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Frustrating Sciatica: Have you heard of anyone EVER healed without surgery ? ? ?

Nick1952NNick1952 Posts: 19
I find it increasingly difficult to be patient ...

I am getting frustrated again...

I am in my 4th week in bed resting my back.
Initially I had NSAID pills and injections.
I am now in the 9th and final day of a 4mg Medrol course (3,3,3, 2,2,2, 1,1,1) and although I had improved a lot on the 4th to 6th day now I am slowly getting back to the previous state --> very painful to get up from bed and when I attempt to sit anywhere . . . as well as other symptoms all the way down to my small toe of the right foot.

I have heard of 2 cases who apparently got better after a very long rest in bed ... although I have the feeling that they were never really 'healed' in the sense that they keep having problems 'frequently'.

At the moment one part of myself tells me to press for a surgery [microD] while another part tells me to be patient just in case things get better.

I am dying to find out -->
Have you heard of anyone EVER healed without surgery ? ? ?

charry once asked a similar question

but didn't get any answers.


  • Hi. It all depends whats causing it and the sciatica many often recover from it if its not severe, Stenosis can cause pressure on the nerve and many recover just from exercise or injection combined with pt and diferent methods of taking pressure off the nerve and building up the muscle that suports the spine,

    Surgery should always be the last option, Only your dr can tell you how severe it looks and if surgery is a must or not, Its very painfull we all know, Micro d is the least invasive surgery and many do well and recover fast and as long as the disc dont get worse later from over doing it many do ok,

    Pool thearapy is always very good, Good luck and hope you can resolve it without surgery,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I did not have to have surgery with my herniation but it for sure isn't "healed"....once you stretch out that membrane it never fully goes back in....the membrane just stops touching the nerves therefore the pain subsides.....

    I ended up in the hospital on IV steroids for 5 days with MAJOR pain meds....PT for 1 month 3X a wk....we worked on core strengthening and exercises that keep the muscles in the butt/pelvis area not so tight but strong!!!

    It has been 2 yrs since the beginning of my neck issues and almost 6 months since the diagnosis of the herniation....hang in there....give it time....ice ice ice......it helps to keep the inflammation down!!!!

  • Yes I have heard of someone getting better. This guy that works with me had a flare up 5 years ago according to him. Lots of sciatica pain. He describes the pain pretty well and makes it look like it was bad. Says it took 6 months for it to go away. He had three rounds of ESI. He comes in some days and says his back hurts, but its never more than a day or two in a row. Has no sciatica pain and lives a normal life. is practically unaffected by back issues.....

    Had me thinking. Some people do get better with conservative treatment. The sucky thing is.... how do you know whats gonna work for you? might not ever resolve without some serious intervention. Might get worse with the serious intervention (surgery). Sad that its not more cut and dry. Sad meaning just that. saddening. I wish I could help people with the correct advice, but how does one know what to suggest.

    Anyway there is the example of "someone" getting better. I'm sure there are others.
  • Yes, my brother-in-law is one.
    A fellow in his 60's as well back when back surgery was even less of an option. He did the inversion table as therapy. Only reason he went to the clinic is because the girl was cute....turns out it worked. He's been fine for years.

    There was also a study done...trying to find it for you. But it does depend on your situation.
  • you have to control inflammation. this is the key. once inflammation subsides, you will notice a huge relief. the disk will not go back to normal - my doc described it as a protruded tire, once it bulges, it won't go back to its original shape. That's what the docs say. But each of us is different, and each body is unique in its ways it fights to survive. I had a severe flare up 1.5 years ago, bedridden for weeks. I started daily swimming, inversion therapy, and some very gentle yoga to strengthen by body. I still do all of these routines daily and meditate when I get a change. This helps me tremendously. I still have very, very mild sciatica, very mild/light pain from time to time during the week. it kind of says 'hey, you remember me, I was pretty bad last year, don;t forget about that time and keep training so i don't come back'. I don't know anyone who has cured fully - but only because I don't know many people in life out side this forum with sciatica problem. I am very sure that a person can fully recover from it with the right approach - right for you/your body. You will have to choose it yourself through self-education. Pls don;t rely fully on your doctors, engage yourself in this process. Most docs are focused on short term fixes.
  • On January 11-12 I was having terrible butt and thigh pain with mild cramping in my calf. This was without a doubt the worst pain I've ever felt. On January 12 I couldn't take the pain anymore, so I went to see a friend who is an Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner. The next day I had an MRI and learned I had a "massive rupture" (what the doctor wrote) L5/S1. My friend later told me that she has never seen the doctor use the words "massive rupture" in a patient's without them needing surgery. By all indications it seemed like I would need it. I probably read way too much online and was fearing the worst.

    I was started on 6 pills of medrol a day for several days, than 5, than 4, now I am down to 3. I was also given a script for muscle relaxers and Hydrocodone. I took about 1 muscle relaxer, and have only taken about 2 of the Hydrocodone (I broke them in half). I was also taking 800 mg of Advil 3x's per day. I was told not to sit for longer than 15 minutes (I never even came close to sitting that long). Other than that, I stood or laid down. Standing and laying were the only way I could find relief for the first week. In about 7-9 days or so the pain in my thigh started to subside and it became more of discomfort than pain...unless I sat. If I sat it was very painful. Soon, my calf became the biggest problem. It was so tight and cramped I couldn't walk without limping.

    I went on medical leave from work and did everything I was told to do. I iced my back, I used a TENS unit, I laid, I stood, I took the Medrol, the Advil, I didn't sit, I canceled VIP court-side seats to an NBA game, etc. etc. I did everything they said to do. I even added a nutritional side to things. I have started making Green Smoothies, etc. I wanted whatever advantage I could get!

    As of today, I am still walking with a limp. My calf is improving, but not 100%. I have occasional pain/discomfort in my thigh if I sit upright for an extended period of time. I am doing light, very light McKenzie stretches. I have been going to PT for light massage, ice, heat, Electric Stim, etc. I am still on 800mg of Advil and am weaning off of the steroids. I honestly think getting right on those steroids, taking 6 at a time made the biggest difference for me.

    Surgery and shots were mentioned a few times, and I just said I'd like to continue with the conservative treatment. As long as I am making progress, even if it's minimal, I don't want to even think about surgery.

    I go back to work, part time, tomorrow. I'm looking forward to seeing how my body responds to a 35 minute car ride each way and a half days work.

    I am hoping to be someone who recovers without surgery.
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