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New Member Introduction - Help Wanted!

Hi one and all,

I have scowering this forum for months and have finally decided to join.

First things first, my heart goes out to each and everyone of you & the pain i am about to describe is undoubtably felt by many of you and it has regulalry brought me to my mental and physical knees....

I am a 30 year old male, regular health, approx 160lbs in weight & a non smoker.

Many years ago, approx 13 years, i took a fall playing soccer back in my home country, UK.
During this fall i rolled my ankle and damaged my lumbar back, believe it or not, at the time the ankle injury took precident as my ankle was immediately swollen and black as i had clearly suffered ligament damage.
The following morning i suffered my first true bought of lower back pain (LBP from hence forth!).
Back in the late 90's my physio equated to very basic ultra sound and efforts to reduce scar tissue, however, i believe it was this day that i lit the touch paper of my now fragile lower back.

Fast forward many years, i moved to Canada in Nov 2009 and since arriving i have taken more aggressive efforts to get to the bottom of my back problems. Approx twice a year i would suffer LBP for which i tried physio - GUNN IMT needling, myofacsial, TENS machines, and also a process called prolotherapy.

In Sep 2010 i had an MRI which revealed two mildly herniated discs, L4-L5 and more pertinently L5-S1. In both cases, the bulge had not impaired the nerve root.

Dec 2010 i suffered a 3 - 4 week bought of violent coughing, this has effectively changed my life forever....
I started to feel the onset of sciatica on Dec 18th, by the following day i was in a suicidcal volume of pain, from butt check to big toe i endured 3 days of agony with no sleep, on 21st Dec i managed to get a referal to a pain clinic for an ESI (epidural steroid injection). Two days later i felt the reprieved of the injection. I steadily improved and then felt the ESI fade a week or so later.
From approx 4th Jan - 18th Jan i made huge progress to the point whereby i only felt numbness in my left calf and a slightly heavy left foot and i thought the worst was behind me.

On Wednesday 19th Jan i woke up uncertain, i stepped out of bed and once again that roaring pain seared through my left leg and reduced me to a sobbing mess. My conditions have rapidly degenerated since, i am now hobbling on crutches with Tramacet, Lyrica, T3, Endocet, & Diclofenac as my means of combating the now CONSTANT pain.
During my first bought of sciatica, walking was my best friend. The days began tough, but i could eventually walk off the pain - sitting, getting in cars etc was still agonising and resulted in electric shocks of pain behind my knee. However, after the initial stining pain i could sit and lie down without pain until i moved again that is. However, this latest bought is so much worse - i can get no relief in any position, meds barely touch the pain and worst of all, walking causes me immediate agony. I had a nerve block injection Yesterday and am now hoping and preying that it will kick in soon and enable me to return to work.


WHy on earth did this second setback happen? 100% out of the blue i felt the worst was behind me, why did this suddenly happen and will it happen again?

How long will this second acute bought of pain last?

When will i be able to walk again?

ANY help anyone can offer me will be of HUGE assistance, chin up one and all, and i look forward to hearing from you.




  • Welcome to Spine-Health. I'm glad you finally joined - you'll find a lot of great information on the site and the members of the forum are always helpful and supportive.

    Unfortunately, there's nobody here that can answer your questions. There are so many variables with spine problems - the bout of coughing could have made your discs worse, this could be temporary, consevative measures could help - there's just too many options and only a spine specialist can help you figure it all out.

    I'm assuming that the nerve block was a diagnostic procedure to see if a rhizotomy (or nerve burn) would be helpful to you. That's generally the reason for a nerve block. So if that helps, you might find good results with a rhizotomy.

    Other than that, there's nothing that we can help with. What does your doctor say? Have you had an appointment to discuss all this with him/her? You've obviously seen a doc about this because you were given the nerve block, so I'm interested to hear what it is they say about everything that's happening.

    Take care and please keep us posted.
  • Hi Tom :wave: and welcome to the s board :D

    Though I am sorry you need to be here.

    I don't have any answers to your questions but want you to know there are great people here who will support you as you travel this part of the back injury journey.
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • As ridiculous as it feels, this is a cry for help.

    I'm 52 years old and in pretty good shape, aside from sciatica. I've been dealing with Sciatica for a year now. I believe it was triggered by limping on a pulled muscle from basketball(left leg). 3 days after the injury, I started feeling the text book sciatica pain in my right glute and down my leg.

    I've lived with chronic intermittent lower back pain since my teens (unrelated, I think), but have always managed to keep it somewhat under control with exercise.

    After 3 months of the sciatic pain, my primary care Dr. started a battery of tests and procedures. MRI of lumbar spine, EMG, L5 steroid injection, pelvic x-ray, PT, Chiropractic, Acupuncture, pain killers and anti-inflammatories. EVERY test was NEGATIVE and the injection gave no relief. Here it is, 9 months later and the pain today is worse than it's ever been.

    I had a brief reprieve a couple months ago, for a few weeks. I thought I was on the mend. Then I think I overdid some exercises and a couple of jobs I was on (I'm a photographer) and the pain has come back with a vengeance. I haven't had a good night sleep in months (most nights I will get maybe an hour or two of uninterrupted sleep - nights are the worst for the pain, by far) It is now affecting my livelihood and every part of my entire life.

    My Dr. said there is nothing else to be done and dismissed the idea of a second opinion at another spine center. He said "It would be a waist of time". Needless to say, I will never go back to him. Such a caring physician...

    So... I have a new appointment at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Spine Center in a few weeks, but in the meantime, Does anybody have ANY thoughts or advice??
  • I've had sciatica for 3 years and now it's finally easing up. What meds are you on? I take Cymbalta for the nerve pain and pain meds and can't believe after 3 years of injections am doing better. I've gone for 3 consults pain management Drs and Orthopedic surgeons and Neurosurgeon and a Neurologist. Don't give up looking for a Dr. to help you. TC. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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