Minor sciatica

General discussions about getting and staying fit that don't relate directly to your indoor rower
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Minor sciatica

Post by Qawwali » May 28th, 2024, 1:56 am

Am currently not erging (very hard) as have minor sciatica and physio believes it may be unhelpful (also receiving eastern medical treatment). Does anyone have thoughts on things that have worked for them either through exercising and has anyone experienced a worsening of condition from erging moderately?

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Re: Minor sciatica

Post by gvcormac » May 28th, 2024, 7:02 am

I had major sciatica with disk problems, and that's what got me into rowing about 35 years ago.

My doctor also was skeptical but she was wrong. Rowing has been great. I don't row if I'm having spasms, but otherwise it definitely helps.

If you're not already, I suggest a low-ish drag factor (110, perhaps).

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Re: Minor sciatica

Post by Dangerscouse » May 28th, 2024, 8:13 am

I would say the devil is in the detail. Erging with good form, at a reasonable effort and drag factor could well be beneficial, as you'll be consistently bracing your core, but obviously it's very specific to you and your issue, so this has to be considered in your circumstances.

Erging with poor technique, too fast and too high a drag factor will be detrimental, so I'd guess that your physio isn't a rower. I recall my chiro telling me years ago that deadlifting was definitely not a good idea, on no other basis than they just didn't think it was good.

I would definitely recommend doing stretches, and Pilates exercises, not least as sciatica can be an issue due to weak glutes.
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Re: Minor sciatica

Post by jamesg » May 29th, 2024, 1:32 am

Exercise is what avoids and cures most problems. The rowerg is essentially safe if we use our muscle according to standard rowing style that engages the legs.

Training on C2 machines is easy to control since we can see the Power we deliver, in Watts, and also see how we do it, using Ergdata.

Indices that can help see what we're doing are Watts/kg and Watts/Rating.
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Re: Minor sciatica

Post by hikeplusrow » May 31st, 2024, 6:38 pm

I have some arthritic issues in my neck and spine plus periodic sciatica and general back problems.

I have a particularly vulnerable right lat which I pulled several times as a result of interval start efforts in the days when my technique was poor. Even now, I have to be somewhat circumspect with intervals.

Having said all that, I'd say erging has benefitted my back - as indeed has exercise in general. I've had no sciatic issues as a result of erging, but they can be brought on by some types of stretching/mobility work.

My physio has told me not to pick heavy things up off the floor!

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