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Author Topic: Siatic nerve pain  (Read 5813 times)

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Offline tree-farmer

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Siatic nerve pain
« on: April 26, 2018, 06:57:28 PM »
Injured my back in Febuary, have had siatic nerve pain ever since. Xray shows degerative disk and arthritis. 
May get MRI if physical therapy does not help. Anyone had experience with this condition?
Any fix or just live with it? Takes the fun out of life. 
Old doesn't bother me, its the ugly that's a real bummer.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2018, 08:07:31 PM »
Here are two fairly recent topics on sciatic nerves and pain.

Sciatic Nerve in Health and Safety

Sciatica pain in Health and Safety

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Offline jason.weir

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2018, 08:10:36 PM »
I've had it for 10 years or more.  Comes and goes, much worse if I've been sitting too much, desk work, long car rides, etc..

I have tried everything, physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, drugs (steroids & opiates).  Nothing helped.

A while back I bought an inversion table, it gives temporary but instant relief.

I had to ease into it but got to where I could spend 15 minutes upside down & get off with no pain whatsoever.

Now the pain would come back if I sat down for any length of time but I'd be good as long as I stayed on my feet.

Good luck..






Offline Southside

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2018, 11:11:48 PM »
Broke my L4, L5 and destroyed a number of discs back in '01, just how much do you want to know about the options?  There is a whole lot to just what the problem is that causes the pain, is it a herniated disc, muscle guarding, stenosis due to the degenerative disc disease?  That will dictate what will work best.  

I would push for the MRI now, you need to know what is going on in there in order for treatment to be effective.  Case in point - when I first got hurt the doctor who examined me said I had some "pulled muscles" but wanted to take an x-ray "just to be sure" - well when the X-ray tech ran into the room and physically immobilized me while calling for assistance I knew things were a bit more serious.  

You really can't develop an effective treatment protocol without knowing what is wrong - it's sort of like throwing parts at a broken machine and just hoping one will fix the issue.  I have learned that not all providers have the same level of knowledge, I don't say that to be negative, it is simply fact.  It seems in medicine some feel their preferred field is the only solution and the balk at including other practices at the same time.  Personally I have found a combination of PT, muscle electrical stimulation, chiro adjustments, and deep muscle massage brought me great relief.  The massage is best done by a 270 lb guy using his elboe as a way to apply all his body weight - so it's not some fun, fruity, kind of thing, but it works.  

Surgery was necessary for me as I had a "mechanical problem" from a piece of bone that broke off and cut through a disc settling at a nerve root, that allowed me to walk again, but the pain was still there, though not nearly as bad.  The above cocktail of treatment that I described is what keeps me agile and pretty much pain free.  Things such as long drives, sitting for long times, etc are a problem, but now I can manage it.  I actually find walking and physical work help to relieve the symptoms.

Our lovely modern insurance system is against you, you need to push hard to get the right treatment plan in place, otherwise - yea life sucks as the pain never goes away.  I do know what you are going through.      
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Offline Runningalucas

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2018, 02:44:47 AM »
Broke my L4, L5 and destroyed a number of discs back in '01, just how much do you want to know about the options?  There is a whole lot to just what the problem is that causes the pain, is it a herniated disc, muscle guarding, stenosis due to the degenerative disc disease?  That will dictate what will work best.  

I would push for the MRI now, you need to know what is going on in there in order for treatment to be effective.  Case in point - when I first got hurt the doctor who examined me said I had some "pulled muscles" but wanted to take an x-ray "just to be sure" - well when the X-ray tech ran into the room and physically immobilized me while calling for assistance I knew things were a bit more serious.  

You really can't develop an effective treatment protocol without knowing what is wrong - it's sort of like throwing parts at a broken machine and just hoping one will fix the issue.  I have learned that not all providers have the same level of knowledge, I don't say that to be negative, it is simply fact.  It seems in medicine some feel their preferred field is the only solution and the balk at including other practices at the same time.  Personally I have found a combination of PT, muscle electrical stimulation, chiro adjustments, and deep muscle massage brought me great relief.  The massage is best done by a 270 lb guy using his elboe as a way to apply all his body weight - so it's not some fun, fruity, kind of thing, but it works.  

Surgery was necessary for me as I had a "mechanical problem" from a piece of bone that broke off and cut through a disc settling at a nerve root, that allowed me to walk again, but the pain was still there, though not nearly as bad.  The above cocktail of treatment that I described is what keeps me agile and pretty much pain free.  Things such as long drives, sitting for long times, etc are a problem, but now I can manage it.  I actually find walking and physical work help to relieve the symptoms.

Our lovely modern insurance system is against you, you need to push hard to get the right treatment plan in place, otherwise - yea life sucks as the pain never goes away.  I do know what you are going through.      
This guy has it about right!  I've got some sort of muscular dystrophy; had it since I was a teenager, yet played football, and was an electrical contractor for over a decade.  I've got scoliosis to go along with the dystrophy, and a couple compressed discs. 
I agree, I can't sit too long, I can't stand too long, but the best *DanG thing is physical work for as long as you can!  It's a night, and day difference to overall wellbeing. 
As far as doctors, I just went to a neurologist the other day, they're muscular dystrophy docs....  I explain my overall everything, as he's a new doc.; I also did this, as I feel there maybe more to what I've got going on.  The doctor flat out said, "we've got no clue, we see symptoms so it gets thrown in 'the' box". 
Here's what works for me.  I go holistic, and old school.  The old school, DMSO.  Be careful, research it.  I also take various supplements.  Holistically, chiropractic, massage, and rolfing. 
Oh, also, Ath-lean-X on youtube; he's a physical therapist first, gym guy second.  He's got awesome 'how to fix lower back pain vids'.  I found this guy around 2 months back, and that' made a tremendous difference. 

Offline tree-farmer

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2018, 07:26:03 AM »
Wow, thanks for all the input. Southside Logger mentioned getting a MRI, which I have been considering pushing for. Chiropractor, physical therapy and lots of Motrin gives some relief, enough to function but the pain takes the joy out of life. I felt something give when I initially injured it, so still think in may be mechanical issue. X-ray shows degenerative disk and some arthritis.  Have had some injuries over the years but nothing that feels like its come to stay like this. 
If figured this forum would be a good source of  others experiences, and I truly appreciate the feed back.

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Offline red

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2018, 07:46:18 AM »
At the moment I am disabled from L3-L4 disc problem. I had L4- L5 and L5-S1 removed in 1998 . I am 55 years old and I hope for real relief with back surgery. At the moment I only take flexerall muscle relaxer and Aleve for pain management. Walking was my number one exercise but that is to painful now , I may take up swimming at a local YMCA but not yet. Good Luck
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Offline Ed_K

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2018, 07:53:23 AM »
 Get the MRI as soon as you can. I'm in the same boat as southside logger. I damaged my L4-L5 in 95 by the time we smartened up enough to get a 2nd opinion it was almost to late. When I got to Dartmouth Hitchcox I couldn't walk I crawled out of the back of an suv onto a rolling table and into the OR. The Dr. there said that one more week and I would have never walked again. The liquid in the disk in between L4-L5 ruptured and was hardening up and rubbing on the nerve and cutting it apart. My regular Dr. was pushing for PT saying all was alright he didn't want to listen to the x-ray reader that there was a real problem.
 Get the MRI, please.
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Offline SawyerTed

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2018, 12:37:00 PM »
Southside is right on!

+1 on the MRI and complete diagnosis before you do anything.  Surgery should be an absolute last resort!

Starting about 12 years ago, I had sciatic nerve problems and was going to the Spine Center in Winston Salem.  Got the X-rays, MRI and finally three rounds of epidural steroid injections at $900 out of pocket each time.  They helped for several months combined with a prescribed home exercise routine.  But over time my pain would come back.

All of the exams X-rays and MRI pointed to compressed discs and arthritis between my lumbar vertebrae. The compressed discs and arthritis was pinching nerves.

I too use an inversion table.  I asked the doctor when I had the last round of injections and he said it wouldn't hurt me - I wanted to be sure before I self treated.   It does help relieve the compression and puts things back into alignment.  Most importantly it relieves the pain.   I spend 5 minutes a day twice a day inverted when I'm getting siatic pain.  I haven't had another injection in almost 10 years.  The thing cost $110 delivered to my door.  After $2,700 in injections I was looking for any alternative and thought I've blown 100 bucks on less useful stuff.  I can go from weeks to months pain free, then I have to use the inversion table for a few days.
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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2018, 12:52:57 PM »
MRI for sure.  The missus has been suffering with pain resembling sciatica for the last three months.  One doc said sciatica, another said no, it's a ligament problem and gave her three shots of cortisone and three weeks of physical therapy....none of it worked.  Finally got an MRI and found an arthritic cyst near the L4 that is pressing on the nerves. Doc (who is a surgeon, so of course he recommends surgery), said an epidural would only postpone the inevitable. One hour outpatient surgery is scheduled for mid May.  Get the MRI and cut out all the expensive guess work.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2018, 02:18:49 PM »
If surgery is needed do not postpone it thinking that things will be better.  Continually damaging a nerve can cause permanent damage to that nerve.  Yes, it can get worse.
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Offline coxy

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2018, 07:54:41 PM »
i had l4-5 trimmed in 03or4 could not even walk the pain was so bad couldn't get no help so i was back working in 4 months was not a good idea but the kids needed food  i have real bad pain if I'm not moving about 45min in a car/truck and the tears start to come out    my doc told me do not to use the table as it could make thing worse i don't need that  this all happened due to the sole falling off my shoe one night at a party the next day we called the ambulance to get me to the hospital they gave me shots but that didn't work the pain was so bad i couldn't laydown for the MRI  but they did a cat scan   i know of some people that got the epidural shots and worked wonders for them i tried them for 3 months and was not doing anything  so i live with the pain my doc told me go till you cant go anymore and then we will figure out something  so i know how you feel it is a life changing thing  hope you get better 

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2018, 10:10:54 PM »
Using an inversion table gives me some relief.  When I was using it, I started inverting for only a minute or so at a time to avoid head aches.   Keeping the hamstrings flexible also seems to reduce lower back muscle spasms and tension, which with me, are also associated with the sciatic pain that shoots from the back down the leg when making certain movements (walking).  I hope you feel better soon.
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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2018, 01:13:59 PM »
I'll preface this by stating I'm a doctor and I treat sciatic pain successfully.  In fact, it is typically a problem that is easy to see positive results.

