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What do you think this could be?

sacramentassacramenta Posts: 16
Hello all..I am glad I found this board! I need your expertise, if you would. Had a very bad car accident 20 years ago and have never been the same. The last 4 years I have been having the typical sciatica pain. Text book symptoms so I won't bore you with them. The thing is, is that I would get a bout of it every several months and the episode would last 4 or 5 days. Went to the the doctors only one time because for it during that time which he said was probably sciatica and gave me medication. Here is where the problem is. In the last 6 months I have been getting the pain much more frequently. This last episode has lasted almost 2 months but the symptoms are sketchy. I will have many days where it is so painful I can't even lay down at night my leg hurts so bad. Then it eases to where it is just an mild pain and bursts back into bad pain again. I should mention that last year I went to a chiropractor to see if it could help and he told me he would be very surprised that I didn't have a herniated disk in my lower back. I have googled sciatica and I didn't read anything where the pain would come and go and never leave for so long. Has anyone ever had that history? Also, if I go to the doctor...how should I approach the situation that maybe it is time to seek furthur tests etc. He only saw me one time, the other times I just suffered it out. Any suggestions would help! Thanks so much!!


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859

    For a Spine-Health Site introduction, Click on :

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    Please feel free to contact me at rdilauro@gmail.com or send me a message
    People that suffer from sciatica problems can experience what you are seeing. It is not that uncommon for the pain to come on for a while, subside and then later come on, perhaps more intense and lasting longer.
    There is inflammation and irritation of the spinal nerve root. You need to find out what is the cause of that. More often then not, it is the result of a disc that is bulging and pressing on the nerve.
    In order to verify that, you will need to have some diagnostic testing. Discuss your symptoms and problems with your Primary Care doctor to determine if they want you to see a specialist (neurologist, pain mgt doctor,etc)
    They will be the ones that would decide the next steps. In addition to clinical examinations, they may request a MRI.
    Once the root cause of the problem is identified, then action plans can be put into place. Please be aware, that just because you have a bulging,herniated, slipped disc does not mean surgery is your only option. The important thing is to get the ball rolling.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • thanks so much for responding ron....it means alot! sometimes i think i am going crazy with the pain and then it subsides only to quickly return. I am going to see the doc and press forth with some testing. thank you very much!
  • Sciatic pain can be very intense and it is difficult to find something to relieve it. It is common to have episodes of sciatic pain. This can go on for years without any major event.

    For your own peace of mind, you might want to consult with a spinal specialist. Your internist or PCP can order the appropriate tests, but I think you should seek help from a fellowship-trained spinal specialist to diagnose your problems. This can be either an orthopedic spinal specialist or a neurosurgeon who devotes most of his/her practice to issues of the spine and back. I found from personal experience that you can waste a lot of valuable time with an internist who thinks he can interpret your MRI.

    I have some more thoughts for you, but before I go any farther, I am interested in knowing if your sciatic pain goes below your ankle? Do you have pain in both legs or just one? Is your pain relieved by sitting, or lying down? Is it worse when you are standing or walking? Or, I should just ask, what makes it worse and when is it better? For example, some people have trouble standing and walking, but can get through a grocery store if they have a cart to kind of lean on as they push it.

    Welcome to the board. You will discover a whole group of people who understand what you are going through, and are happy to share your journey and answer your questions.

    xx Gwennie
  • Well, sitting is worse and standing too long starts to get more painful. There is pain when walking but it seems to feel best that way, even though I have to walk on the side of my foot with knee slightly bent. When I lay down the pain lessens in the buttox area but the pain in my leg is horrible. I don't know if that is because I am trying to sleep. But I have to get up to releive it. Getting up is also horrible when I am in my more painful episodes but once I start to walk it out it lessons up a little.
    It only goes to my left leg for some reason. But it is funny, I recently noticed some pain in the right leg when I try to sleep.
    When I tried to chiropractor he said that I had swelling in my low back yet I did not have any pain whatsoever there. There are other times when I do get low back pain with the sciatica.
    I hope that it a little clearer. It is so frustrating not knowing what the heck is doing this. I thank you for all your help!
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