Almost two years ago I was working out heavily and one morning ran outside to drag the recycling out before I missed the pickup time. As I set down the second bin, it felt like I got shot in the right buttock. The pain was immense, and I actually had to crawl back to my front door.
For a few days I just laid in bed, hoping for improvement, but I eventually went to my PCP, who told me it sounded like sciatica from either piriformis syndrome or a herniated disc. As a recovering alcoholic, I was leary of doctors and pain meds. So he gave me rx anti-inflammatory meds (ibuprofen) and prednisone. Weeks of suffering went by with little relief.
Eventually the pain isolated into the top of my right foot. The rest of my leg was asymptomatic, the top of my right foot felt like it had red hot coals on top of it 24/7. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't work out (I was previously a jiu jitsu martial artist and a runner). I was miserable. And I couldn't sleep due to the pain.
Eventually my PCP sent me to physical therapy. This helped a lot. In the end, I got rid of the pain and replaced it with persistent numbness. I figured this was nerve damage due to a delay in proper care stemming from compression on the nerve. In the mean time I had an MRI that showed L4/L5 was ruptured, but not compressing anything. L5/S1 was herniated .9 cm and causing stenosis on the right and left sides, though I only felt it on the right.
After almost a year I was back working out, though I have not been fighting, limiting my workouts to running and cycling only.
Two weeks ago, I had pain in my right hip while cycling. I figured I was working too hard, so I decided to head home. When I got off the bike,my whole lower back was immobilized, and I couldn't stand up straight. I immediately tried to relax and stretch.
Two days later, the back pain and immobility was gone but my hip pain was worse. I went back to work and then my other hip started hurting. Had a chiropractor adjust me and then the unthinkable, the pain which was initially only in my hips went down to my left foot as well. Now the tops of both of my feet are on fire again, but I have pain nowhere else.
I did a week of spinal decompression on the VAX d machine, and it was useless. I've been using the same exercises my physical therapist gave me the first time, but they don't seem to be working as well as before.
My question is, why the heck am I only experiencing pain in the top of my feet? From what I've read true sciatica radiates down the entire buttock and leg. My pain is only on the tops of the feet but is unbearable.
Has anyone else had this experience? It doesn't seem to fit with the usual sciatic nerve pain symptoms.
I'm sorry for the long post. I just wanted to give my whole story. Thank you for any help or advice.