Urgent help and advise needed

Discussions related to Sciatica and Leg Pain

Urgent help and advise needed

Postby Steve UK » Sat Jan 06, 2007 2:32 pm

Hello everyone .....

Firstly i'd like to say what an amazing forum i have stumbled upon, to me it's like finding the holy grail!!!!

I like most others here am suffering extreme pain and depression through sciatica and dont know what to do or what my next step will be.....

I've been diagnosed as having acute sciatica by my doctor and am waiting for an MRI scan, I'm taking two kinds of pain killers plus valium to ease the pain. These barley help , but my doctor keeps drugging me up...

I cannot stand straight, if i need to walk my both hands are on each knee for support. I have no pain in my back just in my left leg, from the hamstring right down to my foot. I have tingling and pins and needles in my foot also. this comes and goes.

Walking is a no go .. I cannot walk more than 20 meters without dropping down to my knees to rest , this still causes pain its just not as bad.

Sleeping is a nightmare i am constantly waking at night sometimes for 2-3 hours at a time. I cannot lie flat on my back or stomach. I hold my knees to my chest to sleep, this gives me some relief but not much. Then in the morning i can barley walk.

I have an 18 month old son whom i cannot hold or play with , Christmas hasnt been the best for us.

I've been having the extreme pain for almost a month now.

I would appreciate it very much if anyone could explain some off the exercises i've read about in previous posts.

Back in 2002 i had an accident in work which lead me to having surgery on either the L4 or L3 disk this was also because of sciatica , at the time i thought it was the only answer. Since then i've been pain free untill the last three months when i felt the pain coming back .

The surgery and MRI cost me nearly £7000 pounds which in turn lead me to going bankrupt. I cannot afford this again as i have a son to look after
I have just turned 30 yrs old ....

Any and i mean any advise will be greatly appreciated ,
I would like to donate to recieve the book but dont hold no bank a/c , credit cards or pay-pal a/c ...... how else can i pay you???

I am feeling so depressed and useless i sometimes think is there any point.

Please anyone help me !!!

Thanks for taking the time in reading this very long post

Stephen (U.K)

Steve UK
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: Swansea UK

Re: Urgent help and advise needed

Postby Woodchuck » Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:55 am

Steve UK wrote:I am feeling so depressed and useless i sometimes think is there any point.

Please anyone help me !!!

Stephen (U.K)

Hi Stephen,

I am very new to this forum and have very little to contribute. Until others respond and give you suggestions, I just wanted to encourage you to realize you are NOT useless and to hang in there. It may seem intolerable for the present, but there is a solution and "this too shall pass".

Take care and I hope others will soon respond to give you helpful ideas.

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Postby randolph » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:09 am

Hello Steve!

I'm sure a lot of others who have sufferred from sciatica can relate to the horrific pain you're going thru right now. From your description, sounds exactly like what I went thru beginning Sept '05 (one of my little girls was just turning 1). Except it was my right leg, not the left like you. Otherwise, the same. Also, I didn't go thru the surgery, but I'm assuming that was a relatively minor back surgery, like microdiscectomy, and that your back has healed from your '02 accident.

Hopefully, you've been able to download Dean's books. PAIN RELIEF MANUAL has a heat/ice treatment that really was effective for me. REBUILD YOUR BACK has the basic exercises. At your stage of recovery, you can try them. When I began them, I was still suffering greatly like you, so I couldn't do very much for very long, but the more I did, the more I healed. It's frustrating, to be so limited in your activity. But your feelings of depression are lying to you .... like Ken said, this too shall pass, it ain't going to be like this forever. You're over the worst part of this. I'll be glad to make the donation for the books for you ... or maybe Dean would accept payment after you're up and working again?

Lying in bed, unable to sleep, in too much pain, is the pits, but it helps to distract your mind with pleasant activities you can do. Brain scientists are verifying that our perception of pain is lessened if our conscious mind is preoccupied with something else. Reading, writing, listening to music, watching movies, playing board games, that kind of thing.

Dr Stuart McGill's book on lower back disorders offers some more exercises that were helpful for me. And Dr. Sarno's books offer some help on dealing with the pschosomatic problems that are common with sciatica sufferers.

My first Christmas after the onset of sciatica was a pretty miserable affair for me, too (thankfully my ordeal didn't seem to affect the kids much, though it was a burden for my wife). This last Christmas, however, was my best yet. Going thru the sausage grinder that is living with sciatica is no fun .... but I've come out a better person on the other side, and now I'm nearly 100%. I never would have believed that was possible when this whole adventure started for me Sept '05, and I laid in bed, sleepless, in way too much pain, night after night, contemplating suicide even.

Hang in there, Steve, and keep coming back, and learning all you can about this sciatica monster. It can be beaten.

