Sciatica and Foot Problems Sciatica and Foot Problems

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Thread: Sciatica and Foot Problems

  1. #1
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    Default Sciatica and Foot Problems

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    Hi Will,

    First off, I've seen a lot of your videos and read a lot of your articles. I really appreciate you taking the time to read this.

    I'm 37, M, and approx. 195 pounds. I was not long into my "real LP" (I screwed around for a bit, not doing the program) when I posted my thread to have someone form check my squats. My squats have been verifiably documented as shit in the thread Weakling Needs Squat Form Check. You can see the travesty of my squats, how they don't go to depth, and my communications with Pete on that if you need to. Basically, I'm a motor moron. I will make it down to Orlando to see him for some coaching hopefully sooner rather than later.

    Pete gave me some advice in that thread about getting my hips back and then the holidays hit and I went on a two week vacation to the middle of nowhere with no barbell in sight. While gone, I experienced some mild aching in the medial part of the arch of my right foot. This ache eventually turned into a burning sensation from the medial, distal interphalangeal joint of my right big toe to the very tip of the medial side of my big toe ONLY during plantar flexion. I really had to point my toes (think ballet dancer doing a pirouette) to feel the burn and initially it only occurred with my leg straight. I didn't really pay it much attention as I just assumed it was from the shitty pair of shoes I brought with me on vacation. When I got back, I still found it noticeable, but I still really wasn't giving it much thought. I went to the gym to squat and I found myself doing "Good Morning" squats with just the bar.

    I was frustrated because I was trying to get my hips back, but also realized that I was screwing it up. My knees weren't staying out, and I just felt off. At some point, I decided to add some weight to see if that would help. I loaded up 115 pounds, to "feel" some sort of weight, did maybe 2-3 reps and felt something mildly pop in my lower back. I didn't notice spasms in my back but I immediately felt like my hip tightened up something awful and then the top of my knee felt like it had tendinitis. The medial side of my knee felt a pretty sharp pain (this bothered me most and made me think my knee was jacked), but didn't go any lower. That night, I began to notice the pain in my foot move to the lateral part of my ankle. Eventually my whole lower leg (mostly the lateral part, but it was hard to tell as it seemed all over), was in pain. This pain seemed to be slightly different and had a terminus at the lateral part of my right knee.

    I woke up later that night in quite a bit of pain, but I have to be honest in saying that a lot of it felt like it was coming from the foot and working upwards like a type of reverse sciatica, if such a thing exists. I looked up a dermatome chart and could see "L4" in pretty much every single place I was having issues. I took 10 days off and basically sat around like a shit-for-brains soaking my pain in whiskey and ibuprofen. The sciatica mellowed out quite a bit, but my foot still aches like hell around the arch and into the big toe. Last night, I got my sorry ass off the couch, went to the gym and decided I'd do something. I tried air squats in the form SS shows for people to get into position without the bar. By about the third rep, I felt something akin to bone crunching on tissue in my hip and the sciatica came back (upper leg quadrant only). I stopped doing that, and went for some light overhead presses which felt fine. Then I did some bench presses. No PR's and no problems. It felt great to be moving. Then I tried to do some deadlifts, but felt like my lower back flexibility was a limiting factor. I was probably being a bit cautious, but since my squats suck, I figure my deadlift probably isn't much better. Instead, I did some rack pulls from a level just below my knee. They were light, but I was able to maintain a good back extension and it actually felt quite nice. I woke up today and felt pretty good, not much worse for wear except for my damn foot.

    So, as it is, I can at least do rack pulls, presses, and bench. I am going to see Pete about some serious squat form adjustments as soon as I can. Any idea of what the hell is going on in my foot and, if so, what I can do about it? It pretty much sucks to walk or wear a tight fitting shoe. Tight laces hurt like hell. I'm all ears and I want to get strong. I'm not dwelling on any of this as permanent or that I'm screwed up for life. I just want to get better as soon as possible so I can make progress without all this other crap going on. Also, I found a PT 5 minutes from me who has a squat rack in his office. I'm tempted... But I'm scared I'll be standing on a Bosu ball with a barbell on my back and rubber bands tied around my hips.

    Thanks for your patience and your time. If I've left anything out I will be glad to add to this already too long post.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2010
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    Olympia, WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank_B View Post
    Hi Will,

    First off, I've seen a lot of your videos and read a lot of your articles. I really appreciate you taking the time to read this.

    I'm 37, M, and approx. 195 pounds. I was not long into my "real LP" (I screwed around for a bit, not doing the program) when I posted my thread to have someone form check my squats. My squats have been verifiably documented as shit in the thread Weakling Needs Squat Form Check. You can see the travesty of my squats, how they don't go to depth, and my communications with Pete on that if you need to. Basically, I'm a motor moron. I will make it down to Orlando to see him for some coaching hopefully sooner rather than later.

