Last November I started having extreme back pain. It was textbook sciatica with pain in the left upper rump area, down my left leg and into my ankle with numbness in my big toe.
Pain was severe but I could get around. Standing was the worst. I managed to sleep.
I am 42 and fairly healthy. 5'8" and 155 when the pain started. After the pain started, I stopped lifting weights and doing any running. I continued to cycle to stay in shape.
I went to the ortho,PT, chiro and pain specialist. The ortho prescribed an MRI which showed an anural (sp?) tear at the l4 that "might" be causing the pain but was unsure. The pain doc gave me 3 steroid injections right between the l4 and l5 under xray. Nothing helped. I was desparate and depressed.
I was taking Vicodin every day 2x or 3x.
So I was fed up. I stopped taking any pain meds. No vicodin and no advil. I started cycling a lot more. I lost about 5 pounds down to a lean 150. I started eating a lot better. I drank a lot more water.
Within 20 days, the pain just went away. Unbelievable. It faded fast and was completely gone in about 20 days after it started to subside. I now feel 100% normal.
So for those without anything really confirming on MRI or xray, I hope this gives some hope. I now know the back and sciatic verves are a strange and fickle thing. All I can say is that if you were really active before the pain started, and the docs can't find anything structural or major, try getting yourself in shape and doing a lot of low impact cardio, eat well and drink a lot of water.