Symptoms of Sciatic

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hello Everyone,

I am pretty new to this Sciatic world...Need your suggestion/advice to understand root cause.

I have pain in the lower back last 3 weeks and mostly on left side (middle of left side buttock and I can feel the pain in left side buttock exactly when I do Cobra pose) and back of the calf on left side.

Pain is not so constant, I feel pain in calf (not lower back) when I stand for more than 15 minutes but when I sit I have pain in lower back(not calf)

Going by symptoms and trying to find answers with Dr. google., it looks like Sciatic symptoms.

Also going by various literature found that Sciatic can be caused by different reason, understanding root cause is more important for resolution.

  1. Herinated Disc
  2. Degenerated Disc
  3. Piliformis Syndrome

I tried going to two different chiropractor, both of them did my muscle/nerve analysis/x-rays and telling me that it could be Sciatic but they are not relieving on what's the root cause, but they are providing overall assessment of spinal cord (aligning towards left side more and left hip alignment) and providing spinal care package for 2 months with 3 adjustments/ week which they say even Sciatic will be addressed. Personally , I was not convinced with this approach and didn't opt for Chiro spinal care yet.

Now thinking to go for Ortho doc since I feel knowing the root cause is more important to cure the pain rather than just symptoms. Hoping Ortho doc would suggest MRI which can throw more light on my lumbar spine.

Is their any other suggestion to diagnose the issue as I mostly suspect it could be Herinated disc since I do desk job last 15 years and probably I may be wrong as well.

I do have doc appointment next week, in meantime doing some simple stretching exercise for hamstring.

Thanks in Advance.



0 likes, 20 replies

20 Replies

  • Posted

    hi, steve...

    go to youtube..and look under


    sciatic pain help


    good luck!


    • Posted

      Thank You --Jolien. I did spent time on and got lot of awareness on cause/symptoms/treatment options

  • Posted

    It could be multiple issues, hundreds of causes for such pain. First thing is get referral for MRI and see ortho dr.

  • Posted


    If it's really a spine issue, you need to see a neurosurgeon and get a CT/Myelogram with contrast. It's the "gold standard" test for the spine. Just had one two days ago in preparation for my next fusion. Fun and games...

    • Posted

      Hi Chico,

      Thanks for valuable suggestion on CT scan. And Doctor here is taking one step at a time.....

      I did get X-ray to-day and X-ray remarks reads as follow:

      "There is a lumbarization of the S1 vertebral body. No evidence of compression fracture. No focal listhesis. There is mild L5-S1 degenerative disc disease. Lumbar lordosis is slightly straightened."

      What is not clear to me that when mild Disc degeneration happens, does the sciatic nerve get messed up....all the while I was thinking my sciatic pain is due to Herinated/bulge disc or Piriformis syndrome.

      Does X-ray alone can conclude the cause of sciatic pain is due to Disc degeneration alone ....or it could be combination of any of them which probably physiotherapy will take long shot since I don't have MRI/CT test but with x-ray alone at this point.

    • Posted

      Hi Chico,

      I was reading your fanastic post (

      Yesterday I also been to chiropractor who told that my left hip is higher than right hip. I am not sure whether this misalignment as mentioned in your post is also cause of Sciatic.

      I decided to opt ortho doctor route instead of Chiro path, Today Doctor's x-ray on lumber spine (not hip) suggested Physiotheraphy due to mild Disc degeneration. I am not sure whether Physiotheraphy will also address on misalignment.

    • Posted

      A PT can help realign your hip with a "device" they let you lay on for 15 minutes. I tried this once and it didn't work for me. I always use a chiropractor for hip/pelvic alignment problems because they directly manipulate your hips right on the table...PTs don't do that. Gotta find a good ETHICAL chiropractor who doesn't sell you care "packages" but who sets out a decreasing visit treatment program to address your problem.

      I make sure that I see my chiropractor on a regular basis since I have a history of locked SI joints and I don't want to deal with the sciatic pain caused by misalignment. For me, it's a proactive approach that works well if you have a history of the problem like I do.

      PS: Misaligned hips will absolutely cause a difference in leg length. People run out to buy expensive shoe orthotics (which don't solve the basic problem) when all they need is a few sessions with a good chiropractor. Since I have a metal hip, metal knee and two spine fusions, I had to find someone experienced in treating patients with all that hardware. I was sooooo lucky to find a great chiro close by.

      Not in the older post but... I got a bad case of sciatica five weeks after my knee replacement. Absolutely caused a misalignment because the body subconsciously shifts your weight from side to side to avoid pain. Believe me...a knee replacement is MAJOR pain!!!! She had my problem fixed in three weeks of decreasing visits. Been fine ever since.

      There is no "right" way to do this. You try something. If it works, great; if not, you try another modality. Chiropractic, PT, acupuncture, yoga...lots of non-invasive choices. NO RX DRUGS!!!!! You do not want to take things like Gabapentin (neurontin), Lyrica, Celebrex, Cymbalta, etc. to "relieve" nerve pain and then get stuck in side effects / withdrawal hell. OTC Ibuprofen max 10 days while you are undergoing your chosen therapy. Be your own best health advocate!!! Do the research, ask the questions, make a choice.

    • Posted

      X-ray is always done first...then an MRI...then the CT/Myelogram with contrast. The last one is done when surgery is deemed to be the best option as it gives the neurosurgeon the best detailed map of your spine so they know what's going on before opening you up.

      If the x-ray shows what you described, then you most likely be sent to PT (I prefer chiropractic) to see if that addresses your pain. If not, you "climb the ladder of care" as dictated by the insurance companies. MRI, pain shots, Myelogram, surgery. Of course you can try chiropractic, acupuncture, yoga, etc. There are lots of non-invasive choices.

