Sciatica

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Can anyone give me any advise,I'm a 55 year old healthy woman 2 weeks ago  I woke up with the worst  pain Iv ever had in my left leg,it starts at the groin and goes right the way down the front of my leg in to my foot the shin area being the most painful.i can't sit down as this makes it worse and can only stand for short periods,yet if I lay down flat it's more bearable.

my doctor says it is sciatica even thou I haven't had any X-rays she has prescribed me naproxen and gabapentin, are my symptoms typical of sciatica   

And is anyone else on gabapentin as all they seen to do is make me drowsy.

any advice would be great.

thanks 

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  • Posted

    Hi Angela,

                      Sorry to hear of of your pain and discomfort. I too am on naproxen and gabapentin. The naproxen briefly helped but moved the pain from my back to my feet. The gabapentin like you makes me drowsy and does little or nothing for the pain in my feet. It helps a little at night to give a few hours sleep. My X-ray showed a disc problem, waiting for MRI scan, but told 32 weeks. Doctor will not do anything until MRI scan is done. So catch22 situation. For me there is no position I have found that eases the pain. Hopefully with time it will pass. All the best and good luck, Graham

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    • Posted

      Hi townie 

      thanks for your response,my doctor has told me an x ray won't show anything so if it doesn't ease in a couple of weeks the I will have to have physio before she will send me for an MRI so if there's a  32 week wait I probably won't get seen till next year. 

      How many naproxen do you take a day as I am finding it difficult trying to fit them in every 6-8 hours with food would be easier every 4 hours.

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    • Posted

      Angela,

                    I take 2 Naproxen 250mg a day, 1 omeprazole 20mg (this is to counter act possible ulcer causing from long term use of naproxen) and 3 gabapentin 300mg. Never taken so many pills in my life, and really and trully they do nothing for the pain.

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    • Posted

      I didn't know that naproxen can cause possible ulsers I'm a little  concerned now as I have been told to take 5 a day,I'm wondering if I'm waiting my time as after reading a lot of other peoples story's it's sounds like tablets don't seem to help anyway.

      thanks  for your reply and if anyone finds a miracle cure let me know.

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    • Posted

      My left leg issue started Feb & now in late October things are getting  better. 

      These are things I have learned:

      - Walk.  I was in bed & couch for 3 mths. In my opinion it made issue worse.

      - Posture.  Sit straight.  Don't sit on a couch!  Only sit in chairs or soft chairs lower to ground.  When in car get lumbar support.  Tighten stomach.

      - Sleep Position. Is bed firm? Sleep on opposite side of leg that hurts.

      - Back Brace. I have two. One you inflate w hand pump and traditional strap

      - Medication. 15mg Mobic (Meloxican) I find best results when taken at night & supplement with occasional Tylenol.

      - Log Book.  Write down everything.

      - I also had steroid injections in March and May.  Yes, you may have heard of temporary, but I want to avoid back surgery and this treatment will help exactly define problem location.

      - I now go to gym and hired a trainer to work core muscles.

      - Patience and Discipline.

      - I could say a lot more, but have run out of ink.

      Good Luck

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  • Posted

    I have been in pain for about a year now , pain going from buttock to my left foot. It is siatica have had a MRI it's a bulging disk in L5 S1 . Sometimes the pain moves around .i get relief from the pain when I lie flat . The tablets I take don't work just make me drowsy . I have seen a surgeon and waiting for a Discectomy. Has anyone had this opperation and did it work . 

    nd 

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    • Posted

      Sorry to hear you have been in pain for so long,I hope mine doesn't last that long (but I'm not holding my breath) I work in office sitting down all day and I can't afford. To stay off long term.I hope everything goes well with your discectomy. 
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  • Posted

    Sciatica its a horrible pain, I woke up one morning and it just was there, Its still hurting me a bit, Ive had it 2 weeks now, And finally its easing off a bit, I took ibuproen 400 mg tabs And sprayed loads of heat spray on my leg and other painfull areas definatly eased the pain, Im praying it doesn't come back
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    • Posted

      Your right sciatica is a terrible pain Iv never experienced anything like it,

      iv only had it 1 weeks but I feel like it's taking over my life,I can't drive my car as It hurts to push the pedals,I can't get a bus as I can't sit so I'm house bound and it's driving me mad.***rant over*** 

      i might try some heat spray anything is worth a try,I'm glad to hear yours is. easing off and hopefully it won't return.

