Sciatica, lower back pain & lump?

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi! I’m new here.

Searching for answers and hopefully some reassurance.

One day, I woke up, and I had pain in my lower back. It came on gradually, and continued to gradually get worse over 6 months. The sciatica pain started about 3 weeks after my lower back pain. Everything makes it worse. Driving is impossible, walking makes me want to cry. Bed rest doesn’t help. Sitting is out of the question. I can feel it all the way down to my foot. It’s also over time made lifting my left leg difficult too. I don’t know if this is connected. I have almost no reflexes in my right knee and ankle. My GP has referred me to a neurologist and for an MRI because of this and my right sided weakness below my waist. Every day is a battle and the pain is really starting to make me so miserable.  It’s starting to affect my life. 

I was referred two weeks ago, the wait is 8 weeks. So I appreciate I’ve got a while yet.

I’ve been prescribed Amytriptyline 30mg every night and I take ibuprofen and codeine most days, always when I work because otherwise I cannot make it through the day. 

About 4 days ago I felt a lump on my lower right side of my back. It’s hard, it’s not tender to touch but if I push it really hard it does hurt. I thought perhaps it was just swelling or I was just imaging it. Then yesterday, my partner put some bio freeze gel on my back and he said he could feel a hard lump. Is this related? Is it worth seeing my GP again , now that there is a lump? She didn’t examine my back, just tested my leg and reflexes etc. Or do you think it’s nothing to worry about? 

Any advice I would be very grateful for! Thank you.

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  • Posted

    Hi Libby, I have these lumps in my lower back, I’ve always had lower back pain to a certain degree and have always had these lumps. I don’t know what they are for certain but a couple of ideas. I went to an osteopath who said that they were inflammation and I’ve also heard of back mice. These are lumps that have been caused by a rupture in the fascia and that have nerve endings. Both make sense however my gp and physio have never heard of either?? I have the same as you, sciatica down into my ankle and sometimes big toe which gets so bad when walking that it leads to weakness and having to drag my leg. I’ve had an mri which showed bulging disc L5/S1 impinging onto the sciatic nerve. I have 2 very large lumps in the right hand side of my back too. All sounds pretty much the same as you. I’ve been referred to neurosurgeon but the wait is 28 weeks, hopefully you get there quicker than that 
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  • Posted

    Hi Libby,

    The MRI should tell whats going on also with the lump. Glad your getting a

    MRI that should show exactly what's going on. Let us know what you find out. If you can try soaking in Epson salt bath that might help.

    Take care

    Jackie

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  • Posted

    You need to see a neurosurgeon...period.  MRI and then maybe a CT/Myelogram with contrast.  Disc bulge?  Bone spur?  I've had both.  Very frequently the cause of pinched nerve roots resulting in sciatica symptoms.  I've had mine fixed by decompressive laminectomies...quick, same day surgeries.  Immediate major relief with the irritated nerves resolving in a week or so.

    I'd usually recommend starting with non-invasive therapies so a trip to a good chiropractor might help diagnose the bulge right away.  Is something out of alignment or is this really a disc issue.  For minor disc problems, PT and/or acupuncture sometimes help.  Forget pain shots...they may work but just mask the underlying problem.   

    You might try some Voltaren Gel (RX in the US, generic diclofenac elsewhere).  Great topical anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.  Check with your doc/pharmacist for interaction with your current meds (usually very rare).  An OTC Lidocaine patch may also help temporarily.  I would also say to try an inexpensive ($25) TENS unit but I don't think that will help much.

    So...  If there's a freaking huge bulge in your back, see a neuroSURGEON...not a neurologist.

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  • Posted

    Hi libby-j08685,

    There's lots of people on this forum who will feel your pain, myself included!

    The difficulty lifting your leg is unfortunately normal with bad sciatica, along with some numbness and weakness. I lost most of the feeling in my foot when I was at my worst.

    My best advice would be to speak to your doctor asap about the lump, as it's not something I've really heard of when it comes to sciatica. It's great that you've actually got a referral for further testing - quite rare these days. Amytriptinline is good for the nights, however I would also ask about being put on a nerve based painkiller, for example gabapentin; as codeine and ibuprofen are not the right type of pain killer for sciatica. They definitely helped me to get moving again, allowed me to participate properly in physio.

    Good luck & I hope you feel better soon. Though it's difficult & can make you terribly miserable, try not to let it get you down, as it sounds like soon you'll be getting the help you need!

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  • Posted

    Hi Libby, I have has bilateral sciatica for 4 months and i too have  a hard lump on my  lower back, mine is on the left which, is tender when pressed. My worst effected leg is my right the pain goes to my ankle and outer foot, the left side is buttock and mid  hamstring  pain only. I too have lost reflex to right ankle and frequently get pins and needles in my right foot. I also get pain around my  coccyx. If you are worried re your lump see your GP. Can i ask is the amitriptyline giving you some relief? I have been on it in the past and it worked for some nerve pain i had but, it was hard for me to get off it so reluctant to go on it especially if i get no relief. I am currently weaning off of Gabapentin which, i was prescribed but, as it does nothing apart from making me a like a zombie. I got up to 300 mg 3 x daily  and am currenly on 100 mg once a day as i was advised to wean off  it as not helping and given a prescription for Amitriptyline. I was also given tramadol (no way never again, took one and slept all day) then given cocodamol but, only take  now and again as addictive like tramadol and will stop working so do not like to take.  I do take naproxen which, is a stronger non steroidal anti inflammatory med so good for the inflammation from a bulging disc. I did try to stop this and the pain was even worse so truly does help to a degree. I have been having physio for many months and have also  seen a chiropractor alas with no improvement. I do cold and heat and am having an MRI 24th October. I do mindfulness to help with the pain and relax as i am very  tight which, is not helping my back xx
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    • Posted

      I've had sciatica dozens of times over the years.  When it was bilateral, my neurosurgeon diagnosed it as bilateral foraminal stenosis...could barely walk.  Cured immediately by a Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (LLIF).  Search YouTube for "Globus LLIF" to see an animation of the procedure and "Globus Calibur" to see the device and how it is expanded to widen the space between the vertebrae, open up the foramina (the canals that the nerves run through) and take all the pressure off the nerve roots causing the pain.  One overnight, no rehab, no brace.  Miracle op.  No drugs.  Fix the cause of your pain...once and for all.

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