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Back and sciatic nerve pain

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by 19sunflower, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. 19sunflower

    19sunflower New commenter

    Hi all,

    I´ve been having recurrent back pain for around two years now. I had my first attack of sciatica on 1st March 2016. I attended physio and noticed an improvement, but had a relapse about six weeks later and had to be on more medication and off sick. In November last year I had sciatica again but only had one day to recover as I had to go back to work the following day. I had weekly physio sessions from mid November to the end of January.I go to a stretching class once a week which helps.

    However, I´ve been getting worse recently and I´m not sure whether it has to do with my job and sitting for long periods of time or the way I walk (my strength is in one side).This week has been particularly bad as there was a theatre production in school and I had to sit on a table. It´s very likely that I developed a bad posture because -i noticed pain in my hips and bad the next few days. On Monday I could barely move.

    Has anyone experienced anything similar?
     
  2. cheekychops

    cheekychops New commenter

    Yes.! I think thirty eight years sitting on small chairs in nursery and reception has contributed to my lower back problem. Like you I have had physio which has helped ,
    but for me Pilates once a week seems to be the answer. I do have flare ups now and again but just up my floor exercises at home.
     
  3. 19sunflower

    19sunflower New commenter

    I went to the doctors on Monday and I was prescribed paracetamol with codeine along with more of the painkiller that I have been using. I also use a deep heat cream. I find night time he is hard because I wake up with terrible backpain. It is getting me down.
     
  4. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    You have my sympathy. I developed sciatic pain last autumn. I already have the pain of osteoarthritis in my knees and hips and the sciatic pain overtook that. I have had sessions weekly with a sports massage specialist which has helped. The referral I got to NHS saw them allocate me a place on a chair exercise session which was a big mistake as there was no differentiation and a couple of the exercises I followed exacerbated the condition dreadfully!
    On pestering at my gp surgery I was given Amitriptyline. I was a bit put out when I read the 'bumf' and read it was an antidepressant and also used for juvenile bed wetting! A friend of mine then told me she took it to relieve sinus pain following a bad fall she had had. Apparently it is supposed to help muscles relax on getting to bed. When I started taking it a couple of hours before bed time I found it worked better in letting me sleep. I cannot however recommend the side effect of a very dry mouth and on a couple of occasions I have been drowsy for most of the following morning !
    The really dreadful experience I had was the Friday night when everything went into the most painful spasm. I could not find any position which gave me any relief. It was so bad the family called an ambulance! As a former hockey player I am not a wimp but I was crying with the pain! A paramedic came and he was very good and he gave me gas and air. 40 mins later I decided to try and get into the bed.... the pain had subsided somewhat and the pain killers had started to kick in - plus I didn't want to have to go to casualty and sit there for hours in that pain. When my therapy lady came that week I told her about it and she said she was 110% sure what had happened in that the muscle spasms had sent everything in the opposite direction and the L5 lumbar vertebra was in trouble. I never ever want to experience that again.
    So my advice would be to keep on at the GP to get this problem sorted and to be very careful how you move, sit and lie down whilst these issues go on....
     
    ATfan likes this.
  5. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    Can you ask your GP to be referred to a pain clinic? I had a bad back and sciatica on and off for several years, triggered I believe by lifting a very heavy sofa. Sometimes I was bedridden for several days because it was such agony. I found that exercises helped to an extent. Eventually I had a lower back x-ray that showed that two of the vertebrae had effectively fused ie there was no or very little disc. In my case I also at this point discovered I had hip dysplasia resulting in both hips being replaced. Never had any lower back pain since, touch wood. Have you had scans or x-rays that show what has happened? You have my every sympathy, back pain is horrendous and you can't get away from it. It might help a little to take a cushion with to sit on.
     
    ATfan likes this.
  6. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Yes. I've had neuropathic pain in my back for 16 years. It's only since doing the alexander Technique that I have noticed an improvement (as in, the pain is not going away but in terms of actually having a life). It's awful so you have my sympathy!
     
  7. BigHeaded

    BigHeaded New commenter

  8. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    I had an extremely expensive 10 session course of acupuncture when on a cruise (I know I know I shouldn't have done it) It did nothing at all for my arthritis but it did force me to lie down and relax for the hour so I suppose that did me good. I would however not go there again !
     
    ATfan likes this.
  9. BigHeaded

    BigHeaded New commenter

    I guess it is one of those procedures that is hit or miss. It worked wonders for my lower back pain.