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Postby Steve UK » Sun Jan 07, 2007 1:59 pm

Thankyou to everyone who has read and replied to my post

your kind words alone have helped and lifted my spirits,

Randolph thankyou ever so much for your offer to make my donation . I cannot thank you enough for this kind gesture, However i will decline as i do now have the book downloaded......

I cannot thank you enough for your help and understanding .......

I shall be posting to keep you all informed of my progress......

Once again thankyou ever so much...

Stephen :D
Steve UK
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: Swansea UK

Postby cygnet » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:23 pm

Hi Steve,

I just want to add that what you described is very similar to the sciatica pain I've had for the past month. I'm only now starting to feel slightly better - at almost five weeks. I went for two walks today, a mile each - with many stops to sit down along the way. That's improvement for me, and I was really happy to see that improvement.

From everything I've read, nerve injuries sometimes take a very long time to heal. Bones, muscles and ligaments heal faster than nerves do. I've also read that if the nerve has been really irritated and inflamed, it can take up to six months to heal (gradually improving over that time). During the first couple of weeks I cried in frustration - why wasn't this going away yet?? I became depressed too.

You're also not alone in worrying about the medical costs of a back injury. I can say for sure that I'm having similar concerns - I lost my job because of my injury - a job loss on top of medical expenses and no health insurance. When the insurance I purchased starts next month, I will not be allowed to get coverage for any pre-existing conditions for 12 months from the start date, so it is virtually useless - at $250. a month.

This may or may not apply for you, but I just had to decide not to focus on the financial issues until after I have healed the injury. I need to get medical help and physical therapy, and have to just go ahead and load up my credit card with debt in order to get treatment. I decided that I will deal with the financial fallout *after* I recover. One thing at a time.

Hope you'll be feeling better soon.
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Postby Steve UK » Tue Jan 09, 2007 6:15 am

Hello everyone .......

I've started the Ice & Heat rouitne and its helping me a lot during the day,
i can walk a little further than usuall...

However the next day i seem to be back at square one untill i use the ice and heat again .....

I cannot try the cobra or shifted cobra yet as the pain in my leg and bottom of the foot is too much.....

This will be my second day of ice/heat ..... Should i stop the exercises untill
the pain goea??? will the pain go by using the ice/heat ?? or is it a combination of that and the exercises??????

Thanks again

Steve UK
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: Swansea UK

Postby randolph » Tue Jan 09, 2007 7:15 am

Hello Stephen

It's my understanding (and someone PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong) that the ice/heat treatment provides pain RELIEF, not healing, per se. But this is important, so the pain is reduced enough for you to attempt to do the exercises. Somehow, doing the exercises assists with healing.

As an example, NJ Ken related to us that the epidurals he received relieved the pain enough for him to exercise, and receive the benefits from the exercising. He also related that he had to exercise for 3 weeks thru some uncomfortable pain, before the pain went away for good.

In my case, I used an OTC NSAID each night for several weeks just to get some sleep, and during the day used the ice/heat treatment to relieve the pain enough to attempt doing some more exercises or walking. Doing the exercises or walking would, of course, eventually exacerbate the pain again, so back to the ice/heat to relieve the pain ... then back to the exercises .... then back to the ice/heat ... over and over. At least, that's how it worked for me. Gradually, I was able to do more and more, before the pain would force me to lay down again.

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Urgent advice

Postby Gilbert » Sun Jan 14, 2007 10:48 am

To all (Steve UK and Randolph and Cygnet),
First time to this site. It has been an education this week in pain for me. I had my first severe case of sciatica begin 10 days ago and I have never experienced such pain.

I can not imagine what those of you have gone through that have had it longer than this. I have been to two chiropractors for treatment, non-adjustments, that have provided short term relief and have had two deep tissue massages that have done better.

It has been amazing what the release of the tension in the muscles in the buttocks and leg has done. Started a 10 day prednisone trtment on Friday and go in for MRI on tuesday. I refuse to have surgery if possible and it has been enlightening to read some of the forums on this site.

I have two co-workers that have recovered from Sciatica with no surgery, excercise and stretching have been the cure, but getting past the pain is key.

I have not gotten Dean's pain relief book yet, but have started my own course of ice and heat, amazing what this has done.

Probably the most disconcerting thing is the numb foot and calf, truly a frightening thing, makes you feel like you must need surgery.

Hope you all feel better, I for one will have the MRI to rule out the worst, but will really put off surgery until I improve my core muscles, which will probaly cure the sciatica, good luck all.


Postby randolph » Sun Jan 14, 2007 1:04 pm

Hi Gilbert!

Sounds like you've made quite a good beginning on recovering from your sciatica symptoms ... seeking pain relief and talking with folks who have recovered from it. I also found massage helpful, but very temporary. Didn't need the prednisone, though; OTC NSAIDs were sufficient for me.

There's nothing unusual about your two co-workers who recovered from their sciatica without surgery, using only PT. Research indicates, in the long run, PT is as effective as surgery, and of course cheaper and less risky. Be sure to read the latest research that verifies this (go to Cygnet's thread on the NYTimes articles).

