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Sciatica - next step

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Old 04-26-2005, 04:34 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 7
fritosander HB User
Sciatica - next step

I've had some bad experiences with many treatments that I've tried for my sciatica. I was hoping that some of you with experience with sciatica, could make a suggestion for the next step.

My sciatica is worse when I sit or stand for long periods of time, bend or twist, lift heavy objects, put pressure on the back or bottom of my left buttock, and strangely enough wear pants or jeans with a waste band that is too tight (does anyone else experience this?).

It was misdiagnosed for about a year and a half, and I'm not sure that it is correctly diagnosed still.

I've had a discectomy at L4/L5, a breast-reduction surgery, lots of ESI's (little foggy on how many, but I think 3-4 rounds of 3-4 injections each time), deep-tissue massage, electro stimulation, chiropracty, physical therapy and daily stretches, and nerve-regeneration drugs. The discectomy didn't help. The breast-reduction surgery helped me to be able to do the motions required to do the dishes for example. The ESI's helped, but I felt like I was going through menopause when I was on them (cold sweats - anyone else experience this?). I was usually worse after chriopracty. I did feel some relief after several months of deep-tissue massage, electro stimulation, and the nerve-regeneration drugs, but I don't know if it was the treatments or that time and reduced activity healed it. The deep-tissue massage left bruises and I was in more pain for a few days afterward than I was before I went to my treatments. When I feel the pain coming on, walking on uneven surfaces like a trail helps, but not if it is too bad. (I theorize that it stretches many more different muscles than walking on even ground would and doesn't involve repetive motion.)

Do you have any tried and true suggestions for the type of doctor I should see or treatment I should seek?

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Old 04-26-2005, 04:36 AM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 7
fritosander HB User
Re: Sciatica - next step

I forgot to add that heat, vibration, and jarring tend to inflame my sciatica.

Old 04-26-2005, 01:22 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2002
Location: ,TX U.S.
Posts: 29
Re: Sciatica - next step

Hi, I know exactly what you are going through. I have had extremly bad inflamation in my si joints since I got into a car wreck in 2001. I have also had ESI's with the first one came a little relief, but the second did nothing. I have had PT with no relief, chiro, massages, electrotherapy and plenty of meds. Vioxx worked wonders, I took Bextra & Celebrex I still take, but my doc wants me to try relafan it's an anti-inflamatory with pain med. I will pick that up today, I was reading on the Arititis forum & someone suggested Ginger Root 350-500 mg, 1-3 x daily. Also Turmeric -400-600 mg., 1-3 x daily. They said it helps with inflamation I'm gonna try it. I think that with most SI problems it is inflamation, but that is hard to diagnosis. It took me two MRI's, a bone scan and a lot of research for my doc's to find it. Please be sure to have an MRI on your low back where they can see the SI area. Also you should get a bone scan done to see where the hot spots are, that is where you have inflamation. I have done a lot of research on this, & I do not believe that there is an answer to this. I try to keep the inflamation under control by taking med @ the first sign of pain. Also use cold packs to keep that under control, I have also read to build upo your ab muscles as that is what supports your back. However it is impossibel to do any exercises when you are in excruting pain.Let your back rest for a while before you try to exercise. Hope this helps and you can get some relief.

Old 04-26-2005, 01:43 PM   #4
Nervous Nellie
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 225
Nervous Nellie HB User
Re: Sciatica - next step

Hi Frito,

I wasn't aware that you'd already had a disc removed at L4/L5. How long ago was that?

There's so many possibilities for your continued pain. You could have a nerve root that is still recovering from its previous compression (prior to your surgery)...nerves take a very long time to recover, as much as 3 years or more, especially for the longest nerves, the sciatic ones.

Was your discetomy done by an orthopedic surgeon or a neurosugeon? How long ago? What was the reason they did that? Was it because they felt the disc pressure on the nerve was the cause of your sciatica (Pain along the distribution of the nerve down your leg) or because you had abnormal narrowing of your spinal canal (spinal stenosis)?


Old 04-26-2005, 03:33 PM   #5
Senior Veteran
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Minneapolis MN USA
Posts: 1,773
Kari7171 HB User
Re: Sciatica - next step

I just wanted to mention I also have the problem with wearing jeans. I seem to only be able to wear my running pants which are pretty baggy in the waist. They are the most comfortable. I do sometimes wear jeans but as soon as I get home they are off. It seems to be the exact height that my disc damage is and squeezes on it and causes pain to shoot down my back.

Old 04-26-2005, 03:40 PM   #6
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 7
fritosander HB User
Re: Sciatica - next step

Hi Nellie

I had a discectomy in August of 2002 because of a herniated disk (or ruptured - all things from this time are foggy due to muscle relaxers) and inherited spinal stenosis. The ortho doctor wasn't sure if it would help, but I was at the point where I would try anything.


Old 04-26-2005, 04:18 PM   #7
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 33
klh121560 HB User
Re: Sciatica - next step

Frito -

I had bad sciatica too along with a herniated L5-S1 disk. Tried almost everything and every med out there. The thing that worked - methadone. It is great for most neuropathic pain and my sciatic is almost gone. Still a little there, but very bearable. maybe talk to your doc about it.


Old 04-26-2005, 07:22 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 161
Vuitton70 HB User
Smile Re: Sciatica - next step

Whoa Frito - I just had a ESI last wed (my 4th ) and had severe sweats, woke up in a swimming pool of my own sweat.

I didn't corelate (sp?) the two. They never help me either. I hope you have better luck in your treatment!


Last edited by Vuitton70; 04-26-2005 at 07:22 PM.

Old 04-27-2005, 10:07 AM   #9
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 83
et318 HB User
Re: Sciatica - next step

Your back pain increases with vibration and prolonged sitting? Hmmm, I wonder about a recurrent herniation or annular tear. Have you had a post-op MRI recently?

You may want to have your surgeon check that out.

Old 04-27-2005, 10:12 AM   #10
Senior Veteran
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Minneapolis MN USA
Posts: 1,773
Kari7171 HB User
Re: Sciatica - next step

How long did your siatica last? I injured myself 3 months ago and the MRI showed L5-S1 disc protrusion. I mostly have had pain by my tailbone. I now have siatica all the way to my foot. What kind of things besides pain medication did you do to help it?


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