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Old 08-16-2009, 06:56 PM   #1
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Stopping "electric shock pain" - sciatica

I damaged a lumbar disc last year which resulted in severe sciatic nerve damage. I couldn't walk for over a week, and was in severe pain for many months.

Now a year later, my back area feel fairly good most of the time but I have strange muscle spasms in my lower leg and foot as well as "electric shock" pains in my foot. I can walk OK, and for the most part I am getting better all around, but I really dread the electric shock pain, and the muscle spasms seen to happen mostly at night and really screw up a good night's sleep.

So after six months of not taking any drugs, I'm scheduled to see my Doctor and I want to know about and if there are drugs that address these kinds of problems with low enough side-effects so an not to cancel out their benefits.

Of course I liked Vicodin but I don't know if it really does anything about electric shock pains. I do know that I had them when I was taking it - but I didn't care as much about the pain. I know I never had these muscle spasms while I was taking Vicodin, but I still take Tylenol and it does not stop them.

So, how bad is Vicodin or is there a better drug for night spasms and electric shock pain?

Last edited by burpee; 08-16-2009 at 06:57 PM.

 
Old 08-17-2009, 09:27 AM   #2
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Re: Stopping "electric shock pain" - sciatica

i am just wondering what the overall extent of that damaged disc was back then? did you actually have an MRI done when it presented itself before? if so, just what did it state specifically about that involved area? any large hernations or anything that was close to or actually impinging your spinal cord to ANY degree then? have you had a more recent MRI done just to check actual progression of that area up to its current status? from what you are describing here as symptoms,i am just ondering if whatever you did have going on in there has progressed to the point where it is actually in some way now impacting your spinal cord itself. you can have what you have going on from certain types of spinal issues with specific nerve involvement, but when you start having problems at the ankle along with actual spastcity too, well that just really indicates that need to recheck the area with a follow up type of comparritive MRI. there is aways a rsik of spinal cord involvment when dealing with alot of different types of spinal issues that just needs monitoring if nothing was intervened upon when it first popped in.

once you can find out just what is actually possibly generating your symptoms here with MRI,that would really help in finding the best possible meds to help with the overall pain and other symptoms too, ya know what i mean? like there IS a big difference between having basic muscle spasms from a firing angry nerve within the spinal column vs direct compression upon the actual cord itself which would also create alot of hyper reflexes along with is own type of real spasticity too.

just what occurs with regards to the involved leg when one of those tiny little hammers is actually tapped below that knee cap? you can try this yourself just using the heavy end of a butter knife? take that heavy end and simply tap right under the knee cap til you get a response. see how really 'brisk' or fast that kick out is. it should normally be no more than a mere low 'bounce out" from its posistion. if it actually "kicks out" faster than that, you do have whats called hyperreflexia which would indicate your actual cord is being impacted in some way.

just getting that new MRI really does need to be one here just so you know what may be happening in there that simply has progressed to this over time. and like i already mentioned, just knowing what the real true generators really are would help tons in just getting the more 'appropriate' types of meds rxed geared for those types of symptoms/findings. given what sounds like newer symptoms here than before,that just really does up that ned for MRI right now. hopefully your doc can do this soon for you so you just know what is really going on in there right now. please let me know what you find out burpee, Marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
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9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:58 PM   #3
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Re: Stopping "electric shock pain" - sciatica

I'm not sure narcotics would really help you. Vicodin is such a short-acting drug that you probably wouldn't get through the entire night without having to take another dose. I'd ask your doctor about Cymbalta - it's been approved for neuropathic pain, which sounds like that is what you're experiencing. I'd go the non-narcotic route first and see if you can get by. If not, then you can always move up to the bigger guns.

 
Old 08-19-2009, 03:31 PM   #4
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Re: Stopping "electric shock pain" - sciatica

I have lower lumbar problems too that resulted in PLIF L4-S1. About a year later I started experiencing the electric shocks in my leg-calf area, and foot. It would spasm, shoot pain and cause my foot to turn in until it passed. Very painful and strange to say the least. I have tried many different medications to try and resolve it along with massage therapy etc. It only really affected me when I would sit a certain way or lying down. My PM doc tried me on SOMA at night and after 2 or 3 nights it went away! I only get it once or twice a month now and only take the SOMA at night. It is a form of muscle relaxer but did not cause me any side affects because I only take it at night. It doesn't cause me to sleep more, gain weight, dizziness nothing other than it relaxes my leg and that alone doesn't keep me up or wake me from a sound sleep. Deep tissue massages help, but you would have to get them often to keep it working. Do get it checked out though. My right leg went numb from the knee down through my toes a few months after my surgery and no one seemed to care even though everywhere you read indicates it is a medical emergency so those shocks are telling you something.

