Sciatica

I've been dealing with what I think is sciatic nerve pain for the past 4 months. It was manageable at first, and only really bothered me at night when I layed in bed. It's getting to be pretty serious now, effecting me during the day, keeping me up all night. I have a horrible time trying to get out of bed in the morning, I can't stand up straight. I saw a doctor, they've prescribed me ibuprofen 800 along with muscle relaxers and steroids. I DONT want to take steroids, so I have yet to try them. I don't want to take them because of the side effects - which is weight gain. And my mother is also severely allergic to steroids so I am a little paranoid. The ibuprofen used to help but it's getting worse. I'm also seeing a physical therapist. Has anyone expericanced this and can give me any advise on how to manage the pain? It's really getting me down and starting to effect my workout as well.
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Replies

  • gabriellax92
    gabriellax92 Posts: 65 Member
    I've been dealing with what I think is sciatic nerve pain for the past 4 months. It was manageable at first, and only really bothered me at night when I layed in bed. It's getting to be pretty serious now, effecting me during the day, keeping me up all night. I have a horrible time trying to get out of bed in the morning, I can't stand up straight. I saw a doctor, they've prescribed me ibuprofen 800 along with muscle relaxers and steroids. I DONT want to take steroids, so I have yet to try them. I don't want to take them because of the side effects - which is weight gain. And my mother is also severely allergic to steroids so I am a little paranoid. The ibuprofen used to help but it's getting worse. I'm also seeing a physical therapist. Has anyone expericanced this and can give me any advise on how to manage the pain? It's really getting me down and starting to effect my workout as well.

    I should also mention that I ice my back a lot, which helps to an extent. I've tried a heating pad also, stretching. Nothing at this point seems to be working.
  • 1reason2live4
    1reason2live4 Posts: 13 Member
    Nerve pain is insidious....permeates every moment of your day. I finally broke down and had back surgery. It helped some, but suffered other side effects from the surgery. No easy answers. Would recommend doing everything you can with physical therapy, medical massage, yoga and weight loss. Good luck.
  • EmPersson
    EmPersson Posts: 768 Member
    Stick with the physical therapy, for sure. And, like 1reason2live4 suggested - look into yoga. Yoga Journal is a great online resource. But, just Googling "yoga poses for sciatica pain" will give you plenty of good results. I was having a bit of that earlier this year and realized that I was stressing my back and hips in ways that they weren't equipped to handle. I have a desk job, my my stabilizing muscles pretty much had gone to crap. A couple of weeks of focusing my practice on those poses and I saw a dramatic improvement. But, it sounds like you're in more pain than me, so I would imagine it won't be a quick fix.
  • pattymason7
    pattymason7 Posts: 26 Member
    Look into Airrosti therapy.
  • Carolyn1965032017
    Carolyn1965032017 Posts: 13 Member
    Hi. I've had it for a year now. Nd it's only eased off in the past week or so.
    My first physiotherapist was useless and said think about what you doing a d don't do it so I stopped light weightlofting, but that didn't help.
    The second physiotherapist was much better and gave me a few exercises to do.
    I googled and got a lot of information about it.
    I had the pains shoot either from my backside to part ways down my left leg and also pins and needles in my left foot going half way up my leg.
    It's only just gone in the past week. I did stop doing certain exercises like squats and deadlift and even swimming hurt.
    I'll be honest the only thing that I'm thinking stopped mine was easing off exercise altogether. Not ideal but after a year of pain where some days I couldn't even sit down at work or get to sleep at night. And trying endless painkiller of which I didn't want to spend the rest of my life taking. Surgery was a last resort option.
    At the moment it's eased off to where im randomly getting slight pins and needles in my leg but not as often.
    I think time, patience and stopping doing anything that agrivated it is the only thing that helped me.
    Sorry i couldnt be of much help. I feel for you as it's so painful.
  • dukeofthedeck
    dukeofthedeck Posts: 21 Member
    I also have sciatica and fortunately it is now pretty much under control. Muscle relaxers did nothing for me and I cannot take ibuprofen and tylenol just didn't cut it. I agree with you about avoiding steroids. It took about 3 months of physical therapy to finally start bringing it under control. I also found that using a "TENS" unit pretty much every day at first helped. I continue to do the stretching and strengthening exercises I learned in physical therapy on a daily basis and use the TENS about twice a week and this has kept the sciatic pain at a very tolerable level for the past six months. Good luck, sciatic pain can be brutal.
  • cross2bear
    cross2bear Posts: 1,106 Member
    I suffered too - for months. Went to physio, pills massage, chiro - nothing helped. It was crippling.

    Acupuncture - three sessions and it was GONE. Had a couple of flair ups, when back for a tune up to the therapist and its now completely abated.

    Seriously, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain - try it.
  • bbrandt1959
    bbrandt1959 Posts: 2 Member
    I've been dealing with what I think is sciatic nerve pain for the past 4 months. It was manageable at first, and only really bothered me at night when I layed in bed. It's getting to be pretty serious now, effecting me during the day, keeping me up all night. I have a horrible time trying to get out of bed in the morning, I can't stand up straight. I saw a doctor, they've prescribed me ibuprofen 800 along with muscle relaxers and steroids. I DONT want to take steroids, so I have yet to try them. I don't want to take them because of the side effects - which is weight gain. And my mother is also severely allergic to steroids so I am a little paranoid. The ibuprofen used to help but it's getting worse. I'm also seeing a physical therapist. Has anyone expericanced this and can give me any advise on how to manage the pain? It's really getting me down and starting to effect my workout as well.

    I should also mention that I ice my back a lot, which helps to an extent. I've tried a heating pad also, stretching. Nothing at this point seems to be working.

