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Sciatica - ????'s

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  • Sciatica - ????'s

    I have certainly reached an age and enjoyed a lifestyle that has left me with many ongoing physical aches and issues. Recently, I've been having more and more issues with my right hip and radiating pain up to mid back and down the back of my calf. After loading and unloading/stacking some hay -- it got worse. It finally got to a point that it was just excruciating and every move or step enhanced it to the point that I took some hydrocodone that was prescribed when I had shoulder surgery and barely used. It dulled it enough to sit quietly and read. I dozed a bit, but at 1AM needed to re-dose and researched using Prednisone with it on the internet for whatever inflammation was also present. That helped quite alot and I managed to sleep. So, I haven't used more hydrocodone and took a Prednisone again a couple of times but haven't used in days -- just using OTC stuff. I am still "feeling" the tenderness and soreness in that hip and sometimes it is radiating. I had a sprained wrist over a month ago that is also giving me issues and every joint in my other arm has been injected or operated on. I've also had a fractured back from a horse-related incident (not one of mine!). Sorry for the lengthy rant -- but I'm scared to do anything after such extreme pain. Anyone had sciatica have advice or whatever? I need to get on a young horse (who is a good boy, though young and strong), that I need to keep training and sell and two in the wings to start. I have lots of horses and small animals to care for (hubby helps as much as he can), so it's hard to give this bod a rest. I'm so discouraged and ready to just chunk the whole thing and move to the beach. Will this get better or go away? It got bad so quickly it just scared me to death! TIA!

  • #2
    I don't have any advise just prayers. My heart goes out to you. My body is starting to break down too. This is gonna suck...
    I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

    Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.


    • #3
      I have found mine acts up (got it from being pregnant with my daughter and having the leaf springs go on a trailer ramp while I was trying to close it), and have found that since I've been riding, it's rare I have any issues with it...even when loading 200 bales of hay in my hayloft. I really think getting my core strong has made all the difference in the world. When I do feel the twinge threat, if I go ride (even walking around bareback) it goes away. Before I rode, I would be in pain for a week at a time if I lifted/twisted wrong. Also, a chiropracter will help (which is what saved me during my pregnancy). Good luck!


      • #4
        You need to find out what is causing it. Some causes can be lived with and some cannot without risking permanent nerve damage. The prednisone was the most helpful to me also. The only helpful actually! You need to take it for more than a couple days though to stop the inflammation.
        Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

        Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.


        • #5
          Sciatica problems suck. I'm so sorry you're experiencing it, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy!

          I've been dealing with sciatica since I was 20 and messed up my back riding sidesaddle. It's been nearly a decade now.

          Will it go away? Maybe, maybe not... and not in my experience. I've gone years without it bothering me at all, then seemingly overnight it flares up for months for no rhyme or reason.

          Some people have success with the chiropractor. Chiropractors have only ever made mine worse, I stay away now. Or at least find a reputable one who will do films/imaging instead of just cracking away blindly.

          As far as OTC painkillers go, I think a double dose of naproxen works the best for me. Although when it gets bad, NOTHING, prescription or not, helps me.

          Lower back exercises also help me-- doing a series of piriformis stretches and upward and downward pelvic tilts and lifts helps relieve the pain temporarily. Low impact movement helps, too. Walking is great to help the pain subside more quickly.

          My best advice-- find a good, supportive doctor who will address this now. When I was young and initially hurt myself, several doctors did not take me seriously. I'd hear, "you're too young to have back problems... take some ibuprofen when you get home and you'll be fine." About 5 years after my initial injury, I moved and got a new PCP. When I mentioned my sciatica history, he referred me to a great neurosurgeon who has helped a ton (and who's #1 goal has been to keep me OUT of surgery).

          Good luck and here's to hoping for a speedy recovery!
          Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


          • #6
            Mine is caused by a sqeezed disk low down that gets inflamed. Chiropractor tells me riding is actually good for you. Also, consider losing weight. Mine goes away when I get down to a certian level. Exercise that strengthen abs will help. Steroids do help pain but you can't stay on them or you'll ruin your liver, etc.


            • #7
              I am 28 and have been dealing with this since a car accident at 21.

              You do learn what sets it off, and I try to avoid it. However, that leaves me with little to no life. I do keep up with the chiro, it helps the most out of anything.

