Help ! My sciatica Is ruining my life.

Posted , 15 users are following.

I am 50 years old and according to my physiotherapist very fit for my age.

I was diagnosed in March 2013. Since then I have had this debilitating condition off and on, more on though. At first it wasn't too bad, but now it's getting worse. I have been taking the highest dose of diclofenax constantly since September 2013, and it just isn't helping. I teach line dancing two nights a week, and my husband is convinced it is this that is not helping, and if anything making this condition worse. My GP and physiotherapist has advised that this is not the case and to continue with this as it's good exercise. Personally I am not convinced that I have sciatica. I have asked my gp for an xray but she has refused me one. My hubby said I should insist on having one as this pain is getting worse and is now starting to affect my quality of life. The pain is keeping me awake at night and when I turn over its excruciating. When I get up in the morning to go to work (I work in admin so spend half the day sat down) I hobble about like a little old lady who needs a zimmer frame. I am at my wits end and have no idea where to turn or what to do next. My gp is about a sympathetic as a house brick! Short of changing doctors I have no idea what to do next.

If anyone can offer me any advice on how to cope with this pain or what I can do to at least make it more bearable so I can continue with daily life it would be greatly appreciated.

Leaving work is not an option (unfortunately), and I need the exercise so stopping the linedancing is not an option either.

Can anyone out there help me ?

0 likes, 9 replies

9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi I have sciatica in both legs and find ice gel packs straight from the freezer ( available cheap on ebay) massage, baths in Epsom salts with peppermint and eucalyptus oil added help the pain no end . Ice is the best thing for nerve pain as it numbs it, but during cold weather I use a heated throw or wheat packs . Doctors nowadays like to wait for your physiotherapist to say you need a mri scan before referring you for one . Have you tried aqua therapy ? I found it really helpful to have my physio sessions in a heated pool as I could move more freely and exercise didn't cause me pain as the water was warm . Nowadays people prefer to do mris on people who have nerve pain as you get a more detailed closer view and see things that wouldn't show up on a xray . I also have a massage stick called a thera cane which is very helpful I use it after exercise and it stops the pain from flaring up avaliable from amazon and ebay) . Take care Megan.
  • Edited

    Poor you Becca,what an awful doctor you have - you have the right for a MRI scan which

    is what they now use,as it shows more details of the problems.Can you have a private MRI scan?Saying that I had one and my GP(Who was very sympathetic) thought that my sciatica would go away.After two and half

    months, a life time when in pain I was seen by the surgeon,who said there was a 16 week waiting list and

    privately would cost thousands.I showed him all my medication and told him, correctly that I was over dosing on them,also I could no longer sit on the toilet as I was in pain .

    I was called in a week later to have the operation on the NHS where they found a cyst had grown on my

    sciatic nerve.

    It was instant relief and I am now getting back on the tennis court and living again.

    If all else fails change your awful GP.

    Good luck Jacqueline

  • Posted

    Hello Becca,

    I don't want to write a novel about my own experience of sciatica but it might help if you know what steps I took when I realised it wasn't going to get better on its own.

    It started in March 2013, I went to my GP (in Kent) in despair in July. He insisted on doing a series of

    blood tests and said that surgery for a herniated disc causing sciatica (my own diagnosis) was

    inappropriate for most people. My tests proved nothing. I was referred to the local clinical assessment

    team and was seen by an extremely unpleasant man who insisted that the pain was not the result of a

    herniated disc but rather was the result of piriformis syndrome. I insisted on an MRI scan as my life had

    become almost intolerable due to chronic and unrelenting pain. I received the MRI report in September

    which showed a high degree of disc degeneration and two herniated discs, several cysts, osteophytes

    (bone spurs) and facel joint degeneration. I had to jump through the next hoop which was physiotherapy which made the problem worse and finally was referred to my local hospital's back clinic. Not long before this appt was due the hospital cancelled my appt saying that they wished me to see someone from the

    clinical assessment team 'in the first instance'.

    It was now November. (Our local hospital is in special measures and not reknowned for admin) My 'GP

    then referred me to a local (private) Spire group hospital which takes NHS patients for some conditions. It is a shame that this had to happen but the situation was not of my making.

    In December I saw a consultant orthopaedic surgeon who was unable to get our local hospital to fax him my MRI images so, instead of referring me for the surgery I needed, he admitted me as an emergency

    the following day for multiple facett joint injections and a caudal epidural as a short term measure. They

    didn't work and so I had 4 more weeks of agony before my next appt with the surgeon in January. On

    viewing my MRI images he decided to operate on the worst herniation at L5/S1 and after another 7 weeks I finally had a discectomy on March 7th. At first it appeared to have worked completely although I have

    since developed some pain which I really hope is just part of the healing process. Lots of other people

    seem to have these initial set backs.

    With the benefit of hindsight I would have gone to my GP sooner, (insist on a second opinion - you are

    entitled to it) insisted on an MRI scan even if it meant paying for it myself, not bothered with clinical

    assessment which, in my area, seems just to be a holding operation to keep waiting lists down, and

    aquainted myself with the fact that I could have requested via the 'choose and book' system to go directly

    to the Spire hospital. I have had back problems for many years but sciatica is the most painful debilitating condition I have ever experienced.

    Don't wait a day longer because the longer your sciatic nerve is compressed the harder it is to put

    right. If you need a discectomy you will need to take some time off work but if you are otherwise fit and

    healthy it shouldn't be too long before you are back to normal.

    Best wishes

  • Posted

    I suffered from severe sciatica for 6 months and was in constant pain, I made the mistake of just thinking it was back pain and the only comfortable way to relieve it was to lie on my stomach well of course it just got worse to the point I couldnt hardly move without being in agony, I was told I should of kept moving the moment I felt it and not rested which if ever I feel it come back I will do now I know, I have never felt pain like it and Ive had 3 children so I sympathise I do really, but I think the fact you are keeping mobile is good even though it is painful at one point I was taking amatripyline, tramadol, diazapam and ibuprofen and still they only took the edge off, it took time but eventually I got there, I was on tramadol longer than any other pain killer and found they worked the best have you tried them?  My doctors werent very good either I ended up having to go into hostpital for pain management, I didnt find anyone really sympathetic I think they thought I was making a fuss about nothing and should pull myself together, but unless you have experienced it I dont think you realise how painful it is, but try tramadol or amatryptaline if you haven't already they just might help, my sister in law has back problems and swears by amatryptaline,I hope your feeling better soon, take care
  • Edited

    I wish I had a solution for you!I'm going thru the very same thing along with cervical spine issues to boot!

    Not a fun life,I too am (was) physically fit and active...this has sucked the life out of me!


  • Edited

    I have been in pain with sciatica for 2 weeks so far and made the mistake of going to the hospital. I live in south Florida and was referred to Pain Management in the hospital and they under-medicated me so while I was an impatient in the hospital I was in constant pain. I had an epidural with steroids and 3 days later I still cannot walk more than 100 feet and only with a cane. I had an MRI and it showed slight bulging disc. Get an MRI and my next step if I don't feel better is to get a nerve block. Most Drs think people who suffer from Sciatica are really not in pain but want opioties . I just want to be Pain-free!!!! Is that too much to ask?

    • Posted

      I see your post is dated two months ago. Have you now been cured? Would love to hear some happy ever after stories ❤️

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