  • KristyDonovan
    KristyDonovan Posts: 67 Member
    I ended up having surgery for mine. Swimming is what saved me after surgery. Buy a TENS machine and religiously following your PT regime. You could see a pain management specialist but they're going to give you hard core, and quite addictive, pain meds and tell you to get steroid shots. Everyone here is giving great advice! Healing is a slow excruciating process. Good luck! You should get an MRI to see which disk(s) are herniated.
  • gabriellax92
    gabriellax92 Posts: 65 Member
    Thanks everyone! Just need some hope right now, I hate feeling like there's nothing I can do. I am going to call my doctor today and ask for an MRI and some better medication to help me through the night/morning. Oddly enough the only time I'm not in pain is after I working (walking/elliptical). I work from home so I have my laptop propped up so I can stand most of the day as well. It gets bad when I sit down.
  • bbrandt1959
    bbrandt1959 Posts: 2 Member
    I do not want to tell you what I have been through because I do not want to discourage you. I will tell you from my experience. I got away from all pharmaceuticals since they caused as many problems as they were trying to help. I have been using medical cannabis for severals months now to successfully control my muscle spasms and restless legs. My weight had become a real problem since I became less and less mobile. That is how I came to My Fitness Pal. I am now seeing improvement after 17 years. Acupuncture is a wonderful therapy, just be careful, not all practitioners are equal, check into them! God's speed to you.
  • Fitwarrior7_Round_2
    Fitwarrior7_Round_2 Posts: 453 Member
    definitely get an MRI. You can only see so much on an x-ray. I had similar back pain and similar symptoms. Muscle relaxers, a trigger point injection of a steroid, advil every 6 hours and a lot of time and I'm finally starting to get some relief.
  • sydwal
    sydwal Posts: 4 Member
    A good chiropractor is worth his/her weight in gold.
  • crooked_left_hook
    crooked_left_hook Posts: 364 Member
    Thanks everyone! Just need some hope right now, I hate feeling like there's nothing I can do. I am going to call my doctor today and ask for an MRI and some better medication to help me through the night/morning. Oddly enough the only time I'm not in pain is after I working (walking/elliptical). I work from home so I have my laptop propped up so I can stand most of the day as well. It gets bad when I sit down.

    I was just going to suggest going to an orthopedist and asking for an MRI. I feel your frustration. I've been having low back, left hip pain, and left groin pain (sometimes it's nerve pain, sometimes it's stabbing pains, sometimes it's an ache) for weeks. I tried PT for awhile without much improvement. Tried the Chiropractor. The Orthopedist suspects it's a torn labrum but wants me to to 6 more weeks of PT before doing an MRI. Meanwhile it hurts to sit, and sometimes hurts to walk, and I'm taking a trip to Peru in 4 weeks. I can't do much exercise, other than my PT exercises) which makes me cranky, and I'm sick of taking OTC pain meds (they are screwing with my stomach).

    Definitely see an Orthopedist and get an MRI so you can figure out the exact source of the pain. Think about trying acupuncture or ask your PT about dry needling and hang in there. Hopefully you will start feeling better soon.
  • BoxerBrawler
    BoxerBrawler Posts: 2,046 Member
    edited May 2017
    I was crippled with it! Started doing a shot of "Just Black Cherry Juice" every morning and some very low impact and careful back strengthening exercises. A lot of stretching and Plaquenil <--- med for arthritis. After about 3 months all of my symptoms went away and never came back. That was about 5 years ago and I lift crazy heavy (deadlifts - rack pulls)... no problems :smile:
  • iluvnufoods
    iluvnufoods Posts: 45 Member
    My advice is to continue with the PT, add in some yoga stretches - specifically "king pigeon pose," and related ones, since it's what helped me the most. How long have you been doing the PT? If it's been more than a few months I would definitely go back to the doctor and ask for further tests.

    If you have a way to access CBD oil (it's an extract from cannabis but it does not make you high!) I would recommend it either as a topical rub, or ingestion via capsule. I use it daily for chronic pain.
  • wdedoelder
    wdedoelder Posts: 59 Member
    I had this 2 years ago. My left leg had so much pain. I couldn't lay down and often spent my nights at my PC desk with a stack of pillows to lean my head on. I looked like a grandma of 87 when walking (I was 41). I tried PT and it was worse. I ended up with surgery on my lower back. I was told that the "doughnut burst and most of the filling was sitting on the nerve". It is much better now thankfully. Good luck with what you choose!
  • cross2bear
    cross2bear Posts: 1,106 Member
    Just to be sure, have you been diagnosed with sciatica because you said you "think" thats what it is. Sciatica is a pain that starts in the middle of your buttock, goes down the back of your leg and wraps around to the front ending in your foot - at least that was what mine was and my therapist said those were "classic" symptoms. Perhaps you shouldnt try anything until you get a firm diagnosis.
  • gabriellax92
    gabriellax92 Posts: 65 Member
    cross2bear wrote: »
    Just to be sure, have you been diagnosed with sciatica because you said you "think" thats what it is. Sciatica is a pain that starts in the middle of your buttock, goes down the back of your leg and wraps around to the front ending in your foot - at least that was what mine was and my therapist said those were "classic" symptoms. Perhaps you shouldnt try anything until you get a firm diagnosis.

    This is what the doctor has said I have classic symptoms of. My PT says he thinks it's sciatica mixed with stiff/strained muscles in the backs of my legs. I'm demanding an MRI to have me fully diagnosed. I kinda feel like the doctor sees so many cases of this they just don't care to look into my symptoms further, and just want to send me on my way :neutral:
  • javamonster
    javamonster Posts: 272 Member
    Chiropractic and Bowen therapy. :)