Sciatic nerve agony, what's best to do?

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Hi I've had sciatica before last year and in the years leading up, but this is a whole new ball park game, its excrutiating, from my lower back, right down the whole of my right leg and including my foot all over it.  It happens when I am sedantary as well as on the move.

I'm taking glucosamine but that takes a while to kick in, the pain has been daily persistent all day for the past two weeks, I have never experienced pain as intense as this and getting through whole cans of deep freeze muscle relief spray, whole tubes of ibuprofen gel, ibuprofen tablets and even dihydrocodeine these past two days as I just cannot take it, its so bad it sets my teeth on edge.

I am due to see doc about another matter on the 26th but have emailed ahead as its intollerable pain from which I can get no relief and I've said could we think about a referral to a chiropractic or would surgery be something to chew over at this stage.  Not sure what else to do, I know its because of my weight, but I',m working on that, I've lost 9lb in as many days on my diet but climbing on the exercise bike is really making me nauseous with pain and walking not that much better.

Any suggestions anyone?  Fiona

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  • Posted

    PS  Actually earlier this evening I found a pot of lavender oil quite a large one as it happens with still quite a lot left in it so I doubled up by dousing that all over the very large offending area before deep freezing and taking another dihydrocodeine and I seem to be for once pain free, marvellous, but will have to do something long term for this wretched complaint.  I can recommend the lavender oil though, highly!
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  • Posted

    Any of this help????

    https://patient.info/forums/discuss/sciatic-nerve-pain-from-the-perspective-of-many-decades-629096

     

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    • Posted

      Thanks Chico for taking the trouble to set all this down for me and im going to ask for that CT/Myelogram. Do you know if they are available on the NHS? Thanks.
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    • Posted

      No idea.  My neuro did that test only once when the MRI was inconclusive.  Since, it's also a map of your spine, it's a great pre-op tool for the docs so they can strategize the surgery.

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  • Posted

    NHS will pay for an x ray and possibly a CT scan at a push. They look at bone shapes. The 3rd test is called MRI in the UK and is the most expensive so NHS will struggle to pay that but you might get lucky if your doctor thinks you need it. They will determine if you have spinal degeneration or damage, à slipped disc etc

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    • Posted

      But that's the problem.  Sometimes MRIs are inconclusive.  That's why the CT/Myelogram with Contrast is the absolute final test to see what's going on in the spine...if the spine is the source of the sciatic problem.  If NHS does not approve of that test...ever...then the doc would have to rely on the MRI alone.  I had that happen once and the doc went in not having a conclusive diagnosis.  Found a bone spur crushing my sciatic nerve root at L4.  Simple op...immediate relief.

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  • Posted

    Hi again, just to update I have seen a doctor this afternoon and he examined me and said if something was twisted or crushing the sciatic nerve then I would experience a numbnesss when urinating etc, but as I don't he has given me some stong pain killers, full strength gel and a sheet of exercises and says if it doesn't go away in 4 - 6 weeks then he will refer me to a phisotherapist but chiropractic is not available on the NHS you have to seek one out and pay yourself privately, and a scan would not be appropriate at this stage as there is none of the numbness he mentioned.

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  • Posted

    Just an update, I was unhappy with my consultation earlier in the week for reasons I'll explain, so have booked to see my regular GP who was not available before on the 9th April, soonest I can see him.  The first doctor I saw about this earlier in the week maintains that unless I am getting a numbness in the water works etc and he was quite specific, then it cannot be a twisted or crushed sciatic nerve and they are unprepared to send me for a scan but I have since spoken to my sister and her words were "that absence of a particular symptom should NOT preclude further investigation" and frankly I believe she is right in saying that and I am going to say her precise words to my regular GP as I've had seven constant weeks of torture, and its not acceptable.  Meanwhile the NHS choices website advise that if the symptoms are interfering with your daily life and preventing you from getting on with things, which they are, then you should go back to your GP about it.  So this is what I am going to do.

    I have no idea why sciatica is treated so miserably frugally by GPs etc as I have in the not so distant past had both a catscan and an MRI for other complaints which were not nearly as painful as this, I can only assume that so many people get sciatica, particularly up my age, being 58, that with things the way they are in the NHS, with queues, underfunding, understaffing, cutbacks, that it gets put to the back of the queue, so therefore you have to push.  Good luck everyone with sciatica as from what I hear its not taken nearly seriously enough.

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    • Posted

      The GP you saw clearly is not fully informed. The symptoms he described relating to numbness urinating or loss of bladder control are Caudal Equine symptoms which are a medical emergency and require immediate surgery. If you ever get that then you should present immediately to A and E. I had numbness in left foot which started to spread and after some persuasion my gp ordered CT scan. When I eventually saw a neurologist he ordered both MRI and CT scans. Turns out I had spinal twist as well as scoliosis and spinal canal stenosis. I've since had surgery and am in process of recovery. Only those specific tests can reveal what is your problem. Hopefully it's just a slipped disc and you'll recover in 6-8 weeks

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    • Posted

      Hi Maggie, thanks for the information. im wondering if he means that with a crushed sciatic nerve or if twisted you would get this type of numbness as well as with the condition your describing but as i say my sister and i feel a lack of this symptom should not preclude further investigation. i now hear hes phoning me for follow up discussion Monday afternoon so can say this to him then. Hope you yourself are now recovered from the condition you describe, sounds hair raising.
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  • Posted

    Hi Fiona,

    Really hope that you're on the mend!

    I think your condition definitely sounds like sciatica, regardless of whether you have numbness around that area. From what I've heard from the many doctors I've seen, you can still have sciatic nerve compression from various things like bulging/herniated discs, issues with the piriformis muscle, SIJ etc!

    Easier said than done as I'm going through a similar battle, but don't give up, keep pestering your doctors. And if you can afford it, see a private physio/osteopath/chiropractor for more advice or treatment - I've had more joy this way than through the NHS, even if I'm skint now!

    Best of luck.

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  • Posted

    There are many medications you can try but have bad side effects alas, then spinal injections, nerve block sets but the more conservative the better if possible, heat, ice packs, keep moving (carefully) TENS etc - wishing you the best.
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