Side note Gene is flat amazing that he can still walk much less board at the level he does.

gene3x 06-24-2013 2:38 PM

Hahahaha! Thanks for the validation Mark! I actually have some nerve damage (tingling, now pain) from my car wreck at the end of last year and will probably need a 4th disc surgery! lol
Should probably slow down at the tender age of 44 but cannot seem to squash my addiction. :banghead:

Michael 06-24-2013 2:45 PM

Wow, you guys really give me hope! In the mean time I have been busy building my homebrewery and helping my roommate progress his riding. Filming is a great idea!

How long did you guys start riding after your leg stopped going numb?

gene3x 06-24-2013 2:52 PM

After surgery the numbness & pain stopped immediately then rehabbed for 3 months or so. I was riding normal after that but had to build general wakeboard strength back up also.

Michael 06-24-2013 2:56 PM

Im just trying to stay away from surgery if that's possible. I'm only 27 and feel like its too soon for back surgery. What kind of rehab are you talking about? could you go in the water?

gene3x 06-24-2013 3:14 PM

I was your age or younger when I had my first one and waited to try everything other than surgery. Surgery was the best 4 decisions I ever made. seriously. Make sure you find a surgeon that does a ton of them (not just highly recommended) , you want a surgeon that specializes in micro back surgery (minimally invasive) and that is pretty much all he does. Others can do it just fine but they call it a medical "practice" for a reason. I also have had 3 knee surgeries (ACL reconstructions) and one of my knees works great. No pain, full strength, etc.... the other gets so stiff and sore that I cannot walk or even bend down sometimes. I attribute that to the 2 different surgeons.

gene3x 06-24-2013 3:16 PM

Oh and you can go on the water the next week or two after your incision heals but I wouldn't do it. You have to heal internally and externally. Rehab is just all the basic exercises they have you doing now in a controlled environment that someone makes money supervising you.... ;)


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