There is a lot of misinformation given.   First, the only time you should get surgery or must get surgery is if there nerve or spinal cord impingement resulting in a "drop foot" which is a loss of dorsiflexion (the ability to hold your ankle/foot upward.  Or, a loss of bladder or bowel function as in you can't go or incontinence.  Those are necessary surgical interventions because the nerve could undergo permanent damage and irreversible function. The other situation is if you are experiencing muscle atrophy where the muscle decreases in size over time due to the nerve impingement.  MOST people do not experience this and waiting it out is not an issue.  Simply put, just because you have a herniated disc does not mean you get nerve damage by living with it.  Far from it.

There was a study done that took roughly 100 people without back pain and did an MRI on them.  33% had either a herniated disc or other pathology that would normally be causative of back pain.  Again, none of them had back pain.  So then, what happens if one of those 33% of the people suddenly develop back pain from any number of causes and see's the primary care doctor?  Well, they get PT or a referal to ortho.  The ortho gets the MRI or reviews it and says, "aha....there's your problem, you have a herniated disc, we should do surgery to take the pressure off the nerve).  You have surgery and then don't get better.  Or maybe the leg pain is gone but now you have back pain from the devitalized tissue and scarring that always happens from surgery?  

In my earlier days I have even assisted on these surgeries and many more.  Some people do very well with simple surgeries like a one level discectomy given that their symptoms match the level of nerve root that is the issue.  And like the adage goes, "nothing can't be made worse with surgery".  I've seen those patients, too.

My main modality for treating sciatic pain is acupuncture.  It is not uncommon for the leg pain to go away in one treatment.  Often times it will come back, and then go away again, and then come back, and then go away.  But it is like 2 steps forward and 1 step back.  What I see is the patients pain and symptoms trend downward until the leg pain is gone, and/or back pain.  With acupuncture you are stimulating the body to heal itself naturally.  And there is NO process in nature that happens over night.  A tree doesn't grow to 50 feet over night, you don't build a house in one day, or a business, marriage, etc.  However, it never fails...people then exclaim, but the pain came back.  Yeah, and?  We are stimulating the body naturally to heal itself.  Things take time.  The primary reason patients do not get better has always been said to be non-compliance.  In holistic medicine, I would say that not giving things adequate time to work rivals it or exceeds it.

Doctors notoriously blame every pain on arthritis when then see it on an xray.  This is nonsense.  I've practiced in allopathic medicine for nearly 20 years and treat people with 'bad xrays' and they get better.  Being 50 and over is like having wear and tear on your tire after time.  You drive around long enough, it's inevitable.  Everyone has wear and tear, and wear and tear IS arthritis.  Bone spurs, thinning of the articular cartilage that lines the joint, etc., is all part of aging for the most part.  

There are lots of videos on people getting treated with acupuncture on Youtube.  It might be worth the view.  Some people claim it doesn't work.  Ok, then it doesn't work.  Go get cut on then.  It's your choice.  Dr. Zhu who is amazing does scalp acupuncture.  He has people who had a stroke stand up in about 1 hour into treatment (after coming to him not being able to move one side of their body after 3 months of conventional medicine treatments!)  All documented on Youtube videos.  The medicine works.

With some research you should be able to buy some acupuncture needles yourself.  I would do points Ling Gu, Dai Bai on the opposite hand of your leg pain, and then UB60, UB62, and UB65 on the side with your leg pain (assuming the pain is down the back) if it is along the sides, then possibly GB34, GB45, and front then ST36 and ST44 and/or ST45.  There are Chinese medical formulas to help as well, but not sure that giving those names are allowed but with some research you can figure it out.

Most people's problem stem beyond just their sciatic pain or whatever else ails them.  Everything affects everything.  In other words, all organ systems affect each other.  And that's why modern medicine is mostly inept.  Aside from necessary surgery, emergency medicine, obstetrics and life threatening infectious disease, all of the treatments in modern medicine are suppressive.  They fix nothing but give the patient the illusion that they are better because the symptom improved.  Just how many reading this are on medications?  How many?  Who woke up taking 7 medicines?  Not one person ever said I woke up taking X many different medicines.  So if the medicines are the answer, why isn't everyone getting better and only getting more medicines as they age?  Sounds like an incompetent philosophy to me.  I'm nearing 47 and I take no medicines.  It will be like that when I'm 80 as well.  You can either practice preventative medicine or not.  You have one body.  Taking more and more pills will guarantee misery.  Be well.   

Dr. Chris Fucci  (I have an article floating around on the net about how to get healthy if you wish to read it)  Good luck.


Offline Roxie

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2018, 02:44:39 PM »
Get an MRI so you know what's involved.  The imaging surely isn't going to hurt you, and will answer any questions.

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Offline BradMarks

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2018, 11:22:12 AM »
First, to offend or not to offend, doesn't matter ???.  I am no doctor, I am 63 and I take no medicines either.  I have had  surgery to relieve sciatic pain, without it I wouldn't be walking. Yes, herniated disc, L4 - L5, it had flattened my nerve by the time I had surgery. Surgeon described it as the worst he had seen, it wasn't his first rodeo by the way. I went 6 months with as much pain as a person needs before surgery. That was 7 1/2 yrs ago. Fast forward, two years ago, wife needed fusion surgery, bone on bone, no disc to be had. No acupuncture treatment in the world could have helped either one of us. DO NOT hesitate to get a MRI.  

Offline tree-farmer

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2018, 07:43:07 PM »
Doc sent me to physical thearpy, some relief but only temporary. Wife convinced me to see her chriopracter, two sesions and seems to be helping. Very strong guy, after adjustment I feel mauled, but later feels better with less nerve pain. Going again tomorrow, hopful for long range improvement.
Tied of being in pain, makes me grumpy (er) than normal.
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Offline Roxie

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2018, 05:13:51 AM »
Some insurance's require physical therapy before they will pay for an MRI.  I came frightfully close to being paralyzed as a result.  Keep us posted on your progress.

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Offline Bricklayer51

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2018, 06:59:26 AM »
I am going to the va to start physical therapy this morning hope it helps but I am not holding my breath.

Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2018, 06:08:34 PM »
Been fighting back/hip/nerve pain for about 6 months. Strained my back in December picking up heavy rounds but it didn't recover after a few days like it normally does. Fought it on and off through the winter. Stretching really helped but then in February I tried picking up something relatively heavy (nothing I'd consider abnormal) and the low back pain returned along with nerve pain for the first time.

Started seeing a chiro and things got worse over the next couple weeks to the point I could barely walk in the mornings and only somewhat better after loosening up by the afternoon. Not blaming the chiro for it getting worse, but it sure did. The pain seemed to level off with some slight improvement but the chiro wasn't happy with seeing so little progress after 8-9 visits and recommended I see a regular doctor.

Decided to try and get into a spine center in Sioux Falls since summer was coming on and I had a lot I needed to get done. Took about 2 1/2 weeks to get in and I had slow but steady improvement during that time. Still plenty of pain and limited in what I could do but bearable. He prescribed physical therapy and come see me again in a month if things aren't improving. X-rays don't show anything anyone is concerned about.

Took another 1 1/2 weeks to get into physical therapy and things improved a little more by that time. That was about 1 1/2 weeks ago. Have had 4 visits so far. Learning some good stretches and exercises but no real improvement to speak of so far. Fingers crossed but not real optimistic.

I'm 40 years old and 170 pounds and have always been healthy. Strange to not be able to do whatever I want whenever I want to do it.

Alan
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Offline doctorb

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2018, 07:04:32 PM »
There's been a lot of posts about MRI's.  I'd like to throw in a few thoughts....

MRI is a wonderful modality to demonstrate hard and soft tissue findings within the spine, but is not some sort of full-proof perfect vision into your back that will 100% tell you:  1) What exactly is the reason for your pain and 2) What you have to do, including surgery, to relieve that pain.  When MRI first came out, it became almost like a religion.  We started operating on the MRI and not the patient.  Any detected abnormality seemed to become an indication for surgery.  There are all kinds of abnormalities within our aging spines, and the MRI will probably overstate many of them.  MRI's are often over-read, meaning the radiologist can over interprets what he/she sees.  The radiologist's reading is then sent to your doctor, who, unless he/she is a spine specialist, does not have the expertise to interpret the images themselves, and therefore accepts the radiologist's interpretation without question.

Look, MRI has demonstrated many exact problems within many patient's spines.  But those of us who are aging have abnormalities at multiple levels of our spines, and have multiple locations where nerves can appear compressed.  What is THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR is having a physician who takes the time to do a detailed physical/neurological examination to determine where in your back, which nerve root or roots, your irritation arises.  If, after an adequate trial of rest, PT, and maybe injections, your symptoms continue to be unbearable, you may be a candidate for surgery.  But that surgery should only occur when the MRI demonstrates an abnormality that accurately coincides with the findings on your physical exam.  If the MRI does not correlate with those findings, despite continuation of the patient's pain, surgery is very unlikely to help and should probably be avoided.

So the MRI is not a miracle truth detector.  It's a diagnostic tool that is part of the assessment of spine pain.  It does not always provide all the answers.  It is not an instant roadmap of your problem and your next step.  And it can be over interpreted leading to unnecessary and or unsuccessful surgery.  But when used wisely by good physicians, it is an invaluable test for better understanding of a complex problem.

As always, if you have been told that you are a candidate for spine surgery, I strongly suggest that you receive an unbiased second opinion before undergoing the knife.
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Offline Runningalucas

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2018, 09:53:34 PM »
I just made the MRI rounds for my lower spine, and hips; also had a leg length test.  My overall opinion, I've always done holistic type stuff instead of the MD, and so far, I'm kinda glad.  Due to scoliosis, degenerated L4, and L5, they sent me into a consult I wasn't ready for; spinal fusion.  

Having L4, and L5 fused, fine, but oh, with scoliosis, at least according to the surgeon, it would mean a complete fusion all the way up into the thoracic region.  It really sounded like rods, or even any fusion should be used as a means of last resort, simply to be able to walk.  I skirted around it, and for the most part got the answer that after surgery, my spine would be perma-light duty. 

For now, and I've not seen it listed in this thread, and maybe someone will tell me it's horrible, but I'm thinking that I'm going to go with the Regenexx stem cell therapy for those 2 discs.  From what I saw online, it works fairly good, and is long lasting.  I asked the surgeon about the stem cells, and they simply had no comment; it's just another form of treatment in their eyes I guess, and separate from their discipline. 

Everything in the AMA seems very compartmentalized, and somewhat like an sales model using a lot of upseliing. 

