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Sciatic pain-this is horrible :(. Any advice please!

AndreamarieAAndreamarie Posts: 6
Hi , my name is andrea. I am 33 years old . I am very new to this kind of pain although I broke my back several years ago and get muscle spasms in my lower back and it is painful and uncomfortable but nothing like what I did this time. Right now I am lying on my stomach with ice on my back because it is the only position I am comfortable in. On June 19th 2015 I was walking out the front door to go to work and tripped over my cat and landed on my right side on our cement stairs, once I was able to get up, I shook it off and headed to work. I was very uncomfortable all day and found it worse when I sat in my car or at work to chart-I am a nurse so I am usually on my feet most of the time or I probably wouldn't have made it through the day. Well I came home and that night while trying to get comfortable to fall asleep-it just wasn't happening-i was in excruciating pain on my whole left side -it felt kind of like a huge Charlie horse and the more I moved to try and get comfortable the more it hurt-it made no sense. I literally crawled up our stairs crying because of the pain and dug out old Oxycodone prescription and flexeril that I had for my muscle spasms that I get very couple of years. Keep in mind i have a very high tolerance for pain. I was able to get comfortable for about an hour on my stomach until it started again. I then crawled back upstairs to take more meds-this went on all night until I couldn't take it anymore and I got in my car-which was very painful to sit and drove my self to the emergency room because I had no idea what was going on-that's when they told me it was my sciatic nerve and gave me a prescription for flexeril and 12 oxycodone and said that I would need an MRI done but that they don't do it in the ER. Well I very easily took all my medications over the weekend and called the doc Monday morning to get an MRI and hopefully get my prescriptions refilled. When I got to the doc he told me I need X-rays not an MRI and refused to give me an MRI. He also would only give me flexeril and anti inflammatory pills-nothing for the pain? What kind of pills work? Is there anything for nerves? And of course the X-rays came back normal because it is not in my bones.oh he also gave me a referral to pt.which I will be going this Wednesday-just hope my insurance covers it. I still have not had an MRI but after reading all the posts on this site I know it is what I have. The soonest they can get me into the doc for an MRI is July 7th and I can't wait to know what is going on.after about a week of severe constant pain it settled down to a tolerable pain and only intolerable occasionally but that is when I noticed my big toe and inside of my foot are numb and most of the pain is in my buttocks and calf/ankle area and foot and the numbness is constant. I wanted to share what I am experimenting because it helped me to be able to read others post and try and see what works and what doesn't. i know my friends and family are getting tired of hearing about this but it is what i am constantly thinking about and feeling. my fiance even asked me how long i planned to play this one out-its like no one understands.there is nothing to play out and i really hate taking medication but when you are in pain you will try anything even if it is to get one night of sleep which i havent since this happened.if anyone has ANY advise or questions please share I will try anything as long as its not surgery-would like to avoid that at all cost. And one more question-I am lucky I have had the last week off of work but do I need to a note saying that I am on light duty? Should I only be lifting so much weight-what kind of restrictions should i be on to help this heal the fastest? Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Sorry to hear what you're going through.

    Your doctor is the only one to advise you on limitation and or restrictions.
    You may need to check with your place of employment re if note from doc needed for light duty.

    Seems like everyone likes documentation, so I wouldn't be surprised if needed.
    My situation of needing light duty at my work, before I told them.... I came in with the script noting that.
    They made copy of it and I kept for my records... Just because you never know.

    Good luck with your MRI on the 7th!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • AndreamarieAAndreamarie Posts: 6
    edited 07/02/2015 - 4:04 PM
  • ackmattyaackmatty Posts: 6
    edited 07/11/2015 - 9:41 PM
    So sorry to hear you going through this. It sucks but know that it is temporary. I dealt with significant pain for nearly 6 months and tried to keep telling myself that. But now I've reached that point. Here is what I wrote to another person on this forum. Good luck!

    Here is what I wrote to another guy on this forum. I just cut and pasted it so might be more than you wanted to hear but here ya go! Good luck!

