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leg and derriere pain - Dr. says it's sciatica

pjrose

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ok, now people can legitimately call me a PITA ;) , at least till this goes away. I've had it for a week.

It feels like a muscular ache, maybe a 5-6 on a scale with 10 being the worst ever, sometimes with a bit of instantaneous nerve-seeming "buzzing" or weird tickly feeling. Goes down the back of both legs, but varies in how far - at least to the back of the knee, sometimes farther. Worse on the right than the left. Doesn't hurt at all when I'm sitting or lying down, just when I'm walking or doing stairs.

I didn't think it was sciatica because it's not excruciating, which I thought was the case with sciatica. I have no back pain at all - it starts halfway down the derriere. But after I did a few assorted moves in the Dr.'s office, he said I showed the signs of sciatica.

Going tomorrow for X-rays to check the vertebrae, and taking Prednisone in addition to Aleve and Tylenol.

I'm quite sure that a week or so with warm weather and sunshine and maid service and a pool and the Caribbean Sea would take care of it, but traveling there would literally be a PITA :rolleyes:

I know there'll be some TUG wisdom and stories to share! :hi:
 
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Talent312

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All I can say is that I wish you a speedy recovery.

The adage, "If you don't have your health, you don't have anything," is all too true. When I'm indisposed, it seems like there is nothing worth doing.
 

MuranoJo

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I've had a sciatica episode before and all I can say is it's a pain in the ars. ;)
Got it when jogging and just dislocated something, but I honestly couldn't sit for a few weeks. However, it only affected my hips and down one leg, not both legs.

Doctor told me I might need back surgery :eek: , but a second opinion told me to just take it slow and do some exercises and I'd eventually get back to normal. This same doctor told me about 95% of back surgeries are unnecessary. Not sure if that's true, but it worked for me--eventually worked itself out.
 

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An MRI may show a herniated disc or bone structure pressing up against the sciatic nerve causing the pain.
 

Passepartout

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Shucks PJ, that's a PITA for sure. All I can say is that life is better medicated. It's good that you don't have pain sitting or laying down. You'll be able to rest.

Kinda reminds me of the guy who went to the doc and said "It hurts here when I do this." The doc says, "So don't do that."

Hope you feel better soon.

Jim
 

MuranoJo

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PJ, I probably wasn't too helpful in my earlier post, but I just want to add I feel for ya. It truly is painful.

Just a suggestion: Try to elevate your knees at night with a firm cushion placed under your knees, so that the pressure is taken off your back. It will really help.
 

easyrider

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All I can say is that life is better medicated.

Kinda reminds me of the guy who went to the doc and said "It hurts here when I do this." The doc says, "So don't do that."

Hope you feel better soon.

Jim

Everything that Jim said plus, I Like Pain Pills when Im in pain. Vicodin works better than a chioprater for me.
 

pjrose

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PJ, I probably wasn't too helpful in my earlier post, but I just want to add I feel for ya. It truly is painful.

Just a suggestion: Try to elevate your knees at night with a firm cushion placed under your knees, so that the pressure is taken off your back. It will really help.

Yes you were :hi: . It's not horribly painful, more uncomfortable with painful twinges. I'll try your suggestion!


Everything that Jim said plus, I Like Pain Pills when Im in pain. Vicodin works better than a chioprater for me.

I can't take Vicodin - had it after surgery years ago and STILL remember the horrible scary hallucinations. I've never had a "bad trip," but I think this was probably like that.

Anyway, this doesn't hurt when I lie down or sit, and is tolerable with basic over-the-counter stuff, as long as I don't do too much walking or bending.

Sounds like a good excuse to lie down on the couch or in bed and read! It's kind of hard to use the computer that way, though.....perhaps I need an iPad with an easel cover LOL.
 

rickandcindy23

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I can't take Vicodin - had it after surgery years ago and STILL remember the horrible scary hallucinations. I've never had a "bad trip," but I think this was probably like that.
I thought I was the only one with this problem. I was paranoid after my hysterectomy while on vicodin. Rick would go to the firehouse, and I thought people were breaking into our house all night. I was glad to be done with it. I went off of it as soon as I could.
 

