Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

Notice
All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Sciatica Pain Increase-help needed

julie47jjulie47 Posts: 108
For the last two days, I have had a significant increase in pain in my right hip, right buttock, and down the outside of my right leg.

I have taken tramadol and gabapentin, but the pain comes back after a few hours.

If you have dealt with this, I would appreciate help and advice.
advertisement
1

Comments

  • I to take tramadol and gabapentin, Plus I have SCS Unit. And I am never really out of pain. But my Pm DR told me that I will have pain the rest of my life. But I have nerve damage. My fear is I losing my strength more each year

    jim
  • Julie,

    Your pain sounds like what everyone else experiences with a herniated disc which is diagnosed with an MRI. If your pain is serious enough, you may want to go to an orthopedic surgeon for further diagnosis. When I started having the type of pain you describe, it quickly got so bad that I couldn't function and had to take a lot of painkillers. Once I had surgery (1 month ago) the pain was greatly diminished, although still not completely gone.
  • I find a warm shower helps or bath.I try different stretching positions like sitting in a chair and on leg over the other and pull with my arm and turn like for piriformis stretch. You may need to see your Dr. for a reassessment for your medications and frequency taking them.

    Has your Physiotherapist given you any exercises you did when you saw one? What mine said to me if I'm doing a stretch was that there would be more pain in my back doing certain exercises but more relief in the sciatica. Hope it gets better for you, 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
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,737
    Dealing with Spinal problems, you will find out what the Roller Coaster Ride is and who the Beast is.

    Folks like Charry, who have been here before, understand the ups and downs, finds ways, sometime simple ways to get more comfortable.

    A warm shower, an ice pack, a stretch may be all that is necessary to get you over a hurdle
    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
  • I have been dealing with this since '95. I don't know whether it is the change of season or what but I am at my wit's end.........and I am slow to say such a thing. The stretches and hot soaks help briefly. I can take just so much medication since I live alone and there is nobody to keep an eye on me durring a bad flare when a temporary med increase would be helpful and justified. Medicaid won't pay for any more therapy as I am no longer a good investment. They say they have spent all the $$$$ on me that they want to. I can't go inpatient for a week of bootcamp rehab. as Medicare no longer will pay for inpatient rehab "just for pain reduction, mobility or quality of life issues". The pain originates at L5-S1 and radiates down to the large left toe. The butt pain is like a red hot poker. Pain Man doesn't make good eye contact anymore and just keeps saying "Im sorry". I don't know how much longer I can take this.
  • braunfels said:
    Julie,

    Your pain sounds like what everyone else experiences with a herniated disc which is diagnosed with an MRI. If your pain is serious enough, you may want to go to an orthopedic surgeon for further diagnosis. When I started having the type of pain you describe, it quickly got so bad that I couldn't function and had to take a lot of painkillers. Once I had surgery (1 month ago) the pain was greatly diminished, although still not completely gone.
    Why does it seem next to impossible to get surgery done when you have herniated discs and worsening sciatic pain? I'm now at the 2 month mark, it's not improving, it is getting worse. Doctors seem to willing to try 'bandaid' approaches and if they don't work, they just want you try again and again. My husband's been at this for years, still hasn't had surgery, hoping that the new doc we are hoping to get into, who will review our charts and scans first, will be the answer. I don't understand how people just live with this. Childbirth (with no epidural, no drugs at all) was easier than this is!
    I am who I am!
  • charry said:
    I find a warm shower helps or bath.I try different stretching positions like sitting in a chair and on leg over the other and pull with my arm and turn like for piriformis stretch. You may need to see your Dr. for a reassessment for your medications and frequency taking them.

