Sciatica over 6 months, now unbearable. :'(

Posted , 22 users are following.

Hi, I've just joined & hope someone may be able to give me some hope.  I've had sciatica pain down my right leg now since January.  It came on suddenly one day & continued to come & go with my thigh muscle also contracting by itself.  In the last few days it has got much, much worse & is now constant. Saw GP 3 days ago & am being referred to surgeon probably for an MRI scan initially. I was given Gabapentin previously but found it didn't help the pain much & just made me so drowsy & kept eating!  Doctor has offered amitryptyline but I'm now sure, I'm already on Citalopram for depression. Has anyone tried this?  Does it work?  I am so desperate for pain relief, I am only 42 with a 3 year old daughter & I'm now unable to walk very well or even stand for more than a minute.    I haven't been able to go to work since Thursday & feeling so depressed with it all.  :'(

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81 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Bagoomummy - without an MRI there's nothing much you can really treat effectively. Be sure to see a good neurosurgeon and get treated aggressively. Certainly sounds like a compressed nerve, similar to what I'm dealing with. I recently had an MRI and was told I have a nerve that is compressed in the L-5/S-1 region and would benefit from a procedure called, Foramenotimy. 

    You've most likely reached the point where you are so disabled you can't live a life with much quality. Personally, although I have heard of Amitriptolene given for fibromyalgia pain and depression, I've never heard of it prescribed for such acute pain. Then again, I'm not a doctor.

    An MRI will show exactly what you're dealing with and at that point, you and your neurosurgeon can discuss the best way to get you back to normal. I know the pain you're going through. I have lived it and live it every day. The ball is in my court on whether or not to have that operation. I'm sure you'll face the same decision and I hope your issue can be corrected easily and quickly.

    Keep us posted and I wish you the best -

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much glenn06752 & everyone else who took the time to reply, I'm overwhelmed with the supportive response!  smile  Well today I spoke to my surgeon's secretary who can't give me even a consultation until 3rd of AUGUST never mind the MRI Scan I so desperately need. :'(    The thought of this level of pain for over another month is almost too much to bear!  I have some Gabapentin kicking around the house from before so I am going to start on them again out of desperation & I am also going to buy some Biofreeze to try as several of you have recommended it, anything is worth a shot!  I do indeed feel almost disabled by this, I've even resorted to using a stick over the last couple of days otherwise I'm panicking if there isn't a seat nearby or a wall to lean on when I need to lift my leg. sad On top of the pain there is also the worry of work, there is no way in the world I can do my job in this pain & I only get 30 days paid sick leave per year, my husband can't pay the mortgage on his own, I am just so full of worry.  It does help to know I am not alone with this though so thank you again to every single one of you that replied. x x 

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  • Posted

    I'm sorry. I too have the pain you have, and have had it for about 3 months.

    I've had xrays, and an MRI. They say everything looks fine.

    They've put in a request for a hip joint injection of steroids, but that'll take quite a few weeks to get approved and administered.

    They won't prescribe decent pain meds anymore anywhere because of the national fear of people becoming addicted, then turning to the streets for heroin, which strangely enough, is what I'm about to do because of the pain level, and the fact that I can't get anything better than a 5mg percocet.

    I'll probably end up blowing up my liver with all the ibuprofin, naproxin, advil, alieve, and everything else I'm taking to try and ease the pain.

    I will tell you there is a product called Biofreeze that seems to take some of the edge off.

    I found this forum out of desperation just like you, and I've found it to be about as helpful as breasts on a barrel of Kerosene.

    I wish you well, and hope for us all that we find a way out of this pain before we knock off a pharmacy, start shooting up heroin, or blow our brains out.

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    • Posted

      great suggestion on the biofreeze!  I use it often. It's about the only product that does take the edge off like you said. I have tried pretty much all of them and when you're dealing with sciatica, there's not much that really helps. Biofreeze is about the best.

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    • Posted

      Hi, may I just ask which of the Biofreeze products you think is best as I've had a look online & there is the choice of gel, spray or a roll on?  I'm keen to try it asap but want to make sure I get the right one for my sciaitica.  Also,it may sound a daft question but where exactly is best to apply it??  At the very root of the pain (for me that is lower back on the right hand side) or ALL the way down the pain site which for me is all the way down my right leg to just below my knee???  Thank you ever so much for any advice.

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    • Posted

      I use the gel and the roll on, Bagoomummy... I keep the gel upstairs and the roll on downstairs. I will sometimes take the roll on with me in the car depending on the day I'm having. It's not cheap but well worth it. I paid over 22 bucks yesterday for the two at Walmart. I apply it right at the spot of inflammation... or the spot that causes the problem.. My low back left side. I do not run it down my legs or buttocks. Some people do and it's all a matter of personal choice. 

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  • Posted

    Bio freeze I keep tubes in home . Best thing for sciatica or any muscle aches from neck downwards . It's in most chemist shops if in UK . I've got Pudental Neuralgia / Sciatica . It's agony sitting or standing for any length of time . Try Bio Freeze see if that helps at all I rub it well in . 

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  • Posted

    Hi Bagoomummy,

    Your situation sounds similar to my experience. I had lower back, hip and leg pain that built up slowly when standing for any length of time and those thigh cramps. I put up with it for about a year, taking occasional ibuprofen tablets and gels. Then one night two months ago the pain went right off the chart.

    I was prescribed naproxen and amitriptyline, then when I was desperate cocodamol as well. My own feeling is that none of these drugs seemed to really touch the pain.

    For me the saviour (so far) has been physio appointments and following a 10min daily routine of simple stretches and strengthening exercises.

    All I can suggest is, take the meds in case they work for you. Hang in there, if you're lucky and it slowly improves, get yourself some physio to protect yourself against it for the future.

    Good luck to you, believe me we all know your pain on this site...

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    • Posted

      Hi bbqjoe,

      I'm happy to share my routine for what it's worth, I do it first thing and last thing with an extra set in between on bad days. All are performed gently avoiding anything that causes more than slight discomfort and with deep steady breathing throughout:

      Lying down knees bent, head on small cushion....

      1. Both knees to chest stretch held 30secs

      2. Deep gluteal stretch held 30secs

      3. Sciatic mobilising stretch held out of pain while lifting foot up and down 30 times

      4. Trunk rotations with arms at side and knees together x12

      5. Pelvic tilts held for 5secs x10

      6. Both knees to chest stretch held 30secs

      7. Sitting up now, butterfly stretch held for 30secs

      This is not a comprehensive set of stretches, but as the physio said, it's better that you do the ones that feel "right" rather than getting fed up trying to do them all.... And I know they're working because if I don't do them for whatever reason the pain soon returns

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