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Chronic Sciatica spreading around the body?!? Thoughts please.

Hiya all,
I dont quite know where to put this so any pointers would be lovely- as would any advice.
I've had chronic sciatica for over 10 years now and had no joy with my local GP or pain specialists. I made an request for a second referral to St.Guys & Thomas' in London and things seem to be going well- at least they are offering me options for longterm pain relief rather than stuffing me full of pills.

I had my daughter nearly three years ago now and since then, I have have three ''episodes'' of completely different symptoms to sciatica that last around about 2-3 months. The last one was the longest at 4 months. I start off feeling like I have the flu, I get achy and cant get out of bed very wel and most of all, my feet burn and hips/ knees kill. My mobility is restricted in the mornings for about 2 hours and I walk like I've just come off a horse. The worst thing is the overwhelming tiredness and inability to concentrate. It gets worse before it gets better and fades away.

First time around a nice kind locum doctor gave me prednisolone and I cant tell you what a difference these made. I have requested them every time I get a flare up and within 24 hours I can move!

I was referred to rheumatology, who came to a vague conclusion that my chronic pain has brought on chronic fatigue syndrome, which just doesnt wash with me. The more I research CFS, the less I can associate with it.

This 3rd occurence started end of March and I coped really well until mid april. I saw my GP for advice and he recommended stretching at night to help relieve the stiffness in morning. (!) yup. Went on holiday to Greece where it got steadily worse. Found some predisolone in my cupboard when I came back which helped so much and made an appointment with GP to get more. He decided to advise against prednisolone and wanted to send me for a blood test.

I spent this past bank holiday weekend crippled going without prednisolone as it would affect the blood test markers. I did the test on tuesday and immediately after saw a locum GP for a sneaky script of prednisolone to get me through. Have felt much better since been on low dose.

Phoned my GP for results today and apparently I have raised inflammatory markers which indicate that something is going on but he said he didnt think it was anything serious. He failed to notice I am under the care of a rheumatologist already and offered to refer me to one. I guffawed and set him straight about what they have diagnosed me with. I asked him what he would recommend and he said just a referral and pain killers. I said that to get an appointment will take 6-8 weeks and what would he do to help me in the meantime. He said that I should take time off, take painkillers and rest up. The man is a lunatic who doesnt know his arse from his elbow and I have lost my trust in him. I take pain relief every day for my sciatica so I feel that if these would have worked by now, I wouldnt be in this situation.

He says that my sciatica and the new symptoms are one and the same muscular-skeleto issues. He said that granted, the pathology was different ( sciatica pain vs extreme fatigue, stiffness in morning, aching joints all over)but the treatment was the same: all the drugs I have tried over the years without success for sciatica. So now I am officially peed off and bemused.

Please please please, can any if your guys relate to this? Has your sciatica prompted another set of symptoms to come up like mine? Any ladies experience symptoms similar to my non-sciatica pain after birth? What did you do? What can you suggest? I see my uber-fantastic new pain specialist from London later this month and I would love to hear what he has to say on this too. But first, I'd like to hear your experiences.




  • Hi and welcome. Sorry about your pain issues. Only thing that stands out in your post is you say you had sciatica for 10 years. What is the cause of your sciatic pain? Has there been an mri to find whats causing the sciatic pain on your spine ? In some cases it can take a long time to find the sourse of the problem if they dont look for the right cause.

    I had the stiffness for many years that affected my whole body that you speak of along with back pain and nobody for years found anything wrong. I ended up going to the mayo clinic here in the usa where they tested for everything even for a condition called stiff man syndrome which i never even heard of before. There are so many conditions that are out there that not every dr is testing for.

    1st visit at mayo clinic they said i had myofacial syndrome which prety much can affect the whole body but i went further on 2nd visit another neuro after spinal tap he said i had spinal dissorder called proprial spinal myoclonis, its a rare autoamune dissorder where antibodies are attacking the spinal cord instead of protecting it. This finding took years and finaly was able to get that issue resolved.

    But i also had discogenic pain that i still was dealing with and only a discogram found leaking disc years later again. Thats when my surgery came in to play.

    So i recomend you push for every test posible to rule out every cause and probably i would start by finding out what is causing the sciatica and then go from there. It should not take years to find the cause as it was in my case. There usualy is an underlying problem thats causing it even if the dr dont hapen to find it. Many times when dr,s cant find the problem they toss out a condition that the symptoms somewhat match up with such as fibro and myofacial syndrome is just 2 thats very comon that they use to explain the pain away. And i dont believe thats always the cause.

    Ps: using prednisone long term not a good idea. My dad had liver transplant at the mayo clinic and i seen the affects prednisone had on him long term. But after transplant you have to be on it. For pain its usualy just used short term. You might want to check your vitamin levels in case maybe vitamin b or d levels or both might be low. Many get some releif even by taking these vitamins that help bring the inflammation factors down.

    Hope this helps some and good luck, Alex
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
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