    Has your Physiotherapist given you any exercises you did when you saw one? What mine said to me if I'm doing a stretch was that there would be more pain in my back doing certain exercises but more relief in the sciatica. Hope it gets better for you, Charry
    The hot bath or shower does help me - until I get out. The stretches - with neck and arm pain - I'd love one that would actually help instead of hurt more. I've been given exercises but was told not to stretch to the point of pain - and I don't think that would be a good thing - jmo. My doct took me out of PT b/c I'd leave with a migraine everytime, and the pain relief that I finally got at the end of each treatment when they put me on heat and TENS lasted minutes. Getting into a doctor to be reassessed seems to take forever and here where I am - the neurosurgeon I have - I have yet to even meet him! I pay to see him, but get stuck with PA or NP - and the PA has the audacity to say the NP is not anygood and that he usually doesn't see patients, he is usually in surgery with the doc. Very cold and uncaring, so we're moving on. Hopefully much sooner than later we'll find a real doctor with some compassion that will actually fix the problem. I don't see how conservative care can make herniated discs, bone spurs and spondylosis get better - I do see how it can lead to needing even more serious surgery the longer it's put off though. I'm in a lot of pain, so I probably sound grouchy. Tired of popping pills, just want to be better and have my life back!
    I am who I am!
  • Do you take a nerve pain med? I've found Cymbalta really helped my sciatica and low back pain. I've done some really helpful exercises for low back pain that's helped my back pain http://www.spine-health.com/video/sciatica-exercises-degenerative-disc-disease-video. I even sit on the chair and hold my stomach in or pull my navel toward my spine for temporary relief.

    It's true though how the Surgeon expect a bone spur to dissolve on it's own? It's awful some of us aren't candidates for surgery. I'm going to a new Pain Management center at a hospital and hopefully trying ablation to see if that will help. 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
  • Pain, Julie, Charry,

    I went to my pain mgt doc last Monday and he gave me some samples of Cymbalta to try. It seems to be helping decrease the pain and improve my mood, although any pain level improvement would naturally make me feel better all around. I'm not advocating for Cymbalta, just reporting my experience.

    One of the things I like about this forum is the wide range of ways to deal with sciatica. I'm always open to new ideas and especially like to hear from the voices of experience.
  • My thing for sciatic pain is an electric heat pad which I use all day,

    I put it under my back or hip...and just lie there with my legs up on the edge of the sofa,

    I combine this with spondylithesis stretching exercises,

    I take magnesium citrate to relax the muscles,

    so far I have avoided any type of pain med,

    I do abdominal breathing exercises to oxygenate the lower back,

    I beleive this has helped me since without it I reach my pain threshold real fast,

    cause when i reach it....

    I break down emotionally which leaves me exhausted,

    my prayers go out to all....



    Live to Pray
  • braunfels, now that it has been 2 months, how are you feeling?

    For everyone else that are treating herniated discs and sciatica, how long will you do that?

    For any medical experts - can a herniated disc go away - heal on its own? What about bone spurs?

    Hoping to get scheduled for surgery next week here - this is now 3 months and it is getting worse, not better. And I'm tired of adding to the list of meds. By the way, tried cymbalta and effexor (not at the same time) and I can't take them. I feel like I'm in this awful world because there are so many meds that don't agree with me. Both of those are SNRIs, and I can take paxil so I assume it's the difference between SSRI and SNRI - cymbalta and effexor both make me sweat all over all day long, and I feel miserably hot. So they are a no go for me. No nsaids, no cymbalta, no effexor. And I just want my life back, please!
    I am who I am!
  • Ouchy, and others,

    I am improving...slowly but surely. Pain is much better and is only in the butt area now as opposed to butt, thigh and calf for so long. A physical therapist told me that a recovering sciatic nerve acts that way...the furthest away from the back heals first. Seems to be true in my case anyway. I am still taking Cymbalta but will probably quit that after my 1 month trial and hope everything is still OK. My leg is very weak and my foot still feels "frozen" but I am so grateful to not have the terrible pain to deal with that I do not care much (yet) about those 2 things. And, brianferry, I too am a very frequent user of an electric heating pad which has become almost an intimate part of my existance these past few months. Thanks again for all the good comments and info on this forum.
  • Did you have the kind of surgery with the small incision? What all did they do to your back (if you don't mind sharing)? I see the surgeon Tuesday and hopeful that I will at least be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It would be great to actually feel well enough to enjoy at least some of the summer.

    Which reminds me - with the butt pain - has anyone ever experienced it spreading through your butt kinda around to the front - yes right where you sit and into the inside of your thigh? I've been having that off and on the last few days. And throughout all of this when my left leg gets hurting bad and my hip is hurting bad the pain spreads just right where the front of your leg meets your body, just exactly where that bend is.

    Braunfels I hope to hear your leg pain goes away soon. My sister in law had the minimally invasive surgery last fall and after a couple months she had no more leg pain - now has no back pain, no leg pain, NO PAIN!

