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Suggestions on Pain

FarrisdadFFarrisdad Posts: 8
Hello all,

I've been lurking for a while and have some questions.

I herniated L5/S1 and had a discetomy on 8/20/15. Last week I went into a major coughing fit and felt a pop in my back and sciatica has come back full force. I just had an mri yesterday but I am finding nothing is working for my pain mostly in my left calf. It feels like a constant cramp. I am on day four of the steroids the ER gave me and taking both a muscle relaxer twice a day as well as pain reliever every six hours. I have tried ice, heat, Epsom salt baths and even tried the Be Active knee brace that claims to help with sciatica and it works for about twenty minutes until my body gets used to the pressure point being pressed against. I'm at my wits end and I'm tired of hurting. Does anyone have any suggestions that can help? My doctor seems to keep throwing pain mess at me which do nothing to stop the pain just tire me out. Walking helps but I can barely walk more than two miles a day.

Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

    . Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)

  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
    . Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?

  • . Physical Therapy
    . Ultrasound / Tens unit
    . Spinal Injections
    . Acupuncture
    . Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)

  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
    . How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)

  • . Name of Medication
    . How long have you been using this?
    . Results
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ There you will find much information that will

  • - Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system
    - Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts
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    - General pieces of valuable information

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
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What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 10/26/15 12:00 est



  • Have you tried it? It sounds like the nerve pain I have. Gabapentin has worked well for me up until a couple months ago, but normally it works well. Might be something to bring up to your Dr.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    edited 11/04/2015 - 1:16 AM
    Maybe your MRI will reveal something to help doctor know effective treatment.
    Are you seeing a pain management doctor?

    I have never been a candidate for surgery, so I don't know about treatments for after that.
    But I have had epidurals that have successfully helped my sciatica when at its worse.

    Mine was very painful calf, causing me to have an awful contorted limping gait.
    And also painful ankles and toes. Toes extending forward and toes actually crossing.

    As above, I too take neurotin to help keep that pain manageable.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Kirstij79KKirstij79 UKPosts: 158
    edited 11/04/2015 - 11:23 AM
    Please can I ask why you aren't a candidate for surgery? Xx
    Kirsti x
  • Have you reherniated disc? Coughing and pop sounds could be sign of that. I had same 'snap' feel when my disc went second time. Could also be your nerves settling after surgery. I never had any rlief with gabapentin. Found pregablin/lycra only good thing for nerve pain. I never had any side effects but know some people struggle them. Is it definitely sciatica type nerve pain? If so, other painkillers like codeine or ibuprofen aren't as helpful as nerve tablets (which work differently in the body to reduce the pain). Other non-medical things which helped me to some degree - tens machine used along 1 leg, elevating leg while sitting, try lying on your stomach with hot water bottle on site of pain, lie on floor with legs on chair @ right angle, hot bath, acupuncture, physiotherapy manipulations, sports massage to leg, heated slippers for nerve pain in foot, not bending at all at hips & extended backwards (slowly and not into pain x 10 times every hour). Depends on what the problem is!
  • FarrisdadFFarrisdad Posts: 8
    edited 11/09/2015 - 4:25 PM
    Sorry all to get back so late. My MRI revealed I had reherniated the disc and had to have a spinal fusion. Hence why I didn't respond. The sciatica pain is gone completely except when I try to squat down to lift the toilet seat for example. I also have hip pain when trying to sit or stand.
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