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Can't Handle this Anymore!!!! Stupid Pinched Sciatic Nerve!

MoondanceMMoondance Posts: 2

In 2010 and 2011, I had a few short bouts of what appeared to be pinched sciatic nerve pain. They would go away on their own a few weeks after they started and so I didn't really think anything of it.

At the end of November 2011, it came back. I thought, "no worries, give it a few weeks, it will go away." By mid January, when it hadn't gone away, I made a doctors appointment. The doctors I had wouldn't do ANYTHING for me, they just fobbed me off. Mind you, by this point, it wasn't just a mild pain in my lower back, butt and right thigh, it had gotten worse to the point that I was physically unable to sit upright. Driving is torture and every time I do try to drive, I get pins and needles in my foot to the point I can't feel my foot, so I don't even know how hard I'm pushing on the pedal!!!!

So I changed doctors, but I wasn't able to get into the new doctor until mid-February.

He sent me for spinal X-ray and CT scan.

Came back with whats apparently a "textbook case" of pinched sciatic nerve.

He put me on both Celebrex 200mg and Lyrica 50mg.

With Celebrex once a day, taken with food and Lyrica twice a day.

Well, weeks later, I have to say, neither drug appears to be helping much.

I've pretty much been unable to do much of anything. To even be on the computer, I have to use a laptop and sit the laptop on my stomach whilst I'm laying either flat on my back, or on my left side. I'm looking for work, have had several job interviews, but when they see how much physical pain I'm in, not even able to sit in the chair without squirming in pain and then having to jump up and walk around, or lay on the floor, obviously, they pass me over. They can't have a person on the job who can't even sit in a chair!!!!

The Celebrex does provide SOME relief... but even when taken on a daily basis, it still takes a good 3-4 hours after I've taken it, for it to even reduce the pain. The pain is never completely gone.

The doctor says the point of the drugs isn't to help get rid of the pain, but to help me function. Function?? How am I supposed to function properly with pain??? Every waking minute, I have pain. My sleep has been reduced to the few hours a day that the Celebrex is sort of working and the pain is reduced. But once the pain begins to kick back in, I have to get up, because laying down makes the muscles on either side of my back start to hurt! So its painful either way I go!!!!

There was a point where I didn't have my Celebrex (it was left at a friends house who was a 3 hours drive away, so I didn't want to go racing back there to get it understandably, since driving IS so damn painful). I only had the Lyrica and I took it as I was told to, but it still did absolutely nothing for me.

I went five days without the Celebrex and then was offered a day's work doing photography for the local Pony Club.

I took it because I needed it.

7 hours of walking around taking pictures, not that big a deal I thought, it was just WALKING carrying a lightweight camera.

The next day, I was forced to spend the entire day laying down. As soon as I got up and tried to walk around, my legs would start shaking, the pain would be tearing intensely up my right leg and I'd almost fall down.

So I spent the day half on my back, half on my side, trying occasionally to walk, since all the laying down was making the muscles on either side of my back go into spasm.

That night, it was agony, nothing I did was helping. I couldn't lay down, but I couldn't stand up. At one point, I tried to walk to the top of our driveway, which is about 100 metres. I got all the way there and felt sick!

I got halfway back and my legs gave out on me and I fell down onto the concrete. I had a lot of trouble trying to get back up, every part of me was shaking, it was like the worlds worst exertion, I was panting, near to hyperventilating. Had to get help from a neighbour who saw me, to get back into my house.

I tried to contact my doctor but couldn't get an appointment for another week.

I wound up ringing my friend, asking her to please bring me my Celebrex. She did the 3 hour drive immediately.

I wound up taking a triple dose of the stuff, not even asking the doctor first if it was okay, and then passed out.

Now every day since then, my day consists of waking up in pain... taking the Celebrex... spending more hours in pain until it kicks in.... then finally able to do things, but nothing even remotely actively physical.... before having to lay down again because I'm in pain again!!!

In the mornings, the most I can last with the pain is up to five minutes. I try to do my chores, but 5 minutes in, I'm panting, in pain, and have to go crash land on the couch and lay down for awhile.

I'm only 30 years old!!!! I'm trying to have a child with my partner, but if this back pain is this bad now, how the hell am I supposed to pull off being pregnant and a mother??

