BPS #056 Does Sitting Make Sciatica Worse

Today, we’re going to talk about does sitting make your sciatica worse? Before I start to talk about that, I want to talk about my book, guys, okay? I wrote this book. So originally, I made in Swedish and I sold like 5000-6000 copies. I translated it into English. It’s called Back Pain Secrets.

If you were just listening to the podcast now, I also have a video podcast, but now you can’t see the book. Anyway, this book is selling right now, and I’m very happy about it. I’m selling a few copies daily in English, Back Pain Secrets.

The big problem I have, though I know the message that I have in the book really delivers, but the problem I’m having is the technical issues, because I’m technically incompetent. So I got the website up and I’m on Version 4 now.

So last week, I thought everything was going good. Orders were coming in and I was getting good response and stuff. I had these tech nerds all around the world that are helping me to do the more advanced stuff because I’m really on a basic level.

So last week, the website crashed again. It was just horrible, and I didn’t really know what to do and I was just too confused. Last night, I set up the entire night, and I just redid everything from the beginning, just rebuilt everything.

So I’ve been up all night. I’ve done this and I’m excited because this Version 5 now is much better and it’s more robust. I’ve put in like the feedback I got from the versions 1, 2, 3, 4. I’ve implemented that in Version 5. So I sent the final touches off now to the tech nerds out in the world there. They’re trying to basically just do the more advanced stuff. I’m happy about that.

So guys, if you go into backpainsecrets.com and check out the new website and give me some feedback on that, I would really be grateful.

Anyway, today guys, we’re going to talk about does sitting make your sciatica worse? To give you a bit of a backstory, I’m going to tell you the story about Bob. Bob is 50 years old. He’s had sciatica for about a year, year and a half. His number one problem is sitting is like killing him. It just increases the pain much, much more.

He went for an MRI. He had a herniated disc on L4-L5, a common, common level to have a herniated disc on, and he has radiation down his left leg, all the way down to his foot. The problem, the internal thing he’s struggling with, is he’s constantly thinking about how can I avoid to sit?

It’s very hard in today’s society not to sit, and Bob was telling me externally, the sitting is just killing him. He needs to sit when he’s going for his doctor’s appointment to drive. He needs to sit when he drives his kids to soccer. He needs to sit when he goes to get groceries. He loves to read. He was a big reader. He was reading books like an hour and a half, two hours a day.

And now, he can just sit for like 10-15 minutes and it’s killing him. And then he hit a bit of a wall. Before he was able to stand for like half an hour to an hour without any bigger problems. Now, when he’s standing more than 20 minutes, he’d get a tingling sensation in both of his legs and he feels weakness. So the only position really that he can be in more than 40 minutes is lying down, and he is really, really, really, really stressing about this.

Then one day like two months back, he was out walking and he was sitting, he was standing, he was lying around you know. He was trying to switch up the positions, but just in pure desperation, Bob just screamed out you know, holy sh**t. This is just killing me.

So he was going to the bathroom and he looked at the door, and he thought, “Maybe I’m just going to put my hands up on the top of the door, bathroom door and bend my knees. So he stretched out a bit. He was standing there for about 30 seconds and he released his arms and the sciatica wasn’t gone. No way. He still had it but it felt better. So he did it again, stretched his arms up on the bathroom door and bent his knees. He didn’t lift his feet or anything, just a very, very slight stretch for the entire back.

That was very nice and he was very, very happy about that that he could actually not control his pain but he could reduce it a bit. So he did that and he also jumped in the shower and had a cold shower. That also usually helps. He was very happy about that.

So he came to me about two months back, I think. And he’s really, really struggling. He’s desperate and he wanted a plan, a good plan so he could beat this sciatica and the back pain.

So first off, we’re talking about what is working and what is not working. So he’s telling me all the backstory I just told you. So I told him you know, first off, you need to start walking. You know that but you’re only going to walk on a flat surface. You’re going to avoid stairs, uphill, down and just flat.

Also don’t try to take too big of a step. Take smaller steps so you get less twisting of your buttocks and lower back when you’re walking. Also I told him he should try to use a lumbar belt when he’s walking, and usually, physiotherapists and other healthcare professions working with backs, we don’t really recommend people to use these lower back belts.

So if I get sh**t from all you, other physios and chiropractors out there, you know, don’t send any hate mail. When you’re out walking, it’s important to be able to move. So if he’s using the lower lumbar belt for a few minutes every day, when he’s walking, that’s fine.

So he’s doing that and he’s using the traction on his door, his bathroom door, for like a minute, three times a day. He’s walking breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 15 to 20 minutes.

The big conflict though in his head, the big, big conflict he had in his head was he couldn’t sit. He couldn’t stand. He couldn’t lie down. He was so confused. He was asking me is this normal? Or am I special in some way?

I was telling him sciatica usually gets worse when you have prolonged sitting or standing or even lying down. Any position that you have and you’re having it for longer period of time, it increases the pain. I mean, if you go to the bathroom if you have sciatica, you know that. That’s horrible. Just sitting down on the toilet ring is horrible, but putting on your socks can be really, really horrible experience.

Even if you’re coughing, laughing, and all that stuff. So I was telling him we made this plan that he should just have — any position, he shouldn’t have more than 5 to 10 minutes. And if he’s coughing, if he’s laughing, he needs to like hold on to his stomach or put a cushion in between so it gives him a bit of a cushion.

So the transformation he’s doing now, the sciatica is down, guys, for almost 30%. He still feels it and he’s walking and he’s trying to cope with it. So he’s going to go with the plan we made. That for the next six months, he’s going to try this program. Just do this and if it increases you know, or gets worse, or if he feels like he can’t handle it anymore, he’s going to go have a new MRI on the lower back. He’s going to meet the orthopedic surgeon and see what happens.

Is he going to operate or not? I don’t know guys, but he’s had it for a year and a half and he’s doing the right stuff now. And if it doesn’t reduce even more, and he’s in this much pain, he might think about surgery or at least have that option checked out even further.

Okay, guys. That’s it for today. I’m going to go shopping with my wife today and the kids, big shopping day.

So take care. I love you.

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Robin BackPainExpert

Physiotherapists & Back Pain Expert

Twenty years ago I was lucky to survive a serious hockey injury. In a sport where big men zoomaround on hard ice and solid wood sticks are slung furiously, a difficult back injury is what every player fears.
It took a long time for me to climb back to a normal life. But when I did, I was determined to spend the rest of his life helping back pain victims everywhere.
As a physiotherapist and back pain expert I have treated thousands of patients over 20 years, built a respected back pain clinic, created the site BackPainSecrets.Com and authored the book “Back Pain Secrets.”
Learn more about me here.