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2018, 10:22:32 PM »
I would be in interested to hear more about this stem cell technique you mention.  I do believe the MRI is a good tool to help in determining what is wrong.  I destroyed my L4,L5, and the discs in addition to some issues in the neck region, have done the PT, Chrio, injections, surgery, holistic, you name it.  The back is pretty decent these days, compared to when I could not walk that is, but I do have numbness in my feet and arms / hands, and have lost a lot of strength in certain muscle groups.  It's pretty embarrassing when the therapist tells you to resist the force of her hand against your leg, which she is barely touching and you tell her you are resisting it. 

Your observation about the compartmentalization of medicine is spot on.  
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Offline Runningalucas

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2018, 10:33:17 PM »
I would be in interested to hear more about this stem cell technique you mention.  I do believe the MRI is a good tool to help in determining what is wrong.  I destroyed my L4,L5, and the discs in addition to some issues in the neck region, have done the PT, Chrio, injections, surgery, holistic, you name it.  The back is pretty decent these days, compared to when I could not walk that is, but I do have numbness in my feet and arms / hands, and have lost a lot of strength in certain muscle groups.  It's pretty embarrassing when the therapist tells you to resist the force of her hand against your leg, which she is barely touching and you tell her you are resisting it.

Your observation about the compartmentalization of medicine is spot on.  
LOL, been there on the 'I am resisting'...   I'm trying to schedule the stem cells in July.  From what I've read, and been told, you go in, they draw blood for plasma, then they also numb out a hip, and draw the stemcells from the hip.  They process the blood, into a platelet rich formula along with mixing in the stem cells harvested from the hip; then inject.  
https://www.regenexx.com/regenexx-procedures-family/the-regenexx-procedure-explained/

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2018, 07:14:56 AM »
After half dozen adjustments by chiropractor back is much improved. Seems that sitting aggrivates  it more than anything. My job requires sitting at CAD station, but I have been making a point of getting up every hour or so and walking through shop plus  walking or working outdoors after work to keep pain at bay. 
Wearing a back support  when doing lifting jobs seems to help some too.
A little Irish whisky and Motrin also helps take the edge of the pain as well.

Goal is just to stay functional for as long as possible without more extreme measures.
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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2018, 08:27:46 PM »
Yes.  Medicine is compartmentalized.  There are those physicians and patients that believe in a treatment, those that want to believe, and those that don't believe.  This is very true for stem cell treatments.

These stem cell therapies have become very widespread throughout many areas of medicine.  The theory is simple...put some non-differentiated cells into an area of inflammation or injury, and they will "regenerate" or modify themselves to solve the problem.  Fix things.  Repair arthritis.  Cure tendonitis.  etc.  Easy peasy Lemon squeezy.  Not so fast, my friends.

As a doc, I am one who is based in science.  I am hopeful that science can demonstrate that these immature cells have the ability, once injected, to sense what is wrong and repair it.  However, real science has yet to back up this hopeful blueprint.  There are studies of improvement in neural function in non-human experiments, but long term clinical studies have yet to show any real improvement.  Yet we inject this stuff everywhere in the body, and do it multiple times (a friend of mine had 6 injections over 15 months for his patellar tendonitis.  He eventually got better, and swears by the treatment.  Would've probably resolved in that amount of time with no treatment.)

Now, the people doing the injections, they are gung ho!  And the risk of a problem from an injection of your own blood products is incredibly low.  So with very low risk, and the alternative treatments being much more costly and invasive, why not give stem cell therapy a try.  Makes sense.  Just doesn't yet have the scientific backing to say it truly works.  

So get in line for your injections, but don't have your head in the clouds.  It's not yet the miracle they want you to believe it is.  Someday.....
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2018, 04:50:51 PM »
Thanks for your insights doctorb. Nice to hear it from a doctor's perspective.

My 5 weeks of physical therapy are done. Improvement in some areas and backsliding in others. Most of the nerve pain down my legs is gone but still some, especially in the early morning. Still lots of hip pain and SI joint pain. Very stiff trying to bend at waist and poor mobility. Can walk ok but nothing faster. I'd say maybe 30% improvement overall after physical therapy. Don't know how much to contribute to physical therapy and how much just because it's been another 5 weeks. Seems to be making slow but steady progress no matter what I do.

Went back to the doctor and he ordered an MRI. Results were some bulging in the L4/L5 and L5/S1. Doctor is 2 hours away from me so I haven't talked to him directly yet, this was just through some sort of secretary that called to schedule things. We'd talked about a cortisone injection ahead of time and he still thinks that's the next best step so I go back out there Wednesday for that and a little chat.

Sounds like I shouldn't expect the shot to be a cure-all but hoping it will provide some pain relief and that by the time it wears off things will be feeling much better. I'm guessing if nothing else it would make a good diagnostic tool to determine if that's really where my trouble stems from.

Assuming this eventually gets better on its own it sure makes me worry about the future and this happening again. Going on 8 months now. Slowing me down a lot this summer. My idea of fun is taking 30+ day solo canoe trips into remote areas of Canada. Can't imagine having this happen in the middle of one of those. Certainly no trips this year.

Alan
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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #27 on: July 26, 2018, 12:19:23 PM »
Got my shots yesterday. Left and right side. Not a big deal. Feeling some improvement already but not pain free. They said I could expect the quick acting pain reliever to wear off in a day and up to 5 days for the steroids to really kick in.

Alan
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Offline Ed_K

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2018, 07:47:28 AM »
 The steroids should work. I have had incidents where I've damaged the L4-L5 disk and demanded the steroids  and they work for me each time. they stop the swelling of the disk I think.
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2018, 05:18:37 PM »
A few days after the steroid injections I felt very good. So good that I decided to redo my girlfriend's deck so she could get her house sold. Worked hard on it all weekend. Tried to work smart. Didn't lift anything very heavy and lifted properly. Didn't really feel any pain while doing the work and went to bed Sunday night feeling tired out but otherwise fine. Woke up Monday and could barely walk. Haven't had this much pain since it was at its worst in February/March but it feels a little different. More of a single sharp pain in the buttock rather than multiple hip/back/buttock/leg with radiating nerve pain as well. Been taking it easy and stretching. A little better now on Friday. Mornings are bad news. By the afternoon I feel better, especially if I keep moving. Sitting and then standing is the worst.

It's a wonder we do these things to ourselves.

Alan
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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2018, 10:31:14 PM »
It's very hard to sit still when you finially have relief after so much time hurting, but you need to. The shots eventually become less and less effective. Let your body heal. 
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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #31 on: August 04, 2018, 12:32:40 PM »
I got my Platelet enriched Plasma last Thursday morning(week and 2 days).  I basically tried to take it easy for a few days, and did okay doing that; as I was trying to let the platelets do whatever they do.  I've read a lot of different things on how it's necessary to take it easy after the platelet injections,  and the doc said no heavy lifting for a couple weeks.  I guess the cells are fragile until healing begins??? Any ways, LOL, forget the fragile...

By Monday, I was fabricating almost all day long.  I noted no fatigue, and was able to stand up, crouch down, stand up, crouch down, stand up, crouch down, most of the day.  Before the procedure, I'd be lucky to get in around an hour of such work before needing to stop.  It was actually a little intimidating, as I ended up waiting for the big blow out to strike, and the longer it went without, the more I thought, 'uh oh' was going to come.... you know, stuck somewhere, and it goes so bad you can't move.

Since then, the last few days have been spent on the backhoe clearing brush, and stumps.... I didn't think of it as being hard on my back, till I saw the gopro footage that I was taking of doing the work; I was getting thrown around fairly good, I guess you just don't notice all that much....  Anyhow though, the back is still doing fairly good; by now, I would've needed around a week off to let the glass in my back settle down, but so far, I'm just 'this side' of the 'glass'.

I guess time will tell, supposedly it just keeps getting better, but with as hard on my back as I am, we'll see...  If it does, WOW.

Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2019, 03:27:16 PM »
This isn't my thread but figure I've posted enough of my progress (or lack of) so I might as well keep going.

My last update looks to have been August. Things settled down after the deck installation induced pain and were better than before the cortisone shot. After a few weeks things started getting more painful again. Talked to doctor again and we decided to try another shot in October (I think). I had relief the day of the shot and then nothing.

Pain began to get worse end of November so I went to see a different chiropractor who did a lot of painful elbow massage and stretching in addition to adjustments. After 4 or 5 visits I was a little worse than when I started (things felt aggravated) and he threw in the towel.

Had to wait until early January to get back into see my back doctor. He wasn't convinced surgery would be required but wanted to consult with a surgeon anyway. Before doing that he ordered a nerve test saying the surgeon would want to see it before giving an opinion. It showed the S1 nerve has some signs of aggravation, helping confirm the original diagnosis. Got a call a few days later saying they recommend I go see a Neurosurgeon. They're supposed to be calling to schedule me in the next couple days. Will be interesting to see what he has to say.

My day-to-day now consists of high levels of sharp hip pain during the night if I try to sleep on my side. Sharp pain in my lower back (right side SI joint?) at times, often when I raise my right arm, nerve pain in the back of both thighs, both outer calves, and outer ankles. Often worse when standing and sitting in my office chair. This comes and goes. The right side is worse but the left side will hurt too, sometimes both at the same time. I now regularly get pins and needles from my outer calf to top of foot. Mostly right side, sometimes left. I also get passing waves of intense throbbing pain in my rear thighs/buttocks/and what feels like a little below the SI joint. These usually occur when I stand from a sitting position or stretch/move wrong when seated. It mercifully passes after 5 seconds or so. I have extremely limited flexibility, especially in my right hamstring. If I work on that area I can get it to loosen up but 5 minutes later it will be as tight as ever.

Sometime in September I started taking ibuprofen at night so I could sleep. Sometime in November I started taking it during the day too. Even with the ibuprofen things feel far from good but without it I'm very not happy.

Nothing seems to make it better. I'll be diligent about doing the PT exercises and after a couple weeks with little to no progress I'll start to think maybe I'm actually making things worse. So then I'll stop doing my exercises. Either way it feels pretty much the same.  I'll try taking it really easy for a couple weeks and no change. At the end of the year I took 3 weeks off work thinking being on my feet and moving around all day might make a difference. Nope again.

