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About three years ago I got up off the sofa and felt a pain in my lower back radiating down my left box all the way down the back of my leg and to my fight and even my toes. At the time, I knew nothing of sciatica. I simply figured that it was bad stretch and if I give it a few days it would go away on its own. I was wrong. I went to the doctor a few weeks later and they diagnosed me with sciatica and ordered an MRI. The MRI showed a herniated disc between my L5-S1 disc. It appeared to be a 6 mm herniation to the left. First they put me on around of oral steroids. These had no effect whatsoever. Next they ordered physical therapy which I did diligently and had no improvement. Meanwhile the pain got worse and worse until I was able to sit or stand for any length of time. I remember during those days I cry a lot because I was so frustrated by the pain I felt that there was no end in sight. I finally got my first epidural steroid injections which did offer some relief but I still did not have the quality of life that I had prior to the sciatica taking over. Also during this time I began four months of spinal decompression treatment which didn't do a darn thing to help my pain. Three times a week I drove to the spinal decompression Center have my treatment diligently, and I never felt a single day of pain relief. Two epidural steroid injections later and several months later, I did experience enough pain relief to begin doing a little bit of physical activity. I began gentle yoga classes, private Pilates lessons, which ended up being a lot more like physical therapy since my range of movement was very very disabled at that point. I still walked with a limp, hunched over, and barely kept up with any of my daily activities. My social life became television, and I had a great relationship with my zero gravity gravity recliner! I kept a zero gravity recliner in my office so that I could get up from my desk every so often get in the zero gravity recliner and get a little bit of relief from the constant pain I was in. I began reading the Internet and observing all of the information about holistic treatments for sciatica. I tried chiropractic, Chinese herbs, anti-inflammatories, pineapple, ginger slices, green tea, drinking excess amounts of water, concentrated lemon juice, vitamin supplements... You name it, I tried it! In May 2012, I finally felt some pain relief. I thought I was out of the woods. I lived in normal, pain-free life for a full year. After six months of not being in pain, I decided it was time to get in shape. I started walking 30 minutes every day, and hiking a local hiking trail near my home. Just over eight weeks ago, I Starting to right lower lumbar region. It lasted about two and then turned into a debilitating, excruciating, horrible bout w/ sciatica. It was back! Full force! My pain management doctor put me on around of oral steroids, and they did nothing to alleviate the pain. Then he prescribed Norco and Ativan. These drugs do provide some relief but the pain never fully goes away. I can no longer walk. I haven't been to work in over three weeks. A couple of days the pain got so bad that I went to urgent care where they gave me a shot of Toradol. Those visits would get me through the night. But the next day the pain would be back again. About one week ago I went to the ER at 1 o'clock in the afternoon crippled with pain. They gave me morphine intravenously. It definitely helped for the afternoon and that evening. The next morning I received an epidural injection. The morning after the injection I felt some pain relief but not enough to have me up and walking or sitting or working or doing any of my normal daily activities. I work from home laying in bed with a wedge under my knees a laptop on my lap, water close by, painkillers very close by. This is how I have remained for the past week or so, waiting patiently for the pain to subside enough so that I can resume daily activities. Unfortunately, that has not yet happened. During this process, my doctor discovered that I was deficient in vitamin D. I began taking prescription vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and a daily multi vitamin. At the suggestion of a friend, I have also begun to take systemic enzymes. I have also began eating and anti-inflammatory diet consisting of a lot of water, pineapple, greenly few vegetables, and basically just really healthy food no meat no dairy etc. Additionally because I am a vegetarian I began taking sublingual vitamin B12. So here I am,, laying down, and spending time with my beloved recliner. I am attempting to find a water therapy facility near my home so that I can begin trying to strengthen myself in the pool. There is nothing that I can do on land. I cannot walk properly. I am very frustrated by the pain. My life is not the same. I rarely get any relief unless it's from a pain pill. I cannot wait another two years living like this as I did the last time I had sciatica. The doctors really do not want to give me surgery, because I did get better the last time. They say that if you can get better one, you can get better again. It makes me wonder if they actually understand what it's like to walk around 24 hours a day with pain, chronic pain, with no relief. I am very scared of surgery. But some days I would go into the doctors office and just ask them to remove my leg if I thought it would give me even seconds of relief. I am trying to remain positive but it is very difficult. I am grateful to have found this forum where I can read your stories and your ideas for help. Sometimes it does help a little just knowing that I'm not alone.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
    Here are just some of the highlights:

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    - Under the Resource tab, there is a section Doctor Advice Health Center which can be invaluable.

    - As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here is where you can meet thousands of other people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a Support System. You are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 International members and growing daily.

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    Here are some you should take a look at:
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    All of this will help make your threads better and improve the times and quality of responses you will receive.

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Glad you're here- I found a lot of good members on here that were able to help me, ultimately, make decisions and make it through the treatment. Have they done an MRI recently to ensure that the 'flare up' isn't something else? I dealt with sciatica for years (4 to be exact) and the pain management doctor kept referring to it as a 'flare up'-- long story short, I didn't get an actual answer for my back conditions until last October....and that is when I saw the pain management doctor and he called it a 'flare up'. :( did you ask what the next step in the process is? More epidural injections?
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
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