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Pain in the

I've read the rules. I'm just looking for personal opinions and fully understand that no one on the forum can give medical advice...

Can't believe how many threads there are on Sciatica pain, but it seems it's a very common experience.

I'm male aged 31, and have had ongoing Sciatica symptoms since late July 2016.

Background
I had some mild back pain at Christmas 2015 for about 1 month, during a time when I was using the gym a lot. I was doing a fair bit of weight lifting but unsure if this was related to my current issue. I stepped back from the Gym and began playing football regularly for exercise until late May 2016 when I twisted my Knee. I also have a desk job, which requires long hours sitting at the computer. I don't have great posture, and this is something I have had since a young age, but without any previous back issues.

About 2 months after injuring my knee, and with doing little exercise in between I developed what I thought was bad Sciatica in Late July 2016. I sat on it for a couple of weeks, getting mild relief from Ibuprofen, ice packs on my lower back and relief from sleeping on my right side with my knees up towards chest and a pillow in between.

In mid August 2016 I visited a GP (not my normal one), who thought that my symptoms were Sciatica and related to my previous knee injury, caused by a change in Gait. She referred me to a knee specialist.

During the wait for the knee specialist I decided to start some Physio to get some relief. During periods of Physio I haven't noticed much change. Some weeks are better than others, but it's one week can be less server and the next week can be very painful. I've had 2 months of Physio now, and finally saw an orthopaedic knee specialist last week who specialises in sport's injuries. He did a visual inspection on my knee and is of the opinion it is not directly related to my Sciatica. I have had a similar issue with patella stability on my other knee, and some general wear and tear of the knees previously, having seen this specialist a couple of years earlier and had an MRI. He has referred me for another MRI and lumbar X-ray. It may be some weeks before I can get an appointment with him again, . The previous few weeks , while on holiday, the Sciatica seemed to ease off, almost to the point that I didn't notice it, but unfortunately on return from holiday and after visiting my physio who gave me a massage on back and buttock/leg area my Sciatica has ramped back up this week, worse than it's ever been to the point of being unable to sleep, or function well at work.

The pain somewhat eases during walking or standing, but is present when sitting, leading to tightness across my buttocks, under my testicles (saddle area), and down my left leg. I have also been getting some pain in my left arm at times. I have had a lot of muscle twitching, often every 1 minute. Sitting with my knees up together touching my chest has provided some relief at times.

I have been back to my GP office this week, where I asked my GP to be referred to a Neurosurgeon to inspect further. The GP reluctantly wrote me a referral and was keen for me to focus on continuing just physio (which I will do anyway on the side) despite me explaining how the pain at times can become excruciating. I also explained to the GP that the pain has ramped up since my return from holiday and that ibuprofen/paracetamol etc is having little effect on the pain. She is unwilling to prescribe me anything for the pain and was basically just suggesting I sit it out and wait for it to repair itself. I feel she has a poor understanding or grasp of the pain I'm going through and the affect it is having on my work, which is our sole family income. She seems to be an old school "man up" type of doctor. When I went back to the pharmacy, they seem surprised that I was not prescribed anything stronger than over the counter medicine.

I'm lucky in that my Sister is also a GP, and a well respected one at that, who also went through similar issues with a pinched nerve in her neck last year. She has made the suggestion I see a neurosurgeon or orthopaedic surgeon for further analysis. Unfortunately the neurosurgeon I have an appointment is not available until December. My sister says she can set me up for an MRI and appointment in her city with a neurosurgeon, but this is a 1 hour flight away and not ideal. She also suggested a steroid injection may help. I'm very lucky that I have my sister as a doctor for advice, but extremely disappointed with my own GP, who provided me with little options and seemed unhappy and me asking for the referral to the neuro surgeon.

My sister has suggested I do Pilates for the time being and has will prescribe me a stronger anti inflammatory (Celebrex) to help.

I'd be interested to hear your experiences, and info on other medicines that have worked for you.

Has anyone had issues with arm pain and leg buttock pain, but without the back pain in-between?





