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Buttock Pain - Sciatic - 4.5 years in - 35 year old male - exrunner- L5S1 herinated disc

Hello all,

long time visitor, first time poster.

Hope you are all as well as you cam be.

I'm Chris, male, 35-year old, office/managerial occupation, was (over period of 10 years) a keen runner (20-40 miles per week). I ran (and loved it) up until the age of 30. During June 2012 I started to get a weired non-descript pain in my lower back in the gym. I ignored it. I carried on. Running hard and pushing myself (very hard) on the cardio equipment in the gym. In the space of a couple of days it became clear, as the pain changed to a very different shooting pain, that the problem was serious. 

The pain developed into an almost electocuting pain from lower back to (right) foot. Much worse when I sit. It settled after a few weeks and became a solid 6.5/10 pain in my right buttock, experinced when I sit down or lay down. I experience it when I'm sat ( so when there's a bend in the back AND when there is pressure on my right buttock. It's like tooth ache in my right buttock. 

After those first few weeks, this buttock pain settled and has been constant, for almost 4.5 years. It's changed me, my personality and life generally. At the start, the inability to cope with the actual pain, the mental hit I took not being able to run and the inability to manage the strong narcotics I was prescribed, led me to lose my career and my partner (and almost my home) as I slipped into an almost nervous breakdown. I was prescribed napaxon, codeine, amatrytaline, pregablin and others. 

Today, over four years on, I have a new job, new partner, and life is more stable. However, the same exact pain remains. I've been progressing things, through the NHS, had two injections, one in L5S1 and one in the Sicro joint. Neither gave even a percentage point of releif. I  have also done physio and persoanlly tried to strenghen core. The pain remains.

Yesterday I had a consultation for the last injection, hoping to push for surgery. It was a NO. The injections didnt offer any releif, so thry are of the opinion that the issue is not the herinated L5S1 disc. They've ordered and MRI on the pelvis to see if the issue is there? 

Can anyone share a similar experience?



  • Hello Chris
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  • Wow. You were wondering if anyone could share a similar experience? You just described mine, almost exactly. 33 yo guy, was once an athletic type, avid runner. Injured in April 2012. I won't go into long detail, only that my story mirrors yours, only no drugs (yet) and loss of job (yet). I'm very close to taking meds, because it becoming very hard to even move about. You can see my post history for details.

    2 ruptured discs (L5/S1, L4/5), surgery, therapy, injections, you name it. I've physically fallen over, in public, because my back has locked up and I could not move. What I DO understand most is that feeling of hopelessness. This injury, has without a doubt turned my life upside down. Pain, non-stop, 5 years next month.  Why did this happen? I've taken care of myself. I was just thinking today...how much more of this can I take?

    In short: I'm truly exhausted. Sound familiar?

    Anyway. I try to maintain hope. Try researching myofascial release. Tons of tutorials on youtube. A lot of times, what might seem like a disc issue might actually be a strained or severely knotted muscle. Specifically the quadratus lumborum (QL) and the psoas. Those two muscles can reek havoc on the lower back, especially athletic runner types. Also try googling "painscience". There's a physical therapist that has done a TON of research on severe muscle injury and has a website that does into great detail on the subject. I highly recommend.

    Also, try researching EMG. Electromyography Imaging. Kind of new, but basically measures muscle response and any abnormal behavior. So if you have muscles that are over-strained or inactive, this might be able to pick up on what the cause is. I haven't tried it yet, but will be asking about it on my upcoming trip to a neurologist.

    Finally, try looking into PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections. I'm also looking into this option as an actual repair for any tendons, soft tissue joint damage that most certainly has occurred. There's actual research behind this, so its not another bogus sales pitch.

    EMG and PRP seem the most promising. I'm an info nut, and these two options seem like they might provide ACTUAL results to: What is the actual problem? And here's how we fix it. Up until now its been nonstop flushing money down the drain for expert opinions. Where's the solutions!?

    Keep us all updated here on spine health. Good luck!
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