Dealing with Injury

Tim's Discussion Board: Martial Arts - Miscellaneous: Dealing with Injury
   By Sugarshrimp on Sunday, August 03, 2008 - 11:30 pm: Edit Post


I have been suffering from an injury for about 10 months now. I haven't been to my bjj school at all during that time. In fact, the only training I've been doing is the taiji 24 form.

My condition is sciatica in my left leg. It seems I injured my piriformis muscle somehow, and now it's pressing on my sciatic nerve. I've been to doctors and chiropractors multiple times to no avail.

I have been stretching quite a bit and indeed it has made the pain come less often, but alas, it is still present, particularly when I do anything strenuous.

I was wondering if any of you here have had a similar condition and what you did to improve it.

   By Shane on Monday, August 04, 2008 - 02:04 am: Edit Post

Sure, three things:

1- roll up a large bath towel, lay on the floor on your back- relax that way for a minute, then slide the towel under the small of your back (allowing your hips to relax and hang down). Try to stay that way for 3-5 minutes.

2- remove the towel then slowly bring one knee up to your chest and hug it. Then let that leg relax back to the floor and repeat with the other leg. Stretch each leg this way (hugging each one tightly to your chest). Bring up both legs, hug both to your chest and try rocking gently side to side. Gradually you want to roll back and forth on your spine while holding your knees to your chest. (not directly on the spine, but alternating rolling along each side of the spine), just like you would for a typical backroll but just slower and more controlled.

3- read 'Healing Back Pain' by Dr Sarno
(or find the DVD or Audio version- it'll blow your mind and may change your life).

Good luck.

   By Sugarshrimp on Monday, August 04, 2008 - 04:48 am: Edit Post

Thank you, Shane.

I will try the towel thing and see what happens.

I've actually already read Sarno's "healing back pain", unfortunately, his methods/tms theory didn't seem to affect my condition. That was one of the first books I ordered when I realized doctors weren't helping me at all. :-)

Did you have sciatica at one time yourself and the towel/Sarno helped fix the problem?

   By robert on Monday, August 04, 2008 - 01:40 pm: Edit Post

have you tried message?

   By Shane on Monday, August 04, 2008 - 09:09 pm: Edit Post


I've had a pinched nerve in my back, which begins as a small area of my back feeling sunburned and then spreads to my entire left torso. While different from sciatica, my chiropractor recommended those exercises and said they'd help free up the spine for sciatica or my pinched nerve.

I've also had two slipped disks in my neck (an injury acquired while doing photography for Tim's 'Passing the Guard' book. Tim had nothing to do with the injury). That injury was exacerbated by a head on collision I experienced (days after buying a brand new car) in which my head met with the partially open sun visor.

Both injuries creep up from time to time, whenever the pinched nerve pops up, the towel thing takes care of it pretty quickly.


   By Sugarshrimp on Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - 12:19 am: Edit Post



I haven't tried massage yet, but I'm definitely considering it. I just need to find a provider who isn't offering a happy ending... ;)


I tried the towel thing. It did seem to stretch/decompress the lumbar region pretty well. I'm going to keep it up and see if it negates the pain.

I believe I have what is known as "piriformis syndrome". Unfortunately I haven't been to a doctor as yet who is even familiar with the condition. From what I understand, it most likely stems from scar tissue on my piriformis muscle rubbing against the sciatic nerve.

I have gotten better with the "rebuild your back" exercises and, embarrassingly, sitting on a tennis ball. I'm going to try to go to a bjj class this week and see how it holds up. Last time I went, I was in pain for days. :-(

Anyway, thanx for your responses. I'll report back on how it goes.


   By Jason M. Struck on Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - 12:46 pm: Edit Post

Foam roller

if pain free, start working on your squats. Deep and heavy.

I had a similar chronic 'greater trochanteric bursitis' that only I was able to treat successfully, but my pain derived from a similar problem; tightness. Two orthopedists and three physical therapists never did as much for me the kettlebell windmill.

triangle and warrior variations from Yoga didn't hurt either.

   By Shane on Tuesday, August 05, 2008 - 01:01 pm: Edit Post

Also, you may want to take 4 advil, 3 times a day. Its anti-inflamitory at 800mg and there's no risk of internal damage (liver) as long as you don't take it daily for more than a year. (So I've been told)

Taking down any inflamation allow the red blood cells to get in there and take care of bussiness.

   By Jason M. Struck on Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - 11:41 am: Edit Post

this is not a prescription!

but as an acute intervention, the combination of sodium naproxen (alleve n such) and acetametaphen both work differently and concurrently to reduce inflammation. The combo won't be too hard on the stomach.

You can then downgrade to less aggressive anti-inflammatories after 3-5 days.

from wikipedia (i mostly agree)
Anti-inflammatory foods

Due to concerns over the gastric problems caused by NSAIDs researchers are turning to more natural solutions to dealing with the problem of inflammation. One ingredient with a great future potential is capsaicin, a naturally occurring ingredient in chili peppers. Studies have shown some success in the control of pain and inflammation when capsaicin is applied topically.[citation needed]

Others advocate the consumption of anti-inflammatory foods as a means of controlling inflammation. Anti-inflammatory foods include most colorful fruits and vegetables, oily fish and certain nuts, seeds, herbs and spices such as ginger. Those following an anti-inflammatory diet will avoid refined oils and sugars, and show a preference for anti-inflammatory foods in their meal choices.[8] Tobacco may have some anti-inflammatory effects, see Smokerís Paradox. In some conditions, dietary omega-3 fatty acids lower inflammation, see Essential fatty acid interactions.

   By Jason M. Struck on Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - 11:42 am: Edit Post

i do recommend walnuts, fish oil and ginger as well as chiles.

   By Bob #2 on Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - 03:00 pm: Edit Post

Spotted Owl feet and Burmese cat squeezins are also excellent anti inflamatory aides


   By Willis on Friday, August 08, 2008 - 03:44 pm: Edit Post

I wholeheartedly endorse mouse tails and bat wings. Fish that has been tortured sufficiently produce meat that is more tender and will soothe those with too much of the fire element.

   By robert on Friday, August 08, 2008 - 08:42 pm: Edit Post

Ginger tea works great for upset stomach's, and nausea.:P

   By Sugarshrimp on Monday, September 22, 2008 - 12:46 am: Edit Post


Welp, I finally went to a BJJ class last week (after getting over a brutal cold) and my hip/leg did fine. No pain during or after the class.

I will be attending classes 2-3 times a week starting this week, so we'll see what happens...

   By Tim on Monday, September 22, 2008 - 06:20 pm: Edit Post

Easy does it at first.

Add a Message

This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.