Skip navigation

1636 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Oct 22, 2012 6:40 PM by psb1005
psb1005 Rookie 2 posts since
Jan 3, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Oct 21, 2012 6:12 PM

New onset Sciatica....  Half marathon next week?

I'm a pretty seasoned runner, healthy witn no medical issues - have ran 20+marathons, however recent 6yr hiatus due to young children... started running again last year & ready to run a 1/2marathon next sunday! 


but...  earlier this week, experienced acute onset low back pain(classic sciatica) that left me flat on the floor for 24hrs, finally made it to the ER & got some medications that helped me get up & walk.  been doing ok - on motrin for the past 3days, still feel the back pain but improves with walking - i walked 3miles fairly comfortable today. 


I'm going to attempt a short run tomorrow.


thoughts on me running the 1/2marathon this weekend?  am I crazy to attempt it?


thank you for your thoughts/comments!

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Oct 22, 2012 9:24 AM (in response to psb1005)
    New onset Sciatica.... Half marathon next week?

    Do you have a reason why you have to run this race?  If not why not pick one in a month or two.   If your runs goes okay think about it, if you have to change your gait/stride then do not run it!  Good luck

  • BradW44 Pro 119 posts since
    Jun 15, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Oct 22, 2012 12:41 PM (in response to psb1005)
    New onset Sciatica.... Half marathon next week?

    It really depends on how your run goes.  I have similar issues over the years that went away as fast as they arrived.  Everyone responds differently to activity, and the movement actually helped mine to improve.  Just be very careful.


  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,291 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Oct 22, 2012 3:10 PM (in response to psb1005)
    Re: New onset Sciatica.... Half marathon next week?

    That's a pretty dramatic episode, probably due to a combination of factors. Anything unusual about your activities leading up to the ER episode? Any lifting, gardening, or other strenuous activities? At six years those kids are getting heavier, aren't they?


    If you gave birth to those young children, it would not be unusual to experience core muscle problems post partum and beyond if the SI joints do not return to normal. Even when they do the strain on intrapelvic muscles during term can fail to resolve. Chronic pain patterns like Piriformis Syndrome, which affects women 6 times more than men, can mimic the pain of spinal sciatica, and can be aggravated by a return to running, since the Piriformis is actively repeating its hip-rotating motion, especially in runners who overpronate.


    That being said, the sudden onset of your pain could point to a more traumatic cause. Did you receive a spinal x-ray in the ER? If the lower Lumbar area is ruled out as a cause, sudden sharp back pain can come from strain to one of the deeper muscles of the back, the Quadratus Lumborum, which can be damaged by itself or strained by compensating for weakness in other core muscles. In addition to some endangerment near or within the Piriformis muscle, the Sciatic nerve also branches into the space between Glute Medius and Minimus. Some symptoms of Sciatica can originate there as well, producing lower back pain and the ability to stand straight up. All of the above conditions can affect the other in a cascade of pain and dysfunction as they create a splinting effect to limit your movement.


    My advice without any diagnosis to go on, is to remain mildly active, and plan to work on strengthening your core before you go back out on the road. Six years is a long time to lose muscle mass and tone. Don't try to get it back all at once, and consider whether you can really give competition your best shot when training alone can put you in the ER. The race fees are nothing compared to medical costs, and your kids probably don't want to see you go through that again so soon. If you do decide to tough it out, please take it easy. Your body is trying to tell you something.

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...


  • Correct Answers - 10 points
  • Helpful Answers - 7 points