Good luck!
Lisa

 
Old 09-16-2009, 10:08 PM   #5
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Re: Stopping "electric shock pain" - sciatica

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveseavy View Post
I'm not sure narcotics would really help you. Vicodin is such a short-acting drug that you probably wouldn't get through the entire night without having to take another dose. I'd ask your doctor about Cymbalta - it's been approved for neuropathic pain, which sounds like that is what you're experiencing. I'd go the non-narcotic route first and see if you can get by. If not, then you can always move up to the bigger guns.
I was severely shocked by electricity and have a lot of nerve damage as well as a compressed disc L4 - L5. I have been on oxycontin, oxycodone and methadone for pain management. None of the narcotics really helped with the intense leg pains (especially bad at night). I quit taking all the narcotics (which is a pain of it's own) I was also taking Gabapentin/Neurotin for nerve pains (which also did not help. I've been trying Cymbalta now for about 2 months. It has helped me sleep at night, but the pain is still there - it just makes you so tired you fall asleep anyway. My experience with Cymbalta is the side effects are worse than the benefits. I experience severe headaches, flu like symptom, dizzyness and worst of all i just feel like a zombie all day.

In general I would try to stay away from long term use of narcotics if possible and I can't say that Cymbalta is all claims to be either.

Good luck on your recovery!

 
Old 09-17-2009, 06:42 PM   #6
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Re: Stopping "electric shock pain" - sciatica

Amitriptyline or Nortriptyline are both highly regarded for neuropathic pain..... nortriptyline has milder side effects

 
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Old 06-24-2010, 02:39 PM   #7
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Re: Stopping "electric shock pain" - sciatica

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy in AU View Post
Amitriptyline or Nortriptyline are both highly regarded for neuropathic pain..... nortriptyline has milder side effects
I just thought I'd stop in and "update this thread for anyone in similar situations.

I had started this thread over 10 months ago, and now after getting better for a long time I think I exercised too hard (bike riding) and am currently royally screwed.

I am having severe electric shocks in my foot, and I am always uncomfortable while sitting but my back doesn't really "hurt." It is now 26 months after the original acute symptoms.

I am having the worst electric shocks to date. No fun. Should I try anti-depressants?

 
Old 06-25-2010, 07:26 AM   #8
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Re: Stopping "electric shock pain" - sciatica

Have you tried either Neurontin, Topomax or Lyrica? All of these are used to treat nerve pain-which your eletrical shocks are. Cymbalta is half anti-depressant half nerve pain meds, so that is another choice. Be aware that all of them have some side effects. It's up to you to decide if the meds are worth the side effects - or you may have none!

 
Old 06-26-2010, 10:05 AM   #9
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Re: Stopping "electric shock pain" - sciatica

just wondering here if you ever DID get that comparritive MRI done to simply see how that area is NOW being impacted? alot of your symptoms just really DO need to be checked out with a good contrasted MRI right now just to hopefully 'se' how deep this goes as far as the spinal cord possibility and how ANY of the actual spinal nerves may be impacted as well? finding that real underlying generator of any real ongoing sym,ptoms esp when they also involve any levels of real pain just makes finding the very BEST types of meds to really hit it that much easier. but if i had what you have been experiencing i would definitely be getting that more updated MRI at this point, and make certain they use contrast along with YOU actually obtaining a copy of that report too. you should have all copies of any and all testing that ever gets done on you just so YOU even have them to read thru yourself and as just part of your own ongoing medical history too? and MANY esp specialists simply do NOT, for some sick reason, always even tell us what is ALL included in any given MRI or other types of 'scans" reports. this IS the number one reason i always obtain all my own copies of everything that has ever been testing or scanned on me since all my crap hit the fan in 2001 with my very ffirst ever MRI done on my c spine.

but if that one MRI has not yet been done on that area, please do it now just so YOU know what ARE the bigger issues and more importantly to see if ANYTHING at all is actually even impacting your cord with the ongoing types of symptoms you have simply been having/showing here too. just knowing the "what' in what is creating our pain is soo much better in gearing the 'right' med for the right generator too. and/or whether or not actual surgical intervention may also be needed to simply decompress an area that is impacting either direct nerve or cord. i do hope they can find out pretty easily upon MRI just what the main issues actually are that have been torturing you all this time and relieve it somehow too. good luck, marcia
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:40 PM   #10
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Re: Stopping "electric shock pain" - sciatica

Take it from a nurse that had spine surgery and still has night spasms ans severe pain,Vicodin will not relieve the pain. I take 2 Amerix 4 hours before going to sleep and it helps some. You have to elevate you legs once in a while

 
Old 06-28-2010, 04:28 PM   #11
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Re: Stopping "electric shock pain" - sciatica

Thanks for the attention - when I posted - I was indeed having a shockingly bad day.

I guess I should note I have taken other drugs and most recently tried mega-dosing Magnesium. All for naught.

I never have had a MRI - no insurance - out of a job - dwindling 401......

Bottom line - my situation (sciatic nerve relapse) is caused by activity - if I sit still and never do anything I'll be OK. It was riding a bicycle got mt this last time.

My electric shock went down to almost nothing now. I'm just stiff and have a gimpy leg and weird foot and toe.

I assume my lumbar area will continue to deteriorate, I can see why spinal fusion is a growth business.

 
Old 06-29-2010, 12:22 AM   #12
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Re: Stopping "electric shock pain" - sciatica

Just a question here. I was wondering what the MRI contrast is. I have had a CT scan with an injection that showed them the blood stream in my lungs when I was in hospital on oxygen for a chest infection? But haven't had any different MRI. Thanks. Allan.
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25-Nov-2010: ALIF fusion L5-S1. 9 years of Chronic lower back pain. Nearly 18 months of pain across my upper pelvis, through my butt and down my left leg into my foot. Sciatica relieved by surgery.

 
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