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Sciatic Pain in Teenager

Three months ago I hurt my back at the gym. I am not sure through which exercise. It wasn't a sharp pain then, but I remember it starting at the gym. Since then it has only grown and I am starting to give up hope, even though I am only 17 and very physically fit (soccer player, normal weight and no past problems). University starts in a month and this crippling pain persists, I might go insane.

It is a constant pain in the left side of my very low back and butt. It goes down my thigh, knee, calf and ends at the inner of my foot. The pain is made worse when I change from a seated position to a standing position, and it is more intense early in the morning and at night. The worst of it comes when I sneeze or laugh, like an electric shock down my butt and leg. There are also a few things to note. When I lie down on my back and bring either leg to my chest and then straighten it out again, I hear a popping sound from my back. Also, when lying down on my back with legs extended, if I try to bring my upper body up (like a sit up with extended legs), my legs begin to shake and I can not fully bring it up to 90 degrees. There is also excruciating pain in the leg when I do a cross body back stretch. Hot tub eases the pain, but it comes back even worse a few hours later. I have rested for the entire three months, only driving and doing light swimming and walking.

I've visited 2 chiropractors and they have told me that my pelvis is torqued (not sure what that means) and every visit they would manually manipulate the region by putting me on my side with a knee bent and other leg straight, and then twisting my body to make a cracking sound that would "release" my SI joint. I would always feel my pain reduce every time they did this, but there would always be some left, and it would go back to the regular pain a day later or even the same day. I've also visited 2 PT's and they have told me everything from possible disc problems to a tight psoas muscle. At this point I am not sure what could be the problem. I have tried everything from SI Joint massages to sciatic pain stretches to psoas stretches, etc etc. My MRI is scheduled for april next year (I'm Canadian) and we cannot get one privately because of the cost. At this point I feel so helpless that I finally broke down today, even though I am not one to give in to pain so easily. I cannot play soccer, workout, drive or even laugh with my friends because of this pain, and it is showing no signs of getting better. I am beginning to get very scared for when university begins in a month. Can anyone help me?


  • LC84LLC84 Posts: 599
    edited 07/23/2014 - 4:04 AM
    Have you talked to your Dr about this? There are medications you can try specifically for nerve pain. I would stay away from the chiropractors until you get the MRI results. They can cause more harm if there is a disc herniation. That's really unfortunate that you have to wait that long for the MRI. That will determine the proper treatment course. However, I would still talk to your Dr about treating the symptoms in the meantime.
    Progressive DDD
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • EnglishGirlEEnglishGirl Posts: 1,825
    edited 07/23/2014 - 8:22 AM
    I have suffered with sciatica & my husband deals with piriformis muscle problems...both are very similar & so very, very painful. I come from England & know what it's like to wait a rediculously long time for some diagnostic tests. It's so frustrating!

    If you search piriformis syndrome at the top here you will find a good explanation & the stretches you need to do. They're very similar to the stretches for sciatica so it's well worth getting started with them. When I first experienced this kind of back pain even with an MRI step 1 was physical therapy so I'd stick with that. Maybe you could try aqua therapy, many people find that a great help. With piriformis syndrome the only thing that keeps it under control for my husband is religiously doing the exercises.

    I was also given an anti-inflammatory & a muscle relaxant as was my husband so that's standard with both. What has your GP suggested/prescribed so far? As Lcochran said a nerve med could really help take the edge off of the pain. When the pains particularly bad my husband gets a steroid shot. It helps reduce the pain enough to stretch & exercise.

    If you do have a herniated disc a chiropractor could do a lot more harm than good. I've been told by specialists & a chiropractor that adjustments should NEVER be performed on someone with that kind of structural damage. My husband has been told that a chiropractor can't do much to help him either so I'd stay away for now.

    If you read around the forums there are lots of tips for chipping away at the pain & handling flares. I use medications, stretches & exercises, ice/heat, topical creams, airomatherapy oils, massage, etc. I know it's really hard but try to restrict your activities. It could be worth keeping a diary of the things than increase & reduce your pain. That can be a useful tool when dealing with doctors & specialists too.

    I know it's incredibly depressing to live with pain. It must be daunting with university around the corner but these things can be managed & sometimes go away with rest, treatment & exercise. You won't know what you're dealing with until you get your MRI. It's not worth focusing on the worst case scenario. It could be muscular & temporary. Best of luck.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Thank you for the responses.

    The only medication I have taken is naproxen, which I stopped about a month ago because it was not helping at all. I'm not a big fan of meds.
  • Did you ever find relief I'm expediting same thing 
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Hello badillob
    This an old discussion, the member who created it has not been back to the forum since so I am closing it.
    For support I suggest you create a new discussion stating your issues.
    Please click on the link for useful information

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
This discussion has been closed.
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