              I can't take painkillers (make me throw up) and they don't really work on nerve pain anyway. When it flares I take 4 Aleve (equivalent to my prescription Naprosyn <sp?>), ice my back and try not to tweak it further, then visit the chiro.

              It really sucks. You have my sympathy.


              • #8
                I had this also and going to the chiropractor helped me. Conventional medicine wanted to do surgery. One treatment at the chiropractor stopped the worst of the pain and all in all I went for treatment once a week for over 6 months. I'm still not 100% year around but summer it goes away completely. It could be it goes away from riding in the summer as one of the other posters mentioned.

                I'm sorry you're experiencing this as it is just so painful!


                • #9
                  First of all, taking prednisone without the supervision of a doctor, that has been prescribed for something else, is not a good idea. It does speak to how much pain you are in, that you made such a bad judgement call, and I am sympathetic to that. So should a good doctor be, so please get yourself to one and get treatment that is appropriate for your problem.

                  My body is also throwing up signs of protest... It sucks to think my activities will be limited some day. But not yet
                  "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                  • #10
                    Ditto Texarkana. Everything mentioned in that post is what I've experienced, except regarding the chiropractor. I have one who I swear is a magician; he can make me better when nothing else works.

                    As to taking Prednisone as you describe, you are risking incredibly serious side effects! Pred is meant to be taken as an initial loading dose, then gradually tapering off (usually over a week or so), to avoid very serious cardiac risks. So please, if the Pred is helping, get thee to a doctor and get a proper prescription for it.

                    Oh, and I agree about the Vicodin - that's about the only thing that will help mine when it really gets ramped up, too.

                    Good luck. Sciatica sucks, but it most definitely can be successfully managed, with a little bit of work.
                    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
                    A life lived by example, done too soon.


                    • #11
                      I beat it. Good chiropractor sometimes is NOT enough. I went to a traditional chinese 5-Elements accupuncturist who was able to restart the healing process again.

                      My lower right SI was damaged going into winter two year ago, and with the historic snow storms, I -had- to shovel. I sucked it up and continued to work thru the entire winter shovelling snow. My body had basically given up on healing the injured sciatic nerve.

                      With a combination of the chiro keeping my back aligned, and the accupuncture triggering the healing, I'm 100% a-ok today. My wife and I also started Tai Chi/Taiji and Ba Gua chinese martial arts to help tone and strengthen out backs and bodies. Went from 6 months of nothing but deblilitating back pain to some pretty awesome levels of fitness....
                      Nudging "Almost Heaven" a little closer still...


                      • #12
                        "excruciating and every move or step enhanced it to the point " as you described with sciatica probalby a bulging or ruptured disc. Go see the Doctor!! You may need an injection. Refrain from doing any heavy lifting, running, etc....
                        \"You have two choices when a defining moment comes along - you can either define the moment, or let the moment define you.\" Tin Cup


                        • Original Poster

                          Thanks for all the concern, advice and comments. I've decided a diagnosis probably makes the most sense. So, I have an appt with an orthopedic surgeon this afternoon. I'm sure he'll do x-rays and then have to schedule an MRI. But, it's a really good sports medicine practice. Another of the doctors there did my shoulder surgery about 18 months ago with great results. I'll update when I know more. Just too old and too scared of the pain to not pursue it in a logical fashion. Don't worry about any drug abuse -- I lost a sister to prescription drug abuse, so I try to be very cautious!


                          • #14
                            Also, massage therapy may be able to help. I've had clients complain of sciatica and within 2-4 sessions their pain was GONE. Now, they're complaints weren't as severe as yours, but if you have a MAJOR trigger point pushing on a nerve (especially in your piriformis) then massage therapy may be a good place to start...especially before undergoing surgery.

                            Of course, if it IS a ruptured disc, then all the massage in the world isn't going to fix THAT.

                            Either way, a PROPER diagnosis is ALWAYS a good thing.

                            Good luck!!



                            • #15
                              My sciatica was caused by a subtly herniated disk. I had been seeing an osteopath, who moved and recommended another, who pretty much washed his hands of me when I said I would not quit riding. My GP (thankfully I had the MRI also sent to her) then put me on Celebrex and an antidepressant (standard mix for pain management) and prescribed physical therapy.

                              The physical therapy was the best. A stronger core certainly has made a difference. It's been about a decade and I'm rarely bothered. I think most of my issues now are due to aging.

