I came just across this forum and read thru some post and decided to tell my story (so far). Im a 31 year old male, over the years I had very minor bouts with sciatica pain mostly lasting a minute or two every now and again (out of ignorance I just thought it was muscle pain). In May 2012 I had a slip and fall down stairs and this is where my battle with sciatica pain truly began.
I went to my doctor who ordered and x-ray and sent me to a Chiropractor. I was going to this Chiropractor 3 times a week for 3 months, nothing he did seemed to work. My doctor ordered a MRI and the results were I had herniated L5/S1 disc's which caused a pinched nerve. I was completely frustrated because there was no pain in my back but my leg ached from my hip to my calf, the pain was so severe I couldn't work and I wouldn't leave the house unless it was for a doctors appointment. The Chiropractor had a pain management doctor who gave me Cortisone shot (which did nothing). I began to do some research and noticed the Chiropractor wasn't really doing anything to help but just keep me coming back, the pain management doctor didn't even use an x-ray to administer the shot (he just felt my back). I cancelled my appointments with the Chiropractor.
In September I went to my doctor and told him I wanted surgery done. He sent me to a Neuro surgeon who took 1 look at my MRI and said I needed a Mircodiscectomy. He informed me I should have come sooner as the longer the nerve is pinched the higher the chances of permanent nerve damage. He scheduled me for surgery about a week later. The surgery went well, I had pain in my back and it was difficult to move but overall the pain was WAY more tolerable then dealing with the sciatica pain. Every now and again I would feel the sciatica pain but my surgeon told me this was normal (the nerve was healing itself). Within 2 months I felt good enough to return to work. By January I was feeling great and began to work out to lose weight and strengthen my core (as my doctor suggested).
Life was great no pain with just minor soreness in my back that was easily dealt with Motrin. I lost about 40lbs from Jan-April, then at work last week I tried to open a stuck door and my back became sore. The sciatica pain wasn't immediate but by the end of the day it was back. It's so painful (feels even worse then b4), My Surgeon is away on business but he ordered a MRI (awaiting results) and sent me to his pain management doctor. The doctor felt my back and from where it hurt he doesn't think I damaged my spine but it might be a muscle pinching the nerve. He gave me oxycodone and lyrica on Monday I will get an epidural.
Hopefully all goes well because after going several months with no pain I cant deal with this pain. If this shot doesn't work and I am still in pain I will ask the surgeon (in 2 weeks when he returns) to do another surgery. Anybody dealing with sciatica pain that hasn't tried surgery for whatever reason I suggest you consider it as it greatly improved my quality of life. I will keep you all posted on my situation, and I wish ALL of you luck bc I feel your pain (literally).