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Forcing myself to walk with sciatica.. Good idea?

Sciaticaman1995SSciaticaman1995 Posts: 24
OK so I'm a 20 year old guy who's had sciatica for almost 3 months now. The pain went from just being a little uncomfortable and annoying in the beginning to being SEVERE and not even being able to walk and being bed ridden for nearly 2 weeks now. It's so bad that I've been to the hospital 5 times throughout these 3 months and they pretty much told me there's nothing they can do and to see my doctor. They said they can't prescribe me any painkillers anymore (the only thing that helps) and they won't give me an MRI, just an X-Ray which came back fine. So far I've been on 2 different oral corticosteroids, Valium, Vicodin, Percocet (only one that helps), Robaxin, Flexeril, and ibuprofen. Nothing has done anything to make the condition any better and like I said at this point I've been bed ridden for nearly 2 weeks now. I had to get rid of my primary care doctor because #1 I was never able to get an appointment and #2 he wouldn't help me with the pain. I tried getting an MRI through him but my insurance wouldnt approve. So now I'm stuck trying to find another doctor, which I can't get one because everyones booked. Therefore I can't get a referral for an orthopedist. I couldn't even get one through my old doc because he'd always leave it up to the HORRIBLE secretary and it would get all messed up. Now I'm on my own, nothing for pain, no doctor to help me. I haven't slept in almost a month, I can't shower on my own, going to the bathroom is absolute HELL. Basically I'm confined to my bed laying on my back or I'm rolling around in pain 24/7, and I mean literally 24/7. I don't know what to do anymore. Depressions really starting to set in as there is no end in sight. I can't even breathe the pains so bad. I'm ready to just say the heck with it and force myself to go out and walk everyday but I'd probably be messing it up more. I just don't know.

What You Need to Know About Sciatica


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Liz -Spine-health Moderator

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • finding a neurologist. You need someone who deals with nerves and the potential compression it sounds like you are experiencing. You may also have a herniated disk, which may not be visible on an xray. Don't let your self go crazy with this. You obviously need help at an immediate level. I have found that a neurosurgeon's office will step up to try and get you reviewed and an MRI is part of this. Explain your situation and ask them for help. Obviously, I have no idea where you live. If you have a Mayo clinic anywhere nearby, call them. I gave up on my primary and the ortho-guy did nothing but try cortisone shots for short-term relief.
  • Well I somehow managed to get an emergency appointment with an Orthopedist today. I had to have someone drive me over an hour to get there and back just for the doc to tell me he needs a "CD" with my X-RAYS I've gotten to even see if an MRI is possible. So now I have to get this X-RAY CD from the hospital and go all the way there again to drop it off. When I was there, he checked my reflexes and had me move certain ways to see how bad it was. He wanted to send me downstairs to have an EMG which requires a needle to be placed directly in the spot where the pain is all coming from to check my nerves... NO WAY! But all in all, that's it. No pain meds or anything. Hopefully I can get this MRI after I bring the X-RAYS in. I'm not going to be a test animal being poked with needles before I can get an MRI. No reason for it. In enough pain as it is
  • Lily2014LLily2014 Posts: 84
    edited 01/06/2016 - 1:41 PM
    Yes think an MRI is your best bet for next step as that are clearer than Xray. Getting signed up to a new primary care doctor would also be helpful so you have someone to go and see when you need further advice and who can prescribe medication for you. Some people don't like taking it which I understand. I hate the side effects, but when it's too painful to even move, having some would help. Staying in bed for weeks/months on end has never done my back any good and having something to take the edge off so you can at least walk around the house etc will really help. Emergency rooms don't like giving out meds and some doctors can be funny about prescribing in case of addiction. When I've been in agony, I just ask for something to help with pain and never had big problems getting off the stuff, can't stand taking the stuff so no problems. Doc should be able to see when you need pain medication and id be surprised if they advised you stay in bed rather than give you something. Good luck with it. It's a horrendous pain to be in. I can sympathise.
  • Does anyone have advice on the easiest way to get an MRI? I have a feeling my insurance company will turn it down again and if they do I'd like to be able to move onto plan B immediately. I'm almost ready to pay $3000 out of pocket if this don't work out
  • starcatsstarcat Posts: 12
    edited 01/06/2016 - 3:31 PM
    I see your insurance requires a pre-authorization. Your symptoms sound just like mine. I'll be curious if your xrays reveal the problem. If xrays look good, then MRI will have to be your next option and your doc should request this. Also, why can't the hospital have the images sent directly to your ortho doc? Makes no sense to have you deliver....oh well, I sympathize with the frustration, but hoping this is where progress begins for you. You are too young to be so miserable with this pain.
  • Sciaticaman1995SSciaticaman1995 Posts: 24
    edited 01/07/2016 - 12:28 PM
    Can anyone tell me what I should do in the event that they decline my MRI again? I'm considering paying out of pocket but there has to be another way that I don't know about... If I called the insurance company and starting nagging would it improve my chances? Or is policy just policy with no if ands or buts....
  • We don't know where you live. I hope you find relief soon. I've felt just like you. Tell us a bit more.
  • Is who you need. They'll be the shortest route to an MRI. If insurance won't work with you, ask the radiological group what the price is for self- pay. It's usually half the cost of the insurance rate, but shop around, seriously. Ask for your films on a disk you can leave with. Good luck!
  • Sciaticaman1995SSciaticaman1995 Posts: 24
    edited 01/08/2016 - 6:15 AM
    I live in New Jersey by the way and I have Horizon NJ Health. Going to the ER is a complete waste of time at this point as I've been there at least 5 times within the past month and they now said they will not give me pain meds anymore. So basically I'm flagged in the system and they see me as a drug seeker.. Despite my blood pressure being around 200 over 90 from the pain. RIDICULOUS. I have an appointment with a new PCP on the 13th so I'll try to get a referral for a neurologist. Really appreciate everyone's responses
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Just thinking of caring for yourself and about future ER visits and follow ups.

