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dawnieeddawniee Posts: 48
Hi I have been visiting this site for 8 weeks now. I live in the United kingdom and have had sciatica and lwer back pain now on and off for just over a year. It is the sciatica more than the lower back pain that is hardest to deal with. Yet the combination of both is not so good.

I have had an MRI that shows DDD and an S1/L5 herniation along with foraminal stenosis. So far I have not cracked the pain issues it is good and bad days along with a combination of codiene, paracetamol, voltarol, tramadol and lyrica for neuropathic pain.

I have been off sick for ten weeks and feel a bit passed from pillar to post. My orthopaedic consultant has said that for now surgery is not an option he has recommended physio therapy and caudal epidurals. I am now just waiting for those to be arranged.

I do not want to have surgery, but at this stage i am wondering if a decompression would actually help me. My symptoms have progressed and I have some perineal and peri- anal numbness. I have been advised to get an urgent referral as these could indicate some cauda equina symptoms. I had an urgent MRI done which shows no significant changes since my last one in August 08.

But my problem is I find it really difficult to adequately articulate myself in a clinical enviroment and feel somewhat treated as a head case who is time wasting because back pain and how it affects you is so difficult to describe in a 10 minute consultation.

My professional backround is in nursing so I know it is odd that i have this problem. I would be grateful for any suggestions as to how to deal with all this.


  • Hi Dawniee, Welcome to Spine Health.

    I found that to combat the issue of expressing myself properly in the clinical environment, I need to write everything down. Then I take a list with me to the doc and hand the doc one and I have one and we go down the list one by one. I also take a diagram of a person and I mark the areas of pain and numbness on it. I build this list over a period of days so that I catch everything. Some days when one pain center is rocking and rolling, I may forget about what happened the day before.

    Anyway, I'm sorry that you are suffering and I hope that they can get you some proper help soon!

  • writh everything down ahead of time to avoid forgetting to mention the important things. Good luck.
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  • Hi thanks for the advice. I did go and do go armed with with everything written down I have even had the effects of my back problems logged into my medical notes. My family doctor has been great but it is the hospital docs who dont seem to have the time nor the inclination to read or listen to what I have to say. I think that my backround and knowledge of the subject may be intimidating to them. Anyhow I will persevere and keep on smilimg and get on with things. :)
  • I have L5-S1 also and sciatica. I had no idea I'd be off work for so long. I've actually felt guilty lots. Take care. See you around. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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