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Pain Changing Location

PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:20 pm
by Got2buzz
For two months I've had hellish sciatica pain getting up in the morning. Usually a hot shower and a handful of meds gets the pain under control in an hour or two. As long as I don't forget my meds, things during the day and into the evening are bearable.

Until the last few days I could stand, sit (with some pain around ankle and lower thigh near the knee) and lie down with relatively little pain.

NOW sitting on ANYTHING kills me (meds or no meds).

Seems to me I read on one of these boards or perhaps Dean's book on RYB it's to be expected that the pain will move closer to the actual cause of the pain. (?) I've done some of the first level streches (not as often as I should).............wondering if the exercises are causing the pain shift?

I'd sure appreciate some feedback.


PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:29 pm
by randolph
Hi Curtis.

My first impression from what you've posted is that your increasing pain while sitting, and the gradual migration of the pain toward the back that comes to some while rebuilding the back are two separate things.

I have not experienced that "pain-shifting" process that Dean mentions in his books, but apparently some rebuilders have as they heal and strengthen the back. My pain seems to wander around, but has been gradually lessening wherever it is (foot, leg, butt, back)
during my rebuilding process.

But back to you. It sounds to me, (and this could be way wrong, based as it is on the little you've posted) that you may be using the meds (anti-inflammitories?) to mask the pain so you can keep doing the same activities that have produced your sciatica in the first place. Yes, the first order of business is to reduce the inflammation to lessen the pain ... but then continuing to place high stresses on your lower back is only going to produce more injury ... which may be why you are experiencing more pain from sitting.

It's the most natural thing to want to continue working and doing the things we like to do ... and if taking NSAIDs can keep us going on our merry way ... well, that's a perscription for disaster (been there, done that). The challenge with sciatica seems to be to greatly reduce activity that stresses the lower back, and very gradually increasing those activites as the pain allows. We don't want to hear that we have to slow down to allow the nerve to heal, but the only other alternatives seem to be increasing meds or surgery.

Again, this is just a first impression ... and as you give more info, I wouldn't be surprised if I'm on the wrong track.


Thank you!

PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:50 pm
by Got2buzz

I appreciate the time and effort you put into your reply. Thanks!

There's a good chance you're right on about doing too much.

Just having this pain shift after two months...............would have thought if the shift is caused by more injury why wait til now? Especially since I'm learning how not to make the sciatica "mad" by doing the wrong thing.

This whole thing is like trying to catch smoke in your hand. :(

Thanks for your concern.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:23 am
by randolph
You're right, Curtis, the things that really help us heal from the sciatica seem pretty counter-intuitive to our initial ideas of what we THINK we need to do to heal. It doesn't happen all in one day, but the smoke does start to clear.

Some of that smoke can be self-induced, such as our tendency to think we are bullet-proof while we use drugs for pain relief. I never needed to use more than OTC NSAIDS and only to get some sleep. But even then, during the day, it was difficult to gage how much activity I could do without hurting myself more. I had the tendency to do too much when using them. (Another example, Ken is receiving epidurals to give him excellent pain relief, but he works very hard with a PT to make sure he doesn't do too much) It seemed the feedback on how much I could do got better as I weaned myself off the pain meds. The tricky balance in healing from sciatica is doing all you can, but not too much. That allows the nerve to heal and gradually increase function in response to the exercises you do. It's sort of like how we strengthen our muscles: stress them more than usual, but not enough to injure the tissue; then rest adequately before the next stress.

Your increasing pain from sitting seems a possible red flag to me that might indicate too much activity, especially in light of the possibility that you may not be able to gage accurately how much activity is too much. So I guess all I'm saying is, as long as you need the meds, take it easy with your activities and exercises.

Hope this helps clear some of the smoke.