The doctor hasn't even suggested surgery as an option, he just keeps giving me Celebrex. Despite me telling him its not really doing that great a job!

Having this pain ALL THE TIME is giving me depression, making me irritable and bitchy.... my family and friends are beginning to hate me because I'm just constantly giving them attitude. I don't mean to, but I'm just so over being in this pain and they don't seem to understand it or even try to be sympathetic. Its like they think I'm faking it!

I want to be working, to be earning money, to be out in the world and I can't even do that!

How do you cope with this sort of thing??

Because I really don't think I am coping with it at all.



  • I strongly urge you to ask your doctor to put you on Neurontin/Gabapentin.

    I have had off/on sciatica for 2 or 3 years. In my opinion and judging by the relief I am getting from this medication, this is the only medication you need.

    As you probably know, sciatic pain is nerve pain. Neurontin/Gabapentin is intended to relieve nerve pain.

    Good luck.
  • >:D< hiya moondance,
    First off Welcome to spine health. Glad you found this great site but sorry your having issues.
    Pain can take over all parts of our brains, emotional, physical, depression.
    I personally try to do a goal list. Yes you have to come to grips with what you can't do any longer.

    If you have not gotten any relief from meds, or treatment then you need to discuss all of this with the doctor you are seeing. Maybe good idea to go get another opinion.

    I certainly can't recommend meds to you as I am not in the medical field. Even having tried so many different kinds, nobody is the same.
    So no medication is going to help a person the same as another person.
    Please search around the forums, there are many ppl that have different treatments that have worked for them. Such as exercises, and a lot great tips to help you get thru the chores.

    I hope you can find a doctor to help you deal with your pain.
    Like I said I am not in medical field but i can say for me doing some mild exercise in water helps keep me active. Along with core exercises.
    It would be best to get another doc opinion, before taking dbl medication.

    tc >:D<
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • sciatic pain is horrible! Please return to your Dr and he/she won't help you - switch.

    I am so sorry you are going through this :hug:

    I know how bad you feel. When I had my sciatic pain I actually asked my Dr to send me to a surgeon who would 1. cut the nerve and kill it or 2. cut off my leg. I was 100% serious. The pain was ready to drive me insane.

    A lot of people have found some level of temp relief by heat or ice. Some swear by heat others ice and others have to switch back and forth. I found my best relief (before I got the right meds) was soaking in the tub. I "lived" in my tub :)

    Please keep us updated how you are doing. I will be sure to check back to see if you updated.

    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.
  • The Lyrica he originally gave me was intended to relieve nerve pain too, but did nothing... :(

    Feeling so broken at the moment, nothing is working, just wish it could be over, am so depressed. Just want to sleep and sleep and sleep.

    And yeah. I keep asking my doctor if he can please just chop off the leg, coz then I won't have the leg to feel pain in it, ha! He just ignores that.
    I have an appointment with him tomorrow where I am going to demand something more than this damn Celebrex. Its not doing its job.
    I want to be able to SLEEP, work, ride my horse, do my chores... not spend 5 minutes on my feet and then have to scream at people to get out of the way while I try to reach the couch or the bed before my leg turns to jelly and I collapse.
    I mean, I'm unemployed. I breed chickens and pet rats as a kind of supplementary income. On days when the cages need cleaning, its 5 minutes of cage cleaning.... lay down for 20... 5 more minutes of cage cleaning.... lay down for 20....
    and anytime I need to drive anywhere, I will question a hundred times over... Do I REALLY need to go to where I'm going?

    Because of being unemployed, the government makes me have weekly visits with whats called a "job network", where they're supposed to help me find work. I have to drive a half hour away, for what usually winds up a 5 minute appointment, before driving another half hour home again!! Its completely insane, so the entire day leading up to when I have to leave the house, I spend anxious and crying, because I know how much its going to hurt!!!
    And usually when I get home, I half about fall out of the car and just wind up laying there.

    I've been told about stretches I'm supposed to be doing, but they cause more pain.
  • I don't mean to sound bossy ;) But I would not say it quite like that to your Dr. I would leave out the horses and other activities considered non-necessary.

    Many Drs tend to look at "fixing" you to the degree of being able to do needed activities.

    Please let me know how your appt goes :)
    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.
  • I am not a doc, but I've had significantly less shooting/burning pain in my hips, butt and legs with Cymbalta. I do take what I was told is the maximum dose, which is 60mg twice a day. But I can tell you when I miss it I do regret it.

