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Possible sciatica

(15 Posts)
MissMogwi Fri 18-Oct-13 05:38:39

Well the scan was not the best experience. When they scanned my leg I had to keep it still for so long, I was crying by the end of it. I could barely walk out. The poor woman nervously waiting to go next looked horrified when she saw me hobble out, mascara running and white with pain.
No results for 10 days, but at least the scans are done so hopefully there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

I have a big cushion at work and I go for a little wander every so often.

When I get some decent pain relief I am planning to start swimming or some other gentle exercise. I probably should be doing that anyway, lazy mare that I am.

Thanks again for the replies, they are really supportive.

mouldyironingboard Thu 17-Oct-13 10:12:32

Hi missmogwi

Starballbunny is right, you have to keep moving around rather than sitting still at work. Get up every 10 minutes or so to walk around the room. Check that your chair is at the correct height for your desk. Is your chair at work supporting your back properly? A wedge cushion can help your posture and a lumbar roll cushion or a rolled up jumper (in the small of your back) will help you to sit more comfortably.

Good luck with your MRI scan!

MissMogwi Thu 17-Oct-13 09:33:39

I've been getting my DP to massage my leg and back. But I'll give him your instructions later.

Im sat in the waiting room now on the most uncomfortable chair in the world. My appointment is in 5 mins so hopefully won't have to wAit too long.

I just want my life back, if you know what I mean? I'm only 34, I have a lovely family and home and a decent ish job. I'm very lucky. But this has taken over my life, even sex is painful because of my leg.

I know what you mean about sprawling on the sofa, I'm only comfy sat in weird positions like catalogue poses grin.

NoComet Thu 17-Oct-13 08:56:30

Yes keeping moving, walking, swimming (I do do breast stroke, but throw in the odd length of back stroke because it gets my neck, float would work well).

Do not sit still - fidget! Sitting still is deadly. My back was horrible after Christmas, too much sitting neatly talking to DM (who had arthritis and can't wander about). Normally I'd sprawl on the sofa, but there isn't room with visitors.

The best treatment I've found is ridiculously easy and free as long as you have a DP.

The second your legs tingle or hurt or the base of your spine feels odd you need to get them to rub just to the side of your spine, right in the small of your back just as low as your bum musles allow.

You'll know if they get the right spot it tingles. If you get it right and do it as soon as it starts being stupid you seem to be able to stop the nerve making your legs hurt before it starts.

I can actually rub the right spot myself, but DHs big hands are better.

And your not being a drama queen. It's horrible.

MissMogwi Thu 17-Oct-13 07:39:45

Well, I've got the scan this morning. I was hoping to get some feedback after it, as it has been rushed through by my GP. But now I think I'll have to wait. I'm in agony this morning and nothing seems to be working.

If I go on the sick I'll only be entitled to SSP I think, and I can't manage on that. I haven't been with my company long enough to get sick pay. Although , I can't see how much longer I can manage. I was typing stood up yesterday as it was too painful to sit.

I feel like such a drama queen, it's reassuring to read all of your accounts of the condition. Thanks.

goodasitgets Thu 17-Oct-13 00:56:17

Mine was sciatica. It went one night so badly I had to have gas and air to be lifted off the floor. I was amazed that it wasn't an actual injury but my core muscles were so weak, everything else was over compensating and I had been over training
Got referred to an amazing NHS physio who was also sports physio and understood my need to push myself. He banned me from doing anything for 4 weeks except two exercises for my core and I had to do them three times a day
It's maybe 4 months on now, I'm back at the gym, pole fitness and horse riding. If I don't do the core exercises it flares up but to a manageable level

Matildathecat Tue 15-Oct-13 14:52:04

Ps I have mixed nhs with private. Mixed feelings on this with hindsight.

Matildathecat Tue 15-Oct-13 14:51:04

The MRI results take about two weeks. (Nhs. almost instant privately). You almost certainly need further referrals: the pain clinic for example who can offer injections and a neuro surgeon in extremis. Unfortunately if you are nhs the waits can be long.

Can you really not take time off work? Sounds like you should. If you have Occ Health do use them ASAP for support.

Do come and join us on The Back Story. You are not alone.

MissMogwi Tue 15-Oct-13 13:08:00

Thank you.

I am taking a mix of tablets each night plus liquid morphine. I get about 2 hours reprieve then I'm up again. I am pacing the house in tears most night,feel like I'm going mad.

Do they give you feedback straight after the MRI, even if I just get some information on Thursday it will be something. I don't know how much longer I can cope to be honest.

I'm waiting for confirmation as to what it is then I'm considering paying privately. I feel like it's taking over my life if that makes sense.

I'm such a misery!

gigglebiz02 Tue 15-Oct-13 10:33:00

I feel your pain! I have had sciatica for the last 3 months, started mildly ramping up to full blown pain, can't sit, can't lie down, can't work/drive etc. When I had an MRI 2 weeks ago, it confirmed a what they call slipped/herniated disc between L4&L5 part of my spine. Apparently this is common for wear and tear in a disc. Having read your post, I have exactly the same symptoms, but I would maybe cautious about things until you have had your MRI results in case it is something different.