                              I also got help from massage therapy and chiropractic work.


                              • Original Poster

                                Well, it took all afternoon -- but the x-rays must have looked ok because he didn't think my discs were involved. He said my back was "very angry" with me. I got a steroid shot and 3 different meds -- muscle relaxers, pain meds and anti-inflammatory. I start some PT on Wed. So we'll see how it goes. I got back for a follow up after some PT in two weeks. He did relent and say I could ride since I need to be training this youngster and he's a very good boy, never does anything bad, just needs to keep making progress and muscles as he is for sale and I don't want to lose what we've gained. We do a fair amount of trail riding, so that should be therapeutic for both of us. Anyway, I feel pretty good right now. I'm sure the dexo whatever it was helped tremendously. I got a few samples and will fill 'scripts tomorrow. I have what I need to take tonight. Thanks -- hope this will improve -- he did mention the PT could help me get started on core exercises, too. He thought it was pretty funny that I said it had ruined my chances of being recruited for Alabama's football team. He did say I could have a little wine if I took the muscle relaxers later at bedtime .... so off to have a glass!


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by juby2be View Post
                                  Also, massage therapy may be able to help. I've had clients complain of sciatica and within 2-4 sessions their pain was GONE. Now, they're complaints weren't as severe as yours, but if you have a MAJOR trigger point pushing on a nerve (especially in your piriformis) then massage therapy may be a good place to start...especially before undergoing surgery.

                                  Of course, if it IS a ruptured disc, then all the massage in the world isn't going to fix THAT.

                                  Either way, a PROPER diagnosis is ALWAYS a good thing.

                                  Good luck!!

                                  I second this. My sciatica gets triggered by stress from work, while sitting at my computer of all things. The muscles in my lower back spasm, and some days it is so bad I can almost not get out of the chair.

                                  I have found that if I place a tennis ball (or two if both sides), where the muscle spasms are occuring, and gently roll my back over the balls, it helps, and believe it or not Sore No More works wonders.

                                  For me the muscle relaxants didn't do much, other than make me loopy.
                                  There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


                                  • #18
                                    I feel for everyone on this list who has experienced sciatica. Never knew I could be in such pain for so long with no apparent solution.

                                    This thread is very timely for me. My sciatica (which just flared up again) is because of a bulging disk or osteophyte which is impinging on the nerve root (I also have a mild scoliosis). I went to a chiropractor who did xrays and looked at a 3 year old mri and told me there was nothing he could do, but set me up with an appointment with a neurologist. Of course, the neurologist doesn't have an opening for almost a month. I am seeing the pain doc this week, the injections help me a lot, but don't last forever. I also do core strengthening exercises every. single. day. Decided to do the injection cause in early May I'm going to the KY horse park with a friend, and it's a 9 hour ride by car (pretty sure the backside won't tolerate it without some help!)

                                    I don't know whether I can or should ride my horse, I am scared of causing permanent nerve damage. I have had back issues in the past, gotten the injections, and continued to ride (and do all the barn chores). Now I'm not so sure it's a good idea. After all, pain is nature's way of telling us to slow down or change what we're doing, right?

                                    Anyway, I have learned a lot about sciatica in the past couple of weeks, and would love to hear from anyone who deals with this and continues to ride!
                                    "Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death."


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by gallopinggram View Post

                                      Anyway, I have learned a lot about sciatica in the past couple of weeks, and would love to hear from anyone who deals with this and continues to ride!
                                      My sciatica is caused by a ruptured disc. I can tell you, when I am having a bad flare up, I can't ride. It just makes the pain worse. I make the mistake (constantly, repeatedly...) of going to ride as soon as I'm not doubled over in pain, and it always sets my recovery progress back several days.

                                      In between flares, I can ride all I want. Heck, I can fall off and land on my back and be fine. But once something sets off my back pain, I can't ride for weeks.

                                      One riding activity that is more likely to bother my back than anything else is jumping. If I do a lot of jumping, the next day my sciatica will almost always be sore to some extent.

                                      I also often wonder if part of my problem is my saddle... does anyone have any saddle recommendations for sciatica? I have an older Courbette close contact saddle, and I would bet money it contributes to my back problems. I am hoping to replace it this summer.

                                      When I'm in a position to get another horse, I'm seriously considering something I can ride and drive... neither my mare or my retired gelding are the driving type...
                                      Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO