Sciatica, help!

Posted , 18 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

Hey!

I'm a 21 year old female & I was diagnosed with Sciatica in December & it's been driving me crazy since. I have had back problems in the past as I done gymnastics from a young age & studied make-up artistry for two years, both which can strain your back, also my job of working in retail has not helped. I have been in & out of the doctor's & it recently got so bad I had to go to hospital, I have been referred to physio however the waiting list is at least 10 weeks long before I will get to see someone. I've been taking advice from doctor's, I am on medication however I don't find it is helping, I have been doing stretches, yoga, going swimming, walking for as long as I can before the pain gets unbearable & to no avail. It's gotten so bad I can't sleep at night because I can't lie in a position without feeling shooting pains through my calf or my thigh. I'm really at my wits end, I'm so frustrated & down all the time because the pain is constant & it's stopping me from living my normal life & going out at the weekend with my friends. Can anyone recommend anything else that might help? The pain started in my lower back & has now spread to my calf & in the past few days has been making my foot feel numb. I really don't know what to do, i'm so down sad thanks x

2 likes, 17 replies

Report

17 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Hello! I am so sorry for your pain, especially because you are so young! I can tell you my story but first of all, you need to get an MRI. It sounds like there is a herniated disc that is pinching on your nerve. You are not alone!

    I had the same issue. I could not sleep through the night for 3 months. Have you tried a steroid pack to reduce the inflammation? Have you tried Lyrica to lessen the nerve pain? How about pain killers? Ambien to sleep through the night? What about a steroid injection into the lower back area? All of these may help you to avoid surgery. The walking, yoga and exercising may help - also physical therapy.

    If none of these work for you, you likely will need surgery. I exhausted all of the above and finally had a microdisectomy. The pain relief was immediate and I slept through the night right away. It was a 45 minute out patient procedure. I do not like the scar and I do have some lingering numbness in my foot but it seems to be getting better. The recovery period is about 6 weeks minimum - but now I can resume almost all daily activities. I am quite a bit older than you are - I'm 54.

    Also, if you do opt for surgery, have at least 2 surgeons read your MRI and see what they recommend.

    Report
  • Posted

    Hey! Thanks for replying smile I feel like i've been taking every painkiller under the sun, cocodomol helps the pain to an extent but it makes me feel really drowsy & sick, & I was only given a 4 day course of this as I understand it's very addictive. I've been advised by women in my work who have had sciatica to push for a steroid injection but I have no idea how to go about it, I just feel that any doctor i've seen has taken me seriously, I just wish I could let them feel how much pain i'm in! I was going to book an appointment with a chiropractor but i've read some of the comments written on this & it's totally put me off the idea, I really don't want it to get any worse than it already is - the thought alone is making me squirm! Did your GP refer you for an MRI through NHS? I'm a student & I only work part time so I can't afford to go private sad x
    Report
  • Posted

    Poor you you have my sympathy,but you must have an MRI scan first of all,tell the doctor you cannot sit down on the loo and want to up your pain killers sounds as if your doctor is trying to save money with only 4 days

    worth of pills, and push for the scan quickly they are free on the NHS.Do not go near a chiropractor they

    are not qualified to treat sciatica as I found out to my cost.After my MRI scan the doctors upped my tablets

    and said it would go away,but 2 months down the line I was bedridden and finally saw the surgeon who

    got me in the hospital in a matter of days.It was found that I had a cyst growing on my spine and pressing on the sciatica nerve!That did not show up on my scan but it had grown in a matter of weeks.

    Wonderful the relief is instant,I am living my life again although not quite ready to go back to tennis.

    Good luck and shout loudly for the scan.

    Report
  • Posted

    Think you should be tested for Sacroiliac Joint Disfunction, I've had same for 11yrs and was misdiagnosed. Google it for info or check out the Facebook page. Drs in uk don't recognised this condition.
    Report
    • Posted

      Hey, I've just read over this post and ive been suffering from sciatica and a suspected sacrolliac joint dysfunction (I suspect this, no doctor will take me seriously) for 2 years now, how did you go about getting help? I don't know what else to do, I've seen various different people and they all state the joint has very low degree of capable movement, but through my two years of experience with it, and how my symptoms match everything ever written on Sac Joint D I know that's what I have! Any advice would be great!
      Report
  • Posted

    I've had extremely painful sciatica since January 2013 with 2 periods of respite - one for a month last June and more recently since mid January this year. I was thinking I'd have to have surgery or at least the steroid injection I've been referred for by the consultant I finally saw in the first week of this year. It took me 6 months before being referred for an MRI scan which is necessary to see a consultant. I'd advise you to request an MRI asap. No doctor offered me one despite me having been on co-codamol, naproxen and an increased pregabalin dose (for nerve pain). I had to be practically unable to walk whilst abroad leading to me coming back from my holiday after 2 days and collapsing in pain at the airport in tears.

    I've been seeing an osteopath since then and also have physio twice. The former has offered relief and helped me become relatively mobile again. Whilst I believe the latter has particularly helped strengthen the muscles supporting my spine. I'm determined to continue my daily exercises (possibly forever!) to stop the sciatica returning.

    I'd say insist you are referred for an MRI so you can be referred for treatment of one type or another. a 4 day prescription of co-codamol is ridiculous I get a month's at a time although have rarely taken them recently. The same with the other two drugs. The NHS website says that an MRI is the next step after painkillers, physio etc.

    I've managed to continue working even on the days when I've been sobbing in pain at trying to put my pants on!

    Good luck,

    Report
  • Posted

    I have had the problem a long time until i went to see an osteopath. The pain was so unbearable normal painkillers was not giving any relief. At times i totally froze on the spot due to the severe pain running from my back down my leg to the tip of my toe. It took 6 sessions. After this i am pain free from sciatica. Just one important note for anyone going to see an osteopath make sure the osteopath is registered. I hope u can try an osteopath and hopefully become free from this illness
    Report
  • Posted

    Hey there! I've just realised I've started a post which exactly describes your symptoms too! I was wondering you'd found any solutions at all since posting? I'm desperate to at least make my sciatica manageable. Like you I'm a 24 yr old female, and the sciatica is so bad it wakes me out of my sleep! Painkillers don't seem to be working and I constantly wake up with a sort of burning sensation through my calf, foot and toes. The only way to describe it is like when you are sick with a temperature and the backs of your arms feel tender, it's like x 100 of that! Please if you could let me know of any advice that worked for you I'd be very grateful! smile
    Report
  • Posted

    Hey everyone! Sorry for not replying sooner. I went to see an osteopath today & she was fantastic! It turns out my sciatica is being caused by a slipped disc so i'm happy that I finally know the full problem. My body has went into 'shock' mode - it's afraid of the pain from the sciatica - & the muscles in my back were so tight that I can't believe I never noticed before! She worked on these muscles & i'm feeling the effects already smile i'm still in pain but I really feel a relief & hope that it'll get better after a few more sessions. I'd definitely recommend this method smile in terms of medication i'm just taking paracetamol & back on diclophenac, the osteopath recommended putting a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel for 20 mins a day can help ease the pain too & taking nytol to help with sleepless nights! So excited to try them tonight & I have everything crossed that I get more than 4 hours sleep - she also said lack of sleep prevents the body from healing properly too & i'm hoping the nytol will help speed up the recovery! I'm not at the stage of surgery which I was really pleased to hear but my treatment with my osteopath may take 12 weeks to a full recovery as my posture has gotten so bad down to the sciatica - i'm leaning to one side to prevent the leg pains & spasms kicking in. I'm feeling really positive, I just wish i'd went to see an osteopath from the start now as it has now became chronic. Also turns out that the exercices my doctor had given me were not helping my back atall & I have been given new ones, so hopefully things are looking up!! smile just wanted to thank everyone for recommending an osteopath I would have never went or even known it existed if it wasn't for this forum! & of course thank you for your kind words, we can beat this condition!! :D x
    Report
  • Posted

    Hi from the US to the 21 year old who started this chain  (I'm a patient, not a doctor).  I hope what I am about to say helps. I am 61 now, and have had lower back and neck issues starting from a whiplash injury back in my early 20's playing American football.  I was able to get better in my early 30's and now I am having a Sciatica issue that just started 3 months ago and I am trying to figure out what to do.  I am hoping that the history I have with this will help.  For me, when the worst of the pain hit back when I was younger, my back would not support my just standing up. I would collapse, the lower back pain was so bad. I was able to get past those issues luckily.  After exhausting all medical doctors, I began seeing a chiropractor not an osteopath (but somewhat similar).  That really was not the complete solution for me (more to come) but it contributed. I did learn something from Chiropractic belief that your spine if it gets slightly out of whack and touches a nerve, will cause a chain reaction.  The muscles surrounding the impacted area are effected and tighten causing more pressure on the spine and more pain.  You could take medication, muscle relaxers, pain killers etc I did, but I stopped because it was a short term fix (and I never did like taking meds).  I'll try to just cut to the chase.  Here is what I beleive. Once the whole things starts, you need to relax those back muscles to reduce the pressure on the spine.  For me, I continued getting chiropractic adjustments but they were only temporary because when I went to bed my mattress was horrible and whatever the chiropractor did it was all wasted - the matress would just put my back out of whack again (I was having trouble speeping too like you).  When asleep, you need something that won't fight your body.  For me back then it turned out to be a water bed.  That was my cure.  It took about 6/8 weeks of sleeping on it (it did not happen overnight and I was still in pain on it for awhile) and I continued seeing a Chriopractor during that time.  It's been awhile since then, a marriage, kids (my wife got tired of the water bed early on) - so regular, but somewhat good mattresses over the past 25 years followed.  My probem today I am being told is sciatica (tingling in my leg now, but when it first started, extreme pain all over my leg - I really did not know what was happenning since it was not isolated). I caused it by over exercising (getting old sucks :-).  I've had it for 3 months now and a trying to find a solution.  I am left now with just tingling and a little pain. I don't have a water bed anymore but I did buy a temporpedic bed.  If that does not work, believe it or not, I still have my water bed frame and I am going to buy a water matress and revert back to that.  In a nutshell, don't give up, don't over drug yourself (Advil or something similer at most), what your sleeping on is probably part of the problem, avoid surgery on the back (the spine is extremely fragile) if possible until you've exhausted all other options, see a chiropractor or osteopath.  If you decide on a really good matress or temporpedic or waterbed, that matress will need to be somthing that will contour to your body to relax muscles then give it time.  I will keep you posted on whether I am able to get rid of the tingling and pain.  Good luck!
    Report
  • Posted

    I forgot to add one more thing.  I did go to a doctor (an orthopdic for 2 visits) because I originally thought it was a muscalar issue.  He suggested getting physical therepy (gave me a prescription) and also an MRI and also that becasue of hte tingling, it could be a nerve issue - Sciatica).  MRI's are great if your insurance approves it.  My insurance said I must go through the physical therepy first.  So, have not gone yet, and I am trying out some other solutions first.  Will keep you posted.
    Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up