Hey folks. I didn't want to make a new guy intro but then I figured it might help in the event that someone out there has the same problem as me. A little background...
I'm a 29 year old police officer. I've been an officer since January 2007. Up until my injury, I worked patrol for about 2 years. Up until Oct 6 2008, I have had no back pain or leg pain.
On 6 Oct 08, my unit spent the day at an outdoor shooting range. We spent about 10 hours in our duty gear which includes our belt and vest. I think it all weighs about 15 pounds extra. The events involved shooting guns in just about any position imaginable (standing, moving, lying, kneeling, kneeling over someone, someone kneeling over you, etc). There was also some running involved. At the end of the day I helped the range masters move a couple heavy items. We were released for the day so I took off my gear and got in my truck to drive home. I did not notice anything during the day that would indicate I hurt myself.
About 10 minutes into my drive I started to feel a sharp pain in my right buttocks and the back of my thigh. Being the young guy that I am, I figured I would recover from whatever it was if I took it easy. I continued to work patrol for 3 weeks and I felt the pain in my buttocks and down the back of my leg every single time I drove a car. The pain did not exist when I walked, ran, or slept...only when I drove and got in and out of my patrol car. After 3 weeks I went to the doctor. They couldn't figure out what was wrong with me.
Sooooo, I have spent the last 7 months going to doctors for treatment. Nothing has worked and the pain has only increased in severity and frequency. After about 2 months of doctors visits, my back started to hurt as well. In the last couple weeks I have noticed the pain in my left leg, although not nearly as severe.
So the ulimate diagnosis is....sciatica. Duh! The cause is unknown. MRI shows degenerative discs but nothing that looks to pinch the nerves. Mild stenosis but nothing the doctors think is significant enough to cause this.
My treatments have included, epidurals, physical therapy, chiropractor, Lodine, prednisone, rest, exercise, and so on. Nothing has given me an ounce of relief or hope. I am going through workers comp and cannot work patrol because it hurts too much. I can't even drive my car much longer than 10 minutes before the pain is unbearable. My wife drives most places. My doctor told me that she couldn't figure anything out so she was going to recommend I return to patrol. I managed to get approval to see a 4th doctor who recommended acupuncture. I hope it helps! If it doesnt then I dont know what to do. I love my job and want to do it for the next 25 years but there's no way I can if they don't help me get better.