    Previous to taking Cymbalta I had an L4-S1 fusion and STILL have leg pain. In fact I almost think it is worse now.

    I'm definitely a proponent of exhausting all options before opting for surgery. I tried everything but a shaman lol...j/k...sort of.

    Has your doctor suggested injections? They could also provide some level of relief.

    I am so sorry you're going through this. It's difficult at times and I strongly suggest you lean on friends, family, etc. to help you through this because it's just not possible to go it alone.

    I am never pain free, but until I get get a spinal stim implant the Cymbalta (and, admittedly, 15 mg Norco up to 4 times a day) is definitely the way to go for me.

    Hang in there hon :)

  • Surgery is not always the best option but you should probably be seeing a pain specialist by now and do the injections and then might have the posibility with pt for the compression to get beter, Sometimes the meds alone are not enough to get rid of the inflammation without shots to help it,

    If the injections dont work after 3 injections in most cases then pain dr might refer you back to a spine specialist to be considered for surgery if needed,

    I was not lucky enough for injections to work things out and surgery made me much worse then i ever was, But injections i know work for some with pt because i took my mom when she had stenosis compression on a nerve and 3 injections got her back walking and pt finaly saved her from having surgery and she has been back to her old mean bat self from that day on!

    Spine is very complicated and many risk with any surgery as many are aware of this and it can be a very long process to find the best solution to see if it will get beter on its own or with some help with medications and injections and pt,

    This is the reason dr,s dont jump in to surgery unless they see its a must and all other conservative treatments have been used up, It can be a long painfull process we all know this who have been dealing with this for years,

    If surgery fails it gets even worse for many of us, You have to be a 100% sure dr is doing the right surgery and very hard to be sure without seeing more then 1 dr to confirm thats the best option,

    Its also hard to make the right decisions many times while in pain because you just want the pain to stop,

    Pain specialists work with the other dr,s most of the time and tell them there findings of nerve block tests and or discogram and such to help locate the problem to confirm it and if there treatment dont help after a while they usualy refer you to dr who needs to look at surgery options once they no longer can help just with medications,

    Best of luck and hang in there,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I have 2 bulging disks at L4/L5 and L5/S1 which causes me a great deal of pain on my left side. I am currently seeing a PM who is wonderful. We are trying out the injections and so far I have had good results, although they do not last very long. The facet joint ones seem to last longer than those directly into the nerves.
    Next month I get another facet joint injection at the beginning of the month and at the end the 1st of 2 RFA's. I am hopeful these will give me longer pain relief.
    I take oxycodone for other pains and a muscle relaxer at night. At my next appt I am going to see if we can add a nerve medication in the mix. I am currently taking Cymbalta for depression so it only a low dose of 90mg. Does great for my depression, does nothing for my nerve pain.
    Lyrica is a good nerve medication and worked great for me, but had side effects that I couldn't deal with.
    I know the feeling of wanting to chop off your leg just to get some relief. I want a robotic spine that never breaks down or goes through wear and tear!

    I hope you find a doctor who can provide you with some relief soon. It is miserable to live life in pain.

  • ~X( My sciatica pain started about 15 years ago. It used to occur a few times a year and lasted between 1 to 3 months of crippling pain. This time started 8 months ago and it has not left yet.
    I can't sit, can't lay down, it hurts to walk. if I lay down I have to get up in slow motion so not to get a worst pain.

    I am separated thank God and don't have to do the sex thing otherwise I would be screaming in pain throughout. Can't work because the pain is 24-7. People around me don't understand the horrible pain we are under so I don't even complain.

    I have tried just about everything from exercises, prescription drugs, OTC stuff. I cannot even start a new relationship because how do you explain that you CAN NOT DO ANYTHING because of the stupid nerve.

    You want me to work? Ha!
    You want me to have sex? Ha!
    You want me to go see a movie & suffer in pain for 2 hours? Ha!
    You want to go to a restaurant and eat out? Ha
    I can go on forever, so a relationship is out of the question!
    A job is out of the question.

    Having a normal life is out of the question.
    I have to sit sideways, sleep sideways or flat straight.
    I feel for all sciatica sufferers, nobody else knows the misery of a life we have.

