Asked 8 years, 3 months ago

How can I return to running after sciatica?


I am a 160-pound, 58-year-old male who usually averages 15 miles a week at 9 or 10 minute pace. I had also been using weights three days a week to strengthen my chest, back, shoulders and arms until three months ago, when I started experiencing sciatica-like symptoms down my left leg, with no direct pain in the back. [Sciatica is a swelling of the nerve near the hip.] The pain was severe enough to cease both my running and my weight training. I began to make good progress with regular back stretching exercises, acupuncture, muscle relaxants, antiinflammatories and chiropractic adjustments. I see a sports medicine doctor who oversees these treatments. I had reduced my pain considerably in the mornings, with no pain for the rest of the day. I gradually started walking, then walking and running, then running for three miles. I was down to just the anti-inflammatory drug and regular stretching when I had a major setback a month ago, while I was out of town. I was unable to even stand from the terrible pain down my leg. I ran the day before this occurred without any problem. I am back on acupuncture, avoiding the chiropractic, and making progress, though the numbness on the bottom of my left foot continues. I am only taking ananti-inflammatory. I walk as much as I can, which is only for about 10 minutes. How should I go about starting my weight training and running once the nerve heals?

Steven Lowry, Charlotte, NC


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