Surprise Sciatica Treatment that worked

Sciatica - My Story of Pain, Cure & Freedom

Having never heard of Sciatica I was unfortunate enough to discover it  in my early 20's and it wasn't out of a dictionary.

Being a bit of a fitness fanatic, in the my prime of life, I thought I was unstoppable until I found myself suddenly, crippled and in a lot of pain.

Sciatica, what is it?
It was an aching lower back pain, shooting from the hip, down my left and into my calf. Unable to straighten my leg or put much weight on it, even walking was slow and painful. The local Doctor prescribed bed rest, signed me off work for 2 weeks and that's all. The 2 weeks past passed slowly and I was worse not better.

Back Seizure

In my recovering weeks getting out of bed became a challenge. I had to roll out landing on all fours and then pull myself up to a standing position.
Sitting down proved to be the worse. To stand up from sitting would take about 10 to 15 minutes to straighten up. The lower back and pelvis would seize up. The longer I sat down  the longer it would take to stand. Straightening up too quickly would produce high levels of pain bursting in my hip, radiating out in all directions.


Sciatica Treatment

The weeks passed without improvement and it was time to be proactive and start finding a Sciatica Treatment, the local Doctor was still prescribing bed rest.

First thoughts for back pain were chiropractic, so I started a course of expensive treatments with a very good practice and their manipulations helped but did not cure. I would still recommend chiropractic sessions for many back disorders but with sciatica it didn't work for me.

Acupuncture

Three months in and next I tried Acupuncture. The idea of being a pincushion was a bit scary but by now I was willing to try anything.

It didn't hurt at all, a slight tingle and some of the pain eased for while and was even enjoyable.

Acupuncture for sciatica was not a cure for me although I know now it works for many other health issues and you can even apply a non-invasive acupuncture at home with a pen sized device that you can carry around and use when you need it.

TENS Machine

After another appointment with a Doctor the idea of a device that delivers small electrical impulses through the skin to stimulate pain relief was suggested. This device, called a TENS machine, it was outside of the National Health System at that time as it was considered an alternative medicine and was only available at independent clinics so off I went to find one.

After several treatments I was allowed to hire the machine to use at home. The convenience of this self help cure that blocks the pain signals sent to the brain and stimulates the body to produce its own pain relieving chemicals, called endorphins, at any time was terrific and gave me the freedom to get pain relief when I needed it. Tens or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation systems are also available in pocket sized pain relief pens so they are now even more convenient.

My Sciatica Cure

Lying on my back for months, doing nothing after living a very active life was frustrating to say the least. One day staring up from the bed I saw my chin up bar in the doorway. I had been in too much pain to do any chin ups or any of the other exercises I use to do regularly but I'd had enough so I roll out and grabbed my Chin up bar in both hands as tightly as I could and pulled my chin up, or tried. Over the next few days just to get my strength back in my hands I just hung there doing little raises for 5 seconds, then 10, 20, 30 etc. getting stronger as the days past.

The next weekend I went to the cinema to enjoy a film with a friend. In the back of my mind I knew that when it came time to leave there would be no rushing out with the crowd for me, but a series of slow painful manoeuvres to straighten up after my back & pelvis had seized up after sitting down for two and half hours. I pushed this thought out of my mind to enjoy good company and a good movie. The credits rolled and lights came up. The film was one of those feel good action movies; feeling positive with the rush of the film I got up, walked down the isle towards the exit and then stopped dead. I looked down, looked back at my stunned friend and smiled and smiled as my eyes welled up with the realisation that I just got up and walked. I couldn't believe it, after months of Chronic Sciatica I was cured

Spine under traction releasing the nerve.

Spine under traction releasing the nerve.
Spine under traction releasing the nerve.

How The Sciatica Cure Worked

Walking without pain and able to get up as though I had never had Sciatica was amazing; so what happened? Hanging from the chin up bar had put my back under traction. The weight of my own body stretched the spine, allowing the discs to slightly pull apart, providing a gap big enough for the trapped nerve to ease out, back into it's proper position and presto the body returned to it's wonderful normal self. Free of pain and freedom to move, all thanks to a Chin-up Bar.

