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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, had to pull out of a dive planned for today, a dive I have wanted to do for a long time.

For the past week or so I have had intermittent lower back pain and pain in my left thigh. Speaking to some one yesterday they said it sounds like sciatica although from what I have read it suggests the pain should be felt in the rear of the thigh where as mine in in the front upper thigh area.

As the dive was a deepy with stages and possible scooter, a boat with no lift, I didn't fancy my chances of getting back up the ladder with the twins, never mind all the other stuff.

So, is it sciatica? If not what else might it be?

Apart from the pain, what other problems may occur if I dive with this problem? i.e. chances of bubble lodgement in the weak spinal area?

Yes, I am going to speak to my doctor {who dives}

I am sure others on here must have had similar concerns so opinions please and how is it cured?{please let it be long massage by slender oriental ladies...please...;)
 

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Another Muppet
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Sorry to hear that Paul, just asked my Dad:

"Still could be sciatic nerve entrapment. Which root of the nerve being pressed upon [by a squashed or slipped disc] determines the site of pain. Also need to consider hip as cause of pain. Treatment of sciatic pain is expectant: you expect it to get better with time. Painkillers and physiotherapy are main treatments."
 

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Aspiring to the Horizontal
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Sounds similar to the problem I experienced years ago.

It was a prolapsed disc, pressing onto the sciatic nerve.

Unfortunately I wasn't in a position to see a reliable doc (was working abroad in the sticks) and the pain was mitigated by progressively stronger apin killers but the condition deteriorated with time and lack of appropriate treatment.

When I did finally see a doc (some months later) the disc had degenerated to the point where I had to have an op. the doc commented that if it had been diagnosed/treated correctly from scratch there would have been much more chance of successful non-operative treatment which would have included physio (and possibly massages by slender young things).

I can still dive but have to be careful about lifting etc

I would recommend a check-up with the doc ASAP. If nothing else it will put your mind at ease.

Cheers, John
 

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Had this myself, funnily enough I found the best way to relieve the pain was to walk it off.

Yes, you have to overcome and walk through the pain barrier.

So in short HTFU:wink: .

(sincerely hope this works for you as it is a literal pain in the a*se nagging pain)
 

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No social integrator
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Be interested in what you find out. I've been limping for a couple of months due to sciatica.

My symptoms are pain in lower back -> buttock -> rear/outside of the thigh -> outside of the calf.

It's definitely worth seeing your GP ASAP, so that they can get you into physio fast. I was told that the NHS is prioritising this sort of thing, because early treatment for back trouble is particularly efficacious.
 

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Aspiring to the Horizontal
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I don't want to scaremonger (as it was awhile ago and my memory could be at fault) but I seem to remember the doc saying that as a rule of thumb, the further down the leg the pain/sensation, the worse the pressure on the nerve.


Cheers, John
 

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'we are here for a good time, not a long time'
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Had this myself, funnily enough I found the best way to relieve the pain was to walk it off.

Yes, you have to overcome and walk through the pain barrier.
This is how mine started, i used to wake up in the early hours and have to walk it off, this then became less effective as time went by (i was on painkillers at the time as my GP put the pain down to a torn disc i have.)

My symptoms are pain in lower back -> buttock -> rear/outside of the thigh -> outside of the calf.

It's definitely worth seeing your GP ASAP, so that they can get you into physio fast. I was told that the NHS is prioritising this sort of thing, because early treatment for back trouble is particularly efficacious.
Don't just take the GP's word for it though, i had a couple of MRI scans as the specialist i saw said i could not be in the amount of pain i was (and where it was) from 'just' a torn disc.
Eventually after another scan they found a 'shadow' on my spine which turned out to be a tumor that was growing on a nerve!
This was removed in a pretty major operation successfully but i still have to be careful with what i lift as my back is nowhere near as strong as it used to be.

My case was apparently unique (every specialist i saw was 'very interested' in my case) so is not the norm, but is worth bearing in mind.
 

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This is how mine started, i used to wake up in the early hours and have to walk it off, this then became less effective as time went by (i was on painkillers at the time as my GP put the pain down to a torn disc i have.)



Don't just take the GP's word for it though, i had a couple of MRI scans as the specialist i saw said i could not be in the amount of pain i was (and where it was) from 'just' a torn disc.
Eventually after another scan they found a 'shadow' on my spine which turned out to be a tumor that was growing on a nerve!
This was removed in a pretty major operation successfully but i still have to be careful with what i lift as my back is nowhere near as strong as it used to be.

