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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 1999
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    Rochester, NY
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    Default What have you done about the pain of sciatica?

    First of all, I am working with my doctor on this. I'm looking for alternatives that might prove helpful to get me through the next few weeks, when I will be going on a trip that I have been dreaming about for most of my adult life, a paddle-wheel steamboat cruise down the upper Mississippi.

    I have sciatica and have been dealing with it pretty well. I have been resting, but continuing to do most of my regular activities. The sciatica is mostly bearable during the day, though today is pretty bad. It's at night that it has been a real problem.

    I have been relying on cold packs and acetaminophen and the NSAIDS once in a while. To cope with the problem during my trip, my doctor gave me a prescription for lidocaine patches and for a muscle-relaxer, cyclobenzaprine. She said that the muscle relaxer would also knock me out, so that I could sleep through the night. She also told me to try them out before I went on my trip, to see how I reacted to them.

    Last night was a horrible night, so I did try them both out. The lidocaine patch did nothing. There was not even the slightest reduction in pain. The muscle relaxer didn't help either. It didn't even make me drowsy enough to be able to sleep. I tossed and turned all night. I was afraid that might happen. Benedryl doesn't make me sleepy either, like it does the vast majority of people.

    I have a call in to the doctor. I would just like to know what others have done, so that I might have alternatives to discuss with her.

    I don't want this thing to spoil my entire vacation, that I have dreamed of for so long.
    Originally Posted by Alagirl
    We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.



  2. #2
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Default

    Have you tried injecting the problem spot?

    Works well for me, for almost two years, if we hit the right spot.

    If that works, it would get you at least thru your trip, maybe.



  3. #3
    Louise is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    No, we haven't gotten to that yet. It's a pretty new problem for me. I've only been having the problem for a month or so. I think she's going through the "let's see if it will go away on its own" phase yet. I will ask about that when I talk to her, though. I'll try anything!
    Originally Posted by Alagirl
    We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.



  4. #4
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    Apr. 24, 1999
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    New England
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    Default

    I sleep with a very large pillow between my knees. It keeps me from twisting my lower back and back/stomach sleeping. It takes 2 or 3 night w/ NSAID's to get the swelling down.



  5. #5
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    Sep. 19, 2008
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    My sciatica is pretty much gone. This is no help for your trip, because it took my chiropractor 6 months to put it in "remission" and then I continued with regular visits for a couple of years, an occasional visit for a couple more years, and then only if I felt something start to get weird. I probably haven't been to see him in 2 years now. I also sleep with a pillow between my knees.

    I don't have any short term solutions, unfortunately. A naproxen and robaxin combo kept me out of screaming pain for the year and a half between my initial problem and when I finally found my chiro, but I was still in significant pain and walked with a limp.

    I can't recommend a good chiropractor strongly enough, but just like everything else they are not all created equal. Mine has a colleague fill in for him when he goes on vacation. She touched me once and never again, I just drugged myself up until he got back.
    Holy crap, how does Darwin keep missing you? ~Lauruffian



  6. #6
    Louise is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    I'll try the pillow between the knees. That's something that hasn't been suggested by my doctor. The NSAID/Robaxin thing sounds like something to try also. Even if it is short term.
    Originally Posted by Alagirl
    We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.



  7. #7
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    Sep. 19, 2008
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    If your pain increases at any point, don't hesitate to ice your back. It is extraordinarily unpleasant yet effective
    Holy crap, how does Darwin keep missing you? ~Lauruffian



  8. #8
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    Sep. 30, 2005
    Location
    Windy WY
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    Default

    I've had to deal with sciatica for years.

    What works for me is to try and not sit for long periods, take a walk everyday, do my stretching exercises on the floor. For me exercises targeting the piriformis give me relief. This website might help. (http://www.spine-health.com/wellness...ormis-syndrome) taking Advil at the first sign of pain, and a monthly chiropractic adjustment and massage.

    Good luck.



  9. #9
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    Nov. 28, 2000
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    Louise, I had/have a great massage therapist - it is not gentle, soothing massage to be sure, but she really helps.
    I also do yoga and pilates, some of the more basic, simply yoga stretches help immensely and you can do them easily.
    One of the simple ones is called the child pose. You go down on your knees and bend forward, resting your forhead on your hands in front of you, or directly on the floor.
    On top of that something like Robaxicet helps.
    Good luck - your trip sounds wonderful!!
    A FINE ROMANCE - JC Reg Thoroughbred - GOLD Premium CSHA - ISR/OLDNA Approved
    CSHA Brickenden Stallion Award Winner - for Performance offspring.
    Please visit A Fine Romance on FB!



  10. #10
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    Sep. 14, 2000
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    Louise, I had a terrible bout about 8 years ago. My MRI showed a ruptured disc. I was working in an office at the time, and sitting constantly. It was excruciating, and I was eating Lortabs by the handful. Ortho doc wanted me to go immediately to surgery. Those were his very first words. I, through my animal experience, prefer to start with conservative therapies, so I insisted on PT first. They worked with me and selected some of the Williams' exercises for me to do. Within two weeks, I was pain free, off all meds, and have never had a relapse. Whenever I even THINK I may feel a twinge, I pull out the exercises and do them for a week or so and I am good.

    Now, since I am back working with horses again, the physicality keeps my back happy. If I were still in an office, I would do the exercises every. Single. Day. I am a believer.
    Laurie
    Finding, preparing, showing and training young hunters, in hand and performance.
    www.juniorjohnsontrainingandsales.com



  11. #11
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    Feb. 26, 2007
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    Massage is a great start, especially if the trip is close. Tell them you have sciatica and they should work on your piriformis. If they don't, or don't know what your piriformis is, find another therapist.

