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Old 07-08-2012, 10:15 PM   #1
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Sciatic nerve or hip issues? Trouble walking and sitting..

I hurt in my hips just a bit lower where you'd get an injection in your gluteus maximus. Believe it's my hip area.

The other day it hurt so bad to walk, I was limping when I tried to do so.. If I sit for awhile, the pain is horrible in my hip areas and my lumbar region. I know I have degeneration in my lumbar area..

I'm not sure that I'd believe I'd be suffering from arthritis in my hips. Possibility though I guess. I just think my sciatic nerve keeps getting inflammed and then it gets better. Off and on, it recurs.

Any suggestions?? Any thoughts of what might be going on?

What test would evaluate it, would I need an MRI?

 
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:00 PM   #2
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Re: Sciatic nerve or hip issues? Trouble walking and sitting..

The type of pain you describe is often a symptom of degenerative changes in the lower lumbar discs, specifically L4-L5 and L5-S1. My MIL was treated for hip bursitis (not particularly successfully) for at least a year before it was suggested to her to see a spine specialist. She underwent a fusion at L4-L5 and the "hip" pain went away.

Also sometimes it is the piriformis muscle causing the pain. This is a long muscle that runs across the buttock and connects at the sacrum, stretching over to its hip attachment. It can become irritated or inflamed for a variety of reasons. Due to its location, when it is taut it can cause sciatic pain. This is because the sciatic nerve runs directly underneath the piriformis, and in some people, the nerve runs through the piriformis muscle. This is called "piriformis muscle syndrome." You can read about it online, if interested.

You can start out with a PCP or make an appointment with an orthopedic spine surgeon or neurosurgeon for an evaluation. Often a course of physical therapy and/or a couple epidural steroid injections are enough to clear up the pain. The doctor will order a MRI if it is thought necessary.

 
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:28 AM   #3
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Re: Sciatic nerve or hip issues? Trouble walking and sitting..

I would doubt that the pain you are having is hip pain, as it sounds like most of the pain is in the buttock area. Typically, pain coming from the hip joint feels like it is coming from the groin area. I've had both hip and back issues, so I have had to learn to differentiate between the two.

However, you could be having piriformis issues or bursitis, either of which could be caused by postural or gait changes from back problems. A good doctor will give you a full work-up, including a potential MRI, to figure out which problems you are having. Unfortunately, the hardest part is figuring out which problems cause which other problems.

 
Old 08-04-2012, 08:32 PM   #4
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Re: Sciatic nerve or hip issues? Trouble walking and sitting..

I had what I thought was hip pain for months. I had two shots for bursitis and didn't get much relief. I was sent for PT which made it worse. Finally the pain was so bad I wound up at my PCP's office hunched over and in tears. He ordered an MRI which showed that I had a very large herniation at L4-L5. Went to a neurosurgeon who diagnosed it as sciatica - I had pain in the hip and shooting pains down the leg with a burning pain on the outside of the calf and tingling in the foot. I had one injection but it didn't help at all and by this time I had been on so many steroids that I decided to skip the second and go for the discectomy. I'm two weeks post surgery and am having a bit of a flare up because I felt so good without pain last week that I over did it but I am so glad I did this.
Find a good spine specialist and get an evaluation. You'll be so glad you did.

 
Old 08-05-2012, 10:11 PM   #5
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Re: Sciatic nerve or hip issues? Trouble walking and sitting..

Well I used to self medicate, and I don't anymore, but I have been terribly sick and when I started doing it, pretty hopeless of getting a doctor to help me. I saw a rheumatologist and she let me walk out screeming my eyes out crying, and she did not care. I made the attempt to take my life then started self medicating after that didn't work.

I hope you all don't stop talking to me cause I shared this.

But I was giving myself an anti-inflammatory medication through intramuscular injections in one place where I hurt. This is the side that had me limping. I was giving them to myself too low and using a 3/4" needle instead of the 1" that would be appropriate. Even though I don't do this anymore, it still hurts constantly. I used to do it 4-6 times a mth, only if my pain was severe.

The other side that hurts, I never gave myself an injection there. I've also had pain run down my hip (sharp pain) on that side before.

