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    Old 07-27-2013, 03:31 AM   #1
    Adam325
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    Unhappy How to deal with sciatica

    Hello everyone, this is my first post after a few weeks of reading stories looking for revelutionary cures to sciatica but it seems there is none I am 20, extrememly sporty, active and fit and have a physically demanding job involving regular bending,walking with items(heavy,light,bulky),pulling/pushing cages. I began experiencing pain about 5 months ago.At first it was extrememly mild and confined to my lower back.I continued to play football thinking it was stiffness.1 day during a game the pain became unbearable and i had to come off and have since not played.I couldnt bend over and lost all flexibility in my lower back.After a weeks rest I had to return to work but the pain had not subsided.I saw my family doc who prescribed anti inflams and painkillers for 2 weeks which helped but only masked the pain.I saw a physiotherapist who did dry needling,massage and said the problem was my hamstrings and not likely a disc problem which was a huge relief.But now it has been 3 months since i have seen anybody about it as it was cost consuming and seemed to be going nowhere.The pain is bearable except for the days when i have to work.After about 2 hours of walking it becomes extrememly uncomfortable.There is an intense pain down throughout my right leg,originating from lower back(pelvic region).There is numbness at times,muscle weakness which makes me limp.I do stretch my hamstrings now which i couldnt originally because the pain was too much.I know the piriformis muscle is tight but i can't stretch it because the pain is too intense.I can't afford any more doctors/physios and im sick to the teeth of having to take painkillers. I really need to get this sorted,it makes me quite upset dealing with this and it is extrememly restricting not to mention I may lose my job if i continue to be unable to function at 100%. I need help please and quick .

     
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    Old 07-27-2013, 01:50 PM   #2
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    Re: How to deal with sciatica

    Welcome to the board.

    I can sympathize with your issues, having dealt with sciatic pain for about six years, and only having it resolve after having three lumbar surgeries.

    I wonder if there is any ailment other than sciatica that attracts so many offers on the internet of products, pills, books etc. as there are to resolve sciatic pain?
    Unfortunately I am not aware of a single one that actually helps.

    Resolution all depends on the cause of your sciatic pain. Sometimes anti-inflammatories allow tissue to reduce in size just enough that it moves off the nerve. Ice or cold gel packs used often can be helpful. Sometimes alternating cold with heat helps.

    If sciatica is a result of a herniated lower lumbar disc, sometimes it is necessary to have a series of epidural steroid injections, or even surgery if the disc pressing on the nerve doesn't respond to conservative treatments.

    I wish I had a magic answer for you, but so far, no one has been able to find one.

    You may find it necessary to find a less physically demanding line of work.

    Good luck.

     
    Old 07-27-2013, 05:10 PM   #3
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    Re: How to deal with sciatica

    Not a magic bullet by any means, but when the pain gets really bad for me the only thing that helps even a little bit is a hot pack. Have you tried chiropractic? Also the epidurals can help some too, but they are very expensive if you do not have insurance.

     
    Old 07-27-2013, 07:27 PM   #4
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    What helped me most is water therapy or walking in a pool. That was years ago but that is all that helped.

     
    Old 07-28-2013, 07:05 AM   #5
    N00BJEFF
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    Re: How to deal with sciatica

    Adam, I'm really sorry you have this pain. I am dealing with the same thing. Have been for 18 months. I have a herniated disc at L5 S1. The pain is unbearable at times and I feel completely helpless. I have pain/pressure at my low back, my hip and butt feels like someone beat it with a sledge hammer then took a knife and shoved it into my hip joint, radiating pain down my left leg that feels like my hamstring is being played like a banjo string that's about to snap, my calf feels like an extreme charlie horse that also feels like someone took a baseball bat to it and my foot tingles and sometimes has pins and needles. So that's a little back story to my issue. So I can give you what I do to "help" it, if there even is such a thing. I go thru the Veterans Affairs insurance and my information may be different than many others.

    Have you had any xrays or MRI? What were the results?

    At first I went to a chiropractor and took Tramadol 50 Mg. The Tramadol was hit and miss and I had to take more than what was prescribed to feel any affect. I saw someone say see a chiropractor. Well I saw a chiro and from my personal experience, it was a bad idea! I felt some relief at first but I truly think it did more damage than good. Once I stopped going, my pain increased 10 fold. So I would say no to a chiropractor, but everyone is different and it may be worth a couple week trial.

    I had massage therapy with electronic stimulation for a few weeks and it felt really good. But if I wasn't in the act of getting the treatment, I was still in pain. So it provided about an hours worth of relief but came right back. And on some days the hour can really make the difference of a really bad day just be a bad day. So if you try it, just be ready for disappointment overall.

    After these didn't work I went to Physical Therapy. I was supposed to go for 6 sessions and be reevaluated to see if it was working and if I would be able to manage it with stretches and exercise. Well at the 2nd session the PT said he had a bad feeling about it helping me. On the 3rd session the PT told me that PT wasn't going to work and I needed to talk to a neurosurgeon. He was able to talk to my primary care doc and get me different medicine other than the Tramadol. I was prescribed Meloxicam 15 Mg. It's an anti-inflammatory. Also Gabapentin 300 Mg. It's a nerve medication. The Meloxicam I can't tell I even take it and the Gabapentin I only took for 2 days since I didn't care for the way it made me feel. But it may help others and alot of sciatica patients get relief from nerve medications. So maybe talk to a doc about it.