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Comments

  • Sorry to hear the troubles you've gone through. I think I'd make the trip to the doctors your sister can set you up with. I don't know how the medical system is where you are, but I'd look into a different primary doc. It sounds like your current one isn't taking you or your pain seriously. Hopefully the lumbar MRI will give some answers that can lead to some relief. Best of luck to you!
  • MarWinMarWin OhioPosts: 692
    You had me up until the final question? First you spoke of sciatica and knee pain, but finished with arm pain and gluteal pain. I'm not saying those aren't connected, just confused by where your question is now going :wink:" alt=":wink:" height="20" /> .

    In my case it was definitely due to poor posture habits, as some studies will show many chronic pain sufferers and those with non-contact injuries (ie: sprained knee) have their issue due to poor posture habits. In my opinion that was your best statement, about you having poor posture. What do you consider "poor posture"?

    As far as your knee injury and low back pain being unrelated, I'm not convinced they are. For me, it's all about the kinetic chain. If the pelvis is off the bones and joints above and below will follow thus causing joint pain in other area's. Likewise, if the pelvis is off the rest of the body can become out of balance making us more prone to stress injuries.

    As you stated you have a lifestyle that is mostly dormant and limited motion. Don't worry, most of us are in this day and age. This can lead the muscles into disarray and send you into the poor posture routine. Since our posture is provided via our bones and since muscle moves the bone it makes sense the true culprit could very well be the muscles. The trick is finding the right exercises and stretches to get your muscles reactivated and operating properly. My suggestion is to never do routines that only focus on one side of your body, or one muscle group. Every exercise/stretch should be done bilaterally. What you do to the left side you must also do to the right.
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  • Hey, krm,

    My situation is quite different then yours in that I have no arm pain and some other things are different. Some are similar. What I can relate to is the manner in which your doctor is dealing with your obvious discomfort and issues. When I told my doctor I was having debilitating pain, was not working, couldn't walk, couldn't sleep, and basically was unable to live like a normal person he prescribed me 600mg Aleve tablets. I suggested something stronger like a Vicodin, etc. and he basically blew me off stating that evidence shows that ibuprofen, naproxen, etc. have bettter results. This is after I had just told him I was currently taking Aleve by the handful and it wasn't working. He actually was so alarmed he ordered a kidney screening to see if I was basically poisoning myself with the Aleve....then he prescribed me more. HUH!?! Yeah.... He did prescribe me Methocarbamol (muscle relaxant) that helped for the spasms but did nothing for pain and mobility. This interaction led me to the realization that my doctor would rather base his diagnosis and subsequent remedies off of "best evidence" and was not interested in the personal, independent care required when dealing with these sorts of conditions. People respond differently to different things....that's a fact. His lack of willingness to listen to me and even consider something that didn't tie into his opinion led me to the conclusion I am seeing the wrong GP. I will now be switching GP's. Don't take me the wrong way either please. I am not a drug seeking individual and have not been on any form of pain medication for 4 years since I last herniated a disc. Sometime you need something stronger that Aleve, or Tylenol to make your life more livable. If a dr is unwilling to even entertain the concerns of their patient and listen to their personal opinions, experiences, and needs, it may be time to seek a second opinion. Just my two cents.

    As far as doing physio, I would avoid anything that causes more pain. Stick to things that are neautral or bring relief.

    And I would look around for another place to get an MRI. I able to be scheduled for one in a week, went, had terrible claustrophobia and couldn't go through with it and found an open MRI machine at another place and got in with them in like 5 days. I'd look around.

    Best of luck to you in your journey.
  • krm123kkrm123 AusPosts: 6
    edited 10/29/2016 - 6:23 AM
    Thanks for the comments and suggestions.

    My initial post was meant to read leg and buttock pain, rather than just leg buttock pain. Most posts i've read on Sciatica relate to pain in the lower half of the body. I haven't seen too many talking about arm pains as well. When i first started getting the pain some months back, the arm pain rarely made an appearance, but has been more prevalent recently.

