Sciatic nerve pain

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Red_34
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   Posted 10/21/2008 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   
I've always had some sciatic trouble but lately my sciatic nerve has really been bothering me, especially if I sit down.  I get sharp pain radiating down back of the left thigh - sometimes to my ankles.  Once in a while, I will be walking and I get an intense pain in my left leg that makes me stumble because it catches me off guard.  Is there anything a doctor can do for sciatic nerve pain?
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Year-round allergies-Singulair, Zyrtec~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Spinal Stenosis(?)~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections~bulging and herniated discs C5/C6 & C6/C7~3rd epidural injection 9/4, Neurontin and Skelaxin
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PAlady
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   Posted 10/21/2008 1:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Red,
That's a complicated question. I'd say you want to have it assessed by a neurologist ASAP. One thing I do know - the longer you let it go, the more damage that is done to the nerve. The pain you describe might mean either the stenosis or sacroilliotis or disk problems are worsening. I have similar symptoms in my right leg and both feet (numbness & tingling in the feet) which even lumbar fusion didn't help. But again, you want to try to have it assessed as something is getting worse.

PaLady
BTW I have SI joint problems, in addition to the lumbar spine issues. Prolonged sitting is one of the things that's most problematic and causes all my symptoms to increase. And it's so hard for others to understand how "just sitting" can make things worse.

Chartreux
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Date Joined Aug 2006
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   Posted 10/21/2008 3:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Before going to a neurologist, I'd suggest going to a pain management doctor that specializes
with the back, Let them try everything before surgery, cause I've been told by many people
once they've had surgery they've had to continue with surgery.
Good Luck to you...I have stenosis, disc buldges, osteoarthritis all in lower back
S1 on up a couple of levels, feels like the pain you have and sitting can be so hard at times.....
Soft Hugz and keep us posted....
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd, Enlarged Pituitary Gland
******** "We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world" from Helen Keller *********

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********


d2parrotperson
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 320
   Posted 10/21/2008 3:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I recommend a neurologist if for nothing more than a correct dx. You don't have to get an immediate surgery, just a solid dx so you know where you stand.

I have sacroliliitis and stenosis from bulging discs that also press on the SI-1 nerve. I feel alot of the same thing you describe. I am not a surgical candidate at this time. Not sure I ever want to be one. But in my case only, the PT put me in water. Not swimming, but exercise. It made me much worse! It felt like the leg was popping out of the joint in the groin area. Obviously it wasn't, but it would catch me all of a sudden and my knees would come close to buckling it hurt so badly.

Get a dx before anything.
150mg Azathioprine, Lomotil, Iron, Nexium 2/day, Fentanyl patch, Oxycodone, Baclofin
Crohn's, Fibromyalgia, Several bulging discs, Bone spurs, Osteoarthritis, Osteopenia, Reflux, Stenosis, Strictures, Dengenerating facet joints
2 resections
 
Stephanie
When I am weak, then am I strong


Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
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   Posted 10/21/2008 3:47 PM (GMT -7)   
I see my neurologist in the second week of November and I plan on bringing it up then. However, I did mention this to my pmdoc a several months ago (it wasn't bad yet) and he had no answers for me. He thought that maybe it was my sacroiilitis and he gave me 2 steroid injections but it didn't seem to work very well. This pain is new though (because its been consistant instead of sporadic) and I plan on bringing it up to the neurologist when I see him but I thought I would ask you all first because I was talking to my MIL the other day and she has sciatic nerve problems and mentioned that they can't do anything about it. I don't know if what I have is the sciatic or not - though I have a suspicion it is because I've had MRI's of my spine and nothing showed up other then the bulging discs in my neck. Even the sacroiilitis didn't show up on the MRI but when the doc pressed on them I about went thru the roof. So who knows?? :)
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Year-round allergies-Singulair, Zyrtec~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Spinal Stenosis(?)~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections~bulging and herniated discs C5/C6 & C6/C7~3rd epidural injection 9/4, Neurontin and Skelaxin
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PAlady
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   Posted 10/21/2008 4:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Red,
I'm still working with a physical therapist, who has special training and puts my SI joint back in place periodically. Since my back surgery, the ligaments won't stay tightened, however, and that SI joint area gives me more problems than my lower back.

I agree a correct diagnosis - as best as possible - is the place to start, and that's why I suggested a neurologist (not a neurosurgeon), and maybe finding a good PT would be the next step. I also have a stimulator unit at home (somewhat like TENS) and basically heat and all kind of home remedies to help manage the pain. But nothing takes it away. Yet if something is worsening that you can catch now and keep from worsening, that's the way to go.

Let us know how it goes!

PaLady

Chutz
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   Posted 10/21/2008 7:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Red!

You have the same pinched nerve as I do...down the legs and even into the foot at times. Sitting can be unbearable. I've been through a series of steroid injections into the disk area and it didn't really do much for me. But some people do get a lot of relief from them. They shoot it into the area at L5/S1 and bathe the nerve in hopes of settling it down. Doesn't relieve the cause of the 'pinching' but hopefully with ease the symptoms. Short of surgery that's most often what they do...and from talking to a couple of doctors, their recommendations was do NOT do the surgery. May help for a while but after about 2 years the pain returns and often worse. Back surgery is still one of the most challenging and gets the lowest satisfaction rate of any surgery.

Good luck,
Chutzie
Co-Mod Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
~~~
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, collapsed disk, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteo arthritis in spine and other locations.
***************

The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits. Albert Einstein: (1879-1955)


PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 10/21/2008 7:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Yep, Chutzie, I unfortunately learned that the hard way!

PaLady

ladyred
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 10/21/2008 8:33 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello Red,

I just wanted to say for me I have had that pain sence I got in my accident and nothing was helping me at all nothing on the mri or emg but they suggested that I do PT for 2 weeks everyday with ultrasound heat therapy and I must say it didnt help at all with my lower back pain but it did help with the sciatic alot.  It didnt take all the pain away but it did help relieve A good bit of it.

Everyone is differnt and you never know unless you try it out for yourself on what will work and what wont. 

Good luck of what ever you decide and I hope you get some relief

Lara

 


Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23427
   Posted 10/22/2008 5:15 AM (GMT -7)   
That's how my sciatic nerve became aggravated - by a car accident 13 years ago along with all my other back and neck issues. I still get so angry when I think about that! Drunk drivers grrrr!

I don't plan on any type of surgery anytime soon if I can help it! I know about the failure rates of back surgery and I don't even want to go there because the pain is not unbearable yet. But I do have a HIGH pain threshold though :) I'm just afraid that by NOT doing anything that it is going to cause irreversible damage and that is what I DON'T want. I was thinking - I am off Neurontin now - can that help alleviate Sciatic nerve pain?
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Year-round allergies-Singulair, Zyrtec~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Spinal Stenosis(?)~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections~bulging and herniated discs C5/C6 & C6/C7~3rd epidural injection 9/4, Neurontin and Skelaxin
To help Healingwell - click here: DONATE
 
 
 
 

 
 


PAlady
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Date Joined Nov 2007
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   Posted 10/22/2008 6:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, Red, the neurontin can help with nerve pain of all types. I take neurontin and it helps (although doesn't completely alleviate) with the neuropathy in my feet, but also with the nerve pain in my butt. However, it doesn't cover all the nerve pain. I need percocet with it, unfortunately.

You're right about not wanting to wait if a nerve is being injured - if there's something that can be done. For too many of us, sadly, it's just something we have to manage. And I suspect it gets worse as we age, like lots of other stuff!

PaLady

d2parrotperson
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 320
   Posted 10/22/2008 8:44 AM (GMT -7)   
I got sacroliliitis with my crohn's. Kind of an all-in-one apckage deal!! I can't complain though, because with the exception of a little pain there now and then, it hasn't flared in sveral years. Thank you Jesus! When it is full force I can get nauseous just moving. And to think I used to sit on hard floors painting interiors with my dh! Stupid!!
150mg Azathioprine, Lomotil, Iron, Nexium 2/day, Fentanyl patch, Oxycodone, Baclofin
Crohn's, Fibromyalgia, Several bulging discs, Bone spurs, Osteoarthritis, Osteopenia, Reflux, Stenosis, Strictures, Dengenerating facet joints
2 resections
 
Stephanie
When I am weak, then am I strong


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 10/22/2008 9:51 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh - sitting on hard surfaces - chairs, floors, whatever.....OUCH!!

PaLady

Chartreux
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Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 10/22/2008 12:11 PM (GMT -7)   
yeah Sure agree with that PAlady any hard sufaces and sitting are a big ouch shocked
Some Pain Management Doctors can do discograms and contrast ct's and Dx you too...mine did,
was just a suggestion (no harm ment).
I wish you luck with the neurologist though.
At my current pain management clinic they do physical therapy with ultra sound and they don't push too hard
plus he doesn't collect the co pays as they would rather have patients come in and do
therapy than not being able to cause of the co-pays, it's a nice thing :-) not too many places offer that
PT does help some along with my hot pack at home.
Linen's N' Things is going outta business and you can find a good moist/dry heat pad there