    I ask people if they've ever gotten burned and/or had a severe toothache. I say the burning pain is like that of getting your skin burned and the throbbing pain is also like a severe toothache in a very large area.

    If I turn a certain way I experience excruciating pain almost worse than the constant pain I always have. The hardest is getting up from lying down and lying back down. I have to very gingerly ease myself into and out of bed. And when I am up and moving I have to be very careful not to "disturb" the nerve.
    In mid butt cheek it felt like something was torn inside and always ached, any time I had to roll over, get up from a chair or sit down in a chair it was horrendous, like pulling and tearing,had to yell out just about every time. Always got electirc shock when getting up and sometimes during walking.
    Surgery is out because of no insurance.

    I have to take 5 pills 250 mg each of Ibuprofen and 1 500 mg of acetaminophen every 3 hours in order to do some chores around the house. It lessens the pain a bit but it only lasts for 3 hours. I go through thousands of pills every months. So I am screwing up my liver in order to lessen the pain??? I panic when my Ibuprofen bottle has a couple of hundred pills left.

    I am so sick of it!
    What to do? I keep reading the threads hoping that someone will discover a miracle cure!

    I AM IN PAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Nothing seems to help I have been on pain meds morphine percocet etc neourontin lyica etc etc. Back pains have went to my butt thighs thighs knees and Bicepsts cant seem to sit or stand live with it everyday not copeing very well Muy Present doc says he needs more proof i THINK FIVE YEARS OR MORE YEARS AND GETTING WORSE IS LONG ENOUGH i CANT LIVE WITH THIS PAIN MUCH LONGER STARTED NEW sPINE dOC GOING FOR YET ANOTHER mri AND EXAYS> i DONT' HAVE A LIFE BEYOUND THESE FOUR WALLS i AM BITCHY ALL THE TIME IT HAS TAKEN OVER ME .
  • I have read all of the posts on this thread and am quite shocked to see how many people have been prescribed drugs to deal with sciatica and only a couple mention surgery. Now I understand surgery is scary and is not always an option, BUT, if it can be an option.....in my opinion and from my own personal experience with sciatica, I would go for it. There is nothing worse then being in excrutiating pain 24/7 and pretty much losing your life. I had a microdiscectomy in 2006 L4-5 (right side) and another on in 2008 L4-5 (left side) and I can confidently say 100 percent as of present that I have my life back. Yes I had a reoccurance (hence the second surgery in 2008) but I would do it again in a heart beat. My back mobility is about 90%, but 100% better then having next to no mobility with sciatica. When I was in pain all I could do was lay on my side and be depressed. Now I can do everything I love like ride my horse, go on vacation, excercise, lift weights, WALK WITHOUT PAIN! For a good year after my surgeries I would wince everytime I went to step up on something, expecting a shooting pain that would make me want to die...only to experience no pain at all! That is the most amazing feeling ever. I still get a stiff back if I sit for too long, and occasional tingling/slight pain in my hip/legs if I do too much or lift too much, BUT, as soon as I walk for a few minutes, it goes away. Of course I take precautions, not lifting too much, using proper lifting techniques, and I don't ride as crazy as I used to, but, I live a full like and am extremely happy that I chose surgery...BOTH times. I rarely take any medication for back pain, and if I do it's just an over the counter ibprofen. Like I said, this is just my own personal experience and surgery doesn't always turn out for the positive, but having felt the pain that you all feel, I would rather take a roll of the dice then live the rest of my days wondering and living with excrutiating pain.
  • Just reviewing/reading everyone's posts makes me feel not so alone. Unless you experience this pain, you cannot convey to someone else the extent of the pain. I have made the same comments - just cut off my leg, then I won't feel the pain. This started for me July/2011. I was doing a run/walk program and had been doing this for a couple of months. Then the sciatica started. I treated it at home for a week and then started chiropractic care. After a couple of months of care and then no improvement (plus $80.00 2-3 times per week out of pocket). I did 2 packs of steroids with little to no relief. I started on Neurontin in November of 2011. MRI in December, Corticosteroid injections 1/6/2012 and 3/30/2012 with some initial relief. I use Ultram 5-8 tablets per day with Ibuprofen 800 mg and Aspirin between. On nights when it's really bad, I use Oxycodone. I don't go to movies, I can't sit on my sofa. I cry often and have gained weight. I have an appointment in a Spine Clinic and hope to discuss other options as this is no way to live. I sleep only on my right side; my muscles get stiff and sore and I can't sleep without Ambien. I was excited one weekend as I was actually able to go shopping; however the next weekend I was up during the night with excrutiating pain. I'm constantly looking at the clock waiting to take my next round of pain drugs. Blanca - I wonder the same things you do and I'm a Registered Nurse. I hate my life right now and hate what I've become - sad, crying, depressed, and bitchy.
    I'm glad my sister found this forum for me and hope to talk with you further.
  • Hi Missa & Mnrn56 :wave:

