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sciatica

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by valencia, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. valencia

    valencia Occasional commenter

    Hi, anyone suffer from this? Mine has been dormant for a while but has flared up this week, needless to say, i am in agony, got a GP appointment on friday of this week, just wondering if there is anything i can do til then..I can't take Brufen as already on BP tabs, thanks in advance
     
  2. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    I've had sciatica on and off and my GP recommended Mackenzie exercises - there are a few Youtube videos with them. They do help, but you have my sympathy.
     
  3. valencia

    valencia Occasional commenter

    Thanks, i'll take a look.
     
  4. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Hi @valencia Yes I do. To be more precise, I have chronic neuropathic pain in my back with acute 'episodes' (I call them flare ups) caused by a stretched nerve and complicated by slight scoliosis (I've had this injury since 2001 but I only got a proper diagnosis 3 years ago). You have my sympathy. I also have a Robert McKenzie back book and perform these stretches twice a day. In addition, I do the following:

    1. Perform yoga stretches every morning.
    2. Perform back conditioning physio exercises every evening.
    3. Practise the Alexander Technique alone for 20 mins everyday and with a teacher for 40 mins after work every Friday (this has made a big difference to me).
    4. Carry around a bag full of paracetamol, 400mg Neurofen express Ibuprofen tablets and 8/500mg co-codamol.
    5. Wear support insoles in my shoes and perform foot stretches that I have found on youtube twice a day (because I am flat footed. My podiatrist and Orthopedic surgeon both said that there is no correlations between wearing insoles and improved back pain and the choice is mine. I feel better when I wear the insoles, so I continue to do so).
    6. Only wear skechers or Birkenstock shoes (others are too painful)
    6. Until 24th July this year, i was also taking a daily 100mg dose of Gabapentin.
    7. I use a hot water bottle if I cannot stretch my back or AT is not working.
    8. I have a warm bath with Epsom salts and Neals Yard Lavender Bath/shower gel or the Cypress and Fennel bath oil/lush products (jam bubbleroon is good as it contains geranium oil which is said to help with nerve pain).
    9. I have a tens and inferential machine as well but these do nothing for me these days.
    10. I have a pain gone pen from Lloyds Pharmacy which sometimes helps with the flare ups.
    11. I take a calcium supplement (it does wonders for my nails too).
    12. Sometimes walking helps, other times not.

    I have little time for the following suggestions as NICE states that they are not effective for this type of pain:

    1. Acupuncture.
    2. Seeing a Chiro practitioner/or similar type of complementary therapist.
    3. Fiddling around with tennis balls/rollers under my feet.
    4. Paracetamol only for dealing with the flare ups.
    5. Exercises which strengthen my core (the idea of core stability and weak core muscles as a cause of back pain like mine is a myth. Also, my 'core is now stronger' from the exercises that i do and my pain levels continue to fluctuate rather than miraculously disappearing).
    6. Taking opiates, apart from Co-codamol (I only use this sparingly when the other things make no difference to my pain).

    Hope the above helps (please check with your GP before trying as if your sciatica is caused by something different to a stretched nerve, you may do more harm than good) and I hope that you feel better! :)
     
    HelenREMfan likes this.
  5. valencia

    valencia Occasional commenter

    Thanks ATfan, that advice is really helpful.
     
    ATfan likes this.
  6. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    YW :)
    PS. I don't recommend wearing a back brace or belt either. Btw, i forgot to add that back in the days when i thought my back problem was a ham string problem, I used to wear deep heat patches on my leg. They were fantastic! I can't wear the back ones though for a practical reason which I do not wish to elaborate on in public (I hope you get the drift of what the problem is). If more of your pain is in the leg and foot, this might be an option for you as well? Deep heat patches are the best ones, I found because they are warmer and safe enough to wear directly on the skin (at least they were for me).
     
  7. serenitypolly41

    serenitypolly41 Occasional commenter

    If anyone has the answer to what is causing the burning prickling sensation that I get when I walk, I will worship you forever. I dont know what it is. Circulatory? Or the Nervous System?
     
  8. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    You really have my sympathy. I have quite severe osteoarthritis in hips and knees and lower back. However after a rather foolish afternoon when I sat in a very unsuitable chair..... I did i dont know what to my back and that night I had an attack of sciatic nerve pain. I have never known pain like it .... I am not a wimp... played bloody field hockey for goodness sake.... etc but I admit I cried with the pain. I couldnt sit in any position, stand or as I tried to do on the paramedic my girls called... even get into bed. I did eventually get on the bed and I had 40 mins gas and air..... more than when giving birth !! I forget which pain killer he gave me.... it might have been Amitriptyline which I got subsequently from the GP. I took them for a while.... and they caused me to have very vivid dreams..... and I talked in my sleep...in fact woke myself up on occasions having conversations ! It eased..... and I took myself off those meds by degrees as I wasn't over-happy taking them.
    It hasn't returned but...if it makes sense... I know it could be there in the background. I am very careful how I move.
    I totally agree re the exercises described above.....
     
    ATfan likes this.
  9. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    Heat and gentle stretches were the only things that seemed to help my sciatica. Mine is always grumbling away in the background, and it's very painful when it flares up.
     
    ATfan likes this.
  10. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Poor Rosie! Didn’t know that you had the same problem as me. @HelenREMfan I used to cry with pain too but rarely since doing AT as I can now ‘direct’ (my AT Teacher’s term) some of the pain. Nothing wimpish about it! Noel Fitzpatrick says that nerve pain in both humans and animals is the most painful and difficult type of pain to treat. Amitriptyline and Gabapentin are the first drugs of choice for nerve pain, so it probably was amitriptyline that you got. Hope that it helped you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
  11. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Depends on what you mean by burning or prickly. Does it appear suddenly and move up and down the foot or leg? If so, then yes, it's probably nerve pain as this happens to me a lot.
     

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