      The problem is identifying the root cause of the pain. Find it and solve your problem. This is always trial and error as you run through the different modalities. Know that there is no "silver bullet" that works immediately. Any technique will take multiple sessions over a few weeks to a month to see if it is effective. That sciatic nerve is very inflamed so it will take a while to calm down. OTC ibuprofen 10 days max will help.

      Note: The disks in the spine of a human body have not evolved to last 50-60-70-80 years. It's just a fact. As we get older, disk issues are 100% inevitable. The question is whether or not they are leaning on a nerve and causing pain. If yes, only surgery can permanently fix the problem (in my opinion). That's what's worked for me. A simple laminectomy or bone spur removal is, to me, trivial surgery and usually clears up all the pain in a week or so as the inflammation in the nerve subsides.

      I've had two laminectomies and two fusions to clear up my spine issues. But then I played hockey for 45 years so I have really abused my back and joints. With 4 1/2 pounds of metal in me, I'm the TSA's worst nightmare at the airport. Docs are literally turning my insides into a Terminator!!!

      Find the cause...get it fixed. Seems simple but sometimes it just takes time to find what works. Have fun...

    • Posted

      Hi Chico,

      Thanks for detail input and sharing your experience. Good to know that the journey to sciatic treatment is always trial & error and its not black & white as well especially when you take take insurance protocol to follow as guidelines for everyone based on symptoms irrespective of the root causes.

      I am now evaluating to see Chiro instead of physio but only challenge is to find good chiropractor in my location who genuinely interested in treating what is needed . Lets see how it goes and will keep you posted.



    • Posted

      Avoid ones that try to sell you on care "packages". Besides the metal knee, I have a metal hip and two metal lumbar spine implants. I interviewed a number of chiropractors until I found one with a lot of experience dealing with metal, since you cannot apply pressure to those areas. My chiro is gentle yet firm, a very wise healer. She has helped me out of a lot of painful situations.

      Example: I had a really painful hip pointer one time. My doc gave me 800mg ibuprofen and told me to lie down. Went to Heather. She touched the quadratus laborum muscle in my back just above my left kidney. The pain shot right to the tip of my hip. Two sessions and it was gone. Chiros know ALL the trigger points for pain and how to fix them. That's why I recommend chiropractic as the first, non-invasive step. If it doesn't work, climb the ladder.

      There have even been times Heather has examined me and told me that the root cause of my pain was beyond her capabilities. She never just took more money. That's when I go beyond chiro.

      You have to be your own best health advocate. Take nothing at face value. Question the doc until you get the answers you need to make a good decision. No Mr. Nice Guy. Get what you need or find someone who can provide it.

  • Posted

    Hi All,

    I did get X-ray to-day and X-ray remarks reads as follow:

    "There is a lumbarization of the S1 vertebral body. No evidence of compression fracture. No focal listhesis. There is mild L5-S1 degenerative disc disease. Lumbar lordosis is slightly straightened."

    I see 3 different concern/topics from above x-ray remark from common man understanding:

    1. lumbarization of the S1 vertebral body
    2. mild L5-S1 degenerative disc disease
    3. Lumbar lordosis is slightly straightened

    Not sure, from above 3, what is correctable by physiotherapy/chiropractor/Doctor/myself. Does this above x-ray remarks call for any concern,

    Doctor advised to perform physiotherapy initially and some anti inflammatory medicine ,if the sciatic pain doesn't reduce after 6 weeks than I qualify for MRI test.

    Have scheduled appointment with physiotherapy for coming Monday:

    What is not clear to me that when Disc degeneration happens, does the sciatic nerve get messed up....all the while I was thinking my sciatic pain is due to Herinated/bulge disc or Piriformis syndrome.

    Does X-ray alone can conclude the cause of sciatic pain is due to Disc degeneration alone ....or it could be combination of any of them which probably physiotherapy will take long shot since I don't have MRI test but with x-ray alone at this point.

  • Posted

    mild disc degeneration is generally nothing to the worry about. I've had it on and off for years and no issues.

    My sciatic nerve problems arise from a hip and back trauma that caused my sciatic nerve to adhere to muscle in my buttock. I've had two surgeries and all available treatments so I'm at the final surgery. The surgery with sever the sensory nerves from spinal cord from L3 to S1, so while the nerve remains adhered and abnormally functioning, I won't feel it and my dystonic spasms will settle in time.

    It's a dangerous, specialized surgery but my last hope. I'm very nervous.

    • Posted

      Hi Melissa,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I hope that your specialized surgery goes fine.

      My prayers for you.



    • Posted

      Thank you and to Rommon as well. It's called a DREZ procedure and takes around 10 - 14 hours. Dorsal Root Entry Zone where they use super heated probs to literally burn the nerves root at is comes out of the spine, so they die.

      The lumbarisation from your XRAY is a condition present at birth when the lumbar spine is NOT connected to the sacral spine. Over time, it can cause pain, arthritis, buttock pain, sciatic pain. Your condition is far from average and you definitely need to see a surgeon. No amount of physical therapy long term will fix this as it is an anatomical issue that has got worse. I'd go another surgeon if I were you. To confirm my suspicions and find a proper diagnosis, an MRI is needed. PLEASE don't see a physio before you have a concrete diagnosis. Harm can be unintentionally done. I was treated for many times by physios but because the underlying cause was not treated (I'd had sciatic nerve release surgery but it had gone wrong), I was in horrendous pain during every session.

      It took 4.5 years of literal hell and 3 years of hospital for the drs to finally find out via more surgery that the 1st dr had completely messed up the surgery and my sciatic nerve was stitched to the back of my hip. 4.5 years of damage, scar tissue and adhesions has pretty much destroyed it.

      I'm just saying, get a full diagnosis etc before you start treatments.

      Good luck.


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