Alan
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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2019, 04:21:26 PM »
Did you ever try the acupuncture? We have some practitioners around here that work wonders. Also, if you have not tried it yet, the inversion table should at least give you temporary relief. Every one is different, every body and injury are different. Keep your chin yup and don't give up looking for the CORRECT solution. It IS out there. Mine happened to be the RIGHT chiropractor. he is now fixing what the neurosurgeon could not 12 years ago. Keep the faith.
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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2019, 10:17:34 AM »
 This makes me MAD. I can't believe that you're not getting better. Did they allow you to get an MRI?
  I went back thru this whole thread, I spoke about my problems with my L4-L5 disk and what they did to repair me.
  At reply 28 I miss spoke of more injuries to L4-L5 which is wrong it was the disk above there.
 Now back to the present, I wish I had tried the inverted table thing but I didn't. It wasn't something offered to me. I did finally get the MRI and operation but only after I was at the point of laying on the the floor crying from the pain or dead asleep from pain killer's. I couldn't walk and when they operated they said another week and I would of never walked again.
 It's been almost 3yrs since I lost my youngest son at 36 yrs old from doctors miss-diagnose of his pain in the upper disks in his back and neck. Kept doing shots into the sciatic never. They never took the pain away. And they kept giving him more pain meds even to the extent of pain patches. Some a hole told him that if he sucked on the patch it would work better.That over worked his heart an killed him.
 DON'T GIVE UP, keep telling them to do something. Like Doc said maybe even stem cell treatment. There is a whole lot more to stem cells. So you would need to ask lots of questions to know how and why they would work for you. I had a stem cell transplant of my own cells to get me to remission from cancer, where I am now. Rita just had an operation on her foot and they used stem cells to grow new skin in the incision.
 Do something don't end up on the floor crying!
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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2019, 10:44:04 AM »
Did you ever try the acupuncture? We have some practitioners around here that work wonders. Also, if you have not tried it yet, the inversion table should at least give you temporary relief. Every one is different, every body and injury are different. Keep your chin yup and don't give up looking for the CORRECT solution. It IS out there. Mine happened to be the RIGHT chiropractor. he is now fixing what the neurosurgeon could not 12 years ago. Keep the faith.
Haven't tried acupuncture yet but am not ruling it out.

Thanks,

Alan
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2019, 11:06:18 AM »
This makes me MAD. I can't believe that you're not getting better. Did they allow you to get an MRI?


Yes, MRI was done sometime this last summer. Bulged discs at L4/L5 and L5/S1 that appear to be pinching the nerves.

I'm frustrated at not getting better but so far I've been happy with the medical care and advice I've received. I do diagnostics for a living (auto repair) and can see that the doctor is going through the same process. Start with the simple and work up based on the problem. He suspected the bulged discs even before the MRI and prescribed physical therapy. When that didn't work he ordered the MRI which confirmed the bulged discs and then he ordered cortisone shot. After the shots had limited success I decided to wait a couple more months to see what happened. Then I went to see a different chiropractor and when that still didn't help I went back to the doctor last week.

When I talk to other people who have had bulged discs and search on the internet it appears most people get better after a few weeks of rest and stretching or physical therapy. My doctor told me that's how it normally goes too. But apparently I'm special and now I'm meeting with the surgeon next Tuesday to see just how special he thinks my case is. We've been climbing the diagnostic ladder and hopefully we're now near the top. I'm very curious to see what he has to say.

I really appreciate your concern and thank you for relating your story. Very sorry about the loss of your son. Can't imagine how difficult that would be, especially under those circumstances.

Alan
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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2019, 12:59:54 PM »
I set here reading this 2 weeks out from having a fusion surgery.  Mine was on the other end of the spine C7-T1 and my second fusion surgery and fourth for my issues.  It has been a process.

My initial symptoms were wrist/lower arm pain and finger tingling.  Job was a lot of sitting and typing.  Off to the hand doc.  Diagnosis of carpal tunnel and tried cortisone, carpal tunnel surgery, physical therapy.  Not much if any help.  Hand doc then suggested neck xray and results sent me to neck doc.  
Then MRI of neck and found disc issues.  First surgery was discectomy and fusion of C5-C6-C7 5 years ago.  Did not go to the next level of T1 though there were signs of some issues there.  With nerve damage I was told it can take 6 months or more for them to heal.  There were some improvements but was having pain in elbow that was not improving. Off to the elbow doc.
Test results and thoughts are issues with the funny bone nerve, ulnar nerve.  A year after the first fusion had cubital tunnel surgery (elbow).  Things were better.
In last year I have had return elbow and forearm pain.  In addition I had numbness tingling in my lower back and feet.  Started to also have issues with being unsteady on my feet, just did not feel right.  Back to the neck doc another MRI and results were this last fusion.

Long winded way of saying it is a process that may be a bit different for all.  With help from the medical folk, others input and our research we find a course.  We hope and pray it is the right course.  Time will tell if this was my right course but I felt I had to do something, not ready to settle.  

Press on until you find your right course!


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Offline charles mann

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2019, 09:35:11 PM »
broke my back in iraq, l5 and s1 were busted from my body armor making contact with the bones and the ramp flooring. we came in to an lz, i dropped the ramp, went to run off the ramp to provide security and slipped on some oil form our aft xmsn. i couldnt move my legs, so a pilot raised the ramp from the cockpit and flew me to bagdad from the vibration during the 1hr flight or just luck, or whatever it was, when we landed, i could move, but couldn't walk 3 days later, i was able to walk, but not well, but well enough to go back my unit. several wks later, i was cleared back for flt duty. i ate pain meds like it was candy for 2 yrs, even had injections of a steroid and lidocaine cocktail, plus prescribed morphine pills, delaudid and percoset. i finally was able to sleep by doubling the dosage and chasing with a 6 pack of bud light. i could at least get more than 2hrs of sleep a night. 
i also messed some nerves up in my upper back, that caused my left arm to go numb while crewing. i couldn't even tell i was holding the 240 (new version of the pig (m-60) for you old timers) or feel my flight suit flapping against my arm. the nerve damage made it to where long drives, or if i was doing the flying, long flight, sitting idle in 1 position holding the controls (fixed wing was better, i could set the eng power, and fly with my right hand. heli, not so much, gotta be johnny on the spot with he collective (up and down lever) in case the eng crapped out, or whatever mother nature decided to throw at me), my arm would be numb, and i had a spot on my left should blade area, about the size of a coke can, that would feel like it was on fire inside, but the surface skin was numb, as numb could be. 10 yrs later, after yrs of listening to the va say there is nothing wrong, i had a civi neurologist test me, and wow, the va was wrong, i had an electrical disconnect between my back, down my arm and into my hand. a bit of nerve relocation, I'm sorta fixed. 
now my sciatica, nope, ill live with the everyday pain and numbness in my legs and feet. i can walk and run, climb up and down the aircraft, do my job, put food I'm belly, and I'm not letting anyone mess with it. i know a few other soldiers who wrecked their backs in acft crashes/hard landings, and they either have to have a walker or cane to move around, or now have a new profession, bc they can't bend over to pick a piece of air off the ground.   
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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2019, 03:29:39 AM »
I don't have much faith in MD's when it comes to back pain, they just treat the symptoms and don't step back and take into consideration the entire 'system'.  Then when it's too bad they go to surgery.  I had bad sciatica for years and finally went to a chiropractor.  The first one was ok but didn't help a whole lot, then I found another who helped a lot but was pretty erratic in his treatment and I kind of lost confidence.  I finally went to an MD and got steroid injections - the first 2 did nothing then the 3rd one helped.  Keep in mind it just kills the pain, it doesn't fix the problem.  I can still tell when my back is tight and limits movement.
The best things I've found is to stretch the hamstrings.  I found a technique where you lay on your back on the floor with the legs up the wall that really helped.  I would go from crippling pain to jumping around after 20 minutes of that - focusing on relaxing and stretching the lower back and hamstrings while in that position.
A doctor told me that the percentage of people with bulging disks is roughly the same as your age - 50% for 50 year olds for example.  If you are 6' tall or over the percentage goes up.  An MRI will show that, but it really doesn't mean much.  

Offline Ed_K

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2019, 09:45:03 AM »
 Alan, I'm really happy that your pushing for the help.
 samandothers, my son was heading towards fusion but never got that far. I think it might have helped.

 The biggest thing is pushing the doctors to keep going. They have to deal with the insurance co. that don't want to pay for anything. Keep asking question's, keep at it so you don't get the run around.
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2019, 10:03:14 AM »
The best things I've found is to stretch the hamstrings. I found a technique where you lay on your back on the floor with the legs up the wall that really helped. I would go from crippling pain to jumping around after 20 minutes of that - focusing on relaxing and stretching the lower back and hamstrings while in that position.

When I initially injured my back in December of '17 stretching was a huge help. Couldn't believe the difference it made. Since I hurt it worse in Feb '18, and the nerve pain began, stretching has offered virtually no relief. I've found the best way for me to loosen my hamstrings is the method you mentioned, everything else is too painful. It might take me 15 minutes on my right leg to gradually stretch it a little at a time against the wall but eventually I can get it close to 90 degrees. But 10 minutes later it will be just as tight as before I started stretching. I can do that every night for 2 weeks and it never gets easier or feels better.

Alan
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Offline Stephen1

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2019, 10:31:39 AM »
I just read through this topic. a lot of great advice as different people work through their problems with the back.
I have benn doing Yoga for the last 18 monthes, once a week, sometimes twice,
a soft version, mainly geard to people over 50, Therapeutic Yoga is what the instructor calls it. 
It is all slow easy stretches, with strength training involved. If I miss a week I know it, and not just in my back but other locations in the body from old injuries. 
The class I take has more men in it than women and we all swear by it, even when some of our buddies laugh at us.
cheers every one and hope all your pain goes away
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Offline Lko67

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2019, 04:07:21 PM »
Have had lower back and hip pain for years. Started seeing a pain management doctor. First 2 visits he put needles in back numbed different spots until he found the spot that relieved pain then next visit he put 3 needles in then run electricity or something thru until he found the nerve then he burnt it off. Go back in a couple weeks for other side so far so good. Then he says he will tackle hip pain

Offline charles mann

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2019, 07:07:53 PM »
I just read through this topic. a lot of great advice as different people work through their problems with the back.
I have benn doing Yoga for the last 18 monthes, once a week, sometimes twice,
a soft version, mainly geard to people over 50, Therapeutic Yoga is what the instructor calls it.
It is all slow easy stretches, with strength training involved. If I miss a week I know it, and not just in my back but other locations in the body from old injuries.
The class I take has more men in it than women and we all swear by it, even when some of our buddies laugh at us.
cheers every one and hope all your pain goes away
that might help. may check into that. but id have to find a place at hm, a place in the portland oregon area, and then a place in every town/city we get based at to fight fires. the ease of pain might make the pain of finding all those place worth it in the end. 
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #45 on: January 23, 2019, 09:27:40 PM »
Talked to the neurosurgeon yesterday. Nice guy. He said if I choose to go forward with surgery I'm looking at a fusion. Since I'm having pain on both sides the option for a small incision through the back and grind away some material to make room for the nerves isn't practical. It would weaken the joint too much to do both sides and likely cause worse trouble later. 

