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Old 08-12-2004, 11:04 AM   #1
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NaomiWise HB User
Sciatica question

Hi,

I posted earlier on another thread asking other sciatica sufferers if their symptoms sounded like mine. No one said that theirs did. My pain is not in my back but for the last month or so I've had right leg/foot troubles. My calf is tight and sore. My foot has travelling pains and aches like a toothace and my toes burn. None of these symptoms happen all the time. Just that one or the other is nearly always present. Sometimes I have to limp to walk.

I am being tested for MS. But the doctor isn't convinced that I have it.

I have a new symptom. My right buttock hurts when I sit. It almost feels like the bone that rests on the seat hurts. It feels better when I stand or lean so that the pressure is on my left side. And, when I sit my right leg/foot acts up....getting more tender.

I have very little pain above the knee and none in my back. However, I still feel like I am suffering from Sciatica. What do ya'll think?


Naomi

 
Old 08-12-2004, 12:22 PM   #2
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beachgirl01 HB User
Re: Sciatica question

Hi there,
Have you had an MRI or ct scan? If not you should request one, that will tell you right away what the problem is. I have spondylolisthesis and sciatica. I'll explain what sciatica does to me. It starts in my right buttock and goes down my right leg to my foot. Lately I've had a tough time with my ankles and heels, I don't know if it's related to the sciatica but I'm sure it has something to do with it. I've always been terrible at explaining my pain but the sciatica is almost like "electrifying" it starts at the buttock and shoots down the leg as is I had just been "shocked" or something. Another real problem I have is when I am kneeling down and I go to get up the right side of my calf hurts like you can't imagine and I have to lean on something to get up. My pain isn't always there but for the majority of the time and it's a whole lot worse at night time. All I can say to you is that you should definitly go for an MRI and for the time being, do not over do it. To me it does sound as though it could be Sciatica but there are so many back problems out there and I am not a doctor. I wish you the best of luck and please let me know how things work out for you and if you have any questions, let me know. Hope this helped a bit. Kristy.

 
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Old 08-12-2004, 01:45 PM   #3
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NaomiWise HB User
Re: Sciatica question

Thanks so much for the responses.

Yes, I have had an MRI. In fact, I've had 3 in the past few weeks. However, They have been of the brain (lesions showed up) (migraines also cause lesions) so I had cervical and thoracic MRIs next. The doctor is looking for MS lesions.

The problem is that I can do anything with my back. I can do anything with my leg. Nothing seems to "cause or increase" the pain like you would expect with a back problem However, I think that my case is just unusual....but may still be sciatica.

I'm probably in for another MRI if the doctor begins to accept that possibility. (My insurance company must be pulling out their hair!!)

Thanks!!!

Naomi

 
Old 08-12-2004, 01:55 PM   #4
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beachgirl01 HB User
Re: Sciatica question

Hello again,
I also get migraines and have problems with my neck, mainly the right side. I haven't looked into that part of it much because I've been trying to take care of my other problems first. If you haven't had an MRI on your lower back than you should really try your best to get one, like I said that will tell you everything you need to know. Anyway take care of your self and keep me updated, I would like to know what the outcome is. Kristy.

 
Old 08-12-2004, 04:40 PM   #5
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kendrick0308 HB User
Re: Sciatica question

At least YOU have insurance
I don't and I'm having Sciatica problems.

 
Old 08-12-2004, 08:19 PM   #6
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beachgirl01 HB User
Re: Sciatica question

You was that intented for?

 
Old 08-13-2004, 08:49 PM   #7
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Rampage HB User
Re: Sciatica question

Hi, NaomiWise -

Is the pain in your backside at an angle? What I mean is, is it lower on the outside portion and higher on the inside?

Have you any pain when you put pressure on your greater trochanter (sp?), the top of the thigh bone where your thigh meets the torso (not front or back, but to the side)?

If you answered yes, and an MRI shows nothing, it may be your piriformis muscle pinching the nerve.

My pain started at my lower back (L3-L4) and then radiated down and left to the greater trochanter. We were 10 months into all my diagnostics before I felt the pain on the left side.

My dr. gave me an anesthetic at the GT/Piri area and I felt better (the piriformis connects the thigh to the back). That's how we even found it.

Unfortunately, I'll have that forever so I just employ massages, stretches, and lying on tennis balls (learned that trick from a massage therapist).

Good luck on your efforts to find out what's going on, and keep us posted on what they find, if you don't mind.
__________________
Rampage
Accident '00
Sciatica, L3-4 Tear, Spinal Stenosis, DDD L3-S1
IDET '04
Laminectomy '06
Fusion (BMP) L4-5 '11
Anterior Fusion (BMP) L3-S1 '13

 
Old 08-13-2004, 08:55 PM   #8
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standingman HB User
Re: Sciatica question

Hi Rampage--Does this mean your IDET was probably unnecessary or did you have a disk tear as well?

Standingman

 
Old 08-13-2004, 09:57 PM   #9
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Rampage HB User
Re: Sciatica question

Disc tear as well...I have 2, possibly 3 separate problems. I'll know in the next few months if my SI joint pain was radiation from the disc or not. But we were able to diagnose the piriformis/nerve 2 years before we FINALLY found the tear. MRIs never found it...I had to tell my Ortho to be extremely aggressive, so we did a discogram, which found the tear that 4 MRIs (1/year) couldn't.