    I have literally SOLVED some of my clients' sciatica with massage, but they MUST come in regularly and they MUST do the exercises/stretches I give them. If they don't, then they just have to keep living with the pain until they do.



  12. #12
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    Aug. 14, 2000
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    Louise, you know my recommendations.

    Physical therapy is my first and foremost and chiro. We talked about it at lunch yesterday.

    With PT, they have ultrasound, tiems (sp?), heat, cold, equipment to help and excercises galore. You will be given exercises to do at home and, if you do them daily, you will see improvement.

    Yes, both methods take time and $ but the relief from pain is so worth it. Remember in July I was planning on surgery for a torn meniscus. Now, thanks to basically going to the PT about 2-3 days/wk I'm no longer even considering it.

    Fred mentioned massage, a thorough deep muscle massage may be the ticket. I agree with Fred on massage 100%.
    Sue
    Back in my day, we didn't have as many warning labels because people weren't so dang stupid!



  13. #13
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    I'm glad to see you tried what the Dr gave you well before the trip.
    Sue
    Back in my day, we didn't have as many warning labels because people weren't so dang stupid!



  14. #14
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    Jan. 6, 2003
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    CT
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    Two words:

    Inversion Table.
    ........
    I'm an ass.. just read your entire post. I don't have much advice, but can sympathize. After a 7 hr drive to Chincoteague I was crippled. For 3 days. DH had percocets for his kidney stones, and they don't kill the pain, just make you care less. Ibuprofen worked slightly for me.. was eating about 600mg q4hrs.

    When I got home 1000mg methocarbamol and 400 mg of ibuprofen seemed to allow me to walk without a cane. Ice helped too.

    I'm so sorry you're suffering.
    Last edited by Sansena; Sep. 5, 2012 at 01:29 PM. Reason: add



  15. #15
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    Oct. 3, 2002
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    Boogerville, USA
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    I've had sciatica off and on for the past 36+ years due to a crushed pelvis & bi-lateral complete dislocation of the sacrum.

    NO kind of pain meds help ... expect the ones given to late stage cancer patients; even then it is only partial.

    I find my TENS unit helps better. Also with hot-and-cold applications to the source.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2007
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    In my instance, unfortunately, surgery was the only remedy - something about removing the piece of disc that had lodged in my sciatic nerve and pushed it out of the channel

    So my first question is: does the doctor know why you have sciatic pain? If they don't know the cause, then you are just treating the sypmtom and not the cause. If it is inflamation, then iboprofen taken conisitently should help, as will ice, massage, pt, and maybe chiro. (I am hesitant about a chiro because in my instance had I seen a chiropractor without the MRI, permanent damage could have resulted )

    If it is a bulging disc, then all of the above and possibly an epidural steroid shot.

    If there is a non-specific cause go with the first set of instructions and add reading John Sarno's book, Healing Back Pain. All of the above helped me and I lead a relatively pain free life. (But, I have never stopped the pt exercises and the stretching.)



  17. #17
    Louise is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    I have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow, so all of these suggestions are very helpful. I'll pass them all by her, because, yes, my goal is two-fold -- to get me through the trip and also to work out a course of treatment that works, long term.

    Keep 'em coming, please. Even just knowing that there are other people out there who know what I'm going through helps. What's the old saying? Misery loves company?
    Originally Posted by Alagirl
    We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.



  18. #18
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    Nov. 8, 2007
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    In my case, my sciatica goes away if I lose a certain amount of weight. I know, not good for the short term, but might help as you get older. I would like to try those exercises, though.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fred View Post
    Louise, I had/have a great massage therapist - it is not gentle, soothing massage to be sure, but she really helps.
    I also do yoga and pilates, some of the more basic, simply yoga stretches help immensely and you can do them easily.
    One of the simple ones is called the child pose. You go down on your knees and bend forward, resting your forhead on your hands in front of you, or directly on the floor.
    On top of that something like Robaxicet helps.
    Good luck - your trip sounds wonderful!!
    THIS.

    I'm pregnant and teach Zumba. My sciatica, in the recent month has started acting up. I had no idea what it was, just knew my left butt cheek was throbbing after my classes Asked my mom and she suggested it might be my sciatica and that if it progressed down my leg then I'd know.

    Guess what just started yesterday? My left thigh now kills in the back. I talked to one of our yoga instructors last night after teaching my Zumba class and she gave me a few poses to try. Did them before bed last night and guess who doesn't have (as much) pain today? ME!

    I'm going to start staying for the yoga classes when I can and doing the exercises she showed me before bed and when I get up.

    I've been going to a chiro since I was 12 (minor scoliosis and now office related shoulder issues) and really don't want to go back right now while I'm pregnant. I am getting a massage soon from a licensed friend so am hoping that will help with the lower back pain that I get when I wake up. But the yoga positions have really been a life saver for my leg now.

    I just hope this isn't something that lasts after pregnancy!
    Friend of bar.ka!
    Quote Originally Posted by MHM View Post
    GM quote of the day, regarding the correct way to do things:
    "There's correct, and then there's correct. If you're almost correct, that means you're wrong."



  20. #20
    Louise is offline Schoolmaster Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BabyGreen View Post
    In my case, my sciatica goes away if I lose a certain amount of weight. I know, not good for the short term, but might help as you get older. I would like to try those exercises, though.
    Actually, I have now lost 76 pounds (8 more to go to reach goal) and was thinking that my weight loss might have caused things to shift just enough to cause me trouble. I do know that the weight loss has helped my arthritis immensely.

    And, boy, if there are exercises that I can do to help, I'll surely be doing them. I'm going to try the exercises suggested above, as long as my doctor gives the OK.
    Originally Posted by Alagirl
    We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.



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