I did and got 10% off and it's Kingsized and has auto shut off, I'd so go get one to see if it'll help.
I put the kingsize one in my bed and the little sized one in my recliner chair...
Good luck Sherry! Soft Hugz too...
Keep us posted........ yeah
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd, Enlarged Pituitary Gland
******** "We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world" from Helen Keller *********

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********


Hound-Dog
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 10/22/2008 2:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I notice alot of people here are unable to sit.I'm in the same boat and know I'm not the only one. I have yet to be in any Dr.'s office or medical facility that has an area for people like us where we can lay down while we wait.I complained at my own Dr.'s office and have been given permission to lay down on a couch in the staff lunch room when I come in for an appointment.I am amazed that even the back specialists I've been to have nothing but chairs for their patients.What's the matter with these guys?Are they stupid or just plain cheap?This has been my vent for the day.Thanks for listening and I hope you all have a good day.

Baybreeze
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 315
   Posted 10/22/2008 3:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi,
 
Alot depends on what is causing the sciatica. If you have it, then something inside is compressing that nerve, but it could be many things (such as stenosis, osteophytes, disk herniation, cyst, piriformis syndrome, etc..) So you would need to be examined, preferably by an orthopedist or neurologist who specialize in the spine. X-rays are usually done first, though they can only show bony abnormalities. You'd need to have an MRI to see the soft tissues.
 
Then, depending on the cause of the compression, it's possible something can be done, but there is never any guarantee. Usually people are sent to physical therapy first (especially if you go through insurance). You can try various medications (anti-inflammatories, medrol dose packs, nerve pain meds, some people get painkillers, though in my experience, pain killers do not help nerve pain). There are PT exercise methods that MIGHT help to resolve a disk herniation, many use the Mackenzie Method. But sometimes one is in too severe pain to even do the exercises. So then you'd need to get the pain under control first with meds or an ESI (epidural steroid injection). If your pain lessens, then you'd probably try PT to see if that helps at all in resolving the issue. And last resort would be surgery. If you have stenosis, you'd either have to try to control the pain as much as possible and change your life to live around it....or try surgery. I had to go the surgery route due to the severity of mine.
 
But you definitely need to find out what's causing it first.

straydog
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Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13479
   Posted 10/24/2008 9:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Red, I did some reading up on this, anti-inflams are one course of treatments, but due to your gut thats out. They also talked using a round of Medrol Dosepak and we all know how good steroids are for inflammation. Maybe that can be an option. There were some other treatments but these two things seem to be the starting point. Hope you get to feeling better soon!!! Susie


Peety
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 11/7/2008 3:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, checking in because I've had this problem (& slightly bulging disc) off and on:

My golf coach (a national champion bodybuilder, knows a lot about muscles) suggested myofascial release therapy, and it worked really, really well.
Physical therapists can do it but so can trained massage therapists. I found a terrific massage therapist who does it, it's kind of a combo of chiropractic and physical therapy and massage. Sometimes I'm better in one visit, and some moves I can replicate at home to get things calmed down.
49 year old female attorney, diagnosed UC/pancolitis 1985, no surgery but much suffering.
Asacol/5ASA 6x400 mg maintenance for 20+ years; use prednisone & Rowasa for flares. 
August 2008 sought care of naturopathic doctor. Food sensitivity test showed gluten, other intolerances; started diet without gluten, soy, dairy, tomato etc. Replete probiotic first, then Forte pills. 
Achieved remission for the first time in many, many years!? Seemed so, but colonoscopy Oct. 6 proved not so, heavy inflammation in ascending colon & will be using Rowasa again. But I AM better.
 
 

Post Edited (Peety) : 11/10/2008 3:34:06 PM (GMT-7)


kara487
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Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 11/10/2008 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Red,I can sympathize with you I get the same siatic nerve pain . I know how painful it can be. I take neurontin for my nerve pain.
Lortab,ambien,elavil,reglan , neurontin,zyrtec and soma.
 
spinal conditions: Scolosis,herniated discs,spinal blockage,Spinal stenosis,bursitis ,Fibro,and arthritis


ladyred
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 11/10/2008 7:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello  red I just wanted to chime in with Peety, I have been doing mussle release with a craniosacial ther.  I have only had 2 appointments with her as of yet, but to tell you the truth i get more results with her than anyone else and she listens and ask lots of questions about your pain.  Most people I have talked with that see one are having tremdouls results.  Just thought you might check it out.
 
Lara
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