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  • Inversion table for sciatica?

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    Old 09-08-2015, 04:48 PM   #1
    d97c
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    Inversion table for sciatica?

    I have "impingement of L5 nerve" on MRI. (Prolapsed disc).It doesn't hurt in my back itself but does hurt both butt cheeks and goes down right leg (back of leg) to knee. Especially it really hurts in the butt when I bend over at the waist and try to pick something up..like off a bed or something.and then also standing up from a sitting position. I have a friend who swears by use of the inversion table to separate the disc and help disc bulge "reabsorb."
    1. Can the disc material reabsorb and get less prominent over time?
    2. is the inversion table used by anyone here with success? (any recommendations?)
    3. Has anyone used Tramadol?

     
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    Old 09-08-2015, 04:52 PM   #2
    d97c
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    Re: Inversion table for sciatica?

    Here is what my MRI said:
    L3-4
    There is a minimal concentric disc bulge with a new superimposed small broad based right paracentral disc protrusion that does not cause nerve root impingement. Facet arthropathy is minimal . There is no spinal canal stenosis. No significant neural foraminal stenosis is seen
    L4-5.. There is a mild concentric disc bulge with a superimposed small central disc protrusion. There is suggestion of a crescentric band of overlying extruded disc material. This measures 14x3x7 mm and there is indentation of the left ventral aspect of the thecal sac with probable impingement upon the descending left L5 nerve root. The lateral recesses are narrowed and spinal canal stenosis is moderate to severe with contribution from severe bilateral facet arthropathy and moderate ligamentum flavum thickening. Fluid is noted in the facet joints and there are bilateral extraspinal facet synovial cysts inferiorly. There is mild right and mile to moderate left neural foraminal stenosis.
    L5-S1--There is minimal concentric disc bulge. Bilateral facet arthropathy is moderate to severe. No spinal canal stenosis is demonstrated. Proximal right neural foraminal stenosis is minimal...


    Comments:??

     
    Old 09-09-2015, 09:29 AM   #3
    teteri66
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    Re: Inversion table for sciatica?

    Some people swear by an inversion table. In fact, when I first began to be bothered with sciatic pain, I took advice I had read online and bought one. It sat in the box in my front hall for about five years, unopened! After buying it, I learned my problems were a bit more complicated and simply trying to create space between the vertebrae was not going to resolve them.

    Unfortunately I do not think it will do much for your issues either. Generally speaking, it probably won't hurt things unless you have some instability in a spinal segment. I would suggest trying one before buying one!

    Now to your MRI....first, to help you understand an MRI, there are specific words that function as a ranking system to help a doctor determine just how bad something is. In the spine they are: minimal, mild, moderate and severe. Generally speaking, if something is deemed to be minimal or mild, it will be noted but overlooked. Severe is bordering on "it cannot get too much worse" and moderate can go either way....but will be followed and probably treated where possible.

    if you look to see where the "severe" is noted, you can begin to identify what is causing your issues. Let me digress again by mentioning that it is a mistake to depend too much on the MRI for diagnosis. Keep in mind that it is just one piece of the diagnostic puzzle. The spine specialist will correlate its findings to what the doctor finds upon physical exam, a basic neurological exam and after listening to your description of symptoms and how they affect your everyday activities.

    At all three levels, L3-S1, there are small disc bulges. In addition, at L4-5, it appears that some disc material has oozed out of the disc and is pressing into the thecal sac which encompasses the nerves of the central canal on the left side. This is possibly impacting the L5 nerve on the left.

    Two more terms: stenosis and facet arthropathy. The literal translation of stenosis is "narrowing." In the spine there are two areas where stenosis occurs: one is in the central canal; the other is in the foramina, which is an opening located at each vertebral level where a spinal nerve exits the spine and goes out to innervate a part of the body. The lateral recess is a tiny canal that connects the disc to the foramina which frequently gets blocked when a disc herniates. Each has limited space so when narrowing occurs, the nerve is affected ("pinched.")

    The facet joint is a synovial joint located in pairs at each vertebral level. They are subject to arthritic change just like the knee, hip, ankle, etc. if you read up on "degenerative disc disease" you will see that each spinal segment includes a pair of vertebrae separated by the intervertebral disc, ringed by the two facet joints, one on either side. These joints allow the spine to bend and twist but keep us from bending too far.

