View Full Version : Can a pinched nerve "unpinch" itself or does it only get worse?

06-02-2005, 05:26 PM
Hi Everyone. Thanks for any help you can give me!

Does a pinched nerve always/ usually lead to sciatica? What are the chances of it getting better on its own? Has anyone pinched a nerve that healed after rest, relaxation and ice or heat?

Here is my short story: I was in an intense yoga/ core class that I frequent regularly and I felt something go badly wrong during an ab move. I couldn't finish the class and was in intense pain in my lower back. I also felt like I couldn't sit on my butt -- almost like I had a broken tailbone. The pain was so strong it brought tears to my eyes and I couldn't sit or stand comfortably.

About thirty minutes later my right butt cheek got completely numb, and parts of my right leg as well. At the same time I've had shooting pains down my leg.

I went to my doctor and she told me it is a pinched nerve and to avoid sitting or standing for long periods or aggravating it in any way for the next week or so. If it doesn't get better we will get an MRI. She also mentioned possible sciatica, which after researching I am now deeply afraid of. Of course I'm really hoping that it just gets better. I've had chronic back pain for the past 5 years (I'm 34), but this is far worse.

Can sciatica come on this quickly?
What is my best course of action?
Can I still go to Core/ Yoga/ Pilates?

06-02-2005, 05:35 PM
Hi....to answer your first question.. .Yes sciatica can come on that quickly....second it sounds like you might have herniated a disc... but the only way you are going to know that is to have the MRI...and as long as you are having the severe pain and such, and before you find out what is causing the pain I would not go to the yoga class...could do more harm.....But if you have had chronic back pain for the last 5 years, there is somthing causing it and you need to get to the bottom of it... I would suggest you go ahead with the MRI.... better safe then sorry, because if it is a nerve impingement, from a herniated disc, the longer you wait the more damage it will cause...

Good Luck to ya, let us know what you find out.


06-03-2005, 07:17 AM
Please read Dr. John E. Sarno's book, "Healing Back Pain". I had chronic back, hip and leg pain for over 3 years and his theory solved my problem.

06-03-2005, 01:37 PM

The pain your describing IS Sciatica and also could indeed be a herniation as TRose & QuietCook indicated.

I agree w/your Dr ~ you should have an MRI if you take it easy and avoid prolonged standing/sitting etc..and still have pain. More importantly if the pain increases while you do abide to these restrictions.

Did you ask the Dr about continuing the yoga and other things? I wouldn't, just to be safe. Just take things easy - try some ice - stay off your feet.

we'll all hope it's nothing too serious

06-03-2005, 06:03 PM
Hi everyone,

I am pretty new to this site and although I have been posting in so many places I still havenít done it here yet. I have been checking in though.
I am with Quietcook 100% on this one. Donít manage this or guess it on your own. Be careful!!! I am currently 41 and never had back problems before. Then I had an auto accident and my back was feeling a little bad afterwards. On the advice of a friend I started seeing a Chiropractor. In time I started getting worse so I quit seeing him. Next thing I know I would move or lift something and POP. A sound like when those guys crack you in the office. Another week or 2 and then POP again. Every time the pains were more severe and enormous shocks to my nervous system. I have a very good tolerance for pain from past traumas but NEVER anything like this. I could not catch my breath. I almost suffocated. If I owned a gun I may have used it at them moments wishing I had one. I knew there were pinched nerves and damage. I would swell from my rib cage afterwards. Pins and needles and all. Every time told myself I would get better wile sleeping in recliners for weeks. I assumed the Chiro messed me up by cracking me too much and now nothing stayed in place any more. I found ways to get used to it and manage the pain. That was until I coughed or sneezed or whatever again and then it cycled all over again with another POP. Next thing I know people are asking me if Iím shrinking. I go back to my doc who I seen 2 years earlier and they have me get on the scale and freak out because I lost 4 Ĺ inches in those 2 years. Seems like a lot for just discs hu? They sent me for a new MRI next. They compared that to the one from 2 years ago too. The new report found that I had compression fractures to 10 vertebrae all missing 40 to 50% throughout the thoric and lumbar regions resulting in multiple pinched root nerves at the spine. To those of you who do not know what a compression bone fracture is. Itís a fracture caused by severe Osteoporosis. It doesnít fracture like normal. It blows and crumbles into powder as if you just put a lot of weight or pressure on a salad crouton or dried bread. I asked for my films and I could not believe it. The discs seem possibly to be in tact but they fell into the voids of my bones that collapsed like a caved in roof. People say to me oh you should go get that fixed with fusion. They do it all the time. I say, ďThey canít fuse rotted wood with more nailsĒ. Next they had to find a cause for a 41 year old male to have worse bone density than a 90 year old. I went thru tons of tests and finally it turned out to be a rare disease that most doctors and labs donít know about, with no research being done on and no cure. It normally can affect bone and in most people it attacks their vital organs too. I am now being treated with a number of drugs and chemo. I like Texas will be losing my insurance soon because I lost my job and cant find anyone in need of me with my health condition and lifting restrictions. I donít have to tell any of you what happens if I loose the other 50% of one of them vertebrae. If I find work I will have to deal with the pre existing thing. My meds alone with chemo average $2,300 a month. Every 6 months to a year I will need a new bone marrow biopsy, MRIís, CATís and bone density tests. Blood work is done monthly. All of these and the meds are for life. Not to mention possibly repairing my back if that's ever possible. Iím so sorry for rambling.