Greg The Doctor?

I am no doctor, this is just the true story of an episode in my life, my personal observations and theories about how I cured Chronic Sciatica.

Hopefully if after reading this it may give you some ideas about various remedies to try should you be unlucky enough to be suffering from that awful pain that shoots from your hip, down the legs into the calf caused by Sciatica.

P.S. How did I get Sciatica?

I believe it was getting slammed into a Go-kart seat as I hammered it round a sharp corner on a racetrack. Have I GoKarted since? Absolutely, it's great fun; you should never let fear run your life, it's for enjoying.

WARNING

If you have the symptoms of sciatica and losing control of your bowels, incontinence etc. see a doctor immediately. These are the signs of Cauda Equina syndrome it is a rare but serious condition. More information about Cauda equina can be found on many web sites including the NHS site.

Comments 13 comments

Greg Forest 2 years ago Author

Hi All, a quick update to some recent posts.

Kerry your experience rings true to mine, with the best will in the world some doctors are limited to what they can offer but I hope this traction method helps; take it easy to start with and good luck.

Wade, try what you're capable of, supporting your body's weight in just your hands can be a bit of a challenge if you're not use to it. Just hanging should help but I feel that if you can lift yourself up in smooth, not jerky, movements, puts your body in a better position and also helps build strength in your core, that is your back and stomach and that helps to support your whole body and spine during this period and the future.

Take it easy, Good luck and Happy Hanging.


kerry .b 2 years ago

I have had sciatica for a year now.the pain is horrendous it knocks you sick.im 39 and feel 89 hobbling around miserable as sin.doctors dont give a shit keep palming me off with yet more anti inflammatorys and visits to physio none of it helping at all . totally at breaking point so willing to try anything im buying a chin up bar first thing in morn .so thanx for your tip hope and pray it works.my sympathy to all you sciatica sufferer's hope you all get better soon xx xxxx


Wade Taylor 2 years ago

Greg, do you think it matters whether you're doing chin-ups or pull-ups? I also know of people who just hang from their arms and get similar results. Any thoughts on this?


Greg Forest 2 years ago Author

Hi

There's been a few comments.

Good luck to you for "hanging" around. Take it easy to start.

Hanging from a door frame could be tricky as you may be relying in strength just in your finger tips so I do recommend getting proper bar, they are not that expensive but if you're short on cash, check out the charity shops or similar, even local recycling tips, as fitness equipment is often available.

Danni, I can only suggest ideas in my blog, your particular situation sounds more serious, perhaps some alternative dietary supplements my help build up proteins to help your body rebuild the damage. Try looking on the Health Science Institute web site for ideas or the revitalise.co.uk for products like glucosamine + msn that some people find helpful in rebuilding joints and good old olive oil is always good for the joints, also perhaps skeletal exercises as advised by your chiropractic for your particular problem, more than that unfortunately I can't advise any further, I'm not a doctor, just a fellow sufferer, but I'm fine now and hanging normally sorts out my issues when they occur.

Good luck and happy hanging people.


jason 2 years ago

Its been a year for me so ill try anything! Thanks


Kimmy B from England 2 years ago

Not keen on dangling :-) but Im going to try this. I don't have a chip up bar so I will dust the top of the door and get to it :-) ...wish me luck...IN AGONY :-(


caroline 2 years ago

I hav had pain in back a few weeks ive been doing back stretches a ciropractor told me to do years ago to help then I did a file mile hike and jumped a fence at end for a short cut. . . Within 24hrs I was in so much pain much more than normal no pain kiler relieved it. No position , lyeing standing walking sitting and this shooting pain down my left leg this went on for 48hrs I was in tears and thought this is it im gona hav to see a dr even just for painrelief I cud not bear anymore. . . Well my body seemed to want me to grab the door and hang. I did this and I could not believe within an hor I could walk without this terrible shooting pain in my leg what a relief


Shannon 2 years ago

Just came across this post....wondering how you all are doing now?