I'm just glad the worst problem is the one that has a chance of being fixed!
__________________
Rampage
Accident '00
Sciatica, L3-4 Tear, Spinal Stenosis, DDD L3-S1
IDET '04
Laminectomy '06
Fusion (BMP) L4-5 '11
Anterior Fusion (BMP) L3-S1 '13

 
Old 08-14-2004, 10:03 AM   #10
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NaomiWise HB User
Re: Sciatica question

Hi Rampage,

The pain in my buttock is only on the portion that I am directly sitting on. No pain on the upper part or near my lower back. ( I did have severe spasms in my lower back 8 years ago but not now).

I have no pain when touching/pressing my thigh bone. The only thigh pain I have had is in the area around my hamstring....behind and above the knee.

The physical therapist had me to stretch my piriformis and the area that aches now is similiar to the area I had worked with in therapy.

Tell me, how does the piriformis pinch a nerve? This could be the case with me. I had been on long car trips both times just prior to my problems. Could sitting on this area have caused this problem?

Thanks so much for your help.

Naomi

 
Old 08-14-2004, 10:16 AM   #11
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NaomiWise HB User
Re: Sciatica question

Rampage,

Let me add....I said that the pain is only where I sit but, as I walked away from the computer I was reminded that there is a ache/tightness in the area higher also but more to the side....the right side--of my right hip.

That may be what you mean by "at an angle".

I may have made it more confusing..


Naomi

 
Old 08-16-2004, 03:53 PM   #12
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Rampage HB User
Re: Sciatica question

Nope, you made it clear (at least to me).

It does sound a lot like my problems...sitting, standing, etc. I feel it in the same places...middle of my backside, the side of my hip, the back of my thigh right under the hamstring, and even my middle toe!

What happens in this situation is this: the sciatic nerve branches from the spinal cord in the lumbar region, angling down and out, ultimately branching further down the leg. Since the sciatic nerve passes under your glutes, it also passes under the piriformis, which runs from the L4-5 out and down to the femur on the side.

So, because the piriformis is so deep a muscle, exercising and stretching as part of a normal routine doesn't happen. You actually have to do things that target the muscle. Have you learned the stretches, and the tennis ball method? I LIVE by that one! Lie on your back with one ball under each buttock and adjust until you feel it.

My dr. told me there's even a possibility my sciatic could be running THROUGH the piriformis, making my options fewer. He told me that even though he's heard of surgeries to remove the muscle, he's not heard of any real positive results from that. But, that's his experience...others may have different information.

I think any stretches your PT has taught you, plus tennis balls (maybe even throw ice or heat into the mix), might give you some relief. It's actually better to have a disc piching the nerve, since you can fix that!

Good luck, Naomi...Hope all goes well for you!
__________________
Rampage
Accident '00
Sciatica, L3-4 Tear, Spinal Stenosis, DDD L3-S1
IDET '04
Laminectomy '06
Fusion (BMP) L4-5 '11
Anterior Fusion (BMP) L3-S1 '13

 
Old 08-19-2004, 06:50 PM   #13
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NaomiWise HB User
Re: Sciatica question

Rampage,

The other night, after sitting through a long meeting and not able to move I had trouble getting to sleep due to the pain in my hip/buttock. I had "waves" of pain in just one area.

I really want to try the tennis ball method. I'm having trouble visualizing just how I need to do that to be effective. I know I tried massaging the area and stretching it.

I guess this is pretty new to me...I thought I had to have back trouble to have Sciatic pain. I haven't had back pain in nearly 8 years.

Thanks for the advice,

Naomi

 
Old 08-21-2004, 11:28 PM   #14
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Rampage HB User
Re: Sciatica question

I know, the tennis ball method is a little weird! But, if you can find the location of the pain to massage it, you should be able lie on your floor and place it under your buttock in the right place.

A good friend of mine also has this problem, and she has no back pain, which means it's her piriformis. It was good to be able to talk to her about - not the most enjoyable discussion to have with people!

Basically, after 4 years of having all these "nether region" problems, I just have no dignity left! I've even requested massage therapists I've never met before to just "dig in" with whatever works on that muscle. Not a way to have any left, huh??

My dr. prescribed muscle relaxers for this problem, and I usually take them at night to help me sleep. You build up a tolerance level to them, though. That's the tough part for me - I have to stop for a day or two and then restart (since my pain is daily). You may not have to take them unless you go through another extremely painful meeting!

Good luck - hope this helps.
__________________
Rampage
Accident '00
Sciatica, L3-4 Tear, Spinal Stenosis, DDD L3-S1
IDET '04
Laminectomy '06
Fusion (BMP) L4-5 '11
Anterior Fusion (BMP) L3-S1 '13

 
Old 08-23-2004, 06:45 PM   #15
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NaomiWise HB User
Re: Sciatica question

Rampage,

Thanks for the information. I really think this may be a sciatic/piriformis problem. Funny...I've paid so much to docs and had three MRIs and am being monitored for MS....and it took the folks like you on this board to help me narrow down what my problem might be.

I really am grateful!


Naomi

 
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