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Suffering with sciatica

(19 Posts)
Katherine13 Wed 04-May-16 08:41:26

Hi, I've been suffering with sciatica for the last 3 years. So depressing I've had 2 lots of pain killing injections which do work but only last 2 months. At present I'm taking gabapentin1200 mg they do help but have side effects,. Most noticeable is the fact that I have become forgetful and basically a bit thick!!! The last 5 days I have had such bad left sided pain that i can't even walk for any length of time. I went to see my doctor yesterday and he prescribed diazepam 2mg twice a day, they don't seem to have had much effect. Also he signed me off work for a few days to rest. Does anyone have any advise they can offer as its all getting a bit to much for me to cope with........

Getit Wed 04-May-16 08:47:31

Hi sorry you are having a tough time. Have you considered seeing a chiropractor ? If something is out of alignment it can cause pain. I have had periods of sciatica, my mctimoney chiropractor has sorted it.

KittyKrap Wed 04-May-16 08:53:12

Second the chiropractor.
I was a massage therapist and most of my bread and butter was sciatica. It's pretty easy to treat, doesn't take long but really really hurts. Anything has to be worth a try.

fishybits Wed 04-May-16 09:00:16

I suffer too and after 20 plus years my suggestion is pain killers and keep moving.

Don't sit on anything where your hips are lower than your knees - I bought firm foam to push the sofa cushions up.

Start doing pilates or anything to strength your core.

Walk, walk and walk some more.

Learn to pick things up properly.

It's horrible but it is possible to learn to manage it and recognise what you do to trigger it. My most recent episode was caused by using a ball thrower for the dogs after 2 weeks of not walking them so the twisting motion coupled with weaker core muscles set it off.

Good luck

Katherine13 Wed 04-May-16 09:34:12

I have considered seeing a chiropractor but unsure whether it would be worth it. I have had a MRI and have bulging discs l4 l5 and s1. Don't want to make things worse. At present unable to walk much as the pain stops me. I have a dog and need to walk but spend most of the time on the floor waiting for the pain to pass. Thanks for advice. Hard to find anyone that understands if you haven't suffered with it it's difficult to understand. Makes me so miserable and everyone suffers in the end.... Just would like an end to it,

Katherine13 Wed 04-May-16 09:36:17

Thanks for advice regarding pain killers just find that they stop me going to the toilet and make me feel horrible. The other thing is that they don't seem to touch the pain. Which ones do you find helpful??

fishybits Wed 04-May-16 10:56:26

I'm on a doctor prescribed 800mg of ibuprofen every four hours and a prescription of omepazole.

I was offered stronger ones which would've been wonderful to take but mindful of addiction and the need to be able get hold of the painkillers easily, I asked for a dose of one's I'd be able to get over the counter.

It doesn't get rid of the pain completely but definitely allows me to carry on.

Not doing anything is the worst thing to do and I found seeing a physio was the best thing I did, she gave me some exercises that really helped.

Katherine13 Wed 04-May-16 11:22:11

Thanks for advice
I have exercises from my physio and I'm trying to continue with them it's just with the pain as it is at the minute it's quite difficult. Doctor advised 2 days of rest to let it settle so maybe I need to get back to moving and to work tomorrow. Tried feeling sorry for myself and that doesn't help so need to man up and get on with it, thanks for help today.

MissTriggs Wed 04-May-16 20:24:53

Osteopath! combine chiropractor skills with lovely massage

parmalilac Wed 04-May-16 20:31:14

Trigger point therapy can be very helpful - there is a fab book on it by Clair Davis. You can sort out lots of problems with a tennis ball in a sock and massaging in the right place (hip/buttocks in this case). Have done it for sciatica and recommended to others for the same. You can prob find stuff on YouTube about this too.

MatildaTheCat Wed 04-May-16 20:51:45

Two years is a long time to suffer like this. Has anyone suggested a neurosurgery referral? Most disc prolapses do get better within two years so usually surgeons will be conservative unless there are red flags but by now it would be worth discussing.

I switched to pregablin from gabapentin for the same reason you cite. I think I am less forgetful and stupid and definitely less word searching. I also take cocodamol and amitriptyine and naproxen if needed. Oromorph is a standby for really bad times. So worth a review with your GP. A pain clinic referral might be useful as they offer a multi disciplinary approach.

