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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    telluride
    Posts
    25

    sciatica - dr. ongley, si joint dysfunction, etc

    so, i have sciatica. i searched and read all the threads concerning this and i had some more questions that i was hoping you all might help me.

    first, has anyone here been to dr. ongley for low back, si joint problems? if so, how did the treatments work for you and in what timeline?

    i am in mexico getting prolotherapy for acute sciatica. i finished the best ski season of my life with tightness and soreness, but thought i had made it through the season without serious problems. i was stoked. then, as i was decompressing from the winter and relaxing/working a little, my left butt started hurting. at first, it was manageable and i was stretching and resting, thinking it would pass. then it slowly got worse, to the point that i could not stand for more than 15 second without serious pain. the pain was focused in my butt, but also had numbness down the outside of my leg and pain in my lateral left foot. then painkillers for a week, which allowed to sleep and deal during the day.

    after a week of that, i tried the chiropractor who said that my si joint was out (it is chronically out), but i was too tight to allow it be put back in. i went to a normal doc, who told me what i had easily researched on the net, that according to my pain, i had pinched the S1 root of the sciatic nerve. he prescribed pt, but i have gone to pt lots before and know the deal. do these exercises and we will charge you lots to watch you. pt has its place, but i felt that i was beyond simple core/butt strengthening and i couldn't even stand up to get to the pt office.

    i have heard about ongley and prolotherapy, so i researched a ton more. he has worked wonders for the likes of bode miller and other top skiers and athletes, so i decided to try it out. i have had two prolotherapy treatments and one anti-inflammatory treatment so far and while i have gone from hardly standing to being able to walk for almost a minute and standing for several, i am still suffering from pain. i was able to stop the pain killers entirely for a week or more, but recently the pain at night has kept me from sleeping. i caved in and had to eat some to sleep last night.

    anyways, i am battling with this and just wanted to discuss with folks who may have been through my version of sciatica.

    here are some more details. i had a bad crash 12 years ago, where i believe i hypermobilized my si joint and strecthed the ligament (name?) that attached the sacrum to the pelvis. i have been to chiropractors, massage therapist, acupuncturists, and other healer types to address this issue. i have never had true pain, just lack of innervation, strength, chi, or what have you in that left hip, low back and down the leg. i have torn my left acl twice and had serious pain in my left vmo (tendonitis is what i have called it), and i believe they are both partly or largely due to the si dysfunction.

    while i have had much impact and resulting compression of my vertebral discs, i do not believe the pain stems from a bulging disc because it centered more in my butt. of course, the source is hard to determine, but the research that i have done indicates that disc herniation/bulging is over diagnosed as the cause of sciatica.

    i was on the periformis syndrome bandwagon for a bit and have not discounted it completely, but no amount of massage was able to help once it was so acute, so i am not sure. in the past, i have been able to use tennis balls or a skilled masseuse to release muscle tension in my butt, with great results, but this time it was so sensitive that i worried about exacerbating the problem.

    ongley believes that it is my sacral ligament that is inflamed, stretched and overworked to the point that is putting pressure on my sciatic nerve. his method will tighten and strengthen and other low back/hip ligaments and in theory return me to a level better than before. i hope he is right.

    anyways, in reading the other threads, i saw some great stuff regarding specific exercise routines, etc, which have been part of my program. basically, i am having a tough day, suffering from pain and without a definite solution, so i wanted to reach out and see what the mags could offer up.

    anybody been to ongley for this type of thing? did it help at first, then the pain returned, only to see improvement with time. that is what i hope will happen with me. any other insights for me? i am questioning, whether i have a torn labrum. the pain seems to be concentrated on the top posterior side of the hip socket, but i have not heard of a laburm tear radiating down the leg like this.

    this might be an exercise in self pity or loss of how to cope, but i was hoping someone would give me some good news or insight so that i continue to stay positive and beat this fucker. i know how powerful the mind is, but the pain has been crippling my brain. i have been in the hospital, broken and on morphine, i have three knee surgeries, root canals, and many other painful skiing/downhilling accidents, but this is by far the most elusive, depressing, and painful ordeal of my life. please excuse my rambling and thanks in advance for any help. i feel lucky to have a forum like this at this time. thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    689
    check out PRI, postural restoration institute, Ron Hruska is a PT who spun prolo into a more functional ex program (self correcting). PT should not be "watching" you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    84
    have you ever been evaluated for hip femoroacetabular impingement, by a hip fai specialist?
    i'm not saying that is what you have but your story sounds all too familiar.
    the iliosacral ligament can be stretched and cause pain, but the pelvis twists due to the hip deformity of hip fai with or without labral tears, which causes many of the symptoms you describe... those gluteal muscles like the piriformis clamp down hard to help stabilize the hip when it's injured with fai. hence the pseudo-sciatica. as well as lumber issues.