    When you went to ER, did you follow up with your primary doctor? Or pain management doctor?
    I know around me, they stress the ER is not your doctor.

    I, too, was very frequently in the ER for out of my mind pain.
    I would call and let my primary know that I went to ER and what they did and what they said.
    My primary tried working with my pain about two years and then referred me to pain management.
    Best thing for me!

    Besides PM doing a variety of testing I didn't even hear mentioned previously, he did find issues with my spine.
    With him now knowing, he began treatments and medications for my pain and many other symptoms.
    He has kept me out of the ER for years now! That one of my main goals!

    Whenever new med treatment finding some problem, or in general my condition same or changing...I work at keeping primary doctor in the loop..and also to PM to know anything new from primary.
    My thinking is the more information they have and know about me, the better help and relief I can receive.

    My present PM doctor is also a neurologist which is quite helpful for some of my other issues.
    He always looks at the testing CDs and he is the one who caught I had a stroke during an ER visit...in which they just sent me home as having anxiety, but they did do MRI.

    When PM was reviewing CD of recent stroke activity, he also said there is evidence of previous strokes.."riddled with stroke activity"
    So, I always think another set of eyes to exam doesn't hurt.

    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Unfortunately I wasn't able to follow up with my PCP because I was never able to get an appointment and he was always out of the office with no backup doc (reported him to insurance company too). That's why I had to change my doctor but had trouble doing so until just recently. I have an appointment on the 13th so I'm going to start the whole process of trying to get approved for an MRI again. If that don't work I'm going to try and get a refferal to a neurologist and see if I can do it that way
  • I finally got my MRI and saw the orthopedist today. Turns out I have a "fairly big but not too bad" disk herniation at L4/L5. Heres how my appointment went: After reviewing my MRI, the doc came in and told me what was up and basically gave me 2 options. First was an epidural and second was to make an appointment for surgery right off the bat.. I turned down surgery because it just didn't seem like the right choice just yet. Then the doc wanted me to talk to another doc about the epidural so I did.
    I expressed my concern about jumping into surgery too soon and he understood and seemed to make the the situation less urgent, unlike the other doc who almost seemed to rush it. Anyways, I ended up not getting the epidural and he gave me a script for physical therapy and some pain meds. The first doc said that over time (a few months or so) the body can naturally absorb the herniation but if I waited for that to happen it would be too late and the weakness and sciatica would be permanent.. I've already had it for almost 2 months and honestly it does seem to be getting better slowly so I don't get why he made it seem so urgent. So from here I'm going to try the physical therapy and clean my diet up (adding some natural anti-inflamatories). I'm going to walk 2 miles a day as walking seems to be helping and start using an inversion table with a foam roller.
    Is there anybody here who was told they needed surgery but decided to go the natural way? If so how did it work for you?
  • Is it better to walk with or without a crutch of some kind........you know; use or lose the muscles in your legs etc. Pain has been getting worse since 2010.
  • I really don't want use a crutch unless I have to and fortunately I don't, yet. But does anybody have experience with healing a disc herniation naturally? Or at least been in the same situation as me where surgery was recommended but turned down which ended up working out for the better over time?
  • Liz53Liz53 MissouriPosts: 142
    i am also wondering the chance of self healing of a herniation. Dr said in 80-85% of first herniations they heal without surgery but they did not have statistics for reherniations. I am 8 weeks from discovering this and not sure if I should choose another microdiscectomy or wait longer for it to heal?
    Same question same concern.
  • I have had a herniation last year this time. What really helped me was daily walks. Very slowly though. And then later some swimming too. Also look into herbal supplements. Turmeric really helped me. I also read a really interesting book called "Conquer Back and Neck Pain: Walk It Off!" I would also wait with surgery for now. Give your body time to heal itself.
  • How did you end up?
    Did you ever get any help?
  • KellzelleKKellzelle Richmond Hill, Ga Posts: 1
    If you are hurting that bad it's normal and necessary to get and EMG. It's not comfortable and I'm a wimonth but I was desperate for answersure and 5  MRIs I pushed for. Now the other pediatric Dr will not help you but with one maybe one MRI. I went to Urgent Care with onset Neuropathy,  stinging like bees in my feet crying and they find ally sent me to a pain Managemnt Neurologist. That's where I would start.  Not the ER. Mayer a local urgent care coukd make the referral for you. Be open to being a lab rat and get yourself soem help. Emg really shows nerve damage, MRI and Xrays show it all. CT scans are now in 3D. 
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