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I'd be asking the physician about ordering an L-spine MR scan. Good luck!
 
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I recommend moist heat, electric low back massager and acupuncture. But I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on TV.
 

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PJ, I sympathize.

Sounds exactly like sciatica (sorry, I've never been able to spell it)

I have problems with it. I've had it from my neck to my ankles. It can be excruciating, or simply annoying. The twinges you describe are dead-on.

bike riding is extremely good for it, but there are some easy exercises, too.

Lay on your back, bring one knee to your chest, hold. do the other knee. turn on your side, bring top leg up to chest, turn the other way, do the other leg. easy easy easy. you will feel it.

try to avoid sitting with your legs crossed. this is the worst offender for me. "The Pull" always starts in my hip and if I don't address it with the stretching, it gets worse and spreads.

I also take Alleve as the anti-inflam helps greatly. Doc gave me Naprosyn the first time I had the problem and it really helped. I don't think I have ever returned to see him for it since the stretches and Alleve get me past it.

I hope you feel better soon!!
 

MommaBear

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You are on the right treatment for early sciatica. If things don't improve in a week to 10 days, you may benefit from some PT or your provider may want to get an MRI. An MRI now wouldn't change the treatment plan at this point and it might really aggravate things to have to lie flat on your back on a hard surface for up to 40 minutes while getting the MRI. If you cannot lift your foot or leg or if you have profound numbness, then an MRI at this point might be worthwhile. (And if you cannot control usual bathroom functions get to an
ER immediately)

I also recommend the pillow under the knees. I am a fan of ongoing heat. I like the thermacare patches (rather than the back wrap) or something like icy hot or bengay. One of the problems with the sciatica pain is although it starts as a nerve irritation, it ends up making the muscles tight and aggravated, so anything to help soften the muscles helps the overall pain.

Good luck! It is truly a pain in the ass and you quickly find out how much we use our backs for when you cannot use it well! Hope you don't have to sneeze....

(and yes, I am a medical professional and have also had sciatica)
 

heathpack

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Sympathies. Sending you a virtual mini pie:)

H
 

pjrose

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Sympathies. Sending you a virtual mini pie:)

H

Hey, I'm feeling better already! And maybe you could send me some virtual popsicles? My favorite would be a combination of chocolate (of course), coconut, peanut butter, and banana.

I limped through the grocery store yesterday and bought the ingredients for Apple Butter Pie.

A friend makes this pie that's really a giant chocolate chip cookie.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/toll-house-pie-i/

I would definitely use less butter.

How do you think it might work in the pie maker?
 

aandmrun

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I'm not a doctor but....

Hi, I'm sorry to hear that you are in pain. I am not a doctor, but I do a lot of fast walking and sometimes get that pain up and down my legs. I discovered what I call my "magic" pill. It is an over the counter pain pill and works like magic every time. I introduced it to my mother (92) who was having "tired legs" after being on her feet for some time in the mornings. She said she takes it in the afternoon and relaxes on her easy chair. It is working for her too. It is Magnilife Sciatica Relief. Not all drug stores carry it, but I get it at CVS. Looks like the active ingredient is magnesium. I hope you feel better soon.
 

Phydeaux

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You are on the right treatment for early sciatica. If things don't improve in a week to 10 days, you may benefit from some PT or your provider may want to get an MRI. An MRI now wouldn't change the treatment plan at this point and it might really aggravate things to have to lie flat on your back on a hard surface for up to 40 minutes while getting the MRI. If you cannot lift your foot or leg or if you have profound numbness, then an MRI at this point might be worthwhile. (And if you cannot control usual bathroom functions get to an
ER immediately)

I also recommend the pillow under the knees. I am a fan of ongoing heat. I like the thermacare patches (rather than the back wrap) or something like icy hot or bengay. One of the problems with the sciatica pain is although it starts as a nerve irritation, it ends up making the muscles tight and aggravated, so anything to help soften the muscles helps the overall pain.

