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Lower back stiffness vs 'down the leg' sciatica symtoms

Hi there,

I'm a new forum member and I've been suffering from sciatica related issues down my left leg for the past 2 yrs.

I'll keep this reasonably short, but the important details are...

- Diagnosed with herniated disc/pinched nerve via MRI last year (but this injury may have occured playing soccer 8yrs ago)
- Hamstrings, hips flexors, glutes, lower back are all often very tight. (I'm tall at 6'3", 35yrs old)
- Uncomfortable to sit for prolonged periods (in left buttock/hammy)
- Have tried copius amounts of physiotherepy and chiro
- Very disciplined around lower back and hammy streches every day, and I've changed my work-desk to a stand-up station
- Swim every 2nd/3rd day (with pull bhoy), and some cross trainer on low

Recovery is slow and sometimes I feel like I'm getting nowhere.

I think key to my full recovery is to understand the following phenomena;
I am in 2 states constanty, a)very stiff lower back/hips with no sciatica, or b)back is relaxed but with sciatica symptoms through left buttock/hammy/calf/foot.
Can anyone explain the exact mechanics of these 2 opposing states? Are stiff muscles actually preventing nerve irritation?
These states are pretty consistant so I feel that a better understanding of the mechanics could help me speed up my recovery.

Thanks in advance,


  • Hey, those two states are the exact problem I have. From what I understand, when you're sitting straight up, the disc is probably not protruding onto your sciatic nerve and maybe the muscles around it help stabilize the disc, but when your back is relaxed, the curvature of your back pushes disc and it protrudes onto your sciatic nerve. It's quite annoying problem to have :(
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