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Sciatica, agony. Should I go to gp, osteopath, chiropractor, acupuncturist?
I havent slept properly for days and just want it to stop. Was abroad last week and doctor there did give me painkillers but they are not helping at all. So what to di next? It is really getting me down!
You poor thing, sciatica is horribly painful. I suffered with it after some major pelvic surgery and found some gentle stretches made all the difference.
I am NOT a health care professional and I think whether these offer you relief will depend on where the nerve is being 'pinched', but here's what I did:
1) lie on your back, knees bent. Gently let your knees fall to one side, then rock them slowly over to the other. Only as much as you can, and slowly.
2) bouncing gently on a gym ball felt comfortable for me.
3) yoga 'cat' stretches
4) gentle hamstring stretch: sit on a chair, and stretch out one leg, with your toes flexed. Lean forward gently from your hips, keeping your back straight. Hold for 20 seconds, then try and lean forward a little more.
5) the tennis ball exercise: lie on your back, knees bent. Place a tennis ball into the small of your back and wiggle gently, letting it settle into a spot where you feel tenderness. Just relax against the tennis ball for about 30 secs, then move it into another tender spot. This is supposed to relax muscles which are impinging on the nerves causing sciatica. It was hugely helpful for me.
Of course you shouldn't do these exercises if they cause you more pain, and if the sciatica is causing you to lose all feeling in your legs / loss of bodily functions, you need to see a Dr.
Having just had a bout of sciatica a few months ago I would recommend ibuprofen 3 times a day and an electric heat pad. I also found walking helped a lot and sitting down for long periods terrible. Mine was always worse when I woke up if I'd slept in the wrong position. I had it when I was pregnant and the osteopath was magic- 3 sessions and it disappeared.
I think it depends on the cause of the sciatica: if it's caused by inflammation and swelling pressing on the nerve, anti inflammatories can help reduce that. But I can't take that, so codeine was my best bet. Get well soon OP!
I went to the gp today and embarrassingly burst into tears but after a week without sleep I felt like I was losing my mind. He has prescribed codeine now which seems to work better, and also diazepam to help with sleeping which Im a bit nervous about taking, but I think I need to do it just to get back on an even keel.
Ir's awful and my husband is going through the same so I can sympathise. He tried diazepam and tramadol along with naproxen which unfortunately didn't help him, so I do hope they help you and give you some relief. It's just awful when you can't even sleep or find a comfortable position to get any relief or rest, you can feel like you're going mad. Husband's on morphine patches from tomorrow so we hope they help otherwise the GP said there isn't anything that can help. We're waiting for his urgent MRI referral to hopefully go through, was due for knee op but pain is so bad for back, hips and other knee we need MRI to identify what's the cause of that pain and see what can be done. Sorry for harping on (!) I really sympathise and hope you get the pain relief and treatment you need, unfortunately from what we've seen the GP referral process is more constricted and long winded with some of the recent changes to the NHS.
No they've never suggested it but will look into thanks! husband did some private physio which had been helping until a few weeks ago.
It started back in May with husband having bad knee pain&mobility, went to GP, went away with pain killers & anti inflammitaries, went back as no improvement, felt like we were fobbed off with stronger versions of both, were eventually referred for ultrasound which didn't show much aside from fluid & inflammation, GP then said husband must be "riddled with arthritis" and basically he'd be on pain relief for rest of life and need to manage with it so husband was gutted. This was completely wrong and we started using a different GP after that.
Then had NHS referral for physio, saw one brilliant woman who said what she thought needed doing with knee but it really felt like we had to fight "the system" to actually get the referral for the consultant to review.
Finally he got an MRI on right knee, he's booked in for op 16th Nov as needs clean up of knee and muscle repair but over last 4 weeks he's been in agony with left side, left knee and back. It may be these have been taking the strain for injured right knee but due to pain it may be that these too have become affected.
His prescription for morphine patches starts tomorrow so we're hoping that helps while we wait for the MRI on back and hips, the GP basically said that if the patches don't help at all then there isn't any pain relief that will help so I'm keeping my fingers tightly crossed!
When I had problems a friend lent me a book by Robin McKenzie "Treat your own back" which has several exercises in it. Some are for maintenance and some for flare-ups (can't move type pain). Now, I say exercises, but the first emergency one is simply lie on the floor face down. They really helped me. Then I had an aching back for a few years after that which wasn't anywhere near as bad as it had been but still hurt, and that finally got better when I cut out sugar.
The McKenzie book talks about putting the curves back into your spine correctly, and once past the emergency pain relief exercises, working to strengthen the muscles to avoid problems in the future.