    Today has been a mixed day. The arm pain has been quite bad and the the leg pain on and off. But on the positive side, the last few days have been more manageble than last Wednesday. I notice the pain usually gets worse as i get more tired. Probably due to my muscles getting tired towards the end of the day.

    On the subject of doctors and pain meds, i too was looking for a prescription for something stronger. I'm usually the last person to jump onto the pain meds in normal circumstances, but i knew i needed something stronger, and my doctor really couldn't relate to the pain i was going through. I too will be looking for a new doctor.

    I'm going to try and ramp up the exercise over the next few weeks. Will start with maybe 3 sessions next week (2 swimming and 1 Pilates and will work it from there. I'm also thinking about cycling to work, but this may be an issue with the extended period of sitting down on the bike saddle.

    I'll pop back in here every now and then and let you know how i'm progressing and if anything in particular helps me on this journey.




  • I personally find the bicycle to be one of the best exercises there is. And oddly enough, when I first had back problems from a herniation, the position that riding the bike put me in was actually very relieving and therapeutic. I'd give it a whirl and see if it helps.
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  • amandacyramandacyr New yorkPosts: 25
    I didn't have any arm pain. But I have pain that starts mid buttcheek and goes halfway down the back of my thigh. I didn't think sciatic because I've always thought sciatic was back and leg pain..... but my docs are all saying sciatic. The pain became so crippling I couldn't move. Couldn't walk, sit, bend, or stand..... wasn't sure I would make it through, but it is finally gettibg there.... slowly getting back to doing the things I used to do, although bending is still painful and alot of stabding or walking gets me shooting pains. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel!
  • Started taking Celebrex yesterday at 200mg, twice a day.

    Probably too early for any real difference, but minimal pain sitting down, and minimal pains anywhere else so far today. Hopefully that is a sign of things to come.

  • krm123kkrm123 AusPosts: 6
    edited 11/24/2016 - 4:58 AM
    Just an update post

    Been taking Celebrex for ~3 weeks now and i think it's possibly helped a bit.

    Standing up and keeping active also helps alleviate some of the issues, and having a standup desk at work has helped to remain more active on a day to day basis.

    Unfortunately since the weekend i had some severe headaches, nausea, hearing loss and dizziness. The doctor thinks it's a viral infection causing me to get trapped fluid in my ears and an infected sinus. As a result of this i have been off work this week, and the only way to alleviate the horrible sinus pain and dizziness has been to lie down in bed.

    Laying down and staying inactive is probably the worst possible thing for my Sciatica, and i've noticed it get progressively worse this week. Unfortunately the sciatica has been the lesser of two evils this week, and so i'm prepared to accept that pain until my sinuses are better and i can stand up again and become active.

    I've stopped taking the celebrex for the past few days as the sinus medication has ibuprofen and some other medicine in it targeting the sinus. Once that clears up i'll get back on the Celebrex, but to be honest i'm not keen on staying on it for more than a month or two as i don't want to cause any unnecessary liver damage.

    The sharp shooting pain i had over the past few months from Sciatica has largely gone since the end of October, but this week with my inactivity i have had a dull burning pain in the legs and constant twitching muscles everywhere (Both legs, buttocks, arms, face muscles etc). I have a neuro surgeon appointment booked for December and will be taking an MRI of the lumbar area along with me.

    The pain of the past few weeks has been mostly manageable and i feel i could live a mostly normal life with it, but i'm still hoping the Neuro surgeon is able to pinpoint the issue and provide some further input that hopefully rids me of this horrible affliction. From a logical point of view, i'm telling myself that the disappearance of the shooting pains is a positive sign and hopefully a sign of progress. Hopefully with each Month the other symptoms eventually disappear all together (At least that's what i'm hoping for)

    On a side note, i stopped Physio about 3 weeks ago. It was making no difference, and in some cases i actually had more pain coming out of the appointment and the following days, than i did prior to going in. Acupuncture also did not help.


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