The fusion would have to be performed from the front rather than the back. Recovery would be two weeks of doing next to nothing, 3 months of light duty with therapy, and then more time after that to get back to normalish. 

I asked about any other treatments he'd recommend before surgery and he said some patients have had success with acupuncture and inversion tables and that I might has well give them a chance. 

I was concerned that continuing without surgery might cause more permanent nerve damage or make surgery more difficult later on but he said that shouldn't be an issue. He said even though acupuncture or the inversion table won't "fix" anything that if they reduce my pain to tolerable levels there would be no reason for surgery. 

So today I borrowed an inversion table and will see how it does. I'll try acupuncture as well. At this point I think I'm going to try and make it through the coming summer/fall and if things still hurt bad plan on surgery in late fall so I can spend the winter recovering. I'm afraid that if I have surgery yet this winter I'll spend all spring and summer recovering, and there's a lot I want to get done this summer. 

Alan

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Offline samandothers

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #46 on: January 24, 2019, 08:48:33 AM »
Alan sounds like you have a plan to approach getting some relief.  Seems good approach to surgery, at least initially. 

Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #47 on: January 24, 2019, 08:49:41 AM »
I've had an inversion table for several years. I'm convinced they work if you give them enough time which generally is 2-3 attempts at 12 minutes ea.
Only go to 120 degrees not a full 180.
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Offline Southside

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #48 on: January 24, 2019, 10:55:01 AM »
I have had mixed results with the inversion table, it depends on what the underlying issue is.  My last serious issue several years back happened when a bone fragment came loose from a previous injury and worked it's way through a disc and into a nerve root.  The symptoms were the same pain, weakness, etc, that I have dealt with for years, so I tried the table - oh my that made things much worse.  The MRI and x-ray didn't show the bone piece but surgeon found it when he was in there dealing with the disc and nerve.  You really have to know what is causing the issue when it comes to nerve related problems before you "try" solutions.    
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Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #49 on: January 24, 2019, 02:02:12 PM »
What was the mixed part? Did it help something else?

I don't have any plates, screws or welds so basically I'm just stretching things out like a chiropractor does. Takes the pressure away esp sciatica.

I developed another back problem that so far the table hasn't helped, nor hurt. The very base of my tail bone if I sit too long I'm about crippled trying to get up. Been happening a lot riding the bike for any distance.
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #50 on: January 24, 2019, 02:54:05 PM »
Tried the inversion table last night and will keep trying. So far can't tell any benefit today.

Did as Raider Bill stated and didn't go the full 180. More comfortable and less ankle strain but feels much different than laying flat. I could feel some nerve pain while on the table (which I usually don't feel when laying flat) and when I stood the table back up had a good bit of temporary hip pain (which doesn't normally hurt then). But when I walked across the room it felt a little more comfortable to stride than normal. By the end of the evening everything felt like it has for the last year.

Will keep trying it and see how it goes.

Alan

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Offline Greyman

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #51 on: January 25, 2019, 01:17:07 AM »
When I do my feet-up-the-wall method I also stretch my arms out over my head and consciously push my lower back down against the floor and just generally move my lower back around to stretch it out.  They may help on the inversion table as well.  Also, one thing the table doesn't do is stretch the hamstrings so you might try some of that as well - toe touches while sitting on the floor for example.

Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #52 on: January 25, 2019, 10:30:33 AM »
I think I'm done with the inversion table. In addition to my sciatic pain I've got some sharp pain in my right hip and the inversion table is making that much worse. Doesn't hurt much when I'm on the table but when I get off, and for the rest of the night, it's very bad. Even today (the day after using the table) that pain is a good deal worse than it normally is.

Quote
Also, one thing the table doesn't do is stretch the hamstrings so you might try some of that as well - toe touches while sitting on the floor for example.

My hamstrings, particularly the right side, are extremely tight and I can't get them to stay loose. It's very frustrating. Tried myself as well as the chiropractors, physical therapist, and massage therapist. We can all get them to loosen up and then 10 minutes later they're just as tight as they were before. I've tried religiously stretching every day and they never seem to loosen up. Each day it's like starting from scratch with no lasting results. After a while it starts to feel like the stretching might be making things worse so I'll quit stretching for a while and can't tell any difference. I'm about ready to start it up again but it's hard to find any way to stretch the hamstrings that doesn't cause a lot of pain (not just tight muscle pain).

Alan
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Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #53 on: January 25, 2019, 10:38:57 AM »
Do you take statins?

They made my hamstrings ache so bad I couldn't sleep or get comfortable. I stopped taking them and the pain pretty much went away.
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #54 on: January 25, 2019, 11:18:39 AM »
Do you take statins?

They made my hamstrings ache so bad I couldn't sleep or get comfortable. I stopped taking them and the pain pretty much went away.
That's interesting. But no. I'm only taking ibuprofen as of the last couple months. Before that wasn't taking anything.
Alan
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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #55 on: January 25, 2019, 07:08:37 PM »
Alan:  I have had a micro discectomy(?) to relieve pressure on the sciatic (right side) and my wife has had fusion. For those that may be reading, fusion is the implant of an titanium apparatus in your spine, and not a small one!. Think of 4 ratcheting screws to open the spine up, click, click.  I assisted my wife for nearly a month in day to day activities until her strength regained. Getting in and out of bed for her was a chore. You get good at the "roll" technique. For me, it was trimming the ruptured disc to fit inside the vertebrate area and relieve pressure on the nerve.  I am not to disagree with your surgeon about "no further damage", your situation could be different. My surgeon told me he had not seen a sciatic nerve compressed as severely as mine, and said "it was time" for the procedure. MRI does not show the severity. Your nerve can only recover if the damage is not permanent. No matter what kind of surgery (if you go ahead) do not ever expect to be 100% again.  Of course you are not 100% now, so 90-95 should sound pretty good.  I am 8 yrs removed from surgery and my wife is coming up on 4.

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #56 on: January 25, 2019, 07:52:33 PM »
My hamstrings, particularly the right side, are extremely tight and I can't get them to stay loose.


I have the same issue, and at times for no reason will get massive charlie horses in them, the type that will drop you to the ground right there.  I have never asked but suspect it's related to L5-S1 issues since those will cause pain to travel down my hamstring.  
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Offline Southside

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #57 on: January 25, 2019, 08:01:47 PM »
What was the mixed part? Did it help something else?


Bill,

It helped when I didn't have the fragment floating around.  It does relieve compression as a maintenance process, but for me, after that episode I only consider it safe as long as I am not having significant issues.  Mind you I broke my L5 and my L4 along with damaging discs so I have a lot going on there and not in a good way.  The ER doc told me he was shocked I was walking and during the healing process I was told that if I take another significant hit there I won't be walking, that diagnosis forced me out of my career medially.  I think it's the physical work I do now that keeps me from having more deterioration.  
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #58 on: January 28, 2019, 02:08:00 PM »
Had a lot of pain last afternoon/evening. Didn't do anything strenuous to bring it on. Made me rethink my plans of waiting until next fall for surgery. It's back to "normal" today but it made me realize waiting is a gamble. Getting surgery done in February would leave me (hopefully) mostly recovered by June so I could still get a lot done.  If i decided to wait and the pain got worse I either don't get anything done in the summer because of the pain or because I get surgery done early, which also kills the summer/fall. Plus I'm taking 1600-2000mg of Ibuprofen/day to keep the pain in check and maybe I shouldn't be doing that for another 8 months.

One of the things I want to do this summer is build a shop. Wanted to do it as soon as spring hit but waiting until fall, if I have surgery this winter, wouldn't be a big deal. Even if my pain doesn't increase I'm not sure if I'm physically able to do that in my current state.

Haven't made a final decision yet. First acupuncture session is this afternoon. Will be interesting to see how it goes. 

Alan
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Offline Southside

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #59 on: January 28, 2019, 02:35:14 PM »
At the advice of my doctors I put my last surgery off for a couple of years of on and off again issues until that fragment made the decision for me as I could not walk.  I remember during recovery commenting that I should not have waited so long, the constant pain takes a toll on so many levels that it was not in my best interest to have waited, but that was my experience.  I will say that from my experience your February / June recovery schedule seems a bit optimistic if you plan on doing much serious physical work.  
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #60 on: January 28, 2019, 05:19:51 PM »
At the advice of my doctors I put my last surgery off for a couple of years of on and off again issues until that fragment made the decision for me as I could not walk.  I remember during recovery commenting that I should not have waited so long, the constant pain takes a toll on so many levels that it was not in my best interest to have waited, but that was my experience.  I will say that from my experience your February / June recovery schedule seems a bit optimistic if you plan on doing much serious physical work.  
The "why did I wait so long" seems to be a common theme when it comes to "elective" surgeries like knees and hips. Probably backs too.
As for the June recovery I'm hoping that by June I'd at least be active and happy enough to enjoy the summer. I'd be hoping for more strenuous activities (like building the shop) in late summer or fall. Then I could spend all winter enjoying that new shop rather than recovering from surgery. I'll be doing some Googling to see how most people seem to fair in terms of fusion recovery.
I'm back from the acupuncturist. No immediate results. Will see how I feel over the next few days. Going back again on Thursday AM.
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Offline BradMarks

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #61 on: January 28, 2019, 07:02:45 PM »
Addressing the "why did I wait so long" issue, I too had the same thing with me. I would ask people who had surgery "how do you know when it's time?" and the response was generally "you'll know when!".  And you certainly will, because if the need for surgery is there, your condition does not get better but does get worse.  That's the physical part.  Being in constant pain is not easy on those around you, my wife was very relieved when I decided to get the MRI, and surgery was shortly thereafter. I was making life H**L for her. 

Offline samandothers

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #62 on: January 28, 2019, 09:51:50 PM »
Only regret from my fusion surgeries was waiting too long.  My symptoms prior to my first surgery did not totally go away.  Pain did ease and some numbness went away but not all.  
It may be too early to tell results of the second surgery. The doc did say with brushing that has occurred it will not get worse but may not get better.  I am hoping that it will improve more than it has but I am only 3.5 weeks out.  I still have the pain and unsteadiness on my feet.
I feel if I had gone earlier versus putting off 'surgery' I'd be in a better place.  Both surgeries were easy and out with one over night stay.  No lifting over 8 lbs for at least 6 weeks and at that point we'll see.  I will point out my surgery was at the cervical end and not lumbar.  My entry was through front of neck and therefore probably less tissue and stuff to navigate.
Hope the acupuncture works!

Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #63 on: February 19, 2019, 06:56:00 PM »
Gave up on the acupuncture after 6 visits. The same place does chiropractic as well and wanted to give it a shot. Second time for that today and no improvement yet.

Last week went to see another neurosurgeon for a second opinion. He wanted to see another MRI to be sure things hadn't changed (last one was in June or July). Went to Sioux Falls yesterday to have that done and met with him the same day. He pretty much agreed with the first neurosurgeon, that I'm probably looking at a fusion to correct the issue.

Sounds like they're still not positive the bulged discs are causing the issue since the bulges just aren't that big. But the L5/S1 is degenerated pretty bad and that's what they're suspicious of. So in a couple weeks I'm going back for a discogram where they'll inject fluid directly into the L4/L5 and L5/S1 discs and if one (or both) of them is causing my issue the pain I've been experiencing will be replicated at the time. If neither disc replicates the pain then it's back to the drawing board.

Doctor said pain shouldn't be too bad; similar to the pressure I felt from the cortisone injections. He also said they'll have an I.V. in place in case the pain gets too severe and then all I have to do is say (scream) the word and they'll send me to lala land.

When I got home last night I made the mistake of Googling the procedure. Sounds like it can be a bit unpleasant, to put it mildly. Thankfully I also found some people who said they thought it was going to be terrible (after reading online) but it turned out to be no big deal. Wonder which one I'll get?

Alan
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Offline red

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #64 on: February 19, 2019, 07:50:04 PM »
In winter of 1998 I had a discogram and I was in major pain . Both my L4-L5 and L5-S1 were Shot . In spring of 1998 I was operated on and fused at both levels.  It was a very slow recovery , until about Christmas time. 
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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #65 on: February 19, 2019, 08:03:21 PM »
Had one of those done along with a test where they did nerve conduction via electronic signal - not pleasant, but not the worst thing ever, one where they used some hollow needles moving around to listen to the sounds the nerve made - I eventually grabbed the guys wrist and told him not to touch me again or someone else would be listening to the sounds he was making, and the disc-o-gram - they had partially sedated me for that one and even then it was about as bad as when I broke my L5, could not get the pain meds in fast enough.  The problem is if the test is accurately replicating the issue - which in theory is the right result - then you will be replicating the response.  Yea - it's bad, when I accidentally put a 16 penny nail through my finger using a pneumatic framing nailer and pulled it out with a pair of pliers I was told I have a high pain tolerance, but I would never do the disc o gram again.  
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #66 on: February 19, 2019, 08:51:04 PM »
Had one of those done along with a test where they did nerve conduction via electronic signal - not pleasant, but not the worst thing ever, one where they used some hollow needles moving around to listen to the sounds the nerve made - I eventually grabbed the guys wrist and told him not to touch me again or someone else would be listening to the sounds he was making, and the disc-o-gram - they had partially sedated me for that one and even then it was about as bad as when I broke my L5, could not get the pain meds in fast enough.  The problem is if the test is accurately replicating the issue - which in theory is the right result - then you will be replicating the response.  Yea - it's bad, when I accidentally put a 16 penny nail through my finger using a pneumatic framing nailer and pulled it out with a pair of pliers I was told I have a high pain tolerance, but I would never do the disc o gram again.  
I had an EMG test done as well. The needle part didn't really hurt at all. The most unpleasant for me was when they hooked up the electrodes and gave little shocks but even that was bearable since the bursts were so short. 
I've got my fingers crossed on the discogram. I'm going to pretend I didn't see you and Red say it hurts like hell. 
Alan
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #67 on: March 04, 2019, 01:33:44 PM »
I had some interesting talks with my latest chiropractor. He said my SI joint on the right side has little to no movement. My last chiropractor also said things on the right side of the hip weren't moving well at all. New x-rays show my right hip is about 12mm higher than my left. When I had x-rays done a year ago it wasn't nearly so far off. I'm standing more hunched over and crooked than ever before. 

But as to the chicken and egg (are other back issues causing the hip problems or are hip problems causing other back issues?) he says he's not sure. Despite his best efforts to get the hip to loosen up I ended my sessions with him in more pain than when I began, which was the same as the first two chiropractors I'd seen.

After taking 5 days off from chiropractic sessions things were starting to feel a little better but then Saturday I had to quit taking ibuprofen in preparation for my upcoming discogram on Tuesday. Now I can barely sleep or walk. I don't think there's a 90 year old woman in town who couldn't beat me handily in a foot race. Surprisingly enough the nerve pain in my legs hasn't really gotten worse since going off ibuprofen but the hip sure has. 

The last chiropractor I saw was pretty adamant that I should try everything possible to avoid surgery. Said that my MRI and x-ray look better than most of his patients. That surgery shouldn't be required. But he's also at a loss to explain my symptoms and lack of response to treatments. I'm very interested to find out the discogram results on Tuesday and on Thursday I'm going back to see my non-surgical back doctor to get his thoughts. 

I'd love to avoid surgery but mostly I just want to feel human again. 

Alan
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #68 on: March 05, 2019, 09:12:05 PM »
Had my discogram today. When they injected the L4/L5 disc I think my head exploded. But despite the severe pain I didn't think it was so bad overall. I was afraid the pain would last all day (or longer) but in less than a minute after the injection the intense pain had subsided to the same level it was at before. They gave me some of the good drugs via IV after he was done with the injections and the remaining pain just melted away. It probably only took 5 minutes start to finsih for three discs (from the time the doctor started injecting). The L3/L4 gave no pain at all and the L5/S1 wasn't too bad. The L4/L5 leaked some of the fluid out as well. So overall not a pleasant experience but not traumatizing either. 

It's looking more like fusion on two levels (L4/L5 and L5/S1). On Thursday I'll be meeting with my non-surgical back doctor and on Monday will be meeting with a different physical therapist. I want to see if either of them have any ideas on treating the hip pain without going through surgery. In the mean time they're going to try and get approval from the insurance company for surgery. 

Alan

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #69 on: March 07, 2019, 11:18:17 AM »
Please continue to keep us updated on your progress.  Hoping for a good outcome for you.
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #70 on: March 07, 2019, 03:50:03 PM »
Went to see my regular (non-surgical) back doctor today. Just wanted to go over everything with him again to be sure he couldn't think of something we'd missed or if he had any other recommendations or misgivings. He listened to everything I had to say, asked some questions, and gave my hip a going over. He's of the opinion there isn't a problem with my hip (despite having lots of hip pain). He said they often see complaints of hip pain but the source is elsewhere (like my bad discs). He reiterated that fusion is a last resort but seems to be out of other ideas. He said we could try more injections or physical therapy but he wasn't real confident in them doing me much good based on my treatment history.

He didn't come out and say I should have surgery but reading between the lines I think that's what he's leaning towards. I suppose unless they see something really bad then it's a decision that is supposed to be left up to me.

I'll be seeing a physical therapist on Monday to see if they have any bright ideas and hope to see my other neurosurgeon soon to get his thoughts. He's the one that I'd like to do the actual surgery if it comes to that but I'm not sure how soon they can get me in. He's going to review my discogram results and I should be hearing from his office early next week. I have confidence in both surgeons doing a fine job but he's the one I started with and we got along well (not that I don't get along with the other).

At my discogram earlier this week they prescribed me hydrocordone and tramadol. This is the first prescribed pain medication I've ever used. I took a tramadol last night a few hours before bed and I had my best sleep in months. Took another when I woke up this morning and so far feel better today then I have in quite a while. I don't really want to make a habit of using this stuff but it sure is nice to get a little relief.

Alan
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Offline mitchstockdale

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #71 on: March 11, 2019, 11:04:52 AM »
Went to see my regular (non-surgical) back doctor today. Just wanted to go over everything with him again to be sure he couldn't think of something we'd missed or if he had any other recommendations or misgivings. He listened to everything I had to say, asked some questions, and gave my hip a going over. He's of the opinion there isn't a problem with my hip (despite having lots of hip pain). He said they often see complaints of hip pain but the source is elsewhere (like my bad discs). He reiterated that fusion is a last resort but seems to be out of other ideas. He said we could try more injections or physical therapy but he wasn't real confident in them doing me much good based on my treatment history.

He didn't come out and say I should have surgery but reading between the lines I think that's what he's leaning towards. I suppose unless they see something really bad then it's a decision that is supposed to be left up to me.

I'll be seeing a physical therapist on Monday to see if they have any bright ideas and hope to see my other neurosurgeon soon to get his thoughts. He's the one that I'd like to do the actual surgery if it comes to that but I'm not sure how soon they can get me in. He's going to review my discogram results and I should be hearing from his office early next week. I have confidence in both surgeons doing a fine job but he's the one I started with and we got along well (not that I don't get along with the other).

At my discogram earlier this week they prescribed me hydrocordone and tramadol. This is the first prescribed pain medication I've ever used. I took a tramadol last night a few hours before bed and I had my best sleep in months. Took another when I woke up this morning and so far feel better today then I have in quite a while. I don't really want to make a habit of using this stuff but it sure is nice to get a little relief.

Alan
Alan,
Not sure of your whole history or your physical condition / habits but just from quickly reading a couple of your posts it reminds me of a couple things I have heard of before... have you heard of, or considered, spinal decompression.  From what i gather this allows the spine to lengthen and alleviate stress on the discs. I have heard its very helpful on bulging discs.

Another story I remember was on the Joe Rogan podcast with a former wrestler called Diamond Dallas Page. He runs an intensive exercise program that has a yoga base and remember the story of a veteran that could not walk without the help of two canes from an injury while in service, he was able to rehabilitate his injury through the program.  Weak muscles and poor posture put alot of undue stress on your skeletal system especially your spine.   Anyhow here is the link .

I suffer from chronic backpain and acute sciatica...all my problems stem from sitting in a chair 8 hrs a day.  Hitting the gym regularly and focusing on back and core muscles helps keep the pain at bay for me.  Although it difficult to maintain with little kids and ton of other stuff to do.

Hope you can find a solution.

Mitch
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #72 on: March 11, 2019, 06:35:30 PM »
Saw the physical therapist today. He spent about 30-45 minutes with me doing an evaluation asking me questions and figuring out what hurt when. He had me on my stomach doing a combination of things repetitively trying to gain some range of motion before feeling pain in my buttock and my leg tingling. We didn't gain any ground.

My posture is very crooked so he also tried a couple methods of hip repositioning but neither of them worked either. By the time we were done I was just as crooked and in slightly more pain. He said he didn't think he would be able to do anything for me.

It's not really the answer I wanted to hear but I'm glad that he was upfront with me and I wish I'd at least started my physical therapy from 1 year ago in Sioux Falls (where I was today) rather than back home at our small hospital. He appeared to be very conmpetent and seemed to realize the reason why we hit a wall with some exercises when trying PT before. Of course he also has the benefit of MRI and a year's worth of my medical history on this problem.

Anyway, that pretty much clinches it. I'll be having surgery. Can't wait to get it done and start recovering. I'm about ready to leave work now and then I'll go home to lay down and read in bed for 3 hours before going to sleep. Pretty exciting life.

Thanks for the info and links, Mitch. I really do appreciate it.  I've done some reading on the spinal decompression and decided against it since I couldn't come up with any definitive evidence of it working as claimed and at this point I don't want to invest 1.5-2 months into something I'm not confident will work. As for the yoga thing it looks great but I'm not convinced it will work for me (isn't that what everyone says?). I've tried stretching and PT but we've never been able to gain any ground. Before I get to the point where I'm stretching any muscles the nerve pinches and I get a lot of pain in my hip/buttock and my lower leg starts to tingle. This has gotten progressively worse over the last year and it hasn't mattered if I've been up on my feet doing everything I'm capable of (running sawmill, cutting/splitting/stacking firewood, building lean-to addition, putting flooring in my hose, going for walks) or if I've taken it easy for a week or two. Nothing seems to help and I keep going downhill.

Alan
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #73 on: March 11, 2019, 07:23:20 PM »
alan, I have sciatica as well from an injury trying to move an overweight combative pt.  with mri, you should know if the prob. is a  nerve outlet (surgery may help 50/50) vs periformis muscle spasm/injury/swelling ( injection may help).  Just like you, I avoid surgery if at all poss.  I have a buddy who is a chiropractor, and he did a drop table maneuver to move my SI joint, that seemed to help temp., but not for long.  i had an injection from my buddy a pain doc, and I had foot f\drop for  a day and less pain, then all returned. i got my L knee scoped and my maniscus trimmed, and now my intermittent sciatica is improved.  i was favoring my L knee and flaring up my chronic intermittent sciatica.

Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #74 on: March 13, 2019, 12:45:21 PM »
alan, I have sciatica as well from an injury trying to move an overweight combative pt.  with mri, you should know if the prob. is a  nerve outlet (surgery may help 50/50) vs periformis muscle spasm/injury/swelling ( injection may help).  Just like you, I avoid surgery if at all poss.  I have a buddy who is a chiropractor, and he did a drop table maneuver to move my SI joint, that seemed to help temp., but not for long.  i had an injection from my buddy a pain doc, and I had foot f\drop for  a day and less pain, then all returned. i got my L knee scoped and my maniscus trimmed, and now my intermittent sciatica is improved.  i was favoring my L knee and flaring up my chronic intermittent sciatica.
That's interesting about your sciatica improving after some knee repair.
The chiropractors have been using a drop table maneuver on my SI joint as well as other more and less aggressive methods to try and get it moving better; all of which have resulted in more pain and no improved mobility. The last chiropractor, who really seemed to care and know his stuff, just shook his head and said, "that doesn't even make sense" when I recounted my injury and treatment history and he reviewed my MRI and xrays. He was confident something could be done but after 5 visits I was in worse pain than when we started, which has been the case for all the chiropractors (3).
So at this point I've just got to hope the neurosurgeons know what they're talking about. I'd like to think they do since the majority of their patients are the not-so-common problems that couldn't be resolved by more conservative treatment. I'm really hoping to wake up from surgery and have them tell me that once they got in there things looked much worse than the MRI indicated and that I must really be a fine upstanding American to have withstood the pain and discomfort in such an upstanding way and that everyone is sorry they doubted me and that here's a big bowl of your favorite ice cream and that you'll be back to running that sawmill by July. Maybe I'll write it down for them to be sure they get it right.

All joking aside, and this might be premature to write, but being a healthy guy my whole life this is the first time I've ever delved into our medical field. I've got to say that I've been very impressed with everyone I've dealt with; from the people at check-in to the surgeons and anesthesiologists and everyone in between. They've all been friendly, professional, and competent. They all seem to genuinely care about their career and patients. Same goes for the chiropractors.

Now that I hobble around I get asked a lot about what's wrong and also get to hear a lot of other peoples' experiences and I hear a lot of bad stories about incompetent doctors. I'm sure some of those complaints are well deserved but I'm relieved to find it out isn't the norm.

Alan
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #75 on: March 13, 2019, 01:26:47 PM »
while asleep they will breath for you, when you wake up and want to hear all that, and eat the ice cream, remember to not hold your breath (i.e. don't hold your breath waiting!)  the best Dr.s technically, are sometimes not that friendly ( i.e. do not blow smoke up your asthma)  and the hard part is every person is a little different, and responds diff. to medications and procedures.  Your happiness with all involved so far says something about you as well, meaning you prob. have realistic expectations.  Just like working on complex machinery, you may think you know what is wrong, and confirm it with tests, and fix it and it still does not work.  You must also be somewhat patient, and you being healthy so far in your life means you worked your  bottom off and prob. pushed yourself to the limit.  not sure what good all this post does for you, but I had fun commenting!!!  I hope you find relief soon.  it is often the little things for a long time that wear us down.  My grandma used to say, "I am sick and tired of being sick and tired".  We can tolerate big pain for a short while, but it is the little ache that keeps you awake at night for years that can really drive you crazy and impact your life.  Best wishes sir.

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #76 on: March 13, 2019, 01:35:46 PM »
my sciatica was from injuring the little muscle in my butt, the piriformis.  when it would get inflamed or swollen it put pressure across the nerve.  Pain in by butt and down my leg.  when my meniscus was hurting, i changed my gait to favor the knee, and it stressed my prev. injured piriformis. that is why diagnosis is so important.  If they work on your back, and that is not the prob., of course that will not improve your pain.  not all problems have a test to confirm, and then you are relying on the expertise, experience and ability of your doctor.

Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #77 on: March 13, 2019, 07:37:31 PM »
the best Dr.s technically, are sometimes not that friendly


Of the two neurosurgeons I've seen one is in his mid-60's with a long distinguished career. He's friendly enough but I mainly deal with his assistant and rarely the Dr. himself. He's not unpleasant but is a little brusque. I can understand this and it doesn't really bother me but sometimes I worry that most of the things I say and that he says are going through a 3rd party (the assistant), which leaves room for miscommunication.

The other is probably in his early 50's and I've only ever dealt with him other than the initial nurse that takes my vitals. He sits in a relaxed posture wearing a cardigan over his white coat and listens to what I say in a patient manner (at least from outside appearances), answers my questions, and then asks if I have any more questions. The biggest reason I chose him for the surgery is because I feel more comfortable talking to him (and he also has a good resume).

I don't know if that's really the best way to pick a surgeon or not. The thought has occurred to me that I'd rather get fixed by a jerk than not get fixed by a nice guy.

Your happiness with all involved so far says something about you as well, meaning you prob. have realistic expectations. Just like working on complex machinery, you may think you know what is wrong, and confirm it with tests, and fix it and it still does not work. You must also be somewhat patient,


I'm a mechanic by trade and I specialize in electrical/computer diagnostics. I recognize that even though I've dealt with this for a year with no results that we're working through a diagnostic process and that I haven't been responding the way these cases typically do. I was told in my first visit this wasn't a problem that should require surgery and that physical therapy ought to clear things up. Yet here I am a year later preparing for surgery after spending a few thousand dollars with no results. While I wish we could have just jumped to this point a year ago I also realize that would have been foolish without the benefit of hindsight. But I can see where some people would get frustrated along the way and give up on that doctor (or all doctors).

It's a 2 hour drive from here to the nearest specialty hospitals (Sioux Falls) and people often complain about taking the day off work and a 4 hour round trip just to talk to the doctor for 15 minutes. But I understand that it shouldn't necessarily matter to them what I went through to get there that day. If they can spend 15 minutes and determine the next step in the process then that's all that's needed. It's just all the sooner I can turn around and get home in my opinion. And I do appreciate that, when possible, they try to schedule an office visit and procedure the same day or else squeeze me in that same day for a procedure the doctor just ordered to save me a trip.

And I also know from personal experience, even though you shouldn't let it happen, that it's nearly impossible not to let a bad customer affect the level of service you give them. Just as it's hard not to go above and beyond for a customer who is respectful and patient. I'd rather do everything I can to have the doctor be 100% committed to me.

If you get a bunch of mechanics talking someone will compare ourselves to doctors. The ones that don't like doctors say the doctors have it easy because they can bury their mistakes. The ones that do like doctors know mechanics have it easier because the customer can drop off their inanimate object (car) which we can poke, prod, hammer, shock, and swear at all we want. Unless the patient is unconscious the doctor doesn't get those luxuries.

Alan
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #78 on: March 13, 2019, 07:48:18 PM »
i assure you that a doc appreciates a good attitude and patience.  and we are sometimes pressured to do things that we think are not best, and with a aggressive pt and or family makes you wonder.  i should have guessed you might also be  a diagnostician.  Regards
the new guy is prob. great, the days of the Docs throwing a fit are over.  The young guy may have got more of the pt. satisfaction in his training.  sitting vs standing in surveys the pt thinks the doc was in the room 45% longer than if he stood!  some studies have actually shown higher mortality in pt.s who like there Dr.  go with the guy who listens!

