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Recurrent Sciatica

ntiffanynntiffany Posts: 1
I was experiencing sciatica for a long time and it was discovered that I had spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, and a synovial cyst. I had a laminectomy and fusion surgery on L4 & L5 two years ago. Even though sciatica did not completely go away, my doc kept saying it was normal. Then it started to worsen about six months ago, so he did a myleogram. It showed spinal stenosis, a bone spur, and disc degeneration in L2 & L3!! He said it was common for the unstableness to keep moving up the spine once you have the rod and pins put in. He has suggested the epidural cortisone shot and I have an appt. next week for a consultation with a pain clinic. In the meantime, the sciatica is SO bad, nothing helps except ice, and laying on my stomach across my physio-ball to decompress. There is NO comfortable position - standing, sitting, walking - all make it worse. I am at my wits' end!


  • Hi and welcome to Spine Health!

    The only thing I can think of is if you could call your doctor who diagnosed this and see if they can phone in a medicine for nerve pain. If you have to make it a whole week before you can get in to the pain doctor it seems like maybe it would be reasonable for them to prescribe something to tie you over.
  • It must be difficult having to wait it out, but hope that your epidural block works well for you.

    Many blessings, and let us know how you do!!

  • ntiffany, one thing I can suggest you ask your doctor about is whether he definitely believes your sciatic pain is related to your disc problems, or if it may be caused by piriformis syndrome. If you are cleared by your doctor for stretching, you can ask to have a PT session or two authorized to focus stretching your piriformis muscles and teaching you useful stretches whether or not you go on to have further surgery.

    "Sciatica" is just a general term denoting pressure on the sciatic nerve. When I was a personal trainer, one of the most prevalent conditions I noted in my and others' clients was piriformis syndrome. Human anatomy is never cut-and-dried; different people may have differences in their muscles, in the number of bones, etc. In a certain percentage of the population (up to 30%), the sciatic nerve (about as wide as your thumb) actually passes *through* the piriformis muscle, putting pressure on the nerve.

    There are effective stretches for piriformis syndrome that a PT or personal trainer can perform for you, and teach you how to perform for yourself. I have had piriformis syndrome on both sides for at least 17 years, and I know that stretching has at times felt almost life-saving to me, that's how bad the pain can be. I have also had spine issues for at least 22 years.

    I recommend you do a search online, then explore the issue with your doctor. :)
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