    Miss - I am very happy for you that both your surgeries was the answer to your back/pain issues. It is nice to hear of a good outcome. Sadly many of the people are here (that have had surgery) are as of a nt good result.

    RN - I hope you stick around here and get to know some of us. I think you will find as I did that this is a great support forum.

    I was very much in the same condition as you are when I joined. I was also in a very dark place in my mind. My injury changed my life 100% and not for the good. The members here held my hand and walked me through the baby steps until I finally had the strength to try to get what I could of my life back and to move forward looking forward to the future :)

    You may get to know us better if you start your own thread and/or visit other threads.

    Please be sure to let me know how the Spine clinic visit goes.
    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.
  • Thank you for your supportive words.
    I do plan to stay with this site. It is the only place I've found (well, my sister found it for me) where others completely understand the debilitating pain of sciatica.
    I've said it several times too - just cut off my leg.
    I have an appointment on May 9th to meet with an anesthesiologist I've met before who works in our spine clinic. I fully expect to be referred to our neurosurgery clinic for evaluation.
    This is no way to live. I had another 'flare' (too mild of a word) last night and got maybe 4-5 hours of sleep.
    I had horrible shivering, my leg wasn't supporting me. continuing to take drugs isn't an answer.
    Please let me know if there is something out there to try that I haven't yet - again, I've had 2 injections, the last one on March 30 - they are reluctant to inject the steroids more often than every 3 months.
    My pain gets extremely bad at night, prevents sleep and wakes me.
    Is there anything else I can do? Is surgery my next option?
    It is 2012 and I'm being treated at a world-class health care facility in the US (people travel internationally to get care here - not for back care necessarily). You would think there is SOMETHING modern medical care could offer us.
  • Blanca - I am so very sorry I have no idea how I missed your post. I do apologize..

    What are your Drs telling you about this pain?

    I sure hope you come back and red this post as I would ever want someone to feel I (or anyone here) ignored them.

    I hate to say this as it sounds like I am bragging but I am SO thankful my sciatic finally "died" off. A disk is laying on it and I no longer have any sciatic pain. I also lost most of my feeling in that leg but I could care less!!!!

    I had both my knees replaced at the same time and when I went to PT they started working on my back issues too and the sciatic pain came back. I demanded they stop! They thought I was nuts. I said "no your nuts if you think I would allow anyone to bring me back to that life of hell".

    rn56 - I sure hope that you get some answers for yourself and hopefully can also return here with some new info/knowledge to share with us. Please do keep me posted :)
    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.
  • when you say your sciatic 'died' off - what do you mean? my S1 disc is bulging and irritating the nerve - did you lose sensation in that nerve? did it affect bowel or bladder function?
    I'm having pain right now - just took 1000 mg of ibuprofen as i don't want to use my oxycodone in case i need it during the night. i also took 2 tramadol about a half hour ago - waiting for the drugs to kick in.
    i understand why you would stop PT if it brought back the sciatic pain. this is hell on earth; some say to continue core exercises, but there are times those irritate my leg and the pain is horribly worse.

    i'll keep in touch and let you know what happens

  • RN (is it ok I call you that?) Same here but it finally after 4 to 5 yrs of 24/7 he*l shifted again and poof!!! The pain was 100% gone!!! :D

    I did immediately feel a weakness and a lot of loss of feeling in that leg - which I could care less about lol

    Bladder issues kicked in down the road but nothing really major. Sometimes I have to pee so bad I "drip" on the way there (I always wear a pad now) and other times I have to sit for awhile, relax, read and run my finger (yes that really does work) under warm water in order to pee. But for the most part I just pee more often and if I am going out to grocery shop or run errands I am sure to go before I leave and I am usually good.