    Hoping everybody has a little relief (or a lot!!) this weekend!
    I am who I am!
  • I am taking Gabitril and Lyrica plus Morphine Sulfate, Hydrocodone for BT and a muscle relaxer. I continue to do all of the stretches that I learned in PT over the years. I have been wrestling with sciatica for 25 years and am now pretty much wheelchair bound. There are other issues that contributed to ending up in it. I think I would be ok if I could just live in a large therapy pool set at 100 degrees. Everyone have a good weekend.
  • Yes, I think I've about worn out our heating pad and it gets to cuddle with me much more than my hubs does. We have a shower massage that you can take down so I love to get the water as hot as I can stand and get it on my neck, shoulders, low back, hips, butt, and legs. But the relief is over pretty fast. My pain med, hydrocodone takes the edge off of the hip, buttock and leg pain, helps more with the neck, shoulder pain that turns into a migraine. The muscle relaxer does usually make sure I do sleep most of the night. My body pillow is my other snuggle buddy, could not sleep without it. So I'm taking paxil, hydrocodone and soma. That's in addition to the blood pressure meds and thyroid meds and hormonal meds I was already on. So, that's another reason why I don't want more meds, don't want stronger meds, not interested in learning to live with the pain. Right now, I'm the major bread winner and for the first time ever, I've already used up the year's sick days and a few vacation days for this. I'm angry thinking that I'll have to use up all my vacation days to deal with this instead of traveling to see family. Either this doc come Tuesday will have the right plan, or this old lady will be making a 5 hour road trip, have a back up plan, a neurosurgeon out of state. This place takes care of Nascar drivers and the Carolina Panthers, so I figure they can probably take care of me. But I'm hoping this new doc here will make it so I don't need to take that trip. It blows my mind to think I could go have plastic surgery if I wanted to (and no thanks, I'm just not the type - not a pain lover at all), I could go get piercings all over my body, or tattoos, but it's the fight of my life it seems to get my back fixed...........but my fam doc/internal med doc specifically sent me to this doc so I could have my back fixed and

    I don't understand why it is so hard to get this problem fixed when they have minimally invasive procedures in place......seems to me that is more cost effective and less time consuming then endless epidurals, PT, medicines - and all meds affect you one way or another. Let me off this rollercoaster!!!
    I am who I am!
  • Ouchy-head-neck-back-woman said:
    braunfels said:
    Julie,

    Your pain sounds like what everyone else experiences with a herniated disc which is diagnosed with an MRI. If your pain is serious enough, you may want to go to an orthopedic surgeon for further diagnosis. When I started having the type of pain you describe, it quickly got so bad that I couldn't function and had to take a lot of painkillers. Once I had surgery (1 month ago) the pain was greatly diminished, although still not completely gone.


    Why does it seem next to impossible to get surgery done when you have herniated discs and worsening sciatic pain? I'm now at the 2 month mark, it's not improving, it is getting worse. Doctors seem to willing to try 'bandaid' approaches and if they don't work, they just want you try again and again. My husband's been at this for years, still hasn't had surgery, hoping that the new doc we are hoping to get into, who will review our charts and scans first, will be the answer. I don't understand how people just live with this. Childbirth (with no epidural, no drugs at all) was easier than this is!
    You're saying exactly what I've said - Childbirth x3 - 1 with forceps, none with epidurals, 2 no pain meds, Were ALL easier than sciatica. I've been doing this for 9 months. Was told by multiple doctors that I would get "better" in 9-12 months. No one wants to do surgery except as a last resort citing research showing no appreciable difference between people who had surgery and those who didn't after 2 years. I've been taking Neurontin (Gabapentin) since November and now am on the maximum dosage. I take Ibuprofen pretty much around the clock and supplement with Tramadol, and sometimes Oxycodone when the pain is unbearable.
    You would think in 2012 there would be a solution for this, enough people suffer from this condition. I hope you get the answers you need. I see my doctor (1 of many) on May 9th - not sure what my next steps are either. Let me know what happens.
  • I'm also on Neurontin and using Ibuprofen and Ultram and Oxycodone (at night with horrible pain) - can't take it during the day, I, too am the major bread winner and have to work everyday. Let me know what your doc says on Tuesday - I see mine on Wednesday, then we can compare notes.
    I agree with you about getting my life back - It is unbelievable that in 2012 we can transplant organs, do brain surgery, diagnose genetic disorders, but we can't find a permanent fix for sciatica.
  • Will do MNRN - I'll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers - maybe this is our lucky week. :)
    I am who I am!
  • :H
    I hope so. Trying to follow my weekday routine today. I can no longer lounge in bed or sleep in like I used to. hurts too much just to lay there.
    Going to try a short trip (45 min.) today. I live in Minnesota and this weekend is the "100 mile Rummage Sale" LOL, so, going to go to one of the cities involved and walk around.
    I haven't travelled outside of Rochester since January. I'll let you know how it goes.
    Of course, I always have my supply of Ibuprofen, Aspirin, and Ultram with me wherever I go. I carry a pharmacy. Hope that someday that will be history.
    Thoughts and prayers to you too. So glad my sister found this forum for me - what a life-line for all of us.
  • I LOVE rummage sales, so find some cool stuff! I just don't feel up to it and it is a rainy Saturday morning here - and if the hubs and me could manage to get the house into some semblance of clean without feeling tortured, I'd be a very happy woman. Will be anxious to compare notes with you this week after our doctor appointments!
    I am who I am!
  • Ouchy and others,

