Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!


Quick Start Forum Video Tutorial

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

Does extreme sciatica ever go away?

MeeshaMMeesha Posts: 55
Will my sciatica ever go away? It's down both legs, been like this for a week, and I can't go to work, and I only work PT as it is. I'm hoping it will be better in another week. Anyone been permanently disabled by sciatica?
discectomy in June 2010 - success! No sciatic pain, just some remaining numbness in foot. And I get charlie horses a lot.


  • Of course some people recover and some have lasting effects. Just depends on your situation.

    I have cried myself to sleep thinking "my life is over." And look at me now. I don't know if I'm healing or if my injection was the answer, but after months of agonizing pain, I'm good.

    My doctor told me in the beginning there was a risk of permanent nerve damage (scared me to death), but I made sure I could walk on my toes and heels and do lunges, etc. I am doing everything I can to prevent surgery and keep going.

    Research really helped me stay sane. We hear so much about spinal cord injuries and start thinking about life in a wheelchair. Once I realized that the damage was done, I could go down the path of restoration.

    Are you icing??!!
  • What was the injection like? You only had 1? I'm considering them. What kind did you have? Are there side effects?

    No I'm not icing - except for once on my hip which is a bit better. You mean ice on the lower back? No doctors/ physio told me to do that, but I'll try it if it helps.

    So you are pain-free now? I'm going on 7 months. I was noticing some slight improvement, until I sneezed last week. I haven't done many exercises the past week, since anything I did just made it worse but I guess I'll try again.

    Just showering and preparing food is a big ordeal right now - at least sitting is getting a bit better

    discectomy in June 2010 - success! No sciatic pain, just some remaining numbness in foot. And I get charlie horses a lot.
  • advertisement
  • Meesha said:
    What was the injection like? You only had 1? What kind did you have? Are there side effects? You mean ice on the lower back? So you are pain-free now?
    I've had one caudal ESI where they inject right at your tailbone. The injection was no big deal because I was completely sedated. I had no pain from it at all. It took 10 days before it started working. There are plenty of possible side effects, but everyone is different. My only side effects were waking up the night of the injection with night sweats and a little insomnia. I will definitely have a second one if the first one wears off.

    Ice your lower back - at least every two hours but for only 10-20 minutes at a time. You are icing the herniated disc. I don't know what I would have done without my ice packs, especially with a flare up.

    Completely pain free now. I do have occasional twinges of discomfort in my butt and leg. That might always be there and I can live with it. And it might go away one day. Who knows.

    What are you doing to alleviate your pain if you're not icing? Meds? Rest?
  • Hi Meesha,

    Sorry to hear you are having pain. I have suffered for the last five years with it and have had four lumbar surgeries. I know from experience that the pain is so agonizing that it is hard to concentrate. Here are a few suggestions and things that have worked for me:

    1) Ice and position may help alleviate some of the pain but it never really took it away from me.

    2) I have had lumbar epidural injections. The first one releived my sciatica pain for almost 9 months. Then I have had at least 4 -5 since then with minimal effect.

    3) Lyrica worked well but I had to get off of the med because it affected my vision. I am now on neurontin and it helps alot.

    4) I cant answer if you will have this pain for the rest of your life, but I know my first surgery was a disectomy/laminectomy. All the disc matter that was sitting on my nerve was cleared off and when I woke up in postop the nerve pain was GONE. But it only lasted a short time.

    There are alot of opinions and options. I was very very conservative before I would have surgery. I am a RN and herniated L4-L5 and L5-S1 and finally had fusion which did help. I still have sciatica pain when I overdo chores, like housework, lifting, etc.

    Good luck and keep reading the posts. There are alot of great people here who have gone through alot of differenct experiences.

  • Have you had any physical therapy? It was one of many conservative treatments my doctors suggested. I also had four epidural spinal injection under sedation; the first one helped a lot. The last three didn't do much. You can have up to 3 injections in 6 months. Icing helped a lot after my surgeries (microD).

    I would take the conservative approach before you decide to have microdiscectomy. In my case, I tried everything possible and ended up having surgeries because my quality of life affected my work, social life, and well...everything.

    Good luck. Don't give up.

    My right leg was affected; now I don't have sciatica on that side. However, now I have sciatica on the opposite side. Not as severe. I do my PT exercises (including stretching) and ibuprofen to alleviate the pain.

    I think once you have back issues, you have to be cautious and practice preventive care like strengthening the core muscles.
  • advertisement
  • Yes I tried physio, but right now the pain is so bad I can't leave the house, because I can't walk more than 2 minutes without severe pain. I have to get some meds so hopefully that will help. I sometimes try some exercises I was given in physio, but carefully, because right now exercises just cause more pain, or only barely relieve it for a minute.

    I have more questions about injections, but I'm going to make a new post for that. THanks.
    discectomy in June 2010 - success! No sciatic pain, just some remaining numbness in foot. And I get charlie horses a lot.
  • Be very careful. I was also told by a Dr that you could cause permanent nerve damage if not taken care of. Ice is great if you can lay down on an ice pack . You could also try a weight lifters belt..that's a wide ususally leather belt that you wear around your waist. It sometimes help keep your spine in a better position so that you can get around...but it's definitely not a permanent fix. When everything gets too bad for me, I put on the belt if a have to move around and it ususally helps for awhile. Better see a Dr as soon as possible. Take care...Marsha
  • Hi Meesha

    Sorry to hear you are in such pain. I was very similar in August of last year where walking for anymore than 5 minutes could generate a spasm in my leg that would literally make me fall to the ground in pain. You sound like you really have not done much especially if you have not been given your first epidural. What does your doctor suggest? It would seem to me that you have reached the point for your first epidural. Also what type of meds are you taking? I believe that post from farmhousefan in the other thread is perfect. Meaning her method is the one I tried and it works fairly well. I am still not pain free but much better than in August.

    So my course of action would be

    1) Check with your doctor and see if the doctor feels an epidural will help

    2) Are you taking an anti inflammatory, muscle relaxer and nerve blocker...these are usual in our cases

    3) Look into McKenzie Exercises and simple walking.

    First though you got to calm down that nerve which is part 1 and 2.

    BTW on your original question my sciatica is pretty much gone but sitting long times or driving can bring it back. Mostly I am left with inflammation...I can walk now pretty much as long as I like.

  • I guess I didn't post in this thread as to what I've done - I think this was more of a "me complaining and whining" thread.
    I've seen doctors, but the problem is I can't get an ESI or surgery for 2 months or more. I'll see my doctor next week if I can make it out of the house. By then I'll have a cane, which I HOPE helps. Maybe he can refer me somewhere I can get an ESI faster. But after reading many threads here, I've noticed for most people the ESI helps only the first time, and sometimes only lasts a week.
    I'm taking Lyrica- and noticing some slight improvements -mostly that I can sit easier, but walking is still hard.

    But thanks for your suggestions -anything is helpful. I should be icing more often since everyone suggests it.
    discectomy in June 2010 - success! No sciatic pain, just some remaining numbness in foot. And I get charlie horses a lot.
  • Hi Meesha,

    you sound just like me six months ago. PT is not a pain-killer, but it is more of a preventive technique. I tried PT while I was in lots of pain and it only made it worse. What worked for me ultimately is ESI, followed by regular exercises, swimming, walking, and occasional icing. I would strongly recommend getting an ESI asap. ESI is not a big procedure so there is no reason to wait months to get it. Can you try other doctors who can administer the painkiller immediately?

    It can be very depressing at times like these. But hang in there, you will definitely get better. Patience is key.
Sign In or Register to comment.