After looking more closely, I'm 99 percent sure this is a sciatic nerve issue as opposed to a hip issue now. My hips feel fine now. I think they along with my lower back were sore after a playing a very physical match last Friday after not having played for 3 weeks. I've had this before but it didn't last long and kind of just went away on it's on. As Tennis people, have you ever had this and what did you do to help recover faster? I've read some stuff online, but I want Tennis player's opinion on this.
Do you have an excessively painful sensation running down either leg, along the hamstrings? If so, then you probably do have sciatica.
The pain I'm describing is bone-deep and needle-like, it should run down your either hamstrings. It's most painful when you try to stand up from a sitting position, or sit down from a standing position. Basically, anything that involves a chair, it's going to hurt.
Did you just turn close to 40?
Mine was so bad I couldn't downhaul a sail, or carry the rig down to the water, much less pretend to try to play tennis.
Walking was hard, swimming better, surfing almost OK.
Most people get it, and it mysteriously disappears after a few months.
I suffered with lower back and hip problem for a few years. I thought it was sciatica. It turned out that my hip kept slightly dislocating, which then caused lower back problem. In hindsight, it might have been caused by IBS syndrome which kept pulling down the hip joint.
For me, core and hip exercises were the most beneficial. And, stretching as well. I think core and hip strengthening exercises are often overlooked, but this is very beneficial for your movement and ground strokes.
Although most sciatica is from compression of the sciatic nerve at the spinal column, tennis players are also susceptible to the "piriformis syndrome".
The following exercises can help prevent a recurrence:
Suzanna McGee, who often posts here as sxftlion, also recommends doing self myofscial release to relieve the pain:
Sciatica or Piriformis Syndrome Treatment with Myofascial Release http://www.tennisfitnesslove.com/201...scial-release/
"Sciatica pain can be close to paralyzing—a numb, tingling or burning sensation going down in the back of your leg, calf and sole of your foot. The pain comes and goes unpredictably and playing tennis becomes impossible. However, you actually could have a tight and overused piriformis muscle, which is very common among tennis players. Luckily, it is also easy to correct.
Piriformis is the largest of the six muscles in the hip that are responsible for external rotation of the leg. If you have your leg planted, the piriformis turns the body in the opposite direction, a movement that tennis players do repeatedly thousands of times. An overused and tight piriformis muscle causes a lot of misery and pain in your sacrum, glutes and hips. It will twist your sacrum a little bit, causing a short-leg syndrome that adds to the problem. It can also compress the sciatic nerve and as a result, you feel the “sciatica” pain.
Quick directional changes in tennis impose a high risk on your piriformis’ well-being, especially if you are not well conditioned. Therefore, it is important to work on strengthening your glutes and hips, accompanied by regular stretching. Prolonged inactivity or sitting puts the piriformis muscles in trouble. If you sit at work or school most of your day and then start sprinting around the tennis courts, you may be creating future problems. An overused, shortened and sometimes even inflamed piriformis muscle contains painful trigger points. To remain pain-free, you need to stretch the piriformis to its original length and eliminate the trigger points with myofascial release.
Sit down on the floor, bend your legs and place your left foot on the top of your right knee. Place a foam ball under your left glute and tilt a little bit to the left, toward the outside. Roll around slowly until you find a surprisingly tender trigger point. Stay on it and wiggle around a little bit while breathing deeply, until the pain goes away. Keep rolling the entire area to find and eliminate all the trigger points. A regular myofascial re-lease will be less painful over time and your “sciatica” problems will be gone almost immediately. For more intense sensation or to reach the deepest, stubborn trigger points, use a tennis or lacrosse ball."
I would get sciatic pain down my right leg after serving.
bump this thread up, i have changed my motion on the serve and that made all the difference.
It took about 6 months to get used to new rhythm and stance.
i have changed from a extreme pinpoint to platform stance.
my feet are not extreme wide like some tennis players but far enough so i feel like im have better freedom to turn and not tighten up my back.
though i still like the pinpoint, i have to make changes for my tennis career as i can serve longer, and recovery much faster when my feet are more platform like.
also lost of power is made up of better accuracy.
Last time I checked the sciatic nerve was located in the "hip" region. So it's still a "hip" issue.
From personal/professional experience, there's always a hip flexor soft tissue component that tends to be ignored.
Many people can relieve themselves from piriformis syndrome from just stretching/decompressing the symptomatic areas, but for the reoccurring or chronic issues, the whole pelvic region needs to be looked at for imbalances.
Nasty case of sciatica back in 2003, felt like my whole right hamstring leg was on fire constantly and complete numbness of my leg below my knee. Sitting was the worse, driving was a nightmare, could barely bear weight on the leg sometimes. The worst was when random movements would trigger this electric shock into my lower back that was so paralyzing....oy vey. Took me 3 months to resolve things, and for even years later I'd have these "ghost" sensations down the leg sometimes. Nasty, nasty stuff.
I was having the same problem about a year ago. I went to a chiropractor who tried stretching, electrical stimulation, accupuncture, you name it. After a couple of months, he gave up and referred me to a sports physician. They were talking about botox, or surgery to relieve the muscle spasms.
Then I read about the piriformis syndrome here in the forums. I figured what the heck? It's worth a try before I do anything drastic. I started doing a lot of the stretches recommended here and found on youtube and my problem went away. It reappears a little every now and then, but a little rest and stretches work wonders.
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