Good luck! It is truly a pain in the ass and you quickly find out how much we use our backs for when you cannot use it well! Hope you don't have to sneeze....

(and yes, I am a medical professional and have also had sciatica)

With due respect, just curious what field of medicine you're in. First, to suggest an MR wouldn't change the course of treatment at this stage is curious. Second, a typical l-spine MR takes 20 minutes max. Third, they wouldn't perform the MR without a generous size bolster under both legs (making most patients so comfortable they beg to buy the bolster and take it home with them). I too, am in the medical field - MR to be more specific.
 

pjrose

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Wow, as always, what a wealth of help from my TUG peeps!

I got a set of X-Rays today. The tech used a big bolster to prop me in various positions and I said I wanted one to take home; she said a lot of people ask for one. Then when I got home and back on TUG and read Phydeaux's mention of the bolster in the above post I cracked up laughing!

I couldn't sleep last night (needed that bolster!) but today it's feeling better. Either that or I'm too tired to notice it.

I appreciate all the advice, and will sort through it and try your suggestions, especially the knee pillow and exercises and stretching, and PT and/or MRI if recommended.

And pies, definitely pies LOL.
 
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MommaBear

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With due respect, just curious what field of medicine you're in. First, to suggest an MR wouldn't change the course of treatment at this stage is curious. Second, a typical l-spine MR takes 20 minutes max. Third, they wouldn't perform the MR without a generous size bolster under both legs (making most patients so comfortable they beg to buy the bolster and take it home with them). I too, am in the medical field - MR to be more specific.

I am an NP in the Emergency room. Obviously our MRI takes longer than yours- we always tell patients it is at least 30 to 40 minutes (and that may be just to prepare them if it takes a longer time and if it is shorter, all the better.) In early sciatica the goal is to reduce inflammation and pain, as most episodes pass without need for diagnositc studies. I am glad you use the bolsters- not every one does, and often those with back pain have a hard time lying still. Yes, we can use anxiolytics and pain medication to make the MRI more comfortable, but generally MRIs are not done unless conservative treatment fails.
 

MommaBear

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Hey, I'm feeling better already! And maybe you could send me some virtual popsicles? My favorite would be a combination of chocolate (of course), coconut, peanut butter, and banana.

I limped through the grocery store yesterday and bought the ingredients for Apple Butter Pie.

A friend makes this pie that's really a giant chocolate chip cookie.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/toll-house-pie-i/

I would definitely use less butter.

How do you think it might work in the pie maker?

Glad you are doing so much better! I have found that chocolate, often in combination with other wonderful ingredients, just helps to make the world a better place.
 

Phydeaux

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PJ, glad you're feeling a little better. Hopefully you'll recover without the need for any further tests, but if an MR is ordered, a friendly tip: Research your options on where you can have it done, and select a state-of-the-art (ask - how old is the system? When was it last upgraded?) high-field 1.5 or 3.0 Tesla system. Good luck!
 

Kay H

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I had sciatica in my rt leg from the spring until late Nov or early Dec. At first the pain went from one spot in my butt down to my knee. Some days bad, some days not so bad. I didn't do anything for it. The pain down my leg went away first but it always felt like i was sitting on a hard wooden bench with no pillow. Finally the whole thing stopped hurting. Thankfully it is all gone now.
 

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I had sciatica in my rt leg from the spring until late Nov or early Dec. At first the pain went from one spot in my butt down to my knee. Some days bad, some days not so bad. I didn't do anything for it. The pain down my leg went away first but it always felt like i was sitting on a hard wooden bench with no pillow. Finally the whole thing stopped hurting. Thankfully it is all gone now.

that's a long time to just live with it!

while I hope there is no Next Time, hopefully you'll be prepared to be rid of it a lot quicker!

PJ - glad you are getting better!! +1 on chocolate!
 
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