Dan Le 2 years ago

Greg,

I am in my mid-twenties and herniated my disc training for a sprint triathlon in college. I never had healthcare going through this whole experience and when I got my job offers, I had access to several network of doctors.

After going through three chiropractors, two neurosurgeons, an orthopedic surgeon, a neurologist, an acupunturist, physical therapy, and getting several different opinions with no substantial results, I gave up for awhile. One day, I decided to go full-force into finding a solution and I tried a few exercises that looked like they would work (yes, I relied purely on the way the movement looked because I was that desperate). To my surprise, the first couple days of doing these exercises I felt immediate relief that over ten doctors could not provide. I kept going on this routine for about year and near the end of the first year, I felt 100%. No more excruciating pain from just simple things such as putting socks on.

The exercises I attribute to the relief the most was lying down straight and pulling my knees to my chest and embracing till my back arched and I looked like I was balled up on my back. I took this to another level by straightening my legs and trying to have my toes touch the ground behind my head. Awkward stretch that gets a lot of weird looks,but the relief was phenomenal. Pair this would several lower back stretches I got off the internet and the remedy seemed straightforward.

Flash forward another year, my sciatic pains are starting to resurface. I've kept in relatively good shape since that time of my life, but I'm doing these exercises and my pain is not subsiding anymore. I could barely walk the past couple of mornings and am not really sure what to do.

With that being said, could you offer maybe a progress update if you have experienced the same reoccuring pain and how you dealt with it?

I'll try to check this thread often for a response from you.

If anyone who is currently experiencing this wants to reach out to me to see how I resolved this issue the first time, please feel free to e-mail me at dannni@gmail.com. This is an invisible pain that I would wish on no one.


Greg Forest 2 years ago Author

Hi, I have not looked at this hub post for years and was pleased to see some people found this sciatica story useful.

As an update to this original episode in my life, last year, somehow I started to experience the beginning of sciatica once again, more than 20 years after the first time, so I took my own advice with a trip down to the local Argos and bought another chinning bar. Now a few years older, I'm not as fit, and bit heavier so this was going to be challenge but it was worth it. After a week or so of gentle hanging and a few actual chin ups, my new bout of sciatica subsided and has not returned.

Happy Hanging people.


Gaizy profile image

Gaizy 4 years ago from Denbigh, North Wales, UK

Interesting article Greg - I have just contracted sciatica, and can't believe how painful and debilitating it is, so I've just bought a chin-up bar and will give this a try. Cheers, voted up.


Method User 5 years ago

I am in my early 20s and also have been suffering from sciatica for the past few months. All the appointments with the physical therapist and the various exercises I was prescribed did very little to help my situation. In the last few weeks, I decided to try hanging from a pull up bar.

The results have been incredible. I still do suffer from the same back pain, but I have gotten much better results and much faster. I decided to search the topic to see if I was just getting better on my own or my progress was just natural. This article makes perfect sense to me now and I will continue doing this until I am at full capacity to do my old workouts again. I would definitely recommend this technique for anyone with this problem.


Sciaticaisabastard_imonly22 5 years ago

I got a chin up bar in my garage, I believe I got my sciatica when I started to squat 140kg+ i did try hanging and pulling myself up and did get great relief plus im getting some exercise instead of doing nothing. ive been trying everything for eight weeks and nothing, I got a teeter hang up im going to combie chin ups with this hang ups thing to help plus get my strength back again. were im used to working on a building site and being active in sports it's a shock to my body just being bed bound im not using any energy so im not eating much. I was 13 and a half stone 8 weeks ago and im just under 12 stone. This is worth a try to actually makes sense your decompressing your spine and working your back muscle, biceps and abs to all good, why didn't i think of this. Nice one pal

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