The point I was trying to make here. Stop messing around. Find answers and get them soon. The longer you weight or try to manage it the more damage you may be doing to it or other parts of your body. I should have been more persistant.
Good luck and best wishes to all of you.


06-03-2005, 08:07 PM

Sorry you are having such a time. Not quite sure what the chemo is for, but do want to comment regarding fusing cumbling bones. I've had four successful fusion surgeries and have osteoporsis badly. When I was in my early 30's and had crushed an arm, I was told my bones were more than 80 then. I'm now 59, and my back started collapsing after I retired at 11 years ago, even though I had never ever had an indication of any back trouble. My last fusion was 10 levels done six months ago today!!! Celebration time for me.

In case you are no familiar with BMP2, that is why fusions can now help those of us with such terrible bones. It is mixed with some of our ground bone (usually from laminectomy done at the time of fusion) soaked into sponges which are then placed within the cages used to space our vertebrae, which are then held in place with the rods and screws when there are multiple levels fused. In my cases of 3 level fusions, the hardware came out once it gave me pain after about a year. That was because with increased movement of my body, the muscles rubbed over the screws. That will not be the case with my 10 levels fused in the lower thoracic, the lumbar and the sacral areas. That massive amount of hardware will remain in since without the ability to bend the muscles will not be moving over the screws.

In spite of all the other health problems, due to the wonderful skills of my spine specialist, I've been going strong and back out working in my little acre and multiple flower beds for three months. Like you, I've lost a little more than 4 inches of my heights since these back problems began, but heck, so long as I can walk, live relatively pain free or low levels of pain compared to the previous two years, I feel so blessed. Perhaps you might want to talk with your spine specialist (I would not recommend someone like us with multiple levels collapsed using either a general ortho or general neuro who is not a spine specialist who does only spines and has completed a spine fellowship) about BMP and whether it would allow you to be fused. A spine specialist not only has tons more experience and is up on the latest techniques, but they are dedicated to one area rather than spending only 15-20 percent of their efforts on the area. I can tell you I had been under the care of ortho and neuro surgeons and there is a world of difference with my ortho spine specialist. The others were good and I'm not putting their profession down, but you want the absolute best expert for a back that is as messed up as ours.

Best wishes.

06-04-2005, 08:20 AM
Thank you so much for your advice and input. I am standing by (well, lying by) to see what happens, then will go back to the doctor in one week. It's been three days now and I'm not feeling any better at all. Last night I couldn't sleep. I guess I'll see if it gets worse and go from here.

Is sciatica a lifelong problem, or is it different for everybody? Can one have "episodes" of it and then return to normal activity?

06-04-2005, 11:11 AM

sciatica need not be a lifetime problem. Everyone is different and there are many things and ways you can come to have sciatica.

I had it for years and while I still have numerous issues and problems I'm dealing with, I no longer have sciatica. :)

hope your feel better soon

06-04-2005, 11:29 PM

Thank you soooooo much for your positive encouragement!!!! You are enlightening for sure and a great source for support. I am unsure your procedure is acceptable for me either. Unfortunately my disease is still attacking my bones and back now. They are using the chemo to try to reduce and hold at bay this thing to my bones only. Another bad thing with this disease is that most anesthetics can be fatal, so surgery for anything is used as a last resort. The plan for now if in time everything goes well is to build new bone mass first. Then something about a new microscopic treatment with spreading vertebrae filling mini balloons on either side of the cord. Then injecting acrylic cement to areas of missing bone. When it dyes they deflate the balloons and let it back down on the new plastic filling??? Now thereís a question for you. Has anyone heard of or had this procedure done????

Thanks for the GREAT news about your success Qcook!!!!

06-05-2005, 12:36 AM
John, :wave:

Heard of kyphoplasty and read about the procedure in my reasearch about BMP before it was approved. Thank goodness have not had the need for it, and don't regret that I have not. Thankfully my osteoporsis has improved with Fosamax and other meds, - at least before my last fusion. That too is something that had to be stopped during the time BMP2 cures.

John, sure hope some areas turn more positive for you in the near future. Do understand how totally frustrating it can be to have a health issue which is not very well know. Just don't let news keep you from researching and asking questions, and don't let it keep you down on those gloomy days. We are our own best advocate.

Notice also you said you would be without coverage in the future. Hope you have spoken with a good mal-practice and injury attorney. If your condition was present and the chiro caused your condition to be worse, and especially if it was seen on the x-rays and they said nothing, thereby keeping you from seeking appropriate care, you may have a claim which at least could insure that you get the specialize medical care you will need. That's the one good thing about attorney's handling that type claim - and you do want the best known/successful one you can find, is that you don't have to shell out $$$ as they don't get anything until you do. Even then, most will negotiate and take a lesser percentage if yo aren't willing to settle for an amount which might be pushed at any arbitration. Worth looking into if you have not already done so.

Best wishes and do let us know how things are progressing for you.