    As far as PT goes when I was just injured PT always made my sciatic much worse so I stopped going. Then when I had my knees done which was about 1 1/2 yrs after my sciatic "died" the PT made it act up again and the PT people would not listen to me, so I quit.

    I learned all my PT online & did it at home and have great ROM in both legs.

    Please do keep me posted....
    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.
  • You can call me RN or call me Chris - that's fine
    Wow - not sure I can wait 5 years and live with this pain for that long - I give you a lot of credit
    I occasionally have problems starting to pee, but not sure if that's due to age and getting up in the morning or drugs, or the nerve.
    I have to pee before I go out too, and especially before bed
    I might have to go back to the PT and see if there is anything else I can do.
    I will keep in touch, thanks
  • Chris the other thing to keep in mind is what happened to me is very rare!! :(

    It's a "don't hold your breath waiting for it to happen"
    type thing.

    Plus when it does happen most people have a high rate of serious bladder and/or bowel issues.

    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.
  • heat helps with the stretching exercises,

    start slow....

    I live on my heat pad....literally....

    I take magnesium citrate to relax the muscles....

    I take it with my food so it will absorb better....

    sciatica is the king of pain....

    it needs to be attacked at all angles...

    no stone left unturned...

    I also have an inversion table which i use modestly...

    it actually agravates my sciatica (temporary) but i know it will help my spine and that`s why i use it....


    trying to keep surgery at bay as long as posssible...

    no pain meds so far....

    magnesium and melatonin for sleep....

    I put a wooden ball under the nerve pain to massage it....

    hurts like a son of a gun....

    but sends blood irrigation (oxygen) to the pain site....

    after about 5 minutes the pain is gone and i can fall asleep....

    sleep takes over and I am home....

    home sweet home...

    Live to Pray
  • >:D<
    Thank you, Brian.
    I've been using Ambien for sleep - but low on that until May 13 when I can refill my prescription. I have Melatonin, might try that tonight - otherwise Benadryl helps me sleep
    I have a bulging disc at the S1 level - this is pain I have never experienced before. I have 3 sons and I never had an epidural anesthesia for the pain - 2 labors without any pain meds at all -
    Sciatica pain is the worst pain I have EVER experienced.
    Just tired of taking medications all day. I use Tramadol, Ibuprofen, and Oxycodone for the worst of the worst pain. At moments when the pain is controlled, I'm afraid the pain will return.
    Sleep is escape most nights, but I dread waking up because of the return of the pain - also the stiffness since I can only sleep on my right side.
    You're right about the surgery, but lately I've had some Excruciating pain that doesn't allow me to sleep. it seems to hit and grip my nerve when i'm trying to fall asleep - hence the need for the Ambien. I have an appointment a week from today to try to determine what the next steps will be.
  • I really feel for those of you who have this pain chronically.

    I had a prolonged bout with a pinched sciatic nerve about 15 years ago. It felt like my life was over. It was months and months of intermittent stabbing pain, and the lingering tingle in the leg and arm, and the fear of doing something that would aggravate it. My MD did little more than write a prescription. Chiropractic helped, but only fleetingly. Finally, after just living with it for a while, I went to an orthopedist, who sent me to physical therapy. Stretches, muscle training, and massage. And, it helped! Almost immediately, too.

    However, it does come back. It has for the past two weeks. I use ice, and lots of stretches, and try to work it out. This morning I felt ok when I got up, though I locked up while standing at the sink brushing my teeth. I had to lower myself carefully onto a yoga mat, straighten out and let my spine settle, then stretch gently, and then was able to walk upright again.

    I think my situation is complicated a bit by the fact that I have 9 vertebrae fused due to surgery nearly 40 years ago to correct scoliosis.

    Hope you are all feeling better.

    I hope everyone with this issue has at least tried stretches and/or PT. For me it really helps.
  • Hello everyone.

    I'm glad I found this place. As someone mentioned above, it is at least somewhat comforting to know you're not alone in this. I guess misery truly does love company...

    I mine rocks for a living and through repetitive lifting of heavy objects I managed to create some problems with my sciatic nerve. It started about 2 years ago but always was intermittent, though very painful when inflamed.

