new member with sciatica issue

Discussions related to Sciatica and Leg Pain

new member with sciatica issue

Postby sofi » Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:09 pm

Hello there,

I’ve been reading this forum and have found loads of useful information, I have also downloaded Dean’s book since it seems to be working miracles for a lot of you people.
My sciatica started about 6 weeks ago with a mild pain at the back of my leg. Because I had never experienced this I didn’t recognized the signs and pretty much ignored it and carried out as usual. It got worse and it go better and then it got quite bad and has remained so for the last 3 weeks. Because exercising seems to make me feel better at the time I think I may have overdone on the swimming and gym routine. Although swimming was recommended to me, this is after a 1km swim in the pool that my sciatica got the worse.
The mornings are awful, at the moment I can get out of bed and the first 10 minutes are not too bad but then the pain gradually creeps up my leg and my buttock (sometimes also the side of my calf) and I have to lie on the floor on my back with my legs raised for a while before I can get up again and walk.
I saw my General Practitionner who said I had a bump in my lower back which is muscle spasm and producing the pain so he prescribed codeine, some anti inflammatory and some diazepam as a muscle relaxant. I don’t seem to find any real relief from the pain killers. So I have been seeing a chiropractor who said I am likely to have a prolapse disk and has been doing some laser treatment but also this seems to provide temporary relief this doesn’t seem to be working really so I’m going to stop it.
I had to be signed off work as sitting all day was a No-No. So in the last week I have spent most of my time lying on the floor and forcing myself to go for a walk during the day to keep some mobility. I started to do Dean’s exercise regime 2 days ago and I am struggling with the cobra as I can’t lie flat on my stomach without that shooting pain in my leg; I’m doing the one I can hoping this will help to sort out the problem.
This is all very frustrating as I am normally a very active person. On one hand I’m scared of overdoing it and injuring myself further and on the other hand I feel I am “babying” my back and this may not be the right thing to do either.
I have also tried acupuncture today, I have to say at the moment the pain has subsided so fingers crossed. Has anyone found any relief from acupuncture? I am also thinking of seeing an osteopath, has anyone got experience of that?

Sorry a bit of a long post, but I thought it would be a good idea to explain in details my experience as a way of introducing myself

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Postby randolph » Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:06 am

Hi Sophie!

Sounds like you're going thru the acute stages of sciatica, and doing a lot of the things many of us have tried.

Massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture, at best, seem to provide some temporary pain relief. But there are much better medical treatments to buy if your medical budget is limited. Osteopaths are trained to do surgery on backs, so they seem biased to recommend surgery, most of which, recent research indicates, is unnecessary. Be sure to find out about the down-sides to surgery (and there are some), which the osteopath is not going to inform you about.

In the acute stages, while there is so much pain, and especially while your back muscles are spasm-ing, you do want to respect your body's pain warnings, and not push it too much. Doing Dean's basic exercises for the two months he recommends worked for me. It's a bummer to have to stop doing our favorite activities, like swimming, but during the acute stages, healing seems to be helped by taking a break from our more vigorous activities. You'll lose a bit of your conditioning, but it won't take long to get it back.

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Location: Wilkesboro NC

Postby sofi » Sat Feb 10, 2007 4:24 am

Cheers Randolph for your encouraging words,

unfortunately i am not doing any better; i have been doing the exercises that i can but I still can't do the cobra and my ostheopath tells me to take it very easy, that is lie on my back all day, getting up to pot around the house every so often. No long walk or anything that might put pressure on my discs (i seem to have a prolapse disc between L5 and S1). So i'm a bit confused regarding what i should be doing or not. In fact i thought i was slowly improving but yesterday and today i've been having a relapse and the pain keeps me awake at night.

Also the hospital is talking about an epidural of steroid injection as the next step if i don't improve. Has anyone experienced that before?

