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leg, knee pain from sciatica

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
I injured my back (twisting with a laundry basket in my arms...evil laundry)about 5 weeks ago. I have a history of back problems years ago from falling and being pregnant. I also have rheumatoid arthritis as well as degenerative disc disease. I had an MRI a week ago. It showed bulging discs with "possible" nerve involvement though it is considered mild. I have excrutiating pain with standing and walking. I can lay down but can only handle an hour or two and then I have a lot of trouble just standing and walking when I get out of bed. I am have been sleeping in a recliner (if one could call what I do sleeping!) My favorite position is in my office chair!! I walk around with a cane to ease the pain somewhat. At least I am not listing to the right as much. I am seeing a PT who works with manual manipulation and posture restoration. She feels it is my lack of good core muscles and a twisted pelvis that is causing my problems. My pain level when sitting in my chair is about a 2. When walking it starts at two and increases to 10 when I walk longer than 50 feet. Standing is the worst. Always about an 8 moving to a 10. I have had experience in the past with chiropractics with some good success and some not so good. I have had minimal help with PT though this new therapist sounds great. I only have seen her once. My question is, do I try chiropractics again? Or trust that PT will help. OH BTW, almost ALL pain meds do nothing other than make me sleepy. Morphine, oxycodone, hydrodone with ibuprofen, plain ibuprofen, naproxin sodium all do nothing. Codeine and two other pain meds made me violently ill (as did the morphine). I would love pain relief. Heck I would just love to sleep in bed again not to mention other things like walking and standing!!! Any suggestions?



  • First of all, I would take exception to the comment "...although it is considered mild." There is no direct correlation between the amount of pain you experience and what shows up on a MRI. Sometimes the worst looking disc bulge turns out to be asymptomatic, and yet a teeny little nondescript looking herniation can cause excruciating pain. So don't go by that!

    The fact that your pain worsens when you are standing or walking indicates that pressure is being put on a lower lumbar nerve. This could be happening for a variety of reasons. You might have a ruptured disc, central canal or foraminal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, etc. When you are in an upright position, the discs are loaded and a nerve is being compressed. This can cause pain anywhere from your buttocks to your little toe. When you are able to lie down and unload the discs, you can get a little relief. Your pain is affected by different body positions, right?

    I am new to this board so don't know what the general feeling is about chiropractors. That being said, with nerve involvement, I would advise you to head for a spinal specialist. There is too much potential for permanent damage to let a chiropractor manipulate your spine. And pick your specialist carefully. You want to select an ortho or neuro surgeon who specializes in the spine.

    I have recently been going to someone who does an alternate treatment that involves bodywork. I think you'll find that doctors do not concern themselves with soft tissue, whereas some PTs, and others put most credence in postural problems, things being out of alignment, etc. It would be nice to find a happy medium!

    While it is important to pay attention to alignment and posture, and while having muscle imbalances and weakness can cause problems, I really doubt that is the cause of your nerve compression.

    What doctors have you seen about your back and did you get a diagnosis?
  • Don't feel bad , I spent 5 weeks in my recliner. That was the only place I could get any rest. My pain from walking was so intense I went to the ER, they admitted me and kept me for 4 days, running test. I knew I had a herniated disk but I had been taking so many meds that I lost the feeling to urinate and when I gave them that sympton it was a red flag,thats why I was admitted. The nuero told me it was from the meds and just being in the hospital, being waited on and laying around I felt ok when I was discharged but by the next day the pain was back. That was on thanksgiving. Since then I've had 3 epidurals, some traction and started PT. I'm much better but still have pain. I'm seeing my nuerosurgeon on friday to discuss surgery. I still can not put on a sock so I need some answers. I wouls stay away from Chiro till you have a MRI. Unless your trying decompression therapy. That did help me alittle before I had my second epidural. good luck , let us know how your doing.
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