    In August 2014 I started having severe pain in my right hammy which would take time off to torture my right glute, calf, and foot as well. It got progressively worse with my day to day pain at about a 7, a few episodes in the 9 and 10 range, and could get below a 5 temporarily with swimming, acupuncture, or percocet. My diagnosis after the MRI was a 10mm herniation at L5/S1 with extrusion.
    I finally caved after 2 months of the pain and got the round of 3 steroid shots. Round 1 barely touched it. After I stressed to the administering doc that my pain was all sciatic, he hit me lower and with greater volume on the second shot and dropped the pain over 50%! That saved me from surgery. The third shot helped it a little bit better and by November my pain was a temporarily manageable 3.
    I was off work for 6 months which really helped because I could completely regulate my day and my pain. By early February (2015) my pain was at about a 2. But I was still popping 2400 mg a day of Ibuprofen. I went to Light Duty at that point and took a few steps backward. Sitting for an hour or so, driving around town, and just being unable to completely regulate exacerbated it. But gradually I was able to get back to that point, cut back on the Ibuprofen, and ultimately quit it all together. Right at the 9 month point I was at a 2 pain level without any drugs to help. I took another month to test it and returned to work Full Duty at 10 months. I've only gotten better over the past few weeks. I'm still careful with weights but started running a bit lately, have been hitting stairs with a 30 lb pack (80 floors), and doing pretty much every other CrossFit exercise besides Olympic Lifting (pull-ups, rowing, box jumps, etc.)
    Personally, I believe time was the biggest factor. You've got to let the inflammation die down and NOT inflame it back up. I kept testing it along the way and would pay for it here and there. I fell on my skateboard on a mini-ramp (I know, stupid!) and that set me back a couple of weeks. Other than that, Press-Ups (from the McKenzie Method) seemed to really help. One night at dinner like 4 months ago, a 4 or 5 pain hit me out of the blue. I dropped to the floor, did Press-ups for a minute, and the pain was gone! It only worked that well the one time but made a believer out of me. Swimming was awesome. Allowed me to stay in shape during it all, the reduction in gravity (while some believe can make it worse once you get out of the pool, not me!) gives you short-term relief while you're in the pool and lasts an hour or so afterwards, and the careful, long pulls potentially stretch you out. I did acupuncture for a couple of months early on. It gave me immediate relief but within an hour I was right back to where I was before. And the last time I went I came out hurting more than when I went in. Not for me. I tried Yoga while I was still in Hell and I wasn't ready. [EDIT]
    I hope any or all of this helps you brother. I feel your pain and 22 is waaaay to young to be going through this. Someone once told me that its a year recovery whether you have the surgery or not. You just have to deal with the pain longer if you can hold out. But surgery scares the crap out of me and I am holding it as a last resort.

    Good luck.
  • OrchidOOrchid Posts: 4
    edited 07/14/2015 - 10:58 PM
    Hi there guys! I'm sorry you going thru this type of pain. It is truly the worst! As far as restrictions and leave, apply for FMLA but you need your doctor to complete it. For restrictions, the doctor would have to determine that. But as a nurse we are very very active and we are at least at my place need to be able to lift at least 50lbs so check ur job description and take it with you to your doctor. I can't lift anything more than 10lbs and that is excruciating for me! Seriously! Plus the standing bending and pulling we do... Yeah you need to be super careful! The pain is excruciating! Just like us nurses to minimize our medical problems and tough it out. But we need to focus on our health and safety in preserving and healing our backs. I'm new to this sit but it has very useful info. I've also looked at Pinterest for low back exercises and siatic relief. All have helped to some degree but the pain returns for me. I hope you get some relief and get better soon! Stay positive!

    Hello guys! I'm so grateful to of found this website. I'm a 33yo female who sustained a work injuryto my in 4/15. They said it was a thoracic and low lumbar strain. X Rays were done and negative. My job is very very physically demanding and situations can change in an instant. I was helping lift someone up along with a coworker and got jolted down as they threw themselves back. I had instant pain and it got worse as we continued to assist this person to their bed and assist in pulling them up in bed. We did everything right with "proper body mechanics" but i got hurt. My other coworker did not as she showed me her 2 back braces she had on! Yeah thanks for the heads up after I get hurt. Went to re xrayed-negative given 2 shots and pain mess. I couldn't move for 2-3 days and it was rough trying to move at all. My lower back and right oblique were sore to touch. Was sent to occupational doc and PT for 9 sessions mixed with aquatics. It seemed to help until I went back to work with no restrictions. Then, I was in immense pain I had to leave early and my coworkers considered taking me to the er again. The occ doc said I "re-injured" myself? But I still had pain and limited movement when I went back and he knew it. That day I had extrem pain to my lower back ,spasms and pain radiating down my legs like electrical shocks. Got shots again and was told I just need therapy. My leg pain has gotten worse. I can barely walk and let's just say the walk to the house bathroom is so painful. Just putting my feet to the floor hurts. Sitting, walking, bending, standing, just about any activity hurts and gets worse with more activity. I'm doing my exercises and stretches at least 3xs a day with alternating hot/cold packs. I've tried the menthol patches and very little relief. I then began having numbness, tingling, with pain down my left legs and occasionally to the right leg. The occ doc first said nothing is wrong with me then asked for an Mir.But because of the claims adjuster with the company they "extended " the request until I see a "independent medical examiner who is non bias" to evaluate me then will leave it up to him to recommend the Mri. So basic in pain for a whole 30 days until I see him. They gave me tramodal for pain but it has not helped. I'm so frustrated and hurting so bad. I feel like they don't believe me and they have no basis other than an X-ray. So I'm continuing with my home exercises and have paid for a pool program at least to help my back till I see the IME. I'm pretty sur I have a herniated disk to my l4-5. My PT said I do but he couldn't be sure with out the mri. He did all these tests and said I need to be very very careful else I would need surgery. So it scared me. And I've been trying to stay active within reason. Does anyone have any suggestions as to help with sciatic relief or other non medicine pain relief? I know you all are not doctors and I'm just looking for suggestions. This has affected every aspect of my life. I feel helpless as far as getting proper treatment for this with the company's claims adjuster. She told me to try a Epsom salt bath! So yeah I cried out of frustration. Has anyone gone through this to? Any help would be wonderful. Thank you in advance.

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