I do have lumbar degeneration, for at least 10 yrs. Have it all throughout my spine now and my lumbar area is hurting (feeling strong pains there - like hit with a brick and punched really hard), but I didn't think spinal doctors would do surgery on degeneration, don't they consider that a normal part of aging?

I have degeneration and disc narrowing in my neck. Could that be why it hurts so much?

I also have that wonderful myofacial pain.

 
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:29 AM   #6
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Re: Sciatic nerve or hip issues? Trouble walking and sitting..

Spine surgery is done all the time for degenerative disc disease, especially when there is herniation of the disc or associated arthritic bone spurs pressing on the nerves. There can also be "slippage" of one vertebrae over the other, leading to increased pain and instability of the spine. I think an MRI would be very helpful and at least a consult with a surgeon. The other thing that can cause similar pain is arthritis in the sacroiliac joints in the buttocks. These can often be helped by SI steroid injections. Surgery if needed is no picnic, but at least there is an end to the pain, or a significant reduction.

 
Old 08-20-2012, 02:35 AM   #7
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Re: Sciatic nerve or hip issues? Trouble walking and sitting..

When I saw one of my spine specialists a few years ago, at the beginning of this Spinal-Journey, I asked, "Why do my hips hurt so bad?" He said, "Lady, those aren't your hips! Those are you nerves! It's stemming from your back. Your hips are fine." I felt like a real dumb-butt. However, it does feel like it is right at that hip-site. If you've never had X-rays or a CT, I would get one just to get a real Dx. I hope you feel better!

 
Old 08-29-2012, 11:11 AM   #8
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Re: Sciatic nerve or hip issues? Trouble walking and sitting..

Hi,
I too have had major hip pain for 2 years. MRI of hips done - all fine. Had 'targeted retrotrochanteric infiltrations', i.e. lots of painful injections and still no relief. Physio done. Surgery on L4/L5 with DIAM spacer, but still can't sleep on right side due to hip pain. Post op had more physio, medication and Pinformis exercises done. Where do I go from here? Neurosurgeon suggested that it is all in my head and I should attend pain clinic
Suggestions?

 
Old 08-29-2012, 08:40 PM   #9
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Re: Sciatic nerve or hip issues? Trouble walking and sitting..

Hi there -- welcome!

Don't let anyone make you think that you are the problem! You are the PATIENT. You have a problem: pain in your hip. Those things being said, you might have good luck with the pain clinic. You might need another set of eyes looking for the source of your pain. It could be a malfunctioning nerve; there could be tissue damage in or around your joint. If you had previous damage at L4-L5, the nerve leading to your hip joint might be inflammed. I would accept the referral to another doctor, since this one seems dismissive of your situation.

 
Old 08-30-2012, 01:18 AM   #10
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Re: Sciatic nerve or hip issues? Trouble walking and sitting..

many thanks for your informative reply. I too am of the option it is root nerve damage. I will go back to the man and see where it gets me!
I have additional C4/C5 problems, so will open a new thread on those I suppose?
Thanks!

 
Old 08-30-2012, 01:20 AM   #11
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Re: Sciatic nerve or hip issues? Trouble walking and sitting..

many thanks for your informative reply. I too am of the option it is root nerve damage. I will go back to the man and see where it gets me!
I also heard that an EMG Nerve Test of my hip and gluteus muscle may identify nerve damage?

 
Old 09-02-2012, 11:22 PM   #12
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Re: Sciatic nerve or hip issues? Trouble walking and sitting..

EMG studies are no fun, but they can be very helpful in pinpointing whether you have nerve root irritation. Much better to have an uncomfortable test than to risk having a surgery which doesn't fix your pain!

 
Old 10-11-2012, 07:01 PM   #13
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Re: Sciatic nerve or hip issues? Trouble walking and sitting..

I have exactly what you describe and, now that it's become more severe, I know it's not hip, muscle, or SI joint. It's something pressing on a nerve root. The pain starts in the left lower back, runs down and along the top of the buttock area and over down my left leg. I'm also getting tingling, etc. in my left foot now. Can't wait to see the spine doctor next week, as I want EMG studies also.

 
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