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Non surgery stories



  • Almost 4 months to the day and suddenly things are different. I've gone from being a slave to my back and leg to being in charge again. Sciatica is gone. Very strange to have a normal leg again. Just a little pain in my back. I'm still trying to process this. I actually got off my motorcycle today and had no throbbing. Nothing. I was a bit emotional because of it. I'm not cracking the champagne yet but I am chilling the bottle.
  • I have some disk issues but I am not sure what they are yet as I am awaiting results from a CT scan. I have had sciatica for the last year but did not recognize it as such for a long time.

    I started exercising more about a year ago, lost some weight in the process. One of the goals of exercising more was to strengthen the muscles around my left knee which has bothered me for the longest time. The exercise helped. My left knee grew stronger and I felt no pain while playing sports but then the right knee started hurting and sometimes the right leg as well. The right leg actually felt weaker at times. I would just try to stretch it out and use OTC muscles relaxants to help.

    I also started getting sore backs prioor to my exercise routines. I could stretch it out most times though. I added more back strenthening exercises to my routine to try and deal with it. I also found myself starting to limp a little because taking long strides with my right leg brought on some pain.

    Eventually things were brought to a head while doing some yard work. Got some lower back pain but pushed through it to finish the yard work. That's when the sciatica pain really came on. Lower back really stiffened up as well.

    next 2-3 weeks the pain really went up. Couldn't walk, sit, lie in any position to relieve the pain. Aspirin etc did nothing for the pain. Sleep was only possible when exhaustion set in. Then as soon as I moved, I would wake up again. 2 hour sleeps were the norm.

    Saw a PT who put me on TENS, ultrasounnd, heat, stretching, and spinal decompression. Booked an appointment for my doctor but had to wait 2-3 weeks to see him. Then two to three weeks to get the CT scan. Now waiting another 3 weeks to get results since doctor is on holidays.

    Pain peaked at about the 3 week mark and has gradually been getting better. Now at week 10 or so and can sleep on my side the full night. (I found getting sleep (solid rest) to be the most helpful in letting my body starrt to heal itself. After I was able to get more than 2 hours sleep at a time, I noticed progression on the pain subsiding.

    Able to do PT exercise now without more than a level 1-2 pain. Exercises only consist of bridges and backward leg extensions. Starting on exercise ball next week. I am probably about 2 weeks behind where I could have been if I hadn't done something which caused a flare up a few weeks ago. Coontrolling the irritation of the sciatica nerve is the most important thing I have focussed on during the last 8 weeks.

    It's like a credit system. Each day you are issued some many credits, how you spend them is very important. As you spend your credits on various activities (exercise, walking bending, etc), the sciatica nerve starts to get irritated. Once you've used up all your credits, the pain returns quickly with intensity and you have to stop all activity, let the nerve calm down and earn some more credits. Heopfully each day you get more credits and you can do more activities.

    Looking forward to seeing the results of my CT scan and finding out exactly what I am dealing with. To the doctors recommending conservative treatment, it does not seem to matter much. They are basically only prescribing pain management care and leaving it up to the body to heal itself (if it can).

    That has been one of the frustrating pieces of this journey. No one seems to talk much about the things you can do to help your body heal itself or what you can do to prevent a repeat of the underlying problem. So much material / effort is just spent on dealing with the pain. (probably because that is what is in our face the most).

    The only two thing I have read about that possibly helps your body heal itself are making sure you stay very hydrated (drink lots of water) and make sure you eat alot of nutrients (lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, raw preferably). These are the things you disks need most for mending themselves. I was wondering if anyone else had other words of wisdom along these lines.?

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  • You can't negotiate with Sciatica and back pain. Completely giving up lifting heavy things is WAY preferable to the horrific pain. If you take the buldge pain lightly and it ruptures, you're looking at a minimum of 6 months recovery if not surgery. It's way more serious than you think. I would get an MRI so you know exactly what you're dealing with. You'll thank yourself later.
  • Over the last two weeks, I've noticed dramatic improvements. I can sit on a couch! I don't have to lay although I'm still paranoid. I worked in the yard all day Sunday (no lifting!) and I felt no pain at all. If I didn't know better, I'd say I was 98% healed, but 5+ months of pain aren't soon forgotten. I can put my socks on, tie my shoes, get off the couch with no pain. I weight lifted today pain free. I've completely modified my routine to put no downward pressure on my back.

    The only thing I feel is stiffness in my mid back and an occasional buzz on the top of my left foot. Six months definitely seems like the magic period of time. One week to go.
  • I too am feeling somewhat better than 6 months ago.... there is still a lingering pain in my back and calf at times. i am interested in some natural anti inflammatories like ginger or turmeric. anyone have any experience with these?
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  • I just posted an update on my sciatica journey but I will tell you I have had problems w/sciatica since Feb 2008. I had 2 steroid injections in 08 each helped for several months. When the pain returned Feb 09 I went for another. It didn't help. Another was performed a month later still no help & actually began having numbness in my lower left leg & foot. My MRI showed a herniated L4 & 3 other bulging disks & moderate disk degeneration. Pain doc who was performing injections recommended I see a neuro surgeon which took a month to get an appt. from mid June thru July I was totally pain free. I had a nerve conduction test while waiting 2 c the surgeon. It showed a pinched nerve in my left leg & nerve damage in the right. I seen the surgeon the end of July & since my pain was gone he recommended I wait for surgery which I gladly agreed. He said my pain had subsided due to the lack of activity. I was doing nothing & going nowhere because the pain had been so bad all I could do was lay in the recliner. He said when the pain came back he could perform a lamectomy & I could walk out the same day pain free. He also said when the pain started up again I could call & he could prescribe me something. As I said in other posts I hope its not Lyrica, I tried it b4 & was totally unable to function on a daily basis. Well, the pain has begun again although it's not at the debilitating state as it was b4 but it is slowly getting worse. I will call him & see if what he prescribes helps but if I end up in the awful pain I had b4 I will beg for the surgery!Sorry I have no MRI showing a healed herniation. I wish you all the best & I personally would save surgery as a last resort. In my personal opinion from what I've read & witnessed in a friend one surgery seems to lead to another down the road but I'm no expert & I'm sure there are many who will disagree w/my opinion. O:)
  • well i have to say my back is not 100% but it sure is a whole lot better than it was. i started taking turmeric and boswellia in medicinal doses and i believe they made a big difference in my problem. no more ibuprofen or aleve needed! an occasional tylenol does the trick. sometimes a vicodin too but for the most part the herbs control the inflammation and pain.... i am starting aquatherapy next week and we'll see how that goes..
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