My case was apparently unique (every specialist i saw was 'very interested' in my case) so is not the norm, but is worth bearing in mind.
Ouch.. Good thing they found it.

Keep working on those trans-abs :)
 

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Devout Sceptic
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I've been a chronic lower back pain sufferef all my adult life. Iterestingly all the males on my fathers immediate familly branch have had trouble with sciatica and related problems.

In the chronic pahse it has never stopped me from doing anything but I do have to protect it because one nasty slip and I'll drop like a bag of you know what.
The worst acute episode was caused when I sat on my push bike some years and said ouch. I couldn't even get myself back over the cross bar.
I soldiered on unitl I could take no more. I couldn't stand straight and was in agony. I got to the Doc's who just happens to be a back guru. He found that my poor posture caused by the pain had developed into spondolitis and scoliosis!
What a bloody mess.

Anyway he prescribed a relaxant in the form of Diazepam and one of the new NSAID's "Arthrotec". This got me straightened out and fit enough for some physio.

The actual physio was a waste of time except for a simple excercise " Pelvic Rotation" And I still use this daily to releive the pressure on my lower back when I feel the twinges. It appears that I had poor abdominal muscle tone which was allowing my pelvis to slump so kinking my lower back and nipping the sciatic nerve.

I still have episodes of scoliosis where I only have a waist on one side!! Ibuprofen can help sometimes. But it needs to used over a few days to tackle inflamation.

This is one reason why I don't particularly like having buddies help me kit up. I like to put my rig on a bench and sit into it, get myself fastened in then stand up under the wieght. If a buddy suddenly took their grip away and I was twisted or didn't have my hips prepared I might just follow the cylinder all the way to the floor. I would not and indeed could not dive whilst suffering an acute pain episode. But I do find that floating weightlessly in the water is one hell of a relaxing experienec for my back. Though I do struggle getting back on boats (especially ribs) without a ladder. It sometime requires two people to haul me onto a RIB. Not a favour I am always able to return.

Anyway listen to me rattling on.

I suggest to the OP that he tries some pelvic rotations ( there must be a demo of it on youtube)

*I'm not a doctor and am suggesting something that might help.
 

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Devout Sceptic
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Can't find the correct type of pelvic rotations on youtube...

I was told to lie on my back on a firm surface (carpeted floor is perfect) raise your knees and keep them together such that you can put the soles of your feet flat on the floor. Feels better already??

Now then, using your abdominal muscles gently thrust the small of your back towards the to floor. Normally you'd find a space between that and the floor (well I do!) try and close that space. This isn't a vigorous excecise and no pain should be experienced. If there is pain STOP!

As you do this you will find that you are taking some of the weight off your hips. You will actually see that your pelvis has "rotated" :)

You should do this a few times and each time holding it for a few seconds. When you have got the knack and found which muscles do the trick you can try doing this excercise whilst stood up. It's just as easy and can be done anywhere any time and it works. It has served me very well for a long time now.

EDIT: I should add that this excercise is usefull to me because I have the posture of a silver back gorila stood up on two legs and need to make a concious effort to pull myself straight. I understand that not everyone with back pain has a posture problem and that this excercise may not be a miracle cure for them or in fact anyone else.


Paul
 

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Fool-proof diagnostic excercise:
Lie on floor with legs flat.
Get someone to lft your leg (left in your case) slowly by the heel.
If it is a sciatic problem then at somewhere between 30 and 45 degrees you will feel a sharp pain. At which point your assistant who will have been paying full attention to you will immediately but slowly lower your foot to the ground.

As a rule-of-thumb the further down your leg the more damage has been done.

Rule 1 don't try to rush things. Think about your position when moving, twisting or picking up (even if it is a feather).

Rule 2 pain killers are not neccessarily the best option as they could allow you to contiunue to cause damage, anti-inflamatories are a much better option with a hint of pain killer.

Good luck I hope you get better soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So went to the docs today, he is on hols so had Mrs Locum.

who, fair play to her, repeated everything I had told her by way of diagnosis, pushes where I said it hurt and asked....does that hurt, told me to take ibu's after I told her I had been taking Ibu's....come back in a couple of weeks if it is no better....TBH...don't think she had a clue at no point did she look or feel my spine..only my leg....I will go back in a couple of weeks....when my doctor is back from hols.

The main pain seems to have subsided somewhat, guess I will know for sure on the boat on Saturday
 

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missing the water
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get yourself to a good chiropractor. My wife & I both suffer with our backs doing the job we do, we end up lifting people from the most awkward of positions.