    Then the VA sent me to a Physiatrist at a Pain Medicine and Rehab clinic instead of going to a neurosurgeon. After just 15 minutes, that doctor told me that my issue was extreme enough that they would not start any treatment and that they want me to get the ESI shot (epidural steroid injection) and talk to a neurosurgeon. I now have an appointment to look into the shot and possible surgery. Those appointments are on August 23rd. So now I'm just in limbo waiting for help.

    What I do to relieve the pain:
    1. ICE, at least 4-6 times a day and it is only temporary relief
    2. Laying on my stomach in bed. This is the only position I can sleep in
    3. Attempt stretching, the "cobra" stretch feels good but isn't a cure.
    4. Go on ******* and watch sciatica exercises and try them
    5. Research and evaluate your issue and determine what YOU think might work best for you.
    6. Sit as little as possible. It sucks but sometimes theirs no real choice
    7. Take it as easy as possible and remember at every stage of the day use proper posture
    8. Drink LOTS of water!!! Those discs are looking to be saturated with water and healthy blood.

    I hope any of that helps.

    I'm sorry that you are going thru this and there is some really good people and information on this site. I have a thread going called "Need advice on L5 S1 surgery" if you want to see my story and what others have suggested to me. Some info helps and some does not. But I greatly appreciate the individuals that reach out. If you have any questions, just ask!

    What ever doesn't kill us, makes our backs hurt! Always keep your head up and always be looking forward. There is nothing we can't beat. It takes time and patience even though we feel like the world is coming to an end!

    Last edited by Administrator; 07-29-2013 at 12:46 PM.

     
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    Old 07-28-2013, 08:16 AM   #6
    Adam325
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    Re: How to deal with sciatica

    TY all for your replies.Its good to know that people have overcome this.It really is life changing and I hope I can overcome this while I am still young and can go back to doing the things i love.

    To update I havent had an xray or MRI as the PT and GP I saw did'nt recommend it and I figured they know more than I do plus they are very expensive and I cannot afford this and it will be a last resort if it hasnt resolved.Even a trip to the doc for some pres painkillers costs 50 bucks a visit which realy isn't worth my time.

    Its quite unpredictable when it flares up.Somedays I think its going only for it to hit another extreme the day after.Im not sure if this means anything but it is only painful if I lean forward or bend over when my leg is straight.If i kneel on the ground i can bend forward without pain.

    I use to stretch daily from watching videos but I found they actually made it worse and was told if its painful to do the stretch then dont do it.

    Im not sure what the next step to take is.I refuse to take any meds anymore as I lose appetite and they don't have the same effect that they used to.

    I am off on holidays on wednesday for a week so I am going to have to wait until I come back to take the next step.

    I think I will go to a different PT for a diagnosis and take it from there.If after a few sessions the pain isnt subsiding I will go back to my GP and insist on an MRI.My first PT session i was told it doesnt seem like a disc problem which really has messed up my whole recovery.Surgery really isn't an option .

    Again TY for the replies and this horrible sciatica,I wouldnt wish it on anybody.

    Last edited by mod85; 07-28-2013 at 09:09 AM.

     
    Old 07-28-2013, 09:27 AM   #7
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    Re: How to deal with sciatica

    I would also suggest a chiropractor. I had the same thing - no disc problems - due to doing some exercises incorrectly. The pain shooting down my leg brought tears to my eyes it hurt so bad. But my chiro got it sorted out in no time. I'm lucky that mine is also an MD.

     
    Old 07-28-2013, 09:58 AM   #8
    N00BJEFF
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    Re: How to deal with sciatica

    Adam, I see you are Ireland. It might be worth contacting a local hospital to see if there is any government programs or assistance.

    By not knowing thru some form of examination to look at your back in an xray or mri, anyone that see's you wont really know whats actually wrong either. It sucks I know. It took me a couple months to get an mri and my doctor kept telling me nothing was wrong because the xray didnt show anything. Now im close to having surgery! I guess there was something wrong! You would benefit more with an mri as it shows bone and soft tissue, unfortunately it costs more. So until you know forsure all your treatments will be done as a general practice therapy.

    As far as chiropractors go, its worth a trial period. Like I said in my post, I think it did more damage than good. After I stopped going my back is worse than it was when I started. But when I first went, it felt good. I went for 20 sessions and had massage therapy and electro stim at the same time. At the same clinic in fact. A chiropractor manipulates bones. They can do decompression which can help with retracting the herniation back into place. Especially if you catch it early. I did not. If you dont have insurance you can expect about a $50 bill at each visit if not more and maybe sometimes less. For those of us that aren't rich, situations like this can be a real burden. But keep your head up and just remember that you can always talk to someone here that's in or had been in your same situation.

    Last edited by Administrator; 07-29-2013 at 12:48 PM.

     
    Old 07-28-2013, 07:18 PM   #9
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    Re: How to deal with sciatica

    Adam, I agree with others here that you need to leave no stone unturned to get an MRI. I had symptoms much like yours where walking brought on sciatica, and that probably means something is compressing a nerve root whenever you take a step.

    Your case could be like mine, where it was a cyst and a bone spur, and only surgery to get them off the nerve will work; chiropractic care and P.T. could make it worse.

    Or it could be a disc herniation, where P.T. could possibly help if it's minor.

    Or if nothing shows on the MRI, it could be piriformis syndrome, where only rest will help, and some stretching exercises.

    To treat it successfully and get rid of it, you need an MRI and a diagnosis, not a guess by doctors. I put up with that at first and wasted almost 5 years and a lot of money on P.T. etc., getting no better.

     
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