    it's worth checking out, just in case the hip is your cause. it's an elusive diagnosis because of the serious lack of experienced fai docs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    telluride
    Posts
    25
    thanks guys for the info. i also got some good advice via pm's, which i would share if anybody is in need. stoked on the help.

    thankfully, i am seeing big improvement. i lost so much muscle in the last month that it is similar to coming back from knee surgery - trying to learn how to walk again, but i am almost entirely without pain.

    i am not sure exactly how the pain has went away. i think that i can feel that my ligaments in my low back are tighter and it seems that my si joint is no longer "out." i have been doing some simple exercises (bending and low resistance strengthening with great diligence and thought and i think the combo of prolo and these have been the key. i get my fourth treatment manana and am glad to done with the hips - i don't love needles and these are the father of needles.

    i wanted to share my improvement so others might investigate pursuing a similar treatment. dr ongley is a very interesting man. i knew this going in and he went well beyond my expectations. he has a very holistic approach if you question him and makes you responsible for the healing on all levels of life if you get to discussing such things. i'm not through this yet, and i think it something i will have to do maintenance on forever, but i am truly satisfied with my results so far and in such short time. two weeks ago i could not stand up without severe pain and now i am close to being to be functional on daily basis.

    there is more to his evaluation/diagnosis, but it is kind of private and i am feeling a bit shy about sharing with the cyber world, but again happy to share with individuals if anyone is interested.

    i was surprised that there was no mention of ongley in this forum, as he has treated many skiers. you can get prolo anywhere these days, but i came here because i felt he had something special going on. i think he does, nothing with the formula that he has shared, but with his technique and deep understanding of people and the body. wild stuff.

    i will follow up again as i have more to add. thanks again for the help.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    84
    right on that's great news. i had prolo used on my shoulders and it was very beneficial.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,115
    I couldnt read all of this but i have a couple people i know who went o Dr ONgley for backs, and it really did not help. He seems to have great results with knees, shoulders ect.
    good luck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    33,440
    Orthobionomy has always fixed my si in one session. But I did a short session with a rolfer at a health fair last week and he was unlike any rolfer I had ever seen. The rolfers now have a renegade division that is focusing on nerve work and this guy fixed an upper body stiffness in me through a nerve in my arch. I've had quite a few hours of rolfing and what this guy did in 10 minutes blew my mind. Good to hear the prolo is working.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    telluride
    Posts
    25
    i had never heard of orthobionomy. sounds cool. i did some internet research and i'm intrigued. i'm doing so much better, but still trying get better by working with my problem in as many ways as possible. there are no practitioner close to telluride, but there are a handful in cb, so maybe i'll have an excuse to go visit. anyone go to these guys (or really mostly gals) in cb?

    as for the rolfing, where did you get that done? can you explain the technique used on your arch more? do you think you can do it yourself? my arch is definitely a bit tight right now.

    i have two more sessions with ongley and then back to reality. i'm still standing by this man completely, as i show improvement everyday. and to think people were recommending surgery - crazy talk for my condition. feeling so grateful to be at this point, but still feeling i have more ground to cover. thanks for the info.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Movin' On
    Posts
    3,779
    Quote Originally Posted by mysteryzombie View Post
    have you ever been evaluated for hip femoroacetabular impingement, by a hip fai specialist?
    i'm not saying that is what you have but your story sounds all too familiar.
    the iliosacral ligament can be stretched and cause pain, but the pelvis twists due to the hip deformity of hip fai with or without labral tears, which causes many of the symptoms you describe... those gluteal muscles like the piriformis clamp down hard to help stabilize the hip when it's injured with fai. hence the pseudo-sciatica. as well as lumber issues.

    it's worth checking out, just in case the hip is your cause. it's an elusive diagnosis because of the serious lack of experienced fai docs.
    Bumping a very old thread. I have FAI and sciatica from a bulging disk at the same time. MRI confirms torn labrum. It's been quite the journey the past several months. I was getting better with PT but have had a few major setbacks in the past two weeks. I'm now really having trouble walking and sleeping. Wondering if the FAI surgery is worth it and if that will clear up the sciatica. My SI joint, piriformis and L4/L5 disk are in a huge amount of pain. I'm presenting with classic sciatica pain referring down my leg as well.

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