    12 days ago I lifted a rock and threw my back out. As my back slowly healed, it left in its wake an extremely pinched nerve! So now the back injury is fully recovered, but my sciatica is far worse than ever before, and chronic. I now know exactly what people on here are talking about when they say they want their leg amputated. I have only been getting about 1-2 hours of sleep at night because the pain is much worse when I'm laying down trying to relax. There is no position that I can lay in that will take the pain away, so I usually end up rolling around moaning and whining until somehow miraculously I'm able to fall asleep for 15 minutes, until the pain wakes me up again. It's pretty much a nightmare!! When I wake up in the middle of the night over and over, each time I feel like my life is ruined. It makes me extremely depressed to the point of crying sometimes.

    During the day, I have to hobble around like an 80 year old man just to get to the fridge or the bathroom. Life has become a constant challenge, especially in the realm of maintaining a positive and optimistic outlook on life.

    I have tried the centralizing stretches, but they often cause my nerve pain to flare up so bad that I end up in tears rolling around on the ground wishing I hadn't even tried stretching.

    Last night, I got up and researched sciatica treatments for like 5 hours and found a few interesting links that I would like to share with you all because it seems they have not been discussed on here.

    The first link is:
    Link removed, solicitation not permitted
    Post Edited by The Spine-Health Moderator Team

    This might seem kinda weird, because sciatica seems like such a physical pain, and it seems improbable that homeopathy would be able to treat it, particularly when the nerve is pinched by a bulging or herniated disc, but I read enough reviews to have hope that it might work. Also, I have had success using these types of products for ailments that I would never have guessed would be treatable, and to my astonishment, they worked!! So I just ordered two bottles of this stuff and will begin treating myself with it as soon as it arrives. I'll let you all know how it goes.

    The second link, which I think most of you will find more promising is:

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

    Go to the link and watch a few of the videos. It's pretty amazing. The problem is that you have to go to one of these neurological institutes to get treatment with this new chemical, but the way I see it, if I have to endure this kind of pain much longer, I will find a way to get there and get the treatment.... It seems almost miraculous, and I'm sort of a skeptical person, however, hope will keep you going.... I have hope that one of these options will work. Otherwise, it's gonna be free-form amputation in my basement...

    Thanks for listening and please check the links out and let me know what you think...

    I wish you all hope and healing.

  • I remember telling my husband I was a strong enough woman to handle the pain. Just cut it off. And I was serious!

  • Isn't it amazing how many people say that? It is no doubt the worst pain ever.
  • Hi, I watched the video - pretty dramatic, isn't it?
    I have an appt. on Wednesday with my anesthesiologist - and btw, I'm a RN at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, so, since the article is from Johns Hopkins, I'll be interested in hearing what they have to say about the research.
    I'll let you know what happens.
  • Yeah, being a geologist, I tend to be somewhat skeptical and oriented towards science, rather than metaphysics. However, when it comes to health, I've found time and time again that homeopathic and natural remedies do the trick where western medicine fails. I've had a few personal experiences in which certain ailments I've had have been almost 'magically' healed by treatments I looked at as metaphysical, rather than scientific. So now I try to suspend all judgement and do whatever it takes to eliminate suffering. I would probably draw a circle of candles and chant to some nordic god at midnight if nothing else worked and I thought there was even a remote chance of success... lol But as for the neurological clinic, they seem to be rooted in science rather than homeopathy. That doesn't necessarily mean they don't over-dramatize their claims.. If nothing else works for me, I'll probably end up trying it, if nothing else, to exhaust all possible options before I give in to despair...
  • Saw my anesthesiologist today to discuss next steps regarding my Radiculopathy - S1 extrusion.
    So, I'm adding Cymbalta to my meds to see if it helps increase the effect of the Neurontin so I can decrease the amount of pain meds I'm taking.
    Tomorrow early am - repeat MRI - see if there is any improvement.
    June 7 - I have a consult with a Neurosurgeon, not that I'm scheduling surgery any time soon (unless I have a lot of pain flares again), but this way I"ll have everything in place in case I need surgery.
    Most likely I would have a third injection before thinking about surgery.
    Anyway, I think it was a productive appointment - and, what I like about being at Mayo is that the physicians are all salaried, so they don't have to worry about production and numbers of patients they see in a day - I never felt rushed. I even talked about future trips to Disney World and rides I could possibly go on.
    Well, overall a pretty good day, with some pain, but a lot less medication than I've been taking - so, take heart, maybe this talk of self-healing really does happen.
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