    I had minimally invasive surgery to repair a severely herniated disc at L5 S1. Here's a link that describes that surgery:
    Link removed

    I spent 5 weeks to the day in horrible pain from my butt down to my foot. Hydrocodone helped some but not enough and my pain mgt doctor had me tough it out until surgery. When I woke up from the 2 hr surgery, I had immediate relief from the worst pain. I was told to expect that and it turned out to be the case. In another hour I was on my way home (driven by my wife) and that trip was so much easier than the one going to the hospital. As I've described in earlier posts, I've had more pain than I like during recovery but it is now improving and I'm feeling better about the future every day.

    So, in my case it seems that the orthopedic surgeon fixed me up...that's what he says, I'm "fixed". I hope that you find the right treatment to get "fixed" yourselves. I do not easily accept having my life ruled by pain and would pursue whatever I could to change that.

    Link removed, solicitation not permitted
    Post Edited by The Spine-Health Moderator Team

  • I'm demanding it. The ortho surgeon I'm seeing (well both the hubby and me are seeing) - his office know that we are seeking surgery - and we are done with conservative measures that do not fix the problem. That is supposedly why it took 2 weeks to get the appt - the doc looked over our tests and charts - and if that doesn't work, then somehow week after next we will be making the 4-5 hour drive to NC. I will accept no less.

    Your story, Braunfels, is the same one I hear from others who have had this surgery. Our internal med/fam practice doc tells us both the same thing. Surgery has risks, yes, but so does a life time of prescriptions and not having quality of life. My grandbabies - not being able to get on the floor and play with the, not being able to swoop them up, I don't get that time back and I'm bound and determined not to have any more time stolen from me!
    I am who I am!
  • I have had eight spinal surgeries for stablization. There was never pain relief and I understood that possibility/probability going in. I've been through all the treatments and PT and most of the meds. At 63, I am now a freaking mess. 30 years of chronic pain is just too much. On top of the spinal issues, I have autoimmune and autnomic disorders. I will be praying that you will be a success story. They are out there. You just don't see many here as they tend to move on when they recover. Hang in there and stick around when you start to improve. Great big, gentle hugs.

    Pain
  • Well, so far, so good today. Took a drive today - about 45 min. each way and walked around for about 1 1/2 hours.
    Still need my pain meds and Neurontin, but, today was more than tolerable. Don't know if this is a result of the corticosteroid injection I had at the end of March, or, if I'm actually healing without surgery.
    To Braunfels - thank you for sharing your experience with the minimally invasive surgery. Haven't watched the video yet, but I will.
    If I continue like this, I will wait to push for surgery. Good thing is I can access the care pretty easily since I work in health care and for a Major health care organization.
    We're all here for each other! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, everyone for sharing.
    Last weekend I was ready just to die to stop the pain; now this weekend is a different story.
    It's like waiting for hiccups to come back - will the pain come back with a vengeance? Will I eventually pay the price for having some 'good' days???? Or, have I turned the proverbial corner and on my way to recovery? I guess only time will tell.
  • Hi, I looked at the info regarding the microdiscectomy. Did you have general anesthesia or a spinal? Reading your post again, sounds like you had a general anes. - but maybe not very deep since you went home so soon after the procedure.
    I've had general anes. last year to have my gallbladder removed, and would really prefer not to have it again any time soon. But, I would think the anes. for the gallbladder would need to be deeper since the abdominal muscles need to be still.
    Anyway, glad to hear it went well for you, gives me hope if surgery turns out to be my next step.
  • the thing about pain meds is this....

    when they take the pain away you may be inclined to do more activity than you would not do otherwise...

    o.k. that`s cool.....but!

