I am a 36 year old male who has joined to get insight and support from other members. I have been struggling with sciatic pain for nearly 15 years. Here are some highlights: I was always an active kid, playing lots of sports and never had a problem until about the time I entered the working world and got a desk job! (Not that there is a direct correlation)...
I've been through many rounds of PT over the years -- not convinced it helped me long-term. MRI about 6 years ago revealed mild disc bulge at L4 / L5; mild spinal stenosis. X-rays over the years have looked fine. Pain waxes and wanes sometimes daily for weeks, but sometimes I can go a couple months completely pain free. Sometimes flare ups occur gradually after something strenuous, like heavy snow shoveling, or vigorously playing competitive tennis, for example. Other times I can have a flare up during seemingly sedentary periods -- but I have not been able to figure out exactly what movements or activities directly cause my pain to begin.
During flare ups, I use naproxen, and for moderate or lingering pain I just can't seem to shake after a week or so, I use Vicodin. I also wear a lumbar back brace during episodes. The spine surgeon I have seen does not consider me a candidate for surgery -- he says it's probably a disc "tear" -- when it happens on the right side, I get pain in the right buttocks and sometimes a bit of weakness or pain in the leg. Sometimes the pain is on the left side, which he says indicates a "tear" on the left side of the disc. I have absolutely never ever had pain in both sides at the same time. So far 2014 has been a rough year -- pain has been on my left side -- we've had lots of snow this winter and that's done nothing good for my issues -- as I'm sure is the case with lots of people unfortunately.
I'm excited to learn about other folks' experiences, which I think is really invaluable.
Thanks for your time!