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Sciatica, literally a pain in the butt Login/Join 
Too soon old,
Too late smart
Anyone have (had) this creature from hell? Only thing that works is prednisone but don't want that long term. Will get MRI next week.


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I wouldn't let anyone do to me what I've done to myself
Posts: 1340 | Location: NoVa | Registered: March 14, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
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I've had it on the right side ever since I moved something in an ill-advised manner some thirty-five or forty years ago.

If I keep up with my exercise and stretching routines I can keep it mostly, or even entirely, gone. If I slack off it comes back.

More than a pain in the ass, for me. At it's worst the pain travels nearly all the way down my right leg.

It hasn't all-but-immobilized me in years, though.

"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
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Posts: 20872 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dont let these doctors write off your back pain as simple sciatica. I had one that did that and after several visits and physical therapy with no results I finally got an MRI. I had a herniated disc.


There is no cure for stupidity, you either die from it or with it.
Posts: 4769 | Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA | Registered: February 27, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Years back when employed by Florida Power and Light Company, we had several employees that had lower back issues. So much in fact that they contracted a Mobile Chiropractic Van that traveled throughout the states service center to include the Nuclear Plants and allow the employees to visit the van for treatments. I had degenerating disc's at the 5th lumbar and the mobile chiropractic could give us some temporary relief, but the company still allowed us to see a company physician who gave us prescription Soma (carisoprodal) as an effective muscle relaxer to help.

For those who suffer these back conditions, it is all too familiar that when it (popps) out, the pain is unreal and makes you stand like a crooked stick, let alone walk, or try to get out of bed.

Mine overtime suddenly disappeared as if by magic and haven't any problems in 15-20yrs. But I'll never for get the debilitating pain!

Regards, Will G.
Posts: 9598 | Location: 140 mi to Margaritaville, FL | Registered: January 02, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
For real?
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mine turned out to be disks l4/l5.
i was getting cortisone shots in my spin every 3 months to help and then that doctor left my insurance. no other doctor would do it.

I've been seeing a chiropractor (yes, those quacks) and it's been great! i get 20 visits a year on my insurance so I just go every 3 weeks. or if needed, i can go more often, if i go over 20, my chiro just charges me $15 to show up for an adjustment. I've been going every 4 weeks now whether or not i'm in pain.

I'll clarify, I'm not really in pain anymore, it's just every few weeks, my back gets tight from wearing the stupid duty belt and a quick adjustment and I'm right as rain.

Not minority enough!
Posts: 7157 | Location: Cleveland, OH | Registered: August 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Run Silent
Run Deep

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I use a lacrosse ball and sit on it in my recliner.

Once you find the trigger point, it will help release some of the pressure.

Try it…

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Posts: 6304 | Location: South East, Pa | Registered: July 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had it so bad a few years ago that I had to get out of my car 3 times on my way to and from work to stretch (30 minute drive). I also slept on the hard floor a few nights because it was the only way to minimize the pain.

As others have said the key for me was STRETCHING. In my case, I need to sit on the floor with my legs straight out in front of me and grab my toes with my fingers and hold it for 20 seconds.

When I feel like the sciatica is coming back , I do this a few times a day and I have mercifully not had it come back yet...

Posts: 272 | Registered: January 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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After several lower back surgeries and persistent pain, I began having periodic “ablation” procedures.

An “electronic” needle is inserted into the problem area and the troublesome nerves are heated by electronic emissions so that the nerve sheaths are burned away. Apparently the outer sheaths transmit the pain signals.

That is prob a rough description but how I understand it.

It works for me. The sheaths grow back eventually and the procedure can be repeated.

It works for me.
Posts: 1364 | Location: Texas Hill Country | Registered: April 07, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Corgis Rock
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Back in the 90s I was kicked in a Tae Won Do match. I limped around for several weeks then spen a week in Hawaii. Every time I got into a car my right leg from hip to food was a line of pain.
Back in the states I had several MRIs and diagnosed with a L4-L5 degenerative disc. Yes, it factored into the Army retirement.
Since then I’ve avoided long term medication by core strength training and stretching.
Most of the time the pain comes during driving. A few years back wevdrove Wa-AZ and back. Afterwards, lifting my leg to put n a sock hurt.
What works for me is core strength trading, stretching, and over the counter pain killers. I’ve been told I’ll likely need a fusion but to hold off as long as possible.

“ The work of destruction is quick, easy and exhilarating; the work of creation is slow, laborious and dull.
Posts: 5966 | Location: Outside Seattle | Registered: November 29, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had no indication I had something wrong with me until I got out of bed. My right side from my waist to my toes
was numb. Then the pain hit, I was reduced to shuffling along side the furniture to walk a steady line.

My wife took me to the hospital, I couldn’t walk, brought out a wheel chair, had no feeling on the right side all the way to my toes, couldn’t feel the gas pedal or brakes. Doc told me no driving, to take ibuprofen and got me into physical therapy for 6 weeks. In my case, the sciatica left as quickly as it came on. That was 3 years ago & hasn’t returned. Don’t want to jinx myself….best to you suffers.

Physical therapy,stretching helped me also.
Posts: 4559 | Location: west 'by god' virginia | Registered: May 30, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by gpbst3:
Dont let these doctors write off your back pain as simple sciatica. I had one that did that and after several visits and physical therapy with no results I finally got an MRI. I had a herniated disc.