    Once the disc begins to break down, there are a series of cascading events that tend to occur...one of these being changes to the facet joints. It is this facet joint arthritis that affects so many people and causes lower back pain in so many people. As the discs flatten or dry out or bulge, the facet joint fights to maintain the segment's stability and functioning. Sometimes this results in the joint enlarging. Sometimes the cartilage wears away and stiffens....you will see that, particularly at L4-5, you have a series of things going on....including severe facet arthropathy, stenosis in both left and right foramen and severe narrowing in the central canal. Speaking from experience, this central canal stenosis at this level often results in intense sciatic pain. You can see how no amount of hanging upside down is going to counteract this narrowing. In addition, there are some cysts that are contributing to this central canal stenosis.

    You will note that there is moderate to severe facet arthropathy at L5-S1 too.

    There is a book I found helpful to understanding the workings of the spine. It includes some useful exercises that will help you more than an inversion table....The Back Sufferer's Bible by Sarah Key.

    Have you made an appointment with a spine specialist? This can be an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon whose practice is limited to issues of the neck and back. ( you don't want an ortho who also does knee or hip replacements, or a brain surgeon!!). These two specialties are the best place to go for an accurate diagnosis and plan for treatment. It does not mean you will have surgery!

    Good luck. I hope you can find some satisfactory answers to your issues.

     
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    Old 09-11-2015, 07:34 PM   #4
    d97c
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    Re: Inversion table for sciatica?

    thanks so much for the kind reply !!
    I saw an ortho doc today...a person I know......
    He wants to do three epidural steroid injections in the lumbar spine
    He also wants me to do PT for a month.
    IS IT OK TO DO EPIDURALS AND ALSO GET PT AT THE SAME TIME??

     
    Old 09-11-2015, 09:46 PM   #5
    teteri66
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    Re: Inversion table for sciatica?

    Yes but I would suggest you time things carefully. "Most" doctors will not tell you this, but try to stay off your feet for 72 hours after each injection. Doctors say it is OK to resume normal activity the day after the injection. While that is true, it is not optimal. When you go through all the trouble and expense of getting the epidural steroid injection (ESI) you might as well maximize the chances of it working, right?

    Unlike when a knee is injected, for example, where the steroid goes into a joint capsule and is contained, the ESI is floated into an area near the point where there is nerve compression. There is nothing to hold it into place so it bathes the area. If you remain lying down, it will stay in place longer. If you move around a lot, the heart pumps harder, everything in the body works harder and the medication dissipates more quickly.....I had many injections prior to my surgeries, from several different doctors. Mostly they did nothing for my issues...and provided no relief. My last doctor insisted his patients stay off their feet for three full days post injection, which is about the length of time the steroid "works." He made me a believer in this 3 day rule. And his patients got better responses, too.

    Good luck. Hope this works for you.

     
    Old 09-12-2015, 09:59 AM   #6
    d97c
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    Re: Inversion table for sciatica?

    Id like to just finally ask you---I was told many years ago after I had a CT scan for abdominal issue, and had some itching and bumps on my arm, that I probably have an allergy to CT scan dye. I will check with the doc but to your knowledge, can the anesthesiologist who does this (she's done them for 20 years) still give a good epidural shot without the dye??
    Thanks and I appreciate it

     
    Old 09-12-2015, 08:27 PM   #7
    teteri66
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    Re: Inversion table for sciatica?

    I need to revise what I said in an earlier post about doing physical therapy. As far as I know, doctors usually recommend doing the epidural injections first and after recovering from them, begin the physical therapy.

    First, you want to have the ESIs done under fluoroscopy which is "live" x-ray. The contrast is used to help guide the placement of the needle. Even if the doctor has tons of experience, people are built differently. I really don't know if it can be done effectively without the dye. You will need to ask your doctor! I believe the amount of dye is less than when you have CT scan and it is injected locally rather than into a vein.

     
    Old 09-13-2015, 09:16 PM   #8
    chrisod
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    Re: Inversion table for sciatica?

    I have been wondering about buying one of those things

     
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