General chatter - Ever had sciatica?

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03-05-2006, 04:06 PM
Worst pain I have ever had - started last night at 2 am for no obvious reason. Hurts on the left side of my lower back and radiates into my thigh. Have tried heating pad, Flexall, muscle relaxer and pain medication. Went to Urgent Care and got a shot of Toradol and a prescription for anti-inflammatories - have sat with the heating pad for the last 4 hours - still hurts.
Has anyone ever had this before and did you have to have surgery to get well or did it eventually get better without surgery?

03-05-2006, 04:22 PM
I have reoccurring problems with sciatica due to a congenital abnormality in my lower back. I have a bad bout a couple times a year. It does heal up without surgery

Besides anti-inflammatories, I highly recommend ice packs. Nothing helps the pain better for me than ice packs. Also, as you start to heal up make sure to do lots of stretching. A good stretch for the sciatic area is to sit on the edge of a chair with your ankle resting on your knee. Press gently on your knee to stretch the hip area. I try to do that stretch at least once a day preventively as well.

My massage therapist also recommends sitting on a firm surface and using a golf ball under your buttocks to work out the congestion in the muscles in that area. That seems to help a bit too, when I remember to do it. ;)

03-05-2006, 04:42 PM
yes, I had it for 3 years, when I got to point that I was in excrutiating pain and couldn't walk I finally had an MRI and surgery because I had 2 herniated discs. Lying on my side with a pillow in between my legs was the only thing that even kind of help, there is much debate between heat vs. cold. I'd advise you to go to the doctor to see how bad it is before it gets worse. Don't lift anything heavy and if I could have done ONE thing different it would've been to stay as far away from a chiropractor as I could.

03-05-2006, 04:52 PM
Thanks to both of you - this is the pitts! I cannot believe how painful it is. I have had pulled muscles and all sorts of other back pain, but this stinks!

Thanks for the advice - I will try the exercises and ice packs - and I'm glad you told me about the chiropractor because I was going to go this week!

03-05-2006, 04:53 PM
I had it when i was pregnant- it was brutal

03-05-2006, 07:17 PM
I had it also, from July through mid-October of 2004, caused by a herniated disk in my lower back. Mine got so bad that the pain went all the way down my leg and into my heel. I was unable to sleep because there was no comfortable position for me. Ice did help it to feel better but as soon as I took the ice off the pain was terrible again. By the end of August I had a strip down my calf that was completely numb and I developed a limp because of the nerve damage! I was willing to do just about anything to avoid surgery so I did go to a chiropracter and within a couple of weeks the limp was better and the feeling in my leg was back but the pain was still so intense that I was up almost every night crying and so tired that I couldn't function all day. I told my Dr. that I really did NOT want to have surgery because of two people I know who had it and still have problems. He prescribed a round of prednisone and said if that didn't help I would have to have surgery, but if it did help he would refer me to a physical therapist to learn some exercises to strengthen the area so that it hopefully would help keep flare-ups at bay. Fortunately the prednisone worked for me and when I started the exercises it just kept getting better and better. At this point I have no pain or problems at all from it, but I'm always aware that I could have another flare up at any time. It's a good reason for me to keep up with all my exercising because I know how much it helps.

Good luck and I hope you feel better soon...the pain is excruciating and I really feel bad for anybody going through it. It's horrible.

03-05-2006, 07:41 PM
I there, I haven't been in here for over a year and a half, but when I saw this forum I had to respond. I have suffered with sciatica for many years. The pain is really the worse, I have some herniated discs in my back, but the sciatica makes the pain down the leg worse than the back. I would agree with stay away from the chiropractor. It can flare up at any time. When I get to bad, I get an epidural injection... it's a shot right in the spine while they use a dye so they can see it going in. Depending on the doctor you may be out or awake, I am always awake. IT don't hurt, just a prick when going in. they add a numbing agent to the medicine. It feels wierd as it goes into the nerves etc. and takes several days to get the full benefit. But it is the only thing that gets me back on my feet. My doctor says the shots can be given again in 3-4 weeks if the first one don't take, and then again in a few months. As long as the shots work, they will avoid surgery. I also had physical therapy and have a couple exercises that strengthen your back. I usually got vicodin for the pain. I found ice helped some days and heat others, it's just how it makes you feel. Oh yes, I couldnt' lie down, so I've slept in a recliner for months. I feel for you. Hope you get relief soon.

03-05-2006, 08:31 PM
I had it when i was pregnant- it was brutal

Me too. It made the last trimester of all 3 of my pregnancies miserable.

I'm sorry you're having so much pain icmethinner. I hope that you can find some really good help to relieve it.

03-05-2006, 10:32 PM
consult your doctor before doing any exercises which could damage it further. I still have total numbness in my littlest toe and that side of my leg but I'm so thankful that I can walk that I've learned to live with it ;) Good luck and keep us posted!!


03-05-2006, 10:47 PM
I swear this is the worst pain that I've ever been in! I have no idea how I got it, but my first year of college I had it, and had to miss a bunch of school because I couldn't sit, stand, drive or anything. THe only way that I could even come close to explaining what it was, was it felt like my back would catch (bending over) and then I couldn't move and i'd almost be stuck in that position. Simple things such as toileting was completely miserable because i'd get stuck and then have to "roll" off of the toilet onto the floor and try and get my pants up.

I was going to a chiropractor, and nothing was working. My dr. ended up putting me on heavy duty muscle relaxers, and finally, I went back to the dr and was like, you need to do something, ebcause i'm not going to keep masking the pain with pills. Finally they ended up sending me for physio, and there, the physiotherapist did acupuncture on me. I was sceptical at first, but at that point, I was willing to try anything! And no word of a lie, the acupuncture worked! Knock on wood I have not had a problem since!

It's definately worth checking out! Good luck with it... I feel for you!

03-06-2006, 12:32 AM
I've had sciatica off and on for more than 20 years. Had it when I was pregnant the first time, and then due to a long labor ended up with a bad bout of it that put me back in the hospital for a week (on morphine) after I'd already gone home with my baby (who is now 23). Extra weight doesn't help. But do get it checked out to make sure whatever you do don't cause further damage. For me it was heat that helped, and anti-inflammatory meds - and a lot of stretching. There are specific stretches that help that area but do so carefully and after you're checked out. Also having a strong core seems to help me. I started ballet and did it for many years and it was very helpful - I think due to muscle strength, tone and stretching. Surgery is only sometimes helpful and most cases seem to resolve with bed rest and anti-inflammatory meds. Hope you find relief.

03-06-2006, 08:02 AM
Thanks for your suggestions everyone. Sorry to know you all have been through this too. I am in horrible pain again this morning and part of my leg is numb.

Also my thigh muscles are spasming like crazy. Did any of you have that?