As it was slipping out from it's proper place, it has been pushing on my sciatic nerve, causing all the leg and lower pack pain. The good news is that after all the agony, things are getting slowly better for me with the following things:

Physio - specific excercises, ie laying on floor, on elbows pushing up, creating a curve so your back is in a 'u' shape. However, if it really hurts, don't do it, try at a time when the back is more warmed up and not in as much pain. If you have a slipped disc, your NHS physio should be able to show you many more.

Walking / Swimming - gentle excercise seems to help keep pain at bay. walking and keeping moving during the day helps. swimming (not breast stroke) ie, front crawl or with a float helps keep your spine in a position to help ease the disc back into place.

Cold packs - cold compress on the back area at regular intervalls.

Accupunture - not entirely sure if this works, but 48hrs after both sessions I had, I have seen a marked improvement, but this could be coincidence!

Oesteophath - expensive, but if you find a good one who knows what they are dealing with is worth it for their advice.

drugs - I have been on many, but the combinations I find work currently are: neproxin (anti inflams), tramadol (stronger than codine), paracetamol and amytriptiline at night, plus a dose of morphine at night. I am normally very anti taking painkillers but I had no option as it got so horrendus. I am now not generally needing the tablets in the day, but take before bed and during night. compared to a few weeks ago when I was counting the hours to the next dose and pacing the house in the middle of the night in tears for hours.

so, the above may not work for you and you might not even have a slipped disc, but your description is texbook copy of my symptoms. Wish you all the best of luck, it is the most awful condition I have ever had the misfortune to have!

MissMogwi Mon 14-Oct-13 23:06:29

Thanks for the replies.

I haven't injured myself, I have had a bad back for years, since having the DC probably. So 11/12 years but I just put up with it. I think it has stemmed from that, although what do I know!

I have tried cutting out the pain relief as I am in agony regardless. But I just can't cope, although everything I am on makes me drowsy so I'm not only in pain but groggy to boot.

I've been looking up some exercises online, nothing seems to offer any relief. I realise I sound very negative but this is the most painful thing.

I spend half the night wandering about downstairs as it seems so much worse at night. My calf feels as though someone is twisting the bone, if that makes sense. I can't straighten it out properly at times, especially at night.

Thanks again for your responses, I do appreciate it.

JumpingJackSprat Mon 14-Oct-13 22:46:12

Have you injured yourself recently? I injured my back before and thought it was getting better - had the odd twinge. The out of the blue about 6 months later I had excruciating pain down the back of my leg so much so I could hardly walk. It felt like stabbing pain and aching pain at the same time. I went to the GP and she referred me for a course of physio as the back injury which was causing the sciatica hadn't resolved - the physio more or less sorted it out but it definitely sorted out the sciatica. Good luck getting it sorted out, Ive never felt pain like it!!

Zipadeedoodah Mon 14-Oct-13 22:45:39

React to it not remind. And again, go gently, I am not a doctor! It's just what worked for me! And hot then cold compresses.....

Zipadeedoodah Mon 14-Oct-13 22:44:03

I had it really, really badly. It's awful and chiro was costing a fortune. I stopped going as could not afford it, but the pain was awful....pins and needles is classic sign. I have now managed to get rid of pain after having fashioned a recovery plan fom stuff I found on the Internet. Best exercise is lying on bed with knees bent if you can stand it,let one knee drop to the side and then the other, but very very slowly.only what you can manage. I have now got to the stage where I can put sole of foot on the other knee that's bent and get a full stretch. Go on youtube as well there is loads. Still get pins and needles occasionally. My bigger turning point was to sop taking pain killers which was awful, but I wanted to know when the pain was and remind to it not mask it as that was making it much worse. Big prob for me now is sitting or lying for long periods of time, really starts again. Really feel for you and was the worst health problem I have had .

MissMogwi Mon 14-Oct-13 22:37:53

Hi I'd just like some advice and to have a good old whine really.

I have an MRI scan on Thursday because for the past two months I have had a worsening sensation of pins and needles and acute pain in my right ankle and calf.

I have had a test for a DVT, luckily it was clear. However the pain is now so bad I am on a combo of morphine, diazepam and amitryptilene (sp?). My whole right calf and thigh are in constant agony plus my back.

I'm probably getting about 2/3 hours sleep a night despite an increased dose of morphine, as nothing is working. Everything is a struggle, I'm exhausted and at my wits end.
My GP thinks it mightbe sciatica related, she is baffled.

I'm working, because I have to, but the lack of sleep and constant pain is starting to effect my work. I'm feeling guilty because I am having to rely on my DP so much, although he is wonderful.

Sorry for the long, self indulgent ramble. Just needed to vent. Can anyone share their experience of a similar condition?

Thanks smile

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