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Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:41 pm


Postby krd » Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:48 am

Hey Sophie

I am a huge fan of the epidurals. I had 2 done this past September, 3 weeks apart. Prior to having them, I was bed ridden for approximately 7 weeks. The epidurals gave me major pain relief and allowed for me to agressively seek PT. Don't get me wrong, the pain was still there, just not as severe (from a 10 to a 3) but the PT changed my life. I still do my own PT at home 7 days a week, and my back is fine. I have no pain or discomfort, no tightness, and I walk 2 to 3 miles everyday.

If you do get the epidurals, make sure that they do the guided fluoroscopy. They use an Xray machine to make sure that they are putting it in the right spot. Also, schedule your 2nd injection about 3 weeks later. You can always cancel if the first works well. I found that the first was amazing in the pain relief, and that the second allowed for almost complete pain relief.

Let me know how this all works out. You can also see my other posts regarding this by searching for KRD. Good luck.

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Postby sofi » Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:37 am

thanks for your valuable response Ken,

so i take it with the pain relief from the epidural you can work on rebuilding your back with exercises to strenghten your core muscles and you heal as a result. That is great news.

At the mo i'm still trying to sort my back with the help of an ostheopath and a few exercises but if this doesn't work i will go for the epidural.

cheers again
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Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:41 pm

Postby randolph » Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:20 am

Hello again Sofi

During the acute stages of sciatica, you will have some bad days, when you think you've gone back to square one, but you haven't, really. Look for progress week-to-week; as long as there's generally steady improvement, you probably don't need to be concerned about the few bad days that come. But do make a mental note of what you did previous to the bad days; sometimes doing too much of a particular exercise or activity can cause a temporary relapse.

The advice your osteopath gave you about resting some, and getting up to do what you can (including exercises), worked well for me during the first months of my sciatica adventure.

Recommended dosages of alleve (naproxen sodium) in the evening helped me get some sleep during the acute stage of my sciatica.

Each person's journey on this sciatica adventure is different. I made steady improvement with the exercises from the day I started with the RYB exercises (with very few bad days), but NJ Ken stopped making improvement and needed more aggressive help with the epidural which worked for him. But it sounds like you've got the right idea to start with the conservative treatment options first.

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Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2005 12:05 pm
Location: Wilkesboro NC

Postby sofi » Sat Feb 17, 2007 5:14 am

Cheers Randolph and Ken for your comments,

Indeed after last week end flare up things got better and better and when i saw my ostheopath on thursday she was well pleased with my improvements on regaining some movement in my lower back and recommended that i start building up walking; which i tried yesterday for 10-15mn; unfortunately i seem to be having a small flare up today but i won't let it put me down, i will do another short walk (it's sunny in England today) and some RYB exercises....

It is 2 steps forwards and 1 step back but overall an improvement

Hope everyone with sciatica here is improving
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Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:41 pm

Postby redshoes » Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:15 pm

Reading all your comments is interesting but comfusing. I have sciatcia in my left leg. My Dr recommends no PT and no accupuncture ( I have done these in the past for pain and found them helpful). She only recommends chiropractic. I find this scary since I am in pain already and view them as "bone crunchers". Some of the comments on this stie seem to comfirm that. I am also very leery of epiderials since this would be steriods. I am somewhat pre osteoprosis and understnad steriods are very bad for bones. I had steriod injections in my feet for bone spurs years ago--very painful. I almost passed out.
After that I was in severe pain for 2 days. But then it worked and I was able to walk again. Thanks to ballet and yoga I no longer have a bone spir problem and don't even need orthodics any more. Has anyon e had experience with a physiatrist? I am thinking this may be a next step. My insurance won't pay for PT without a script from a doctor and then only so many treatments a year. The chiropractor wants to explore whether I would be a candidate for decompression therapy (traction). I can't contact my insurance until Monday but have a feeling this could be a lot of monhey out of pocket. Does this work for sciatica or make it worse? I can do cobra and it seems to help. That is all I am doing right now. Can't sit but can walk with moderate pain with aleve and muscle relaxer.
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:23 am

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