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Falling into depression with Sciatica

MattfromNYMMattfromNY Posts: 1
Hello everyone. I found this site while surfing the web on young adults with sciatica. I am hoping that this forum and you all will help me through a very difficult time in my life. I am looking for some wisdon, advice, helpful stories, or just about anything to help me through this. This injury is slowly taking over my life and I can feel myself falling into depression. I've had mood swings, getting upset out of now where, and even found myself laying on the floor crying a few times. I havent cried since I was a kid, I'm not ashamed of it, but it just proves that my mind is spinning out of control.

I am 26 years old and have been battling with extreme sciatica for close to 2 years. I played alot of sports and weight lifted since a young age which took its toll on my back. One morning after bartending my left leg went numb. After getting an MRI and found out that I had herniated 2 discs in my lower back which are pinching my sciatic nerve. I've been in pain ever since.

All of you know from experience, doctors all give you the same speech and same story. "Everyone is different" - "Every body reacts differently" -- I have tried everything except surgery. Pills (everything from pain killers to Lyrica), PT, Acupunture, heat/ice, yoga, stretching, massages, spine specialists, pain management doctors... the list goes on. I am scheduled to get an epidural in March and hoping that relieves some of the pain. I've held off on epidurals and surgery hoping that I could beat this without having to touch my spine. I'm scared of something going wrong, I'm assuming you all are too or were before you got surgery.

I am very grateful to have all of you support. After reading some of the topics and forums it seems this is a great community to express how I am feeling. I am not here to complain or whine about my life. Just hoping to here some stories about people that have beat this, that have got better, and are no longer in pain. I need some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. Even if its a funny story or a joke. I could use a pick me up....

Thank you all in advance,




  • Sorry to hear you're so young and have sciatica. I hope the injections or surgery would help you. I took Cymbalta which helped me more than any other medications like Lyrica etc. Bonus it also helps low back pain and it's an anti-depressant also. I took it for about 3 years but now just only starting to feel better but I still take an anti-depressant.

    What really helped me the most and also putting ice packs. I use a cane on the opposite while walking to take some of the pressure off the leg with sciatica.

    I also used the recumbent bicycle with my Dr. permission and it took the swelling down in my feet and I still try to walk a few times a week to keep the circulation going.

    Did you have an EMG/nerve test yet to see if the discs are compressing a nerve? Most Drs order this EMG with a Neurologist to see if surgery would help.
    Most insurance and Drs make you have the steroid injections first to see if they will help. I did them for 3 years but will not have anymore although I'm not a candidate for surgery.

    My herniated disc healed on it's own but still have issues with degenerative discs due to overuse and age.

    I hope you get some relief soon.

    I'm concerned about your mood swings and really want you to call your Dr. about this although it's understandable, and never give up hope as there is a Dr. that will help you. Take care and keep us posted. You're not alone.

    I found it helpful to come on here and vent away. 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
  • Hello Matt,
    How are you today, the first step to recovery is recognising you have a problem and you have done that and then doing something about it, we welcome you, you have come to the right place. We beat this, one day at a time. Could you go to your doctor and tell him what you told us or show him your post.

    Get the help and support you need for you, when I was depressed my own doctor said it had taken some time to develop and would take equal time to repair, we would be more concerned if anyone in chronic pain did not have some episode of depression, so your story is very common here. Take care, well done and be kind to yourself.

    John, I manage my depression as many do here.
  • Hi Matt,

    I am just here to offer you support! It is no fun being a young adult in constant pain.

    If you would ever like to chat, feel free to private message me.

    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • Hi, Matt
    I been dealing with this leg pain since Jan 1st. I've also been depressed and this pain is terrible. Sometimes I would wake in the morning and just lay there scared to get up cause of the pain. I feel like i'm being eaten alive and yes I have cried about this. I'm 38 and now I understand pain. I used to think about how can people kill themselves what can cause such a thing. But after experiencing this pain I now can relate. All I do now is laugh about this pain. I try to keep a positive mind that if I get up and walk the neighborhood or do the elliptical for 30 min maybe this will go away. I did have my first shot on Feb 2 and it took about 8 to 10 days to start working. I have less spasms and burning. Right now my pain level is 50% better. Only now taking 800 mg of ibufron. I'm scheduled to get another shot tomorrow. I noticed that if I stay positive I feel stronger to make it thru the day. When I start to be negative about it makes it worse.. Doctor said, it will heal it just takes time and the shot brings down the inflammation. Less inflammation on the nerve less pain! Hopefully this helps and your not alone in this! :))))))))))
  • Hi Matt / everyone

    Its really hard to stay positive when your in a lot of pain, I know this too well myself. Do you find you get some days where the pain is more bearable than others?

    Have you thought about hydrotherapy at all? Whilst it is not a cure, it is temp relief from the pain and ache, and is generally an all round good way to make your body relax. Might be worth a try?

  • Why would you hold off for 2 years with an epidural injection when pain is so bad? Almost anyone jumps at the chance to stop the pain as fast as posible and usualy injection is the fastest way to get it under control,

    Even if it dont last a long time its worth it to take a break from the 24/7 pain,

    If injection helps with the inflammation and reduces pain a person has a beter chance to recover without surgery in many cases, Many times 1 injection is not enough so the sooner you take the injections and see what results you get the sooner you come to the conclusion if surgery is needed to remove part of the disc pressing on the nerve or not,

    Best of luck to ya with your injection and hopefully you are able to avoid surgery,
    Sometimes it can take a long time to heal so hang in there,

    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Hello everyone! I suffered from sciatica for months and the doctors couldn't find anything in my spine. It turned out I was depressed and my "I can't move on" thought translated into I can't move my right leg. I just want to warn you, that if you see a psychiatrist and psychologist your problem might dissapear. At least, that's what happened to me. Once I was on antidepressants (escitalopram and risperidona) all my sciatic nerve pain ended and never came back.
    Mind you I had tried lots of different treatments, inyections, pills, rehab, swimming, yoga, massages and none of them worked.
    Hope this is useful to you.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
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