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Middle of my Scitica Journey

Hello all!

This is my first post but I have found the resources and people on this forum invaluable. Let me start from the beginning.

I will admit I have not treated my body like a temple. I am overweight, I don’t work out, I have a sedentary job, I played contact sports longer than I should. I am a prime candidate for this agony and will make no excuses. I have to lose weight no doubt and I have to be more active. This pain is the kick in the ass I needed and I never want to experience it again. The beginning happened in August. I was helping my father carry a dishwasher out of the house and I fell down 4 cement stairs onto the nice soft concrete sidewalk. I immediately knew something was wrong. The twinge that I often had in my back immeditely evolved into a pain that went into my calf. Intolerable but could be treated with NSAIDs. It was on and off really bad for weeks until......at thanksgiving I fell down the stair so at my cousins house. This time wooden stairs on to a nice soft concrete basement floor. That kicked the spurs of my sciatica into overdrive. It has been downhill ever since. I went to my pcp and he prescribed naproxen. That helped for a bit. I thought I would get out of this ok..nay nay. I was walking a bit doing mild physio to help with the pain. Then the oddest thing set me down the path I am now. I had Jury Duty which as benign as that sounds sitting on hard plastic unergonomic chairs for 8 hours a day for three days really hurt me. The physio wasn’t helping and the naproxen wasn’t helping. Only laying down prone or on my back gave me relief. Sitting and standing for more than a minute was agony some days. Some days it was only just tolerable. Until we got 3 snow storms here in ny. My father is a recovering hernited disc surgery patient so it’s I shovel or he does. So I shovelled. The last storm was heavy wet snow. And that was it. The hammer was down on the nerve and wouldn’t let go. A week of lying prone or on my back. Complete and total agony standing or sitting. 

Yesterday I went to my pcp it was torture. I had to lay in the backseat of the car to get there. And when I got into the waiting room after 5 minutes I had to lay on the floor. I think I was at the worst I have been in 7 months yesterday. Getting up from the floor I might have done more damage or just pulled a muscle. I’m hoping the latter. My dr gave me cyclobenzaprine, ibuprofen, and prednisone. I woke up today and I think I feel marginally better. Everything feels different. The sharp agonizing pain in my leg is there but it’s better than it was the day before. But the new pain feels like sore weakness in my lower back and soreness and what i guess is weakness in my leg. But I can stand a bit longer and sit a bit longer. I also have what feels like cramping behind my knee and calf. It’s all kinda different now. Idk if this is healing or if this means its getting worse. I still have 4 days of steroids left so it’s still early. I was wondering if anyone was or is in a similar boat. I hope this is my first and last post.

Good luck and relief to anyone who has this pain or worse.

Best,

Sal

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1

Comments

  • hi spez1989

    welcome to spine-health

    sorry to hear of your pain and hope you are able to get diagnostic imaging to work out what you have done.

    walking is good, but as we all know, the unbearable pain can stop that.  try to do what you can, under your doctors instructions of course.

    i have added two links below to help new members with information and these also contain the forum rules.  there is lots of material to research that will give you the power of knowledge.

    welcome to spine health


    aj 


    AJGormit

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
  • It seems that i replaced one agony with another. Taking the steroids and the muscle relaxers seem to have helped the old pain but now I have excruciating pain in the back of both my thighs and back of my knees when I stand. Like both my hamstrings are pulled. Also my lower back feels really weak. I can’t stand for longer than a minute essentially long enough to pee and make it back to bed. What the hell is this now? Again every second I remain sedentary it’s making this whole ordeal worse. 

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  • spez1989sspez1989 Posts: 2
    edited 03/23/2018 - 6:52 PM

    Getting better everyday. Relief is coming at a snails pace but relief is relief and I will take it. My legs still feel weak but I can walk. My hamstrings aren’t on fire anymore. I just have weakeness in my lower back and my right foot is numb now but it’s the opposite leg. I know a lot of what’s going on is stiffness from not being able to move much the last few weeks. I hope this is a sign of good things to come. 

  • spez1989sspez1989 Posts: 2
    edited 03/24/2018 - 5:37 PM

    Feeling better today again. I was able take a shower which was a huge deal. Walking slowly and timidly. Not nearly as much pain as I have been in. My only concern is that it switched sides and it’s not necessarily pain but mid calf to bottom of foot is numb. I still have feeling in my toes. I hope this goes away because I can honestly say for the first time in 2 weeks or even 7 months I am feeling better.

  • Hi,

    Just wanted you to know that what you are describing sounds pretty much like what I had a few months ago. I was in the worst pain and couldn't for two and a half weeks stand up or walk for more then 10 seconds. I was injured for about 4 months total. The pain was shooting all the way from my butt, through my leg and in my calf down to my foot.

    I never got an MRI because the last time I went to the dr to get an MRI, the dr prescribed me soma and said to me to wait another 4 weeks to get an MRI (I'm 29 years old in a decent shape). 

    I started a post here a few weeks ago when I was in pain where I described my issue. Today, I went in there to answer my own post and to describe what I did to get better. Go in and read that post if you are interested because it sounds like your symptoms are similar to the ones that I had.

    Good luck!

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  • spez1989:

    Glad you're feeling better.  Maybe that will be it, and you can focus on your weight loss and increase your activity ;)

    But, if not, have you considered getting an mri to see what might be going on in your spine?

    Keep us posted!


