My name is Matt and I've been suffering from sciatica coming up to 6 months. It started very very mild, and gradually got more painful until the point where it was interupting my daily work. I saw a chiropracter for several weeks with numerous adjustments with no relief, the problem just continued to deteriorate. I then saw a Physio for several weeks with the same outcome. But on that note, some exercises I was instructed to perform gave mild relief.
Several months down the track with a number of vists to chiro's/physio's/normal doctors, the doctor had me take a CT scan. This revealed I had these 2 'mild' bulges with no other associating problems in the l4-l5, l5/s1 discs.
To describe a typical day at work. I wake up, most of the time feeling good. There's minor discomfort in my leg and buttox but nothing I'd be concerned about. The drive to work is 30 mins up and 30mins back. Until very recently I didn't use lumbar support pillows. By the time I get to work, it's irritated somewhat, but I can live with it and I don't require meds yet. Half hour into the day which involves a lot of shifting seats and relocating computers into cars shelves and workbenches (I work as an onsite tech for a computer store), I'm starting to feel some serious pain and as a routine I pop 3 ibuprofin tablets with coke (caffeine addicted.. does this contribute?) in preperation for the pain. Depending on the severity of my lifting and shifting, the meds relieve the pain to the point where I can still lift and bend without being in excruciating pain (without, I have ot suffer through it). I'll try not to drag on because I'm guessing lots of people here know what the pain is like. But by the end of the day, even with another dose of 3 pills taken midday, I'm in horrible pain and I cant wait to get home (driving home is endless) and just lie stomach flat on my bed for 15 mins. It's the ONLY position I can be in where after 15 mins - 30 mins I'll be 97% painfree.
I don't want to lie on my bed all evening so once but buttox/leg/back muscles have relaxed from lying down, the pain is again bearable and I'm able to sit. Sitting for long periods (even with occasional stand up breaks) become extremely irritating after some hours. Going to sleep is what I look forward to most some days because I get some serious relief.
I'm currently seeing a physiotherapist (different than my original) who has a technique called 'McKenzies Remedy'. I've been given 2 simple instructions, do a back arch exercise in the lying flat on stomach position (I won't go into details of the exercise because theyre different for every person I assume) and if I do it when I'm currently in pain, it gives significant relief (including a 15 min lie down afterwards). But, if I do anything OTHER than lie down, it becomes irritating.
I'm sorry if this is going so long and not well structured.. but I just need to know one really important thing for me.
I'm young and really eager in the industry I'm working in (IT) but that one way or another involves a LOT of sitting down.
As of seeing the new physio, and taking days of work, with ice packs and a lot of lying down (just music and reading books) the pain is really low and not at all bothering in comparison. But as soon as I sit for a couple of hours it becomes irritated again and it flairs up really bad.
Currently I'm going for regular swims (brings relief to some degree and hopefully keeps me fit), doing that one but effective back stretching exercise to rebuild that curve in my lower back. And trying to stay calm and lying down. And it's allowing me to skip taking meds.
But this leaves me immobile ALL day. As soon as I get active (other than swimming and slow controlled walks) it gets irritated.
The main concern I have, is that I was told that pain should recede up the leg as the condition improves. Currently it runs right down to the back of my foot (not as painful int he foot, but pain none the less). And although I can achieve almost pain free without meds by lying down and back arch stretches, everytime I irritate the condition the pain returns right down to the foot.
I just need to know if there's hope for me. For the first time I'm seeing relief in the exercises and from relaxing (which my boss would enver let me do before). But I want to be able to go back into a job eventually where I'd be requried to sit for 8 hours.
PLEASE tell me I can achieve this painfree? I will gladly do any routine exercise and stretches and try and maintain a new improved posture. But is there hope? I've read so many horrible stories about bulding discs causing life long pain.
I actually cried on the way home today.. I don't want to live in pain....