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Sciatic pain

Hello fellow sufferers. I have been enduring a sciatic "flair up" for about 8 wks now. (First one). My L5 S1 is bone on bone. I've dealt with the low back pain for years with PT,Advil,and plain stubbornness. 6 mo ago diagnosed with a couple ulcers. No more Advil. Started with a pain mgt doc. Epidurals, radio ablation and percocet have worked pretty well until the sciatic started. My question is what if I try to bull through it? "Rest" and a very painful epidural last week has not done the trick. I am a self employed carpenter with a major renovation/re build scheduled to start in about 10 days. If I go ahead and work anyway can I make it worse? I know the pain will be worse, but will the condition get worse? Thanks, Sean.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    edited 09/20/2014 - 8:33 AM
    Keep in mind, that no member on this site is a medical professional. Therefore all the information you receive here is based on personal experiences, time and research. The only acceptable and formal answers need to come from your doctor(s).

    One of the major cases of sciatica is that a disc is pressing on a spinal nerve root. This impingement causes that burning, stabbing pain in your butt and down your leg. If that is left untreated or relief isn't done soon, there are risks of permanent nerve damage. You never want to damage a nerve roots. For all practical purposes, dead nerves can not come back to life.

    But again, this is a discussion you need to have with your doctor.

    In all of my lumber surgeries, sciatica was present, so I had 3 of the 4 surgeries pretty soon after the diagnosis. FOr surgery #3, I waited, I wanted to see if perhaps it could get better with just conservative treatments. I gambled and I lost.
    As a result I have some permanent nerve damage in my right leg, knee down and on the inner part of my foot/toes.
    For the most part, I can deal with this, my occassional drop foot will trip once in a while on the stairs, my feet can get numb and start to tingle and I will get shap pins and needles between my good live nerves and the dead ones.

    Get this checked out, see what your doctor has to say. Some may say that you can continue to work without creating any additional problems. And as long as you can bear it,fine....

    But we can not provide that type of answer here.
    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
  • Thank you Ron. I understand the limitations of this forum and I'm grateful for your comment. I will continue to seek treatment based on advice from my doctors. I'm just worried that I will have to stop working for an extended time and for me that is scary. I've been a hands on builder for 28 years and I've always been able to battle through injuries. Thanks again, Sean
  • I have bone on bone too. Are you in the position to hire someone to do the heavy lifting for you? The agony from that is worrying!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Thanks, yes I have a couple guys. My concern is ladders and scaffolding. I don't want to risk my guys or myself so I'll be layout and steady cut man. On the ground. I have my own tens unit so I'll try keeping it on all day. It helps. I see my pain mgt doc this week. Hope to get something that works on the nerve pain. I've heard nuerotin can be helpful. We'll see. Sean
  • Have you ever tried a SI belt? I mention it because lately a few people I know have tried them for different severe spine problems & they all say it really helps. My Dad has suffered with spine degeneration for half his life. His spine looks like a scenic railway & he LOVES his belt for playing golf. My husband has piriformis problems. We purchased one from amazon & it helps so much he's living in it. I have arthritis & my lower back often feels swollen & bruised. I can't wear one it's agony! Ours cost around $50 (including shipping) so it could be worth a try. I know it's not a fix but it might help you in the coming weeks until you see a surgeon & make a big decision.

    I'd be keeping ice packs in the car. They could really help, particularly on the drive home at the end of the day. Best of luck. Please follow-up with your doc. My Dads always been very physical & is also a master of 'battling through' the pain but sometimes that can be so harmful.

    Nerve meds take & while to titrate up to the right dose. They're not meds you can just start & stop. Often they make you feel very sleepy at the start but that usually passes in a couple of weeks. I have a topical compounded ketamine cream that contains lots of numbing, muscle relaxing & nerve meds. It could be worth asking your PM about. I love mine!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • What is an S1 belt? What does it do? I may have to try that as well!
    L5-S1 Emergency PLIF Revision May 26th 2015
    L5-S1 PLIF May 22nd 2015.
    L5-S1 Discectomy Feb 27th 2015.
    L5-S1 Discectomy Oct 30th 2014.
  • If you search SI (that's s i ) on amazon & click on the different ones available they answer questions & have reviews by customers. As I said it hurt me but if you can take a little (just a little) pressure at the base of your spine it should be ok. It could be worth clearing it with your doc. Mine just said to give it a try.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Thank you!
    L5-S1 Emergency PLIF Revision May 26th 2015
    L5-S1 PLIF May 22nd 2015.
    L5-S1 Discectomy Feb 27th 2015.
    L5-S1 Discectomy Oct 30th 2014.
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