Technically they weren't wrong. Sciatica is the symptom, not a specific condition. Anything that irritates or presses against the lumbar nerve roots or lumbar plexus, resulting in radiculopathy is often lumped into sciatica. Some things that aren't sciatica are sometimes mistaken for it as well, such as SI joint dysfunction. Starting with conservative treatment like PT is the standard of care. MRIs can be misleading. Most people over 50 will show signs of degenerative spine disease, but that alone does not necessarily mean that is the cause of nerve pain. ESIs and other pain interventions are meant to also be diagnostic, not just therapeutic and are an important part of the process of identifying a specific cause. While effective at treating symptoms, their efficacy can wane over time, and there is a limit to the number of steroid injections you can safely get every year. Unfortunately, the most effective treatments for many types of chronic low back pain include PT and weight loss, which are also some of the most difficult things to maintain long term. I personally would stay the hell away from surgery for as long as possible. Seen too many failed spines come in through the OR/pain clinic where surgery was not really effective long term and these poor people are still in pain.
Posts: 798 | Location: Michigan | Registered: November 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
A Grateful American
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Check on "piriformis syndrome" with your Doctor, another thing that feels like a disc issue, but it is not and can often be remedied with PT rather than steroids or surgery.

The pain is intense, and radiates from the hip/lower back all the way to the toes and is a combination of pain, numbness, pins and needles similar to "leg is asleep".

Stretching and the "tennis ball" in the hollow of hip, helps.

"the meaning of life, is to give life meaning" I could explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you. I'm gonna go to the Alamo
Posts: 41744 | Location: fl | Registered: December 20, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
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Yep. Extremely common in law enforcement, from all the time spent sitting on/carrying around the duty belt.

Mine was at its worst back in 2012ish. Tried a couple chiropractors with no relief. The only thing that worked was stretching, plus using Biofreeze or similar "icy/hot" creams to help mask the pain.

Luckily, it had mostly resolved itself after about 2 years. And I haven't had a serious flare-up in years, though I'm no longer in a uniformed position these days, so the daily load on my waist is greatly reduced.
Posts: 27646 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
His Royal Hiney
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I was plagued by it for quite a long while. I remember the pain would be worst in mid-swing.

Quick relief was by chiropractic manipulation.

Long term relief and cure was doing sciatica exercises. The one taught me by the chiropractor was to lie down in bed. Put the knee of the good leg up. Then cross your bad leg as if you're sitting down with the heel of your bad leg on the knee of the good leg.

Then with your hands, slowly pull the knee of your bad leg towards your chest and hold. Don't bounce. You should feel the stretch in your butt where your sciatica is. Keep doing that everyday and as often as you can.

"It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life – daily and hourly. Our answer must consist not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual." Viktor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning, 1946.
Posts: 16601 | Location: The Free State of Arizona - Ditat Deus | Registered: March 24, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Have you tried a Theragun or similar device?
In general, Theraguns have been very helpful for muscle tension/overuse. They're not cheap but worth it. The concept of the device is to relax muscles that are overused and tight.

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Posts: 553 | Registered: September 05, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I get bouts of sciatic nerve pain a few times throughout the year. I have an awesome pain management doc that I see regularly. I fell years ago and fractured L4. Sciatic issues have frequently been an issue since then. A steroid pack knocks the pain out probably 80% of the time. Lying in the floor on you back with something like a racquet or tennis ball right on your hip/butt area can help. Don’t be afraid to take a steroid pack. Sciatica is a miserable kind of pain… but you know this. Good luck

"Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway." Steve McQueen...
Posts: 6243 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: July 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had it two years ago...........damn near felt like I was dying!!!

Could hardly walk or sit. It struck right before hunting season. Tried walking into the woods, only went about 1/4 mile before deciding it was a bad idea.

I really thought I would have to retire from my LE job due to the pain and issue. I did the stretches, etc. They did seem to help. Eventually I got back to normal.

"The Marines I have seen around the world have, the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps." Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945
Posts: 3351 | Location: Northeast PA | Registered: June 05, 2000Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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ne o
I have it RIGHT NOW! I had a bad car accident 1.5yrs ago and have been having sciatic nerve problems since. Chiro visits 5 days a week, then cut to 3 then 1, then accupuncture, the the cortisone shot...NOTHING made it completely go away. The best treatment has been this $8 "spiked ball set" I got on Amazon.

I use the blue one. I put it behind me at work while sitting and I lay on it at night in the bed. !!!!!IT WORKS!!!!!

"It's gon' be some slow singing -n- flower bringing............ if my burglar alarm starts ringing"
Posts: 305 | Location: GATORLAND | Registered: August 14, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Prepared for the Worst, Providing the Best
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Had sciatic nerve pain radiating from an L5/S1 disk herniation. Did the chiropractor, inversion table, muscle relaxer, steroid, anti-inflamatories...the whole 9 yards. It kept coming back. I'd get flare up and miss work, and was sometimes in bed for days at a time.

What finally solved it was I started running, lost 80lbs, and worked on my core. I also try to keep my vitamin D levels up. I steel feel it every now and then (mostly in the late winter when I haven't be able to get outside much and the sun has been hidden for months), but nothing like before. I've been pretty much pain free for 5 years now, and it's pretty amazing.
Posts: 4680 | Location: In the Cornfields | Registered: May 25, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Web Clavin Extraordinaire
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I feel you. Literally.

Been struggling with it for almost 20 years. I keep it controlled with exercise/stretching and remaining upright as much as possible. I get mild flare ups in the summer when I'm home a lot more and it's too easy to sit down or lay in bed too long.


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Posts: 19327 | Location: SE PA | Registered: January 12, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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