    I`m doing prolotherapy right now and one thing they advise you is this....

    don`t overwork the pain areas cause you will destroy the healing process....

    so my insight is this....

    by taking pain meds you may be blocking the healing process and actually doing more harm to the area....

    that is one reason i avoid meds....

    because if an area hurts...then maybe I shouldn`t really work that area too much.....

    now this is for people who are trying to heal a given area....

    if your pain is debilitating and you simply have no choice....

    then my opinion is not valid for you....

    my insight is for those who are trying to heal naturally and want to know where and how to take the steps necessary to help the healing process.....

    I used to go out at night and walk to the supermarket....

    by the time i got there my pain was screaming at me...

    and i had to lie down on a bench....

    i finally realized i was not going to be able to walk that far until a certain amount of healing took place....


    one thing i`m learning is that sciatica healing is very slow....

    we are talking maybe 5% to 10% a month....

    realistically....

    i`m taking the natural approach....

    no meds no surgery....

    I do ozone, prolo, supplements, exercises, stretching,deep breathing, meditation, etc.

    I have spondy grade 2....

    it`s been an uphill battle since day one....

    everyday is a challenge....









    Live to Pray
  • Do you all actually get complete 100% pain free pain relief from pain meds? I don't. It simply takes the edge off and lessons the pain, makes it possible for me to work at my desk job and to do some of the things I need to do, and that's about it!
    I am who I am!
  • Hi Ouchy,
    For the most part, I always have some pain present. This past week, it has been better, less use of Tramadol/Ultram. However, I take 1200 mg of Neurontin/Gabapentin 3 times/day (the maximum dose), I also take 800 mg of Ibuprofen every 6-8 hours with the Tramadol between for break-through pain. Occasionally, I have periods of no pain, but overall, there is always some pain present. Oh, I usually use Ambien to sleep at night, but I can't get my next prescription until next Sunday, so trying to use other over the counter sleep meds to help at night - not as effective, though.
    I don't know if the steroid injection I had on March 30 is working, but there has been some relief. Last weekend was horrible, but I went back to bed rather than staying up after waking. Looks like I no longer have the luxury of lounging in bed on weekends - it just hurts too much.
    Wednesday morning I had a bad start - my hips were so stiff and sore my husband had to help me in and out of the shower as I was afraid of falling.
    What pain meds are you using?
    I'm a RN working in our Obstetrical Clinic, so although there is some walking, it's mostly sitting. That being said, there is no way I could possibly work doing inpatient care - I couldn't do the lifting and other physical work required.
    I know this is a long response - but I hope this helps. This is a formula that is working for me this week - I can't say if it will continue. I see one of my doctors this week to determine what happens next. Each day is different.
  • mnrn56 - if I make you a buddy is there a way I could send you a private message or exchange email addresses with you. I started to respond (and it was long) but there are things I don't feel like posting for all to read right now. But you are a nurse and I'd like to talk to you if you are willing...
    I am who I am!
  • I do think that doctors give us pain med for a reason, and some need them and some do not. But not taking pain med might mean barely moving at all or not at all, not being able to work, and not being able to dress oneself, not being able to prepare a meal and clean up afterwards, not being able to get groceries once you are driven there. I was hesitant about taking my pain meds, but for different reasons than you have. My doc just told me that he wants me to take them at least in the morning and at bedtime. My grocery store is a 5 minute drive, and walking from the car to the store doors and throughout the store and waiting in line hurts! Taking my pain meds doesn't allow me to feel like doing something that would make me hurt more - it simply helps to take some of the pain away. But I have a question for you. Were you actually told your spondylosis could 'heal'? Can herniated discs 'heal'? Can bone spurs heal? Naturally? I looked up some of the therapy you are on, and I can comprehend pain relief, but how do those things heal? I've heard one other person who said their doctor said their herniated disc in their neck 'might heal on its own'. But I have a feeling it doesn't heal, just the pain may go away - for a while. But maybe I'm wrong. I'm truly writing out of curiosity.
    I am who I am!
advertisement
Sign In or Register to comment.