Sciatic Pain? or Athuritus?

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I have 2 disc missing in my lower spine plus my lower back is arthritic, for several months now I have what feels like sciatic pain coming from my left buttock cheek and becomes slowly over the day prominatly more painful, the more I sit the worse it gets, yet I cant stand for long as this also affects my back, Ive tried pressure cushions which dont seem to solve the problem too much as this comes on as soon as my buttock cheek touches a chair or even cushion, I get the occasional pain in the leg but not very often, what I have noticed also is cramp in my hamstring muscle I can no longer stretch or twist over in bed without getting creased up, I was just wondering if anyone else gets this problem and as to whether it is the leg/buttock cheek bone that has atheritus in itself, or if it is genuinly sciatic pain from the pinched nerves, this is only one side, if I sit half on and half off a chair iI dont seem to get it quite as bad, and sitting at the computer here is hell, my Son has told me to get a wireless jkeyboard and mouse so I can get into my recliner.  Please let me know if you have this problem what it might be and how it can be dealt with, my doctor isnt helpful and he is the best one in the surgery, non seem to care these days, especially when you get old, he said I had a scan 4 years ago I cant have another one, and just piled me off with the same old painkillers co-codamol, all the pills are making me feel sick and constipated, I asked for some patches but he wouldnt let me have anything else, normally he is such a good and understanding doctor, but they are all the same around here, I have a referral to the pain clinic but I am wondering if anyone has had the same pains as me 

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  • Posted

    I have the same problem pain in my buttock and down my left side getting worse when I try to stand for more than a few seconds with my left leg on the floor but I can't even lift it off the floor to try to ease the pain as it just sends a burning sensation all the way down that side my doctor who has been great believes it is due to lower prolapsed discs trapping my sciatica nerve can't walk with out the aid of crutches can't sit too long as the pain in my left side of my buttock becomes unbearable trying to stand walk has become a joke and I'm waiting for the steroid injection into my spine to see if that releaves some of the pain I am on strong doses of morphine which helps a little bit but I have other health issues that are not related so I spend a lot of time feeling very low
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    • Posted

      Hi Christine, I too live on slow release morphine, but will say that chronic pain lead me to suffer fromd eepression, made worse in darker autumn/winter months as I always suffered from SAD a bit anyway. Don't feel ashamed to seek help from an understanding GP if you need talking therpapy, or even an antidepressant liek I did. There is not the same stigma attached to it as there was once, and I know what living in pain full time for 9 years is all about, it's had a huge impact on my life. I did initially find steroid injections useful, it varies from one person to another, so good luck. I don't have them any more as they don't last long enough, only a few weeks if that, so not worth it for me anymore, they say the more you have of them the less effective they can become over time. The first few were great, and if it works enough to get you into a physio or gentle exerise programme then that's a good outcome. Don't give up, diff. pain clinics offer diff. treatments, they are not cheap so you will be assessed to see what most likely to work if anyhting. I have move from my local hopsital pain clinic recently to Leeds, which is a more specialist centre, but I am not a clear cut case so they may / may not be able to help me - I await the outcome of their discussion, but there is no magic bullet for me. It really depends on what is the ''cause'' of your pain, and the only way to truly find that out is with an MRI scan. If you haven't had one already it sounds to me like you should be discussing it with your dr.
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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    Sorry the hear your doctor is not very sympathetic, they are all being so pressured re. budgets these days,affects many decisions when meds are similar, whether generic version available etc, I have found that even the Health authority have advised my GPs to try and get patients off certain drugs eg.pregabalin for nerve pain due to cost, and if still neeeded onto gabapentin, as it costs a lot less. ! I have come off altogether of my own accord due to cognitive impairment side effects, my GP surgery was pretty pleased, saving them a fortune ! I too get sciaitic pain in both sides, cental buttock area is sciatic nerve pain or it could also be in some cases your sacro ileac nerves. They are not that far apart, at least not in me ! I have pain that can be localized to my buttock area like a knife blade being twisted in it, or can have it radiating down my leg and get numbness in parts of my feet, where depends on which nerves are affected at which disc space on your spine. I too had problems getting down the stairs last year after a bad flare up , and I got to see a physio who dealt with chronic pain / cases - she was very good, and gave me some very simple exercises to do to help lengthen my hamstrings as that was casuing the pain in the back of my calves and I could barely walk. Either ask for a physio referral or have a look on net / this website to see if any of the exercises are illustrated, Initially I did them a few times a day , just short periods of time though, and as much as possible without overdoing it and built it up over few weeks, it does work !!You will notice a diff. in hamstrings after a few weeks of lengthening exercises, I too cannot sit/ lie/stand in any one position for very long at all, and I take slow release morhpine for the pain now, I am only 41 ! But its been going on for 9 years, and I have done the rest and got used to them, I have quite high tolerability to meds anyway, so be warned if chronic condition then you will build up a tolerability to pain meds over time. Constipation is a problem with many pain medications, and other than take a laxative like lactulose or one of the sachets you mix with water like laxido, I haven't many other suggestions, I too have to live with this side effect too. There's fybogel too you could try. 