    I have gout and my diet is something I have had to watch very closely and there are a few things I have worked into my diet that may help you with your arthritis. Avocados, Tart cherry, coconut water (prob the best thing to add to your diet), alkaline water and magnesium pills. Hope this helps
     
  10. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    I have started taking magnesium tablets......I do eat avocados......not sure about coconut water as I only am ok with actual coconut..... the rest of it.... yuk...dessicated coconut makes me heave :(

    Thanks for the tips tho....
     
    BigHeaded likes this.
  11. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I must be the world's expert on this subject. Don't take too many tablets but get to a good OSTEOPATH. I have gone through exactly what you are describing and still am. Often it is the piriformis muscle that runs from the bottom of the spine to your hip that is the problem. It bears down on the sciatic nerve which runs parallel to this nerve, or sometimes through it, and then, from the hip, it goes down the leg. You don't get it on both sides at once, luckily. It is usually only the right side or the left. You can read a lot about this on the internet with good exercises, but the osteopath is the very man/woman to deal with this very common but painful condition. It can take a little while to heal it I'm afraid and, I know, it is very painful. Doctors are only general practitioners. I started with a doctor who just put me on painkillers to the point where I could only walk 3 steps. It took 2 years to get back to normal. You won't be this bad, surely. I have to tell you that my good osteopath says he gets 4 to 5 people coming to him weekly. So it is a common thing.
     
  12. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    I am wary of osteopaths as I am nowhere near a "stock size" for a female. I was born the longest baby the nursing home had ever had and have enormous feet..... tho they do or rather did match my height til I shrank a bit. ( I was 5' 11 now it seems I am 5'9 - 10")
    I was having regular therapeutic treatment from a qualified sports therapist til my last stint in hosp. I think my 2 pulmonary embolisms frightened her...... she said it might take time for the pain to fade and she was correct..... but it has now. Now I have the osteoarthritic pain.... (Preferable to the sciatic pain at its height!!!) I have a supply of Tramadol which I will keep by me/take on holiday should it ever kick off again!
    You are so right about it only going into one side......
     
  13. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    My 87 year old mother had sciatica last year. She normally has no truck with complementary medicine but was told by another old lady how acupuncture had sorted out her sciatica and was given the number of a therapist who made house calls.
    My mother went to her GP and asked what he thought about Acupuncture and he told her to go ahead as there were very good results from it.

    She ended up having four sessions and the Sciatica was sorted and has not come back. Coincidentally, it turned out that the therapist was a distant relation!
     
    BigHeaded likes this.
  14. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    NB. NICE does not recommend this for lower back pain due to poor evidence. Also, if like me you find that certain sensations set off your back pain at unpredictable times (e.g. a banging door, a driver braking suddenly or touch, even if it's gentle), tell the therapist this if you decide to have acupuncture, so that it can help you.
     
  15. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Glad that you got a rest! I admire your bravery in having the treatment as my back gets so sensitive that even someone touching me (even if it's nowhere near the back) can set my back off. I also used to have sport massage sessions but even the therapist and physio got freaked out when I had a flare up during one of the sessions. I was therefore later advised to avoid it. This upset me a little bit as it was great for loosening me up and helped my neck and shoulders (which are tight) a great deal. Even my AT teacher is careful with me on a bad day as the wrong type of touch makes it worse rather than better. One thing which is quite useful for some of the flare ups (then it's a spasm rather than a red hot pain) though is the paingone pen by Lloyds Pharmacy. It works on a similar principle to acupuncture and TENS combined in that it stimulates the body's natural painkillers but I can control the number and intensity of the jabs that I use with it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  16. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Another thing that I was advised to do was to take a calcium supplement, as this is thought to strengthen the spine. Funnily enough, this has also helped me during a flare up (still painful but I physically 'hold them' better when using AT to work with the pain if that makes any sense).
     
  17. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    Not a P&O cruise by any chance, administered by a young South American girl? I enjoyed chatting to her and getting the goss on the love affairs amongst the entertainment group but that was it.
     
  18. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Nope.... I always use Celebrity (so adult friendly ergo...so not focussed on kids with climbing walls and dodgems etc!) The Doctor was eastern European I suspect - very professional, very pleasant etc. I rather think my osteoarthritis is just too far gone...... I need new hips/knees... (well left hip and both knees for certain) Should have had the left knee done in 2008 when they told me I was 'too young' for a new knee..... wrong, wrong, wrong. What a hateful thing hindsight is.
     
  19. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    Sorry to hear that @HelenREMfan - I've had both my hips done and it was fabulous to not be in agony any more. Hope you can get them sorted soon.
     
  20. captain scarlet

    captain scarlet Established commenter

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