  • MarWinMarWin OhioPosts: 702

    @spez1989 Not to alarm you, but rather to prepare you for the worst and hope for the best....my sciatica started on one side and quickly changed sides. It can happen and is not totally uncommon. In a weird way, I hope that gives you some relief  ;)  

    I did want to say, that of your lifestyle habits, I would tend to only blame one - the sedentary job. Alternative to your situation, I am basically ideal weight for my height, work out a lot, and stay active. But I also have a sedentary job. So that meant sitting for the majority of the day. Then I get in a car and sit some more. Get home watch a little tube and sit some more. Eat dinner sit some more. Do homework with the kids, and sit some more. Wind down for the night with watching a bit more tv and you can guess what I was doing, right! Once I put that in perspective its easy to see that my sedentary habits far outweighed my active habits. 

    Part of my point here is that I would tend to believe that weight control, contact sports, and lack of lifting weights has little to do with sciatic pain. However, don't miscontrue my intent with thinking its okay to disregard weight as it matters to other health concerns. Remember....we only have one heart! 

    Glad you are showing signs of feeling better though. Do you think its the meds or something else you are doing?  

  • Id like to post an update. Still in a tough way but again I feel like I’m slighlty better each day which is all I can ask for. Last week was a roller coaster week. Extreme pain that slowly got better. As of now my prescriptions are now Robaxin, Tramadol, and Ibuprofen. The Tramadol was necessary early last week but I take it maybe once a day before I fall asleep. It’s not always necessary. I feel like I’m building towards the abilty to at the very least get some help from chiropractors, phyiscal therapists, and get an MRI. I absolutely could not do that last week. 

    The pain has somewhat changed it’s still stiffness and numbness when I stand. But when I shift the pain almost feels like a sharp punch in my right glute and sharp pain that’s radiates behind my calf to behind my knee. But it goes away. Standing is just the sharp muscle pull type pain behind my calf and numbness. But the pain is 5 or 6. Last week it was 8-9 and even 10 constantly even just laying down. And I wasn’t sleeping. I feel better every morning I get a good night sleep but I can’t consistently get a good night sleep which is very frustrating and confusing. I can walk around the house for about 3-5 minutes now and regularly take a shower which is an astonishing relief. I’ve said it before I hope this is sign of maybe some relief in the coming days and weeks. I felt really depressed and bleak last week. Anyway I am looking forward to getting well enough to get more relief. For now I’m gonna try and stay positive. 

    As an aside I started taking tumeric and fish oil as possible kickers to the ibuprofen in terms of antiflammatory and help promote healing in some way. They can’t possibly hurt and if they do what they in theory are supposed to do then hopefully they will speed up what ever is healing. 

    Once again good luck everyone and hope you all get some relief soon if you are going through what I am going through.

    Sal

  • Just another update. Feeling better and better. The pain is a 3-5 now, on average on the 3 side. Without an mri and without an medical experience I feel like the disk is healing or reabsorbing slowly but surely. The pain is really that used to be a 8 in the back of my right thigh is now a three but it’s a 4-5 ish in my lower right glute. So the pain is moving up and getting less and less. A few times a day I get a tingle on my left side when I shift. It might just be when I move the bulge or herniation touches the left side nerves. I am assuming for the pain to have shifted like it did from left to right a few weeks ago it must be close both nerve roots. Overall I am feeling better. I think I can make it now to a doctor or physical therapist  without having to lay on the floor of the waiting room. Which honestly was all I was asking for. I wanted to get well enough to get better. I haven’t had a need to take muscle relaxer today yet which is good too. If I can go today without a muscle relaxer and function on ibuprofen that wil be another big step.

    Now the bad and concerning. I am still concerned about the tingling and the numbness. I am happy that the pain is going but my heel ankle and parts of my leg are still tingling and numb. It’s quite frustrating and concerning. I am nervous that it’s going to switch sides again now that I am feeling symptoms on my left leg again. Not serious pain but enough for me to be scared it’s gonna switch again. Either way I am good enough now I feel to start getting real answers. 

    Good Luck everyone and I hope you all find relief  soon. More updates to come.

  • spez1989sspez1989 Posts: 2
    edited 04/11/2018 - 12:26 PM

    Update: 

    This is the best I have felt so far. I am not 100% but I feel comfortable and able to get back to life. Doing human things again. When this all started I didn’t think it would ever get better. This was a truly painful and terrifying experience. I am still extremely timid about what I do, how sit, how I stand, how I sleep, etc. again I am not 100% but there  was a point when I couldn’t stand for more than a minute and I couldn’t t sit at all. I was in constant pain. I was taking opioid pain killers, muscle relaxers every 6 hours, large doses of ibuprofen. For the first time in over a month I am optimistic. 

    Still negative:

    Numbness is still an issue, however the numbness is finally getting better. I can defitnely feel that it’s gettig less and less numb in my foot, calf and thigh. So that’s getting better too. Numbness now is certainly worse a feeling now than the pain. Which when it’s there is 2-4 and it’s dull “don’t do that!” pain instead of the electric, hot knife 7-10 pain. Weakness is certainly a thing I have to work on too, my right leg is significantly weaker so I have to work on that. 

    What I have been doing and taking:

    At the very beginning I took, prednisone, muscle relaxers, and 600mg ibuprofens. 

    The pain at its worst was Tramadol, muscle relaxers, and 600mg of ibuprofen.

    The recovery phase I ditched the Tramadol, added Tumeric, Fish Oil, Muscle Relaxer, Ibuprofen. 

    For almost a week now feeling the best I have so far stopped the muscle relaxer. Sticking with the Tumeric and Fish Oil 4 a day. And taking the ibuprofen when needed which still is about 3-4 a day. The most important is I bought a TENS unit and I truly feel that has been the largest factor in getting where I am now. It literally got me on my feet and I don’t think anyone should hestitate I’m getting one. They are under $40 and most are under $30. Mine was $26. I will continue posting and updating but I finally feel optimistic and I actually finally feel like I am getting better. 

    I wish that anyone who is experiencing this pain good luck and fast recovery. 

    Sal


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