The numbness you're experiencing is a pretty scary thing to go thru, but it's really nothing to fear. The old school of thought was that such numbness indicated a need for surgical intervention ASAP. But the latest research (see especially JAMA, Nov 22 '06, articles by Drs. Eugene Carragee and David Flum) indicates there's no danger in not having surgery to correct the numbness. For the vast majority, it eventually goes away like all the other sciatica pains, without any permanent damage.

Sciatica pain is the worst thing I ever went thru, and the first 5 weeks, for me, were absolutely horrible. But it does get better. And the odds are stacked tremendously in your favor that you'll come out of this just fine, just like your 2 co-workers, and me. Difficult to believe when you're going thru it ... but it's true.

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Postby Steve UK » Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:07 am

Hi everyone ......

just a quick update on my problems .......
I'm still using ice/heat everyday and only doing the cobra exercise at the moment ......

I am sleeping much better and can go all night without waking up.
I still have bad pain in the morning and am still crouched over although i can straighten myself up although this does give me some pain , However
I can now walk a bit further !!!!!

I am not going to rush in and do all the exercises as i am paranoid that i will
do myself seriouse injury !!!!..........................

Also i still have numbness in my toes ??? I am not too worried though as reading through the forum plus what randolph has been saying it will and im sure it will eventually go ,........

I'll be keeping everyone up to date with my progress !!!!

Stephen ( A little happier )

Steve UK
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: Swansea UK

Postby Steve UK » Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:23 pm


I honestly cannot believe how much of an improvement i've made since
doing the exercises from deans book ..............

I've moved on from the cobra and am doing most of the other ones exept
the bending forward one !!!!!!!!

My posture has improved from bending over like a 90 year old man to virtually my normal stance !!!!

I still have some pain,and the mornings arnt great and am still on pain killers.........

Overall myself and my girlfriend cannot believe the results !!!!!!!!

I'm doing them around 3-4 times a day , along with the ice and heat ...

If i knew about this in 2002 when i had surgery i dont think id have needed to go under the knife ..................

Two weeks ago i was the most depressed person in the UK
now i feel like a new person ........

All because of some minor stretches !!!! and some kind words of encouragement
I am really amazed ,

I know im not out of the woods yet but i just want to say a big THANKYOU
to everyone who's given me the motivation and support on this forum ....

More updates to follow !!!!!!

Thanks again everyone :lol:
Steve UK
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: Swansea UK

Postby Dean » Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:33 pm

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the update, I'm glad you're doing better than you were a couple of days ago. I meant to respond to your "Setback" post with some words of encouragement, but wanted to give others a chance first... and then the time slipped away.

I'm glad you weathered that episode and are back to improving.

Do keep us posted on how you're doing. Good days, bad days, it doesn't matter. We're all pulling for you.

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Postby randolph » Sun Feb 04, 2007 8:03 am

Great to read your recent updates, Steve. :D

I'm also glad to read that you're willing to challenge yourself with the exercises, and go a bit farther than your "pain boundaries" tell you, you can go. One mistake I made, that slowed my recovery, was over-reacting to the pain by limiting my activity too much. One of the lessons that came thru in NJ Ken's recovery, was that we can push ourselves a bit more than is comfortable. I'm sure you'll eventually be able to bend forward as much (maybe more) as before.

You may experience relapses or a day or two when things are worse ... but those days happen. Just hang in there, do what you can. They pass.

After a year, I still get a bit of that toe numbness, but it goes away in response to increased activity, like leg exercises.

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Postby Steve UK » Sun Feb 04, 2007 2:42 pm

Hey everyone,

hope your all in good health !!!
As for myself im GREAT with a Capitol G!!!!!!!!

My posture is as normal as it's ever been and im walking and lifting a little
I can pick up my son now which is the best part...................

Although he's only 19 months he's there doing the exercises with me which
the best thing in the world.......

I still have sciatica , but hardly nothing to what i was having ,

Before i came across this site i honestly thought i was wheel chair bound .
I really did especially after having surgery back in 2002 , but this site the people who contribute and give advice have been just amazing ........

So if there is anyone who's having similar experiences as me who's reading this dont be to dis-hartened ......

This is an exellent community with exellent forum users............

Again thanks , will be in contact soon ......
Steve UK
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: Swansea UK

Postby Paul » Mon Apr 30, 2007 3:26 pm

Hi Steve,

Very encouraging post. I can remember a time when I thought I was going to wind up in a wheelchair, or worse, confined to a nursing home. It's amazing how depressing back pain and sciatica can be when you don't understand what's going on.

That's why I love this site so much and keep coming back to see what's new. I don't think there is another site like this one on the net. All the others just seem focused on surgery or they contain no information at all.

I hope you'll check back and let us know how you're doing.

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