Sciatica anyone?

This is a direct result from the third time of being 'rear ended' in a car accident. It started in my right leg, then very quickly went to my left and has remained there since. Most of the time it is controlled with Lyrica, but never eliminated, sometimes the pain is off the charts. The sciatica is a direct result of a bulging disc, after three very reputable surgeons have passed on operating, I have given up on that possibility. Any other ideas?

Hi SK, I had problems with it for a long time, and did find some therapy that worked for me, but then there was never trauma involved. (There was and still is a bulging disc though).

The therapy that worked was something a physio on the skifields recommended - basically he said that that nerve, and everything enveloping it, could get tight like a muscle -(and with inflammation could get kind of ‘stuck’ - though I didn’t have PSA at that time - I think). Once it got tight, then it tended to react to every stimulus like it was an injury.

So the therapy was simple - sit on the floor, legs straight out in font, and do what you need to do to tell the nerve what is on, and what is off. Initially for me, it was just trying to straighten my legs in front of me - so straighten them for ten seconds (enough to case significant nerve ‘stimulation’ as he called it), then relax them for ten. Do it up to 5 times a day. Once straightening no longer stimulates the nerve, grab your toes and pull them back towards you.

Sounds crazy (or at least it did to me) and it may not work for you, but it might be worth a try.

Or you could always do the alternative, like I did in my first flare (not out of choice - no treatment) - just let your inflammation go crazy, and your legs will go numb anyway! ( I was celebrating a friends graduation from uni, I knew there would be good champagne and my husband to lean on, and I’d had no injury, so it was kind of obvious it was just inflammation, so why spend 12 hours waiting in emergency and miss out on the good champagne :slight_smile:

Thank you, Jen.

My doctor gave me a cortisone injection for my sciatica . It seemed to help me tremendous. It went away and came back recently . Ice really helps too… Not sure what,else they can do .

What about the cauterizing of the nerves that I'm going for? Or the thingie that's installed into you to trick your brain into not feeling the pain? The doctor said it works better for the leg region, so it might benefit you. Don't know if you can do it if you have diabetes though. And you can't have any MRIs once it's installed.

I have had some success with epidural blocks and cortisone injections of the nerve area. It is however, a temporary reprieve and things dont stay good for longer than a few months. I'm going through repeated sciatica attacks myself and a newer doctor (we have only been together for three years) who won't refer me out to a specialist for the epidural put keeps treating me with prednisone bursts which do help, but it is a monthly thing. I take my Simponi on the 6th, by the 15th - 20th my left side flares including my lower back, hip, knee and feet. I do a two week prednisaone burst get somewhat better, then take a new shot and wait for the cycle to start all over. It has been like this for months and is very frustrating.

I had had sciatica down my right side (now it is on the left) that was permanently helped by Lyrica. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to do anything for the newer case on my left side.

Oh, and a TENS unit really helps. You'll need a physical therapist to first set up the right frequencies to block your pain, but a TENS unit is great and is easily the best pain management expense I have ever made.

Hi Pet,

No, I don't have diabetes, good to know about not being able to have MRI's, thanks for that info, Pet. I am going to talk to all my Doctors about that.

Petunia Girl said:

What about the cauterizing of the nerves that I'm going for? Or the thingie that's installed into you to trick your brain into not feeling the pain? The doctor said it works better for the leg region, so it might benefit you. Don't know if you can do it if you have diabetes though. And you can't have any MRIs once it's installed.

I'm a believer in TENS. This is also one of the few conditions I will see a chiropractor for. However it has to "feel right." Not sure how to describe it, but the pain he can fix is different, subtle but different. I personally would not have the nerves burned again. It was sore as heck for several weeks, and an attack doesn't last that long for me usually. The ablation is only good for 6 - 12 months (Nerves regenerate about a MM a month) I have gone that long if I'm good with out an attack. If its frequent it may be different. Also FWIW I keep the sciatica in a seperate file cabinet in my brain, As it is a pretty normal thing for everybody, I just sort of don't relate it to the PsA. If nothing else Its nice to have "normal pain" now and again. It keeps things real........

You know, they have tried TENS on me for years now, and even on low it shoots me off the table! I have just never been able to take it, no matter where it is applied, and no matter who uses it. No, I'm wrong, an acupuncturist used something like that on me, instead of the suction cups, it was wired into the needles, perhaps it was the means of distribution that made the difference.

I know lamb, they have offered to burn my nerves at pain management several times, but because it was temporary and because they could never really numb me for the injections, I refused. My MD's and DC were not crazy about the idea either.

I do plan to ask them about this spinal stimulator, but wonder just how many areas they can 'get', if I had to choose one, not sure which, the tail bone from the stenosis, the SI joints, or the Sciatica. Right now, I would go for the SI joints, but tomorrow it could be one of the others.

The spinal stimulator is essentially a convenience item, just an implanted TENS. but please report what they tell you.

I see the DC next Monday afternoon, so he will be the first I discuss this with, may even ask him if he thinks he should try it (TENS) on me again. He knows my back better than anyone.

I am seeing a chiro ( not a cracker..especially with my arthritis)...and he helps me with a deep massage. He does accupuncture pressure while i am laying on the table, stomach down.....WIth his fingers, it hurts for a minute..and when i get up, my legs feel lighter

I've had the epidurals also, the ablations. They helped for the headaches, getting epidurals for the area that surgically fused in 1991..seems i am getting some arthritis above those disks now, C5

They didn't help the epidurals for the sciatica...i was surprised it just slowly went away, the massage from this chiro helped more than anything..I get sciatica, from doing too many stairs, and it can take awhile to go away.. Hurts to sit on my butt, the pain is behind the upper thigh...haven't had the pleasure of having it down my leg

Not going to try pulling weeds anymore..It started up the sciatica

..but i never know what to expect with 4 TKR's..and fused ankles( surgically fused)

I'm in my 60's, so this is all caused, the sciatica, the spondylesthesis i have, from DDD..degenerative disc disease.

Sadly the arthritis meds, the Remicade, doesn't help it entirely for my lower back....and i am refusing what they want to do, fuse L4/5/S1......There was a time about 5 yrs ago, i had this terrible groin pain, right side...hard to distinquish hip pain, ? back?......i really believe it was a bulging disc that dried up, and eventually went away

my chiro has told me, he has heard some horror stories, about some patients with only a bulging disc, and some docs were fusing their backs!

I do get the nueropathy, ball of foot, but i believe it's from on ortho/kne doc, who clamped off the nerve too hard ona knee revision..I'm diabetic now, hoping to beat it, but i had lots of chiro spinal decompression, and that darn numbness, took years to get better...but they couldn't rule out the back for making ball of foot area, numb..... sciatica, or stenosis ..but i still blame that ortho/knee guy..won't go back to him