What is your story about?
A lower back injury resulted in extreme sciatica. I had recently neglected stretching and foam rolling, which contributed to the development of this condition. Ultimately, rest and physical therapy exercises — in particular, McKenzie exercises — were enough to significantly reduce my symptoms and allow me to ease back into BJJ.
How did your injury occur?
Note: here's a link to my original blog post detailing my story: https://gablegripes.com/off-the-mats/bjj-sciatica-pain/
In a grand fit of irony the universe seems to readily dish out to all of us, I suffered a lower back injury followed by severe, sciatic pain a few weeks after writing a piece (link here: https://gablegripes.com/on-the-mats/lower-back-pain-bjj/) detailing how I solved my lower back issues. I was doing some light deadlifts to warm up when I felt a sudden jolt in my hip and back. Hilarious stuff (Sort of :-/).
What symptoms did you experience?
Hexes, curses and twists of fate aside, what initially seemed a minor issue graduated into probably the most painful thing I’ve experienced outside of watching Krista S. slow dancing with Brian M. in the 7th grade while Faithfully repeatedly stabbed me in the heart (Side note: This was my Ham on Rye moment minus the boils and severe alcoholism).
Adolescent pathos notwithstanding, the shooting, sciatic pain I experienced last week felt like being tortured with a cattle prod by some vicious leather daddy I didn’t even attempt to hire. A sharp, ferocious pain kept jolting my back and hip when I ...(more)
What was your treatment approach?
Alongside a judicious amount of rest and ibuprofen, what helped a ton in finally mitigating the incessant sharp pain were McKenzie exercises*. Years ago a physical therapist recommended McKenzie exercises to me after I wrecked my back snowboarding. So with the help of Bob and Brad, YouTube’s most famous physical therapists, I returned to these therapeutic exercises just about every hour on the hour for almost a week.
In particular, the following vid was a huge help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clfpWjqVP6U
*If the pain had worsened or not abated at all I would have visited my doctor. In m ...(more)
Where are you at now in terms of recovery?
The pain has finally receded back into whatever hellish hole it came from though my piriformis alongside the rest of my hip remains pretty tight. I’ve recommitted to foam rolling and stretching every night.
Ibuprofen is your friend, but be careful of your stomach. It's going to take time. I could barely stand or walk the first few days without intense, sharp pain never mind putting on a pair of pants.
I’m also forced to ease back onto the BJJ mats like some elderly octogenarian entering the pool at the local YMCA. I will probably just do light drilling over the next week or two to make sure ...(more)
Do you think this condition was preventable?
In truth, I didn’t heed my own advice. I’d experienced Piriformis Syndrome a few times over the years due to excessively tight hips, but lately I’d been feeling pretty footloose and fancy-free around the ol‘ buttocks. I neglected stretching and foam rolling over the last few months even though I was consistently rolling on the BJJ mats twice a week alongside lifting and sprinting. This proved an incredibly unwise move on my part and I’m certain it contributed to my injury.