El Paso Functional Medicine
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Sciatica From Working Out: EP Wellness and Functional Medicine


Sciatica From Working Out: There are benefits from strenuous exercise and a level of acceptance of the discomfort that goes with exertion. While this is true to a certain degree, when individuals feel the pump and are in the workout zone, it can be very easy to take off and overdo it. This is when the body and the back become susceptible to injuries. Sciatica from working out occurs when added pressure on the sciatic nerve results in a compressed/pinched nerve. Left untreated can lead to further back problems and other health issues. The Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Team can relieve the compression, release the nerve, relax the muscles, and restore function.

Sciatica From Working Out: EP's Chiropractic Team

Sciatica From Working Out


Building muscle and increasing strength require a certain amount of physical damage to the muscles for successful progress. Intense and heavy exercise tear the muscle tissues causing microtrauma that triggers a healing response that creates muscle mass. These micro-injuries can cause the back muscles to tighten up, shifting the spine out of alignment, causing the discs to slip and compress nerves, or by tight leg muscles like the piriformis swelling and squeezing the sciatic nerve.


Rest and Recovery

  • It’s important to understand that proper recovery is essential to an exercise program.
  • It can take up to 72 hours to recover from the microtears.
  • Individuals that go right back for a similar workout can aggravate existing micro tears while creating more, resulting in a downward cycle of symptoms that can lead to other problems or become a chronic condition.
  • Rotating to exercises that go easy on the back and leg muscles assists in the normal healing and development of muscle tissue.

Not Warming up Before Workout

  • Not warming up before exercising can cause injuries.
  • When muscles are cold and not warmed up properly, they can become stiff and inflexible, causing them to strain and tear when exposed to sudden, intense exertion.
  • Before performing any exercise, always start with a low-impact, gentle warm-up.

Not Stretching Properly or at All

  • Full-body stretching is necessary as the torn, tight muscles need to be relaxed and kept loose.
  • Make sure to stretch the hamstrings and hips thoroughly.
  • After each workout, take 10 minutes and stretch.

Not Stretching After

  • Always do some stretching after a workout.
  • Stretching after can help prevent muscle fatigue and soreness from a lactic acid buildup.

Starting With Heavy Weights

  • Many injuries happen because individuals start too heavy.
  • Challenging the body’s performance is part of the process but should be done in small steps.
  • Start with lighter weights and add more gradually.

Improper Posture and Form

  • A leading cause of back problems is poor posture and form.
  • Curving the back while lifting weights is the most error.
  • Overarching can also cause injury.
  • When performing push-ups or planks, avoid sinking the hips.

Hard Surfaces

  • For runners, hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt force the body and back to absorb most of the impact.
  • This compresses the vertebrae, which can irritate the sciatic nerve.
  • Rotate by using running trails or a treadmill.
  • Work on running with a shorter stride to reduce bounce and impact.
  • Incorporate cross-training.
  • Rotate upper body strength training to give the legs, gluteals, and back muscles a rest.

Chiropractic Rehabilitation

Chiropractic care, massage, and decompression therapy can relieve sciatica pain. Using spinal manipulation techniques and other therapies, chiropractors can alleviate the pressure on the nerve. Treatment involves:

  • X-rays are taken so that the chiropractor can understand the cause.
  • Massaging the muscles to relax and release them and increase circulation.
  • Stretching and applying controlled pressure to the joints.
  • Specific exercises and stretches will be recommended to do at home.
  • Health coaching and nutrition and wellness recommendations.

Personalized Sciatica Treatment


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Cook CE, Taylor J, Wright A, Milosavljevic S, Goode A, Whitford M. Risk factors for first-time incidence sciatica: a systematic review. Physiother Res Int. 2014 Jun;18:65-78. doi:doi:10.1002/pri.1572

Koes BW, van Tulder MW, Peul WC. Diagnosis and treatment of sciatica. BMJ. 2007;334(7607):1313‐1317. doi:10.1136/bmj.39223.428495.BE

Lewis RA, Williams NH, Sutton AJ, et al. Comparative clinical effectiveness of management strategies for sciatica: a systematic review and network meta-analyses. (PDF). Spine J. 2015;15(6):1461-77. doi:10.1016/j.spinee.2013.08.049

Ropper AH, Zafonte RD. Sciatica. N Engl J Med. 2015;372(13):1240–8. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1410151

Salehi, Alireza, et al. “Chiropractic: Is it Efficient in Treatment of Diseases? Review of Systematic Reviews.” International Journal of community-based nursing and midwifery vol. 3,4 (2015): 244-54.

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Sciatica From Working Out: EP Wellness and Functional Medicine" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.


Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
License Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*
Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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