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Day of Pain #8 -- Symptoms point to Sciatica -- HELP !!

Hi All,

First off, I'm a 25 year old male. Working full time in an office environment, so I sit at a computer desk all day. I'm not very active but I am most certainly not overweight at all (6ft - 170 lbs). About 8 days ago I started feeling a slight pain in my upper right buttocks / hip area. Felt like a deep muscle pain in the region so I figured soft and easy stretching would help. No dice. One day number 3-4, the pain tripled out of nowhere. It has moved from just the butt/hip area to now also the back of my thigh. Day 4 was a Monday and I called out of work because when I went to sit in my car to start driving I was almost sent to tears the pain was so bad. The next day I toughed it out and drove in (45 min commute) and it was a living nightmare. Sitting in a chair upright, going from sitting to standing, getting in and out of my car and especially driving create moments of unbearable pain. The weird thing is that I can walk around with almost no pain whatsoever. While I'm not at work I don't think I've sat down on a couch just to avoid the pain of doing it. As long as I keep moving and don't let the area go stagnant, it doesn't hurt. So I have a few questions for the people on these forums with experience dealing with Sciatica. First, does this sound like its an issue from a pinched nerve from a herniated disk? Whats the difference from that and Sciatica. I've read a bit of the Sciatica forums and it seems a lot of people experience pain for many many months before anything gets better. I literally can't imagine that, and I consider myself to have a high tolerance for pain. I plan to see a Dr within the next few days, but does anyone have advice for how to combat the pain? Does heat/ice work better; should I try Icy Hot? Is stretching a waste of time? Should I ride the bike at the gym / walk on treadmill if i can do it pain-free? Any advice would be great. I pray this is not the start of something I will be dealing with for an extended period of time !!




  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745
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    ron dilauro



    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Thats definitly the sciatic nerve, i had issues with mine for a year and the pain got so bad it went into my foot. The Dr put me on Norco's 10.325 dosage along with baclofen muscle relaxer 10 mg. It helped great. Physical Theraphy also helps, laying flat on your bed and sliding your leg up and down the bed 10 times a night, and placing your legs together, bend them up and slowly rock back and forth 10 times. If it hurts stop. Thats what i started out with and then the bike for 10 mins. Then leg stretches. It will get better. Good Luck.
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  • I really would prefer to not have to resort to PK's. I go to the Dr's on Monday then hopefully get an MRI to find out whats going on. It seems that this happens from one of two reasons. 1) Pinched sciatica nerve caused from a herniated disk or 2) pinched sciatica nerve caused from the piriformis muscle pressing up against the nerve. Seems most people recover from a herniated disk within 4-6 weeks. At this point, I pray thats the issue so I can expect this to get better because I've read that a lot of people have been dealing with sciatic nerve pain for many years. I can't imagine trying to live day to day with this pain. My quality of life would decrease DRASTICALLY. I feel so bad for people that have to always fight this pain.
  • Hi, I hope that your bout of sciatica will be short lived. It IS very painful. Do research stretches for sciatica; they do help...ice was my best friend for the horrid pain; but I alternated with moist heat and every over the counter pain lotion, stick, spray, I could buy. I also got a tens unit and a teeter totter (inversion table) ...anything and everything to get me through the day! Your doc may give you a steroid pack to try and tamp down the inflamation of the nerve...that's what I got the first time around...I remember driving to work with my left foot sometimes propped up on the window in order to relieve the pain..hoping a copy wouldn't stop me just for looking weird..you do whatever it takes to lessen the pain..couldn't care less how funny I looked...hang in there...you'll get some relief.
  • confused. Most cases of sciatica resolve themselves in 4-8 weeks on their own without any further treatment. Sciaticia flare ups are usually caused by a sudden wrong movement that causes the sciatic nerve to be pinched or compressed.
    Herniations also may resolve themselves but can take up to two years before they do. Some cause pain and others may not at all, depending on the position of the herniation and if it is in contact with other structures in the spine, in particular the nerve roots or the canal.
    Sciatica can flare up again over time and cause pain but it is usually short lived.
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  • Yeah I had the MRI last weekend, I have a herniated disc (one of the lower ones, right near the tailbone) which is causing the pain with my sciatic nerve. No trauma caused it which was surprising given my age, just degenerative discs I guess. 25 years old with degenerative discs!! Been athletic and playing sports my whole life. Didn't see this coming, thats for sure. I started PT yesterday for 4 weeks so I hope that helps !!
  • ddd ( degenerative disc disease) is a common finding in anyone over the ages of 16 or so. if you were to image anyone off the street, with and without back pain, they would have some degree of ddd since it is simply a natural process that occurs in all of us as we get older. the discs between the vertebre do not have their own hydration supply so over time ( decades) , the discs loose some of their hydration.
    playing sports when you were younger may have had some impact on your spine, depending on what type of sports and any injury to your body at that time.
    give the physical therapy a good chance, . try heat and or ice frequently and you may be surprised as time goes on.
    motrin might help as well as long as you don't have stomach issues.
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