We also have a good supply of diclofenac/volterol for when it gets bad, then phone the nice chiro lady. She cracks us back into position & all is good.

Also excersise is good for you as has already been said, especially your core abdo muscles. we have found those ab toners, not the belt one's work quite well as you can have them on your back & abdo muscle groups & can have them buzzing away while you do stuff.

What you can do is lay on your front on a firm surface & get the other half to push your feet towards your midline, while you push against for about 5 seconds then relax, do this a couple of times & your other half maybe able to see one leg shorter than the other, this means your pelvis has rotated, which is likely to be pushing on a nerve causing you the pain.

Hope you get it sorted soon.

Rich
 

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probably just mental
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Fool-proof diagnostic excercise:
Lie on floor with legs flat.
Get someone to lft your leg (left in your case) slowly by the heel.
If it is a sciatic problem then at somewhere between 30 and 45 degrees you will feel a sharp pain. At which point your assistant who will have been paying full attention to you will immediately but slowly lower your foot to the ground.

As a rule-of-thumb the further down your leg the more damage has been done. Not quite true

Rule 1 don't try to rush things. Think about your position when moving, twisting or picking up (even if it is a feather).

Rule 2 pain killers are not neccessarily the best option as they could allow you to contiunue to cause damage, anti-inflamatories are a much better option with a hint of pain killer. Not true
Sciatica is a decription of type of pain -often irritation of the sciatic nerve (a large nerve that runs from you back through your bum down the leg) but doesn't describe the injury. This can be anything from a muscle sprain in an area of your lower back that the nerve runs through, to a "slipped disc" or even in very rare cases a tumour

The area of the leg that you feel pain correlates to the section of the back injured not necessarily the amount of injury.

Often you can expect things with sciatica to settle in a few weeks with painkillers or anti-inflammatories. Either will do just fine. Its not a problem to take painkillers you won't "mask" any problems and anti-inflammatories do take up to a fortnight to have any anti inflammatory effect in the meantime you are taking a decent dose of painkillers.

Physio / osteopathy/ chiropracters can all be useful if things aren't settling. They all do slightly different things to you but work relatively well.

When things are better Yoga Pilates and Tai Chi can be helpful at improving your core stabiliy- the girdle muscles - especially useful if you are carting heavy dive kit around.
 

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Back problems are notorious for causing referred pain. You get the pain in areas quite unconnected with the damage.

It pays to look after your back. When you're younger, you tend to think that you are indestructible - I know I did and I'm paying the price now. The bottom two discs in my back have just gone flat and hard - they should be like a tyre filled with jelly. They show up as solid black on an MRI scan. This means I have no shock absorbing there so RIB trips can be painful. Also my back tends to slide out (only a tiny amount) which causes tissue inflation and the whole lot locks solid so I can't bend. The consultant orthopaedic surgeon said that the good news was that the pain was mechanical, not neurological to which the physio rather sarcastically said 'is that supposed to make it hurt less?'

I've had to give up twin-sets to avoid doing even more damage but as a result, I've rediscovered the pleasures of diving 'light' in shallower waters.

When I watch divers heaving around heavy gear, many of them lifting it badly, I think 'you're stacking up trouble in later years, jut like I did'. So take care.
 

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The consultant orthopaedic surgeon said that the good news was that the pain was mechanical, not neurological to which the physio rather sarcastically said 'is that supposed to make it hurt less?'
Hah. When my GP said it was "mechanical" my response was "that means you don't know, doesn't it?". He waffled a bit but basically agreed.

...

Anyway, keep it safe kids. My experience so far, is that it's not something that gets "sorted" - it's something you learn to live with. Best avoided altogether.
 

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A bit late to this thread but here goes anyway....

When I 'slipped my disk' and was admitted to hospital the Doc held down my right big toe and asked me to lift it up...I couldn't. Still don't have a lot of strength in at even after 4 months post Op. Seems it is quite common....pain in leg, pain in back, weak toe/foot = pressure on the spinal column from bulging disk.
 

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Hi! Sciatica pain is something that a lot of people deal with all the time. As for me, it is one of the most unbearable types of pain, which cannot be tolerated for a long time and in order not to aggravate the situation, you should start the treatment as soon as possible. This is where sciatica pain capsules from the manufacturer Acuraflex can help you. They have unique therapeutic and soothing properties, which will help you not only to dull the pain, but also to get rid of the cause of pain for good.
 
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