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to go to A&E for Sciatica?

(83 Posts)
doyouseeme1 Mon 12-Sep-16 10:29:11

I'm one of those people who don't like making a fuss, I hate going to the gp or health services as I always feel like theres someone worse than me.
I hurt my back a few months ago at work, a few days later I got sciatica. It wasn't bad and I was managing well with exercising and pain killers. Two weeks ago it started to get worse and really intense, I ended up going to the gp and he gave me stronger tablets and advised to keep moving which I had. Yesterday the pain got horrendous, I cant stand up, walk or put my foot down. I've had to get my dp to help me to the toilet and I've cried 5 times in the last 15 hours when I'm never one to cry, especially in front of others. I can't keep active as I feel my leg just isn't working properly and the pain is too much, I'm sobbing with every step.
I know it's not an accident or emergency but I can't move without being in agony sad

user1473282350 Mon 12-Sep-16 10:31:00

Go back to the GP first as it's a Monday and GPs are open - they will refer to hospital or A and E if needed - they may be able to give you more stronger painkiller options.

The BIG advantage to going to GP is if they refer, you don't have to wait in A and E in my experience. I've been straight in and seen.

wowfudge Mon 12-Sep-16 10:32:54

GP may be able to help over the phone.

ChicRock Mon 12-Sep-16 10:34:18

You need to get back to your GP. I wouldn't go to A&E with sciatica. What do you think they'll do that your GP can't/won't? They'll probably just give you painkillers and refer you back to your GP.

Unless you've lost control of your bowels and/or bladder, or its affecting both legs, then you need A&E.

CMOTDibbler Mon 12-Sep-16 10:38:26

You need to see the GP - A&E can't do anything more than give you painkillers, and aren't appropriate for a continuing issue

doyouseeme1 Mon 12-Sep-16 10:42:27

Thanks, I just feel so desperate. I've got an appointment for this afternoon but I always feel like they brush me off.
I'm not sure if this is related, I haven't lost control of my bowels but I don't feel like I need the toilet for a wee but when I do go it's like I've been waiting ages to the point I'm desperate but without the feeling

Cornettoninja Mon 12-Sep-16 10:42:42

If you're looking for relief try and find a physio/sports masseuse.

I don't have sciatica but suffer horrendously with my lower back and a session with someone manipulating the area and massaging works wonders. Excercises are great, but getting someone who knows what they're doing to get things back to where they should be is a great kick start.

toomanycatsonthebed Mon 12-Sep-16 10:42:48

Horrible pain...I've been there. I had to take 6 weeks off work and couldn't put my foot down at all and was agony when I did. It was an L5 herniated disk which created pain in hip, buttocks, down leg etc. It was hideous. I took pain killers and saw lots of specialists, but the magic cure was a chiropracter. It took a while for it to mend but I did get there in the end. A&E won't help unless you have numbness in the 'saddle region' or any bowel/bladder issues - those are the red flags. I suggest GP and maybe insist on an MRI to identify the issue. Good luck x

panad317 Mon 12-Sep-16 10:43:24

Waiting to be seen at a&e would make the pain worse. Phone your GP, tell them you need to be seen today and stay at home as comfortable as you can until your appointment.
I suffer from sciatica too, sitting on an exercise ball helps me, or on a chair with my leg up on the ball. It's so frustrating, especially being 39 weeks pregnant too!

RB68 Mon 12-Sep-16 10:49:22

As a fellow sufferer in recent months I would say you need to get pain under control - you need a review of the pain medication and how its being used, you also need physio therapy of some sort either via nhs or a chiro/osteo. They should be able to root cause it for you which will help. I went to out of hours surgery rather than a&e or GP - would have done GP if it weren't a sat eve when I had just had enough. It is horrendous you are not being a woos but you need to be a squeaky wheel until something changes.

RB68 Mon 12-Sep-16 10:51:24

Should say mine was also a herniated disc just lower than prev poster - 2 if I recall, its still not 100% now and mine was in March time. I have certain exercises to do and still driving long distance or sitting on awful chairs causes problems

ceepeeree Mon 12-Sep-16 10:54:08


I suffer from sciatica too so I understand the pain. Have you tried Voltaren? I know not everyone would respond the same but î does wonders for me- I have a disc bulge that traps the nerve.

Good luck

MothersGrim Mon 12-Sep-16 10:55:30

Try alternating hot and cold relief on your lower back/bum cheek.

If GP this afternoon no help, ask on your local Facebook pages for a sports physio with an urgent appointment today, after giving birth I had mildy pulled my piriformis muscle and a couple of stretches I had near instant relief.

Physio won't touch you till you've seen GP again and if he can't help they will at least advise what tests you need to insist on from GP going forwards.

IAmNotAMindReader Mon 12-Sep-16 10:57:22

As you have highlighted you have a oroblem telling when your bladder is full I would call that a red flag. Do you have a walk in centre or minor injuries unit nearby. If not, ring your gp and see if you can get an earlier appointment and make sure they take note of it.

IAmNotAMindReader Mon 12-Sep-16 10:57:44


Honeybadger01 Mon 12-Sep-16 11:02:26

With the problem you are describing with using the toilet, this could indicate a serious problem. I would go to a and e if I were you, you could have cauda equina syndrome, which is a medical emergency. I have had this, was in agony with sciatica and had numbness in my perianal region and issues with using the loo but to be honest all I was focused on was the pain. I went to gp, sent straight to a and e, admitted for surgery that day. Please don't delay.

RaggyDoll1 Mon 12-Sep-16 11:05:46

GP gave me naproxen a pain killer and anti inflammatory. It worked a treat, I was in so much pain, couldn't even walk and I have two baby girls to carry around.

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Mon 12-Sep-16 11:20:24

Yy, I'll always remember the "MNer who couldn't wee".

She did indeed have cauda equina, and MN telling her A&E NOW saved her life.

(Was that you in a namechange, Honeybadger?)

doyouseeme1 Mon 12-Sep-16 11:22:34

Thanks for all being so kind blush I just feel like a wuss!
I've had physio booked since when my sciatica started but it's still not for another two weeks. I've had sciatica before years ago due to a herniated disc and ended up having an operation so I'm no stranger to the pain but it much worse this time round.
I'm currently taking naproxen and codiene and it's not touching it, heat helps a little with relief though. My appointments in a few hours so I'll tell the gp about the bladder thing too, thanks for all your help.

Jibberoo Mon 12-Sep-16 11:30:48

I have an would go to ae for siatica if it's as bad as you say. Not being able to move is an emergency. While they often can't do much to help immediately they can check if there is any disc problem aggravating it

Imnotaslimjim Mon 12-Sep-16 11:37:08

Please get seen by a medic sooner rather than later. If it's Cauda Equina, you're GP will refer you through to A&E. Can you have a prod around your "seat" and the tops of your legs, see if there is any change in feeling or reduced sensation? If there is either of those you need seeing.

Ilovetea82 Mon 12-Sep-16 11:41:08

I wanted to jump out of a plane mine was so bad.
Alternating heat and cold does help and if you can bear to do any stretching at all that might help.

frankie001 Mon 12-Sep-16 11:41:11

With bladder problems I wouldn't wait. Go to a and e

user1473282350 Mon 12-Sep-16 11:52:00

With the further information you've added - please go directly to A and E.

Hawkmoth Mon 12-Sep-16 11:54:28

Absolutely A&E now.

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