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #79 on: March 13, 2019, 09:07:12 PM »
I concur with what @doc henderson said. He is on on the side most of us don't get to see clearly. I have had the opportunity to study this detail from several angles, as a patient who knows what is wrong and has to push for the care he needs, and as a patient advocate for my elderly parents for many years who were just treated as 'people getting ready to die' and made comfortable. I have also worked in E/D's for a bit and witnessed the pressures that some Doctors are under to ensure timely and proper treatment for many patients at once, some of whom are at critical points. If you've found someone who talks to YOU and listens, you have a solid relationship that you can work on. 
if things get dicey, that is a Doctor you can work it out with and understand what is going on. The straight clinical guy who works through an assistant will be harder to deal with and get a feel good outcome. 
 I have actually gotten to a point where I argued with a Doctor (loudly, but in a professional manner) about his diagnosis because I knew it was just wrong and had him call me on it by ordering further tests which proved he was, in fact, wrong, and was forced to prescribe the treatment I asked for in the first place. I hated being put in that position, he hated me for exposing his poor work,  but I would not let the patient suffer for the benefit of the Doctor having it easy. He has since retired. I wouldn't want to see anyone else have to do that. Most folks would not know how and would have suffered greatly in his care. Pick the guy you feel good about and give him your confidence. There are good mechanics, and not so good mechanics. Same in every trade.
 By the way Doc, I worked with one of those old school Doc's who had fits and threw stuff when I was doing clinicals. He scared me a LOT. I had a challenging case that night and asked the charge nurse if we could talk to the Doc about making an adjustment for a patient in pain. She told me to leave him alone and wait for the x-rays and MRI to come back and he (the Doc) would make a decision then. The patient's discomfort would not wait, so I asked again a while later and she said "fine, he's over there, why don't YOU go ask him?". So I did, he got really pithed at me but got up and checked on the patient, saw the issue as I did, and fixed it. At the end of the shift I apologized about the incident and he told me I should never apologize for advocating for a patient's well being. I never forgot that. He was gruff and mean, but he cared about his patients. What you see is not always what you get.
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #80 on: March 19, 2019, 05:27:57 PM »
I heard from the doctor's office today and insurance has approved the procedure and they think they might be able to squeeze me in a week from now. That means I have to go off the Ibuprofen and Aleve as of tonight. That's going to be murder on me but I stockpiled my Tramadol and Hydrocodone for just that reason. Hopefully I have enough to get me through or I might have to knock off a drugstore or two. 

Pretty darn excited right now. Didn't ever think I'd look forward to going in for surgery but I sure am.

Alan
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #81 on: March 21, 2019, 03:17:35 PM »
I heard from the doctor's office today and insurance has approved the procedure and they think they might be able to squeeze me in a week from now.
They weren't able to coordinate doctors so I need to wait a few extra days until April 1st. I hope my doctor's don't have a twisted sense of humor. That could be a scary place to be on April Fools.
Or maybe I can think of a good joke to play on them.....
Alan
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #82 on: April 03, 2019, 11:11:50 PM »
Showed up at the hospital at 5:00am April 1st and woke up from surgery at 10:45am. 

Doctor said the L4/L5 joint was very loose (apparently worse than the MRI indicated) and he's pretty confident that will resolve most of my issues. So far all the pain I had when I showed up at the hospital is gone and I'm once again standing straight. There is certainly some incision pain and my abs are very tender but it's nice to finally feel no pain in my back, hips, or legs. 

They had me up walking the hall the same day as surgery. They took me down for basic physical and occupational therapy the next morning (walking, stairs, in/out of cars, shower, dressing etc) and that all went fine. They cleared me for release the day after surgery but since it's a 2 hour drive to get home and I was starting to feel really drowsy I elected to spend a 2nd night in the hospital and left around noon today. 

Back home now and am getting along pretty good. They've got me on a light pain pill schedule that's keeping the pain at bay. Been sleeping a lot and trying to get up and move around every so often. Looking forward to getting healed up a bit more. 

Very happy so far. 

Alan
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Offline Don P

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #83 on: April 04, 2019, 06:40:21 AM »
Good deal 8). Take it easy and follow docs orders, those pain pills can get a man into trouble, can't feel it so do too much. I hope this works out and you get back into it soon.
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Offline scouter Joe

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #84 on: April 04, 2019, 07:25:10 AM »
Thanks for the up date . I've been wondering how you were doing . Hope you can continue improving and eventually get back to work and canoeing as well . scouter Joe

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #85 on: April 04, 2019, 10:22:56 AM »
Happy for you Alan.   8)

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #86 on: April 04, 2019, 01:18:46 PM »
A positive attitude goes a long way. 
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Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #87 on: April 05, 2019, 10:06:50 AM »
Hope you can continue improving and eventually get back to work and canoeing as well . scouter Joe
I've been seeing your screen name and wondered if you were the same scouter Joe from myccr and canoetripping. I guess I have my answer. Nice to see you here!
Yesterday (3rd day after surgery) was the first day I felt normal and didn't want to just sleep. I spent plenty of time resting on my back but no napping and I even went out for lunch with my girlfriend and stopped by the shop to see my dad and my mom's house for a visit. Friends stopped over with food last night. 
Pain is being well managed with 200mg of tramadol and 2000mg of tylenol over 24 hours. The tylenol and tramedol are staggered so I'm taking some form of pill every 3 hours. Mobility around the house is not an issue. I'm trying to make a point not to push it too far though. I've been sitting at the computer for 20 minutes and now I'll take a shower before laying down in bed to read for an hour or so. 
I'm starting to feel a little bit of the sciatic nerve pain creeping back into my right ankle but it's intermittent and nothing like it was before. They said nerve pain would be the last thing to go away (and may not go completely). Otherwise I've just got a long tender incision on my belly and really sore ab muscles.  
For anyone that's curious the procedure I had done is called an ALIF, which means they come in through the front for access. But in my case they also came in from the back to remove more material around the nerve and add more stabilization. I feel virtually no pain from the rear incision. It's much smaller than the front. 
Alan
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Offline BradMarks

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #88 on: April 05, 2019, 11:36:25 AM »
Alan:  My guess is the return of a little intermittent pain in the ankle is your body reminding you to slow down just a bit. Riding in the car some can be a little bouncy, things like that.  Just take it easy, walk around the block a bit, light exercise.  Spoken from someone who did overdo it in the beginning - me. You think you're doing great - next moment ugh!  Just being bent over too long in the beginning, sitting too long, simple stuff like that can be an issue. I remember walking around the block felt so good that I would keep trying to "improve my time" like it was a race. Not a good thing to do, as it set me back a bit. Anyway, good recovery ahead!

Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #89 on: April 05, 2019, 12:36:03 PM »
Thanks for the reminder, Brad. Those were the last words of the doctor when I saw him just before discharge. "Don't overdue it." He said if I want to walk a mile I'd be better off doing it in short sections. I'm trying to keep that in mind. The surgical pain is still a good reminder but I can see, as the days and weeks go on, that it will get more difficult to keep myself from overdoing it. 

Alan
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Offline BradMarks

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #90 on: April 05, 2019, 01:43:35 PM »
Absolutely, right now you feel like a million bucks compared to what it was like, just makes you think you "can do it all".  And you will, just not yet. 

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #91 on: April 05, 2019, 02:52:51 PM »
All sounds good!!
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Offline Ed_K

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #92 on: April 06, 2019, 10:01:33 AM »
 I agree with Brad, take it easy for a longer period than I did. At 6 mo. I thought I could start running from one place to another big mistake brought pain back in my right leg enough to realize it wasn't a good idea.
 Also be careful of the tramadol,it's highly addictive. I had a hard time getting off it after my operation in 95. Today I'm on it again but this time it's only 50mg 3 times during the day.It's good cause it doesn't make me drowsy so I can work with less pain.
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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #93 on: April 15, 2019, 11:17:32 AM »
Today is 2 weeks post-surgery. Recovery has been going much better than I anticipated. No problems getting around and not much pain. I quit taking pain meds (other than Tylenol) a couple days ago and so far so good.

Came back to work this morning. I work in an auto repair shop but only in the office since hurting my back last year. It's a nice mix of sitting, standing, and walking back and forth across the shop. Will probably take a long early lunch to go home and lay down for a while and will probably leave early this afternoon too. I ordered a standing desk and tall seat to use with it and they should be here later this week. Hoping that will be a little easier on the back.

Took the dog for a walk last night (about 3/4 mile). That sure felt good. Haven't been able to do that since December.

Alan
Timberking B-16

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #94 on: April 15, 2019, 12:33:15 PM »
Sounds good!! Well better than good!!!
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline Raider Bill

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #95 on: April 15, 2019, 03:32:09 PM »
Today is 2 weeks post-surgery. Recovery has been going much better than I anticipated. No problems getting around and not much pain. I quit taking pain meds (other than Tylenol) a couple days ago and so far so good.

Came back to work this morning. I work in an auto repair shop but only in the office since hurting my back last year. It's a nice mix of sitting, standing, and walking back and forth across the shop. Will probably take a long early lunch to go home and lay down for a while and will probably leave early this afternoon too. I ordered a standing desk and tall seat to use with it and they should be here later this week. Hoping that will be a little easier on the back.

Took the dog for a walk last night (about 3/4 mile). That sure felt good. Haven't been able to do that since December.

Alan
I'm interested in the standing desk and how you like it. Been thinking of putting a couple of them in the office.
The First 60 years of childhood is always the hardest.

Offline Roxie

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #96 on: April 16, 2019, 10:02:28 AM »
I'm so happy to hear you are up and about.  Especially the part about walking the dog.  Remember...we like pictures. 
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Offline Woodpecker52

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #97 on: April 16, 2019, 10:46:02 AM »
I tried Hemp Oil extract 1000 mg for back pain inflammation nerve pain, joints aching, knees popping and stiff back etc.   With in one day it started to work, can now work all day turning logs, stacking lumber and no pain.  I can sit in a chair and lift leg to the other and put on sock something I have not been able to do for 20 years.  I bought it online through that South American river store. I take it once in the morning drops under tongue have been using for over a month no side effects.  Hemp has no THC only CBDs, tastes like a sort of burnt seed and bitter but its kind of like beer you develop a taste after awhile. Oh well it works for me.
Woodmizer LT-15, Ross Pony #1 planner, Ford 2600 tractor, Stihl chainsaws, Kubota rtv900

Offline alan gage

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Re: Siatic nerve pain
« Reply #98 on: April 16, 2019, 12:20:20 PM »
I tried Hemp Oil extract 1000 mg for back pain inflammation nerve pain, joints aching, knees popping and stiff back etc.   With in one day it started to work, can now work all day turning logs, stacking lumber and no pain.  I can sit in a chair and lift leg to the other and put on sock something I have not been able to do for 20 years.  I bought it online through that South American river store. I take it once in the morning drops under tongue have been using for over a month no side effects.  Hemp has no THC only CBDs, tastes like a sort of burnt seed and bitter but its kind of like beer you develop a taste after awhile. Oh well it works for me.
I have a friend who says she's been having good luck with that as well and another friend that used marijuana medicinally after falling off a ladder and breaking her back 10 years or so ago. She says it's either illegal marijuana or legal opioids from the doctor to keep pain at bay. She's more worried about the opioids.
Alan
Timberking B-16


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