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Leg and lower back pain

I had severe sciatic pain about 5 years ago, had an MRI and was told it was bulging disc, had physio which was useless, had chiro which worked. Sadly the pain is now back with a vengeance and I cannot walk or stand for more than a couple of minutes, chiro is not working this time, pain killers don't get rid of the pain they just make me drowsy. I don't want to go down the surgery route. Has anyone had similar experience, any tips etc on how to manage this extremely debilitating and painful condition.


  • if you have not had a recent imaging study done, it might be worthwhile seeing your doctor to make sure that nothing has worsened that might be causing this recent flare up. in the meantime, rest, ice, heating pad, and mild stretches may help to ease the pain a bit. if it continues, you really do need to consult with your doctor.https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/exercise/videos
  • Is any other kind of imaging suitable I really can't bear the thought of another MRI I found it extremely traumatic , I know that sounds like an over reaction but if there is another way I would prefer to try it
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  • hi Ive had 4 mri scans, nerve root block injection, drs cant find whats wrong im in so much pain down my right side.my back and leg.
    j smith
  • mojo55 said:
    Is any other kind of imaging suitable I really can't bear the thought of another MRI I found it extremely traumatic , I know that sounds like an over reaction but if there is another way I would prefer to try it
    First, I'm really sorry that your symptoms have come back and the chiro hasn't helped this time.

    You'll need to get an order from a doctor for any kind of imaging if you are in the USA and use health insurance, so maybe discuss your options with the ordering physician? I had an MRI this week in an open scanner and it was a better experience than the closed MRI machines I've had previously. The MRI was a follow up to a CT Scan that didn't give a good enough image of my spine. Previously I've had x-rays to look at my spine... which also led to an MRI so the surgeon could get a better look at what was going on. One neurosurgeon won't even book an appointment for me without seeing an MRI of my back first.

    So, maybe go for an MRI but request some kind of meds from the ordering physician to relax you ahead of time? CT Scans and X-rays will possibly show something impinging on your nerve, but an MRI would give a doctor a more comprehensive view... which sounds like what you need at this point.

    Good luck and I hope you can get through the necessary imaging without trauma, plus find a non-operative solution to your back pain :-)
  • MRI's can be given with IV sedation. It is the only way I've been able to have my last four MRI's following a nasty experience with a grouchy, rushed MRI tech that included new-found claustrophobia as well as lots of back pain. It truly makes the whole experience almost pleasant :) I'd be glad to answer any questions.


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  • Fought the battle for the last 5 months and opted for a microdistectomy on 7/31. So far best move I've made so far with this problem. The MRI is imperative for you to get so your Dr can assess your situation. I had 2 epi's, a month of pt and used inversion therapy. I was getting temporary relief but once I started up with my normal activities the pain came back within a few weeks. I would recommend you get a copy of your MRI so when you go a surgeon, chiro or any other medical therapy you bring your copy with you. I was the last person that wanted a micro but after 2 surgeons both recommended it after looking at my MRI and not seeing any results from what I was doing I opted in.
  • There are many types of mri's, open and seated machines.
    I to am extremely claustrophobic but I tolerate open and seated
    Machines very well. Also ask to have a companion in the mri room
    As well. I do this and talk to them the whole time which allows
    The time to pass quickly. I tried everything medicup, accupunture
    Pt, chiro, but in the end had 2 microdiscetomies done and so
    Far it has gone well. I had them done under conscious sedation.
    Just research your options. Many places will do phone consults
    With an mri for free. Many people fear surgery and for good reason
    But for me it was time, life is to short to live in pain. Do your homework
    And when you make a decision don't look back. Good luck.
  • "don't want to go down the surgery route"

    As far as I can figure, there is no "Surgery Route" for pain. (I'm in the USA). Doctors won't do surgery just for pain. Symptoms would have to be much worse, like loss of function.

    I have chronic pain. The only thing that really controls it is a safe, gentle yoga practice.
    C5-C6 and L5-S1 degenerative discs and bone spurs at age 47. (bummer).
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