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Sciatica from tight hamstrings

I had a L4-S1 spinal fusion 5 weeks ago. I have been experiencing
sciatica behind my right knee (in the fold part), in my calf and  occasionally in my hamstring area and heel. I was told to stretch my
hamstrings. Can tight hamstrings give a person sciatica like I have?

I have also been icing in all these spots, as well as the incision site to keep down inflammation. I walk about 2 miles a day (broken up.)

Thank you for the help!!


  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    From what I understand, sciatica is actually a "phantom pain" caused by the nerve that is being irritated in the lumbar regain.  There is actually no pain in your legs from any sort of irritated tissue.  essentially, the nerve is sending a message to the brain saying, "Send the pain there" when the leg isn't injured at all.

    Now, that being said, after one of my knee surgeries I had to have a nerve severe for the surgery.  There is no pain like the pain sent out by a really angry severed nerve!  It went on for years and it kept sending me the message to massage it.  When I asked a surgeon about it, not telling him I felt like I needed to massage it, he told me to massage the area with lotion.  There are other examples I could give you where we can "trick" the brain into seeing the "Pain" signal go away.  Certainly if your pain is saying "tight hamstring" it may just stop that message if your hamstring is stretched.

    All pain is interpreted in our brains.  If we could get our brains to listen to common sense, we'd be much less pain!


    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
    I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)
  • MarWinMarWin OhioPosts: 688
    Doesn't mean it can't happen, but I've never heard of tight hammies giving sciatic pain. I've always heard/read it could be a bulging disc or an inflammed piriformis muscle. 
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  • carlafcarlaf Labadie,MOPosts: 27
    My chiros were always telling me to stretch the piriformis for the sciatica. 
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