    Pete gave me some advice in that thread about getting my hips back and then the holidays hit and I went on a two week vacation to the middle of nowhere with no barbell in sight. While gone, I experienced some mild aching in the medial part of the arch of my right foot. This ache eventually turned into a burning sensation from the medial, distal interphalangeal joint of my right big toe to the very tip of the medial side of my big toe ONLY during plantar flexion. I really had to point my toes (think ballet dancer doing a pirouette) to feel the burn and initially it only occurred with my leg straight. I didn't really pay it much attention as I just assumed it was from the shitty pair of shoes I brought with me on vacation. When I got back, I still found it noticeable, but I still really wasn't giving it much thought. I went to the gym to squat and I found myself doing "Good Morning" squats with just the bar.

    I was frustrated because I was trying to get my hips back, but also realized that I was screwing it up. My knees weren't staying out, and I just felt off. At some point, I decided to add some weight to see if that would help. I loaded up 115 pounds, to "feel" some sort of weight, did maybe 2-3 reps and felt something mildly pop in my lower back. I didn't notice spasms in my back but I immediately felt like my hip tightened up something awful and then the top of my knee felt like it had tendinitis. The medial side of my knee felt a pretty sharp pain (this bothered me most and made me think my knee was jacked), but didn't go any lower. That night, I began to notice the pain in my foot move to the lateral part of my ankle. Eventually my whole lower leg (mostly the lateral part, but it was hard to tell as it seemed all over), was in pain. This pain seemed to be slightly different and had a terminus at the lateral part of my right knee.

    I woke up later that night in quite a bit of pain, but I have to be honest in saying that a lot of it felt like it was coming from the foot and working upwards like a type of reverse sciatica, if such a thing exists. I looked up a dermatome chart and could see "L4" in pretty much every single place I was having issues. I took 10 days off and basically sat around like a shit-for-brains soaking my pain in whiskey and ibuprofen. The sciatica mellowed out quite a bit, but my foot still aches like hell around the arch and into the big toe. Last night, I got my sorry ass off the couch, went to the gym and decided I'd do something. I tried air squats in the form SS shows for people to get into position without the bar. By about the third rep, I felt something akin to bone crunching on tissue in my hip and the sciatica came back (upper leg quadrant only). I stopped doing that, and went for some light overhead presses which felt fine. Then I did some bench presses. No PR's and no problems. It felt great to be moving. Then I tried to do some deadlifts, but felt like my lower back flexibility was a limiting factor. I was probably being a bit cautious, but since my squats suck, I figure my deadlift probably isn't much better. Instead, I did some rack pulls from a level just below my knee. They were light, but I was able to maintain a good back extension and it actually felt quite nice. I woke up today and felt pretty good, not much worse for wear except for my damn foot.

    So, as it is, I can at least do rack pulls, presses, and bench. I am going to see Pete about some serious squat form adjustments as soon as I can. Any idea of what the hell is going on in my foot and, if so, what I can do about it? It pretty much sucks to walk or wear a tight fitting shoe. Tight laces hurt like hell. I'm all ears and I want to get strong. I'm not dwelling on any of this as permanent or that I'm screwed up for life. I just want to get better as soon as possible so I can make progress without all this other crap going on. Also, I found a PT 5 minutes from me who has a squat rack in his office. I'm tempted... But I'm scared I'll be standing on a Bosu ball with a barbell on my back and rubber bands tied around my hips.

    Thanks for your patience and your time. If I've left anything out I will be glad to add to this already too long post.
    As weird as this is going to sound, can you post a couple pictures of your foot?

  3. #3
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    Jul 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Morris View Post
    As weird as this is going to sound, can you post a couple pictures of your foot?
    I'll refrain from any smart ass comments. :-)

    I attached some pics of the left foot too for comparison. Please let me know if there's another angle you'd like to see. It's actually surprisingly difficult to take pics of your own feet.

    IMG_3827.jpg
    IMG_3828.jpg
    IMG_3829.jpg
    IMG_3830.jpg
    IMG_3831.jpg

  4. #4
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    I could only add 5 pics per reply. Here are two more if you need them.

    IMG_3832.jpg


    IMG_3833.jpg


    IMG_3834.jpg

  5. #5
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    When you said you wore really crappy shoes, what type of shoes were you wearing?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Morris View Post
    When you said you wore really crappy shoes, what type of shoes were you wearing?
    They were just an old pair of sneakers. I tossed them in the trash after the trip, but I believe they were a pair of Asics.

  7. #7
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    Oh and for the record, I was not squatting in those crappy sneakers. They were just crap shoes I was wearing on vacation in which we walked a lot more than I anticipated.

  8. #8
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    Do you wear any orthotics in your shoes?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Morris View Post
    Do you wear any orthotics in your shoes?
    In those shoes I was not, but I do have high arch supports in my work boots. I stand on ladders at work quite a bit and occasionally find my arches sore. I tried high arch supports in the work boots but donít really know if it helped much. They were the Superfeet Green supports.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank_B View Post
    In those shoes I was not, but I do have high arch supports in my work boots. I stand on ladders at work quite a bit and occasionally find my arches sore. I tried high arch supports in the work boots but don’t really know if it helped much. They were the Superfeet Green supports.
    Will you humor me and try place the Superfeet green into your lifting shoes and trying it with those in there and tell me if there is any noticeable difference?

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