Lastly work. Maybe you need more time off, two days isn't long to recover from a bad flare up. Do you have a sitting job? If so, have you asked for a workplace assessment for adjustments like a standing desk or better chair? Sitting is terrible for lumbar disc issues.

Do join us on the Back Pain Support thread if you'd like to meet other sufferers. There is some comfort in being with others who understand.

Katherine13 Thu 05-May-16 07:32:52

Thanks for the replies.

I'm currently under pain clinic awaiting more injections, I also have an appointment with a spinal surgeon in June. So lots to look forward too.
I have had to be signed off for the rest of the week to continue to rest, I work at a school with small children a lot of my work is on my feet, when not on my feet I'm on a child's small chair. As weight bearing on my left leg seems impossible at the minute working isn't an option. Neither is walking, riding a bike just slightly depressing. Doctor has upped my diazepam to try to control the muscle spasms which he feels I'm having. I'm current trying to up my gabapentin sonslowing turning in to a mad lady. Just difficult to see an end to all. Been in contact with an osteopath bit all so expensive with no guarantee that it will help. Having 2 girls at uni money is tight.
I'm sure just laying around is not helping so unsure what to do for the best.

LucyLocketLostHerPocket Thu 05-May-16 08:06:47

I've used a chiropractor in the past with fantastic results (and relief) but a word of warning - I also currently know of teo friends who have used an osteopath and/or chiropractor with disastrous results and are now awaiting urgent surgery.

Katherine13 Thu 05-May-16 09:19:48

Thanks for that.
I have just managed to change my spinal surgeon appointment to 18 th may so think I will just wait and see what he/she advises.
Always just a waiting game so frustrating, i look at other people walking around and having a normal life and want the same. Obviously too much to ask. Just want to work and walk and enjoy life. Maybe soon who knows.
Thanks for taking the time to reply, really helpful.

user1485855204 Tue 31-Jan-17 09:45:05

I empathise with what you’re going through Katherine. I can only imagine how hard it is living with sciatic pain for years. If you are looking for a remedy that doesn’t involve pharmaceuticals and surgery, I suggest that you visit a chiropractor for sciatica. The chiropractor should be able to find the cause of your pain. I hope that you feel better soon.

picklemepopcorn Tue 31-Jan-17 09:51:40

It's horrible. I had a spinal block for an operation. When my legs came back to life, it was gone and hasn't come back. Can't express the relief.

Things that trigger mine and make it worse: the wrong shoes; supermarket trolley; walking on uneven ground; carrying things unevenly.

A stretch that made it better (depending on your other back problems) lie on my back on the bed, raise a bent knee, cross over and slightly straighten the leg so it hangs over the edge of the bed.

MycatsaPirate Tue 31-Jan-17 10:15:50

I think you need to push for surgery to get the disc cut to prevent any further pain. It's called a microdiscectomy and recovery is pretty long but it won't get better on its own.

Also look at going from gabapentin to pregablin which has less side effects. I switched and found that I wasn't quite as groggy on pregablin.

I also have codeine which I take with paracetamol.

Try not to sit down too much. When you sit, your spine is curved and therefore the disc pushes out further onto the nerve which causes the pain. Gentle walking and stretching, lie down when it's too painful and keep pushing your medical people for something to be done.

I was refused treatment through the pain clinic until all surgical options were exhausted (I've now had two surgeries). My issues have been going on for 11 years and only had my first surgery 3 years ago.

Ilovecaindingle Tue 31-Jan-17 10:21:39

Have you tried a TENS machine? I used one when I had sciatica during pregnancy. . Lots of different options available. .

DontAskIDontKnow Tue 31-Jan-17 11:16:10

You need to keep moving as much as you can. The reason for your pain and the disc problems is your alignment, which will be caused by stiffness and weakness in different muscles. Most probably the hips. Not moving will make that worse.

Painkillers will not fix your pain. The pain is a symptom of the wider problem caused by your alignment. Pain killers can help you to move through the pain.

Spinal surgery is a last resort. Please don't rush into it. If surgical changes are made to your spine then you will probably end up weaker and stiffer there and the problem will probably come back at a later date. If you do have surgery then please work hard to keep moving and keep strong.

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