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  • Posted

    The pain is definatly severe, And probably worse for some, Hope it improves for you soon Angela, Ive also bought ibufrofen gel, Rubbed that on the painfull parts aswell, And tried lying on the bed and doing slow leg excersises seems to help me, Tried to get a doctors appointment this morning, (3 weeks waiting time), Hopefully be gone completly by then.
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  • Posted

    Hi Angela.  I hope my sugestion helps.  Hope you find the right meds but as you know meds are temporoary.  What you might want to do is visit a Chiropractor.  That may also help relieve the pain.  He can also take xrays and that will show him what disc(s) is having the issue.  If he's a good chiropractor, he'll be able to know which disc is out just by touching your back.  Did you do anything that could have caused this, left a heavy box, have a past accident?  All questions you'll be asked.  Once adjustments start though, the other thing that will help is a good mattress, temporpedic, even a water bed (they are still around).  They will need to go hand in hand because your muscles will need to relax in order for the disc to stay in place after your chiropractic adjustments.  I'm not crazy about meds, or muscle relaxers, but you can take them or something like Advil.  If you've read this far, all I can say is I've had back issues since my 20's (that water bed way back when and some chiropractic help was my solution and it worked).  I'm 61 now, in pretty good shape, but have been told I have Sciatica also after I over exercised one day on a tread mill (inclined) and I woke up with pain all over my left leg.  I could not isolate it and thought it was a muscalar issue - that I tore something.  My general doctor said it was sciatica - gave me a muscle relaxer that I took for 2 weeks.  When I got to the my orthopedic the pain subsided a bit but I was having tingling.  He said thats the nerve - bingo - he precirbed a 7 day pack of something (I wish I knew more on the meds but empty bottles/pack are gone).  He told to go to physical therepy, that  exercise would help. Ordered an MRI, but my insurance declined, they wanted me to go to therapy first. This whole thing was new to me but I figured out that it was back related.  So, I bought a new matress (temperpedic) and I rested (no exercise) for a month and then started exercising on my own.  The matress and rest helped and I've been exercising (walking with a little running) and thats been helping.  I've gone to the chiropracotr for a few sessions as well.  So right now, I am in "trying to recover" mode and I htink it's getting better slowly but surely.  It's a slow process but think I can beat this thing.  Hope you can too.    
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  • Posted

    Hi again.  Couple of other things.  After I exercise, I get into a hot bath.  One day I'll get a hot tub.  I also do that before going to bed.  That also keeps the muscles loose.  In my opinion, it's the back muscles that get out of whack once the disc is out.  The muscles tighten because the nerve is hit, and that prevents the disc from going back to it's normal position.   Chiropractors also apply heat and do a number of other things to loosen/relax the muscles. Hope this all helps.
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  • Posted

    You maybe won't want to hear this, especially if you are hard up, but if you can afford to pay privately for an mri scan then I think you should. I am a great believer in the NHS but my local hospital is in special measures and waiting lists for any procedure are very long. If a scan shows you have a seriously herniated disc you may be able to get treatment sooner (or you may be lucky and find that your sciatica really does get better on its own or with conservative treatment).

    I have degenerative disc disease and have been living with back pain for years but my sciatica started in March 2013 and pretty much ruined my life. As it progressed I became unable to sit down, drive, walk without limping, sleep properly and even put on my shoes and socks. I had to go through all kinds of treatment before I was finally offered a discectomy (folllowed by a revision discectomy within 3 weeks because my L5/S1 disc had become so compressed for such a long time that it fractured after the first op and had to be redone). In total I lost over a year of my life when I was consumed by pain every waking moment of my life in spite of being prescribed the highest dose of morphine patches and other medication. It's been nearly 3 months since the second surgery and, though my back pain remains as it was before, the sciatica is reduced by about 75% on average and I'm hoping it will go away altogether in time.

    If you can't pay for an mri or don't want to do so on principle then I advise you to ask for amitryptilene to help the pain at night, loose as much weight as you healthily can to reduce pressure on your joints and discs, avoid sitting whenever you can and walk every day even if it hurts. I wish you luck and decent treatment. The pain of sciatica is the worst I have ever experienced and often made me feel I would welcome death if it didn't end. 

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  • Posted

    Angela,

                 I read your last post and feel for you, it sounds like you have had a very rough time. On Friday I had a very nice phone call, saying that they had a cancelation on saturday at 6pm for an MRI scan, would I like it! Yes please thank you very much. So I had my scan on saturday and have to wait a couple of weeks for the results. So at least some progress. Coincidently I had sent an email to the Welsh health minister a day before! I had checked out going private last week as well. But have paid my NI contributions for 30 years so feel that paying for it myself is wrong. But thats where we are now in the UK. I wonder how long it will take to see a consultant and wait for an operation!

    I have been pretty fit most of my life, the odd knee injury through football. But I have never experienced pain like this and like you feel it has taken over my life. The amittripyline and gabapentin do nothing at all for this pain. Whisky is ineffective as wellsmile

    I wish you well and hope your pain goes as I do any one else who is suffering this horrible problem.

    Graham

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  • Posted

    Hi angela, i've had lumbar back pain and left leg sciatica for 14 months now. Due to herniated disc L4/5 and Previously operated on L5/S1(flattened). I go to an osteopath on a monthly basis. Walk every day about 1 mile. Do exercises and stretches given to me by osteopath daily. I was prescribed gabapentin/amitryptoline and co-codamol 30/500 in the first few months after problem started. But, now i only take 8/500 co-codamol(bought from pharmacy) when needed. Gabapentin turned me into a zombie lol. I am going to have steroid/pain relief injections into my back in 4 weeks. As physio/osteopath and tablets have only relieved 40% of pain. I actually resigned from my job as i could not carry on. Ice pack your back am and pm. Or use heat pad as well. 
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