    Have you ever attended a pain clinic ? Most hospitals now have pain clinics, very busy, aneasthetists often with an interest in pain management and training in that area - can offer diff. meds, epidurals of steroid and other procedures depending on each specific case. If you are in a lot of pain and not getting anywhere with GP, worth looking on the internet and asking around to find who is a good pain mgmt dr in your area, and geta referral. I have had a few scans , as it has wrosened, but as my last 2 scans were similar unless they were worried I had cauda equina ( where horses tail nerve endings get trapped, a medical emergency) then I don't think I'll get another scan. They cannot justify the cost ! when they don't think there will be a change. That said a scan can only tell them so much, but is very useful if seeing a pain mgmt clinic, and if they decided to do a procdure they may well choose to get an up to date scan,good luck and hope this is of some help. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Holly,

      Thanks for your advice, will see what exercises I can find on the web, I have had a referral to the pain clinic, but I didnt realise they could offer different meds, I have read that you can get patches but my doctor wont let me have them, I am afraid of the spinal epidural even though I am in total agony most of the time, when my Son herniated his disc 3 years ago he went to the pain clinic and had an epidural, it was so uncomftable they had to stop half way through, he said he would never have it done again so I am very wary about having the procedure done, will have to suffer and maybe see if pain clinic offers me anything else that might help, my Mums discs have all worn out and is on morphine and in bed now, its the only way she can get rid of her pains, but I am determined to keep going, I have started moving around a bit more, I am told one of those kneeling chairs for the computer has anyone tried this for sciaitic pain??

      Meanwhile I am still muddling on with Co-Codamols, 30/500mg x 2 every 4 hours, fantastic when they kick in but only lasts 2 hours then starts to return, too many makes me feel very sick and yes constipated, hopefully the pain clinic might beable to offer me something else, the atheritus is one thing but this sciatic pain is another and is out of this world and identical to what you have described to me Holly like a hot knife twisting inside, I get relief normally first thing in the morning and it builds during the day, cannot do much anymore, maybe we all need a very hot country with a good health farm and lots of pampering, its not often you see folks from warm places suffering like this.

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    • Posted

      HI, I am not going to pretend that a spinal epidural under local aneastetic in a painless procedure, but if you look at it in the large sca;le of things, if 5 mins of the procedure time in theatre is pretty painful and it works in alleviating your daily pain, then I say it's worth it. They can do it under sedation, but tends to only be done ''privately'', not NHS, or if paitent is so anxious they have no choice, but is very rare. They can treat far more patients in one afternoon in theatre when patients only given LA, as opposed to sedated. I used to be sedated when I had private cover years ago with work, but once it was deemed chronic and not acute they cut me off, so don't get the option now !! If you do get any associated muscle spasm try heat pads and cold ones available from pharmacies / shops and even online, I was given a patch called Tiger Balm patches ( cold version ) when on holiday in Mauritius and they were helpful to a degree too. There is no one answer if you are anything like me I am afraid. AS mad as it may sound there is a lot on TV this week about Mindfullness, and I actually went on an 8 week course 2 years ago, aimed at pateints in chronic pain ( in UK ). As well as booked they provided CDs or like me I put the meditation on my monile phone, so i could easily use it wherever I wanted, somewhere quiet and not going to be disturbed. It really does , if it works for you and you have to give it a fair chance, help to relieve the tension especially when having a very bad bout of pain. It is this sort of diversion that the brain needs if you did decide to have any injections at the pain clinic say. As I woman who has had two babies, I can say that I think I am more geared up to be able tolerate some pain more than say my hubby would be. Although it was not as painful as that !! Breathing techniques can offer a lot in severe episodes, and more tnesion we build up in reponse to the pain only makes the pain worse. Take care x
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    • Posted

      Hi Holly, Thank you for your advice 'Wow!!!...I have just looked up the name of those patches you said you bought that helped and I came up with the website Tiger Balm, so I am going to order some of these today, it looks as though they do a whole range of stuff its worth a good try, have borrowed my Sons medical coldpack and am constantly using these he got them from his chiropractor when he slipped his disc, it is helping a bit with the painkillers but will wait now until I get some of those tiger balm patches, and will chase up the pain clinic too.
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  • Posted

    You're welcome, call it 9 years of going round the block myself, and I;ll try anything once ! Good luck.
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