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JMART5
03-26-2013, 16:30
I searched on the term sciatica but found very little. If this has already been discussed just point me at the discussion.

About two days ago I had pain that felt like an ice pick sticking in my lower right back. Then it began radiating down into my right quad. Went to the doctor and was diagnosed with sciatica. Not sure what I did to piss off that nerve but apparently I did it. He put me on a steroid (methylprednisolone-4MG), an NSAID (Voltarem-75MG), and Flexeril-10MG. The pain comes and goes and is still very sharp.

My question is this: has anybody figured out an exercise or stretch that made their sciatica less frequent/painful? When the pain hits my quad it feels like a painful muscle spasm so I thought an exercise or stretch migh help. I've tried the standard stretches but no luck.

alelks
03-26-2013, 16:39
I can tell yo my father had GREAT results going to a chiropractor for years. It finally got to the point though that the chiropractor told him he needed an operation. They went in and opened the nerve canal and he had no other problems after that. Of course everyone is different and the pain comes from different areas/causes so get a few opinions on the best course of action.

Dusty
03-26-2013, 17:00
I'll tell you what works for me.

Lie down on your back so that the small of your back makes contact with the floor. Pelvic tilt, I think.

Bend one leg and grab your ankle with one hand, and behind your knee with the other. Keep your shinbone at a right angle to the long axis of your body, and slowly pull your leg back towards your chest as far as you can, keepeing your spine in contact with the floor. Hold it for 35 seconds, then do the other leg. Do it three times each morning and night.

Don't be surprise if your hear the pops of your vertebrae lining themselves up.

MR2
03-26-2013, 17:27
Whenever I start getting sciatica, I start backing off the ice cream and start sitting up straight in the chair.

5 Sciatica Exercises for Pain Relief (http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/stretching/5-sciatica-exercises-for-pain-relief.html)

Causes and Treatment of Sciatica (http://physicaltherapy.about.com/od/backpain/a/Sciaticahub.htm)

JMART5
03-26-2013, 17:38
Thanks for all the advice. I'll start trying this stuff immediately.

Trapper John
03-26-2013, 19:15
From your description of the pain radiating down the quadricep, this is not Sciatica. The sciatic nerve travels through the gluteus maximus and down the back of the leg. This sounds like the saphenous nerve. Pain can originate the lumbar region as you describe. Usually is due to inflammation in the nerve sheath and the anti-inflammatory agents you have been prescribed will help the most. Stretching may actually make the inflammation worse due to irritation of the nerve sheath. I would recommend rest and the anti-inflammatory drugs. If this does not resolve in a few days or keeps recurring, I would recommend an MRI. Could be a herniated disc or synovial cyst impinging on the nerve.

Disclaimer: I am not a physician, but I do stay at Holiday Inn Express on a regular basis :D

JMART5
03-26-2013, 20:23
From your description of the pain radiating down the quadricep, this is not Sciatica. The sciatic nerve travels through the gluteus maximus and down the back of the leg. This sounds like the saphenous nerve. Pain can originate the lumbar region as you describe. Usually is due to inflammation in the nerve sheath and the anti-inflammatory agents you have been prescribed will help the most. Stretching may actually make the inflammation worse due to irritation of the nerve sheath. I would recommend rest and the anti-inflammatory drugs. If this does not resolve in a few days or keeps recurring, I would recommend an MRI. Could be a herniated disc or synovial cyst impinging on the nerve.

Disclaimer: I am not a physician, but I do stay at Holiday Inn Express on a regular basis :D

Thanks TJ. I'll keep this in mind. The damn stabbing pain is almost debilitating. I tried to go to work today and was definitely "a No-Go at this station".

PRB
03-26-2013, 20:31
I had a similar issue....I'm small, 165lbs, and often carried a big ruck (no shit huh) as it seems when we devided up team gear it didn't matter what you weighed.
I went to a chiro on Yadkin rd years ago and he, it, did wonders....have not had the issue since.
It was a total freakin game changer and I only went as the last straw ....I was skeptical but ain't anymore.

Trapper John
03-27-2013, 06:51
Thanks TJ. I'll keep this in mind. The damn stabbing pain is almost debilitating. I tried to go to work today and was definitely "a No-Go at this station".

I definitely see an MRI in your future ;) Take care Brother.

lovemycountry
03-27-2013, 07:23
IF its inflamed try an ice pack. I travel with packs in a cooler since I have similar issues. I go to a Chiro every 2 weeks to keep me "in-line" ( rear end alignment so to speak) Mine started from a high school football injury that was treated back in the early 70's but they never saw the mis-aligned hips that ended up with a Disc "bulge" 30 years later that causes Sciatica. Chiro and Ice keeps me going. Also, I agree with the MRI. It's the best way to be sure.

Good Luck,
LMC

MiTTMedic
03-27-2013, 09:56
My many years working in Physical Therapy says this:

Ice, no heat
Ant-inflammatories
Rest. Stop doing the things that irritate it the most.
Once pain has subsided around 25%, start with stretching your back flexors, as well as gluteal and piriformis stretches. For these stretches, Google is your friend.
An MRI only after things don't get any better. It's a diagnostic tool, not a treatment. The vast majority of back injuries are soft tissue, so treat that first. "If you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras".

regularamymedic
04-10-2013, 18:50
The pain you are experincing is called Ridicular pain (the pain thats shooting down your thigh/leg). Nerve impingement/involvement causes this. You more than likely have something going on in L5-S1 are (give or take a vertebrae or two....;).

True everyone handles pain differently, but unless you are an 18-25 year old healty adult, with your military service time, which Im sure is considerable....you have some damage that probably wont improve with NSIAD/Muscle Relaxants, etc....

See your Doc and get an MRI so you know what your dealing with....And ask him/her for the appropriate drug that treats nerve pain. When I had a blown L5-S1 three years ago, I took a drug called Gabapentin, and it took the edge off in a big way.

Good Luck to you Sir....And get that MRI!
:munchin

miclo18d
04-11-2013, 06:51
Having had similar back pain (bulging disks at L4-L5) my number one relieving agent was ice and Motrin and that's not an 18D joke either (you know, waist up Motrin, waist down foot powder).

I tried the chiropractor once. As DI sort of stated, unless you find "that one guy", you are probably just going to an ambulance chaser, which looking back is where I ended up. It did nothing for me but plant a suspicion in me about chiropractors being witch doctors. The STIM felt great but I was worse 15 minutes out the door than when I came in.

I did nothing for my back except ice and Motrin for about 10 years until I started ACAP and then finally decided to get all of my chronic problems looked at finally. Basically I wanted surgery on my back and my Bn doc and PA were more than happy to sign a consult but when I got there after the MRI and all, I was told I was non surgical. It seems that your pain level has nothing to do with whether or not a doc wants to cut you open.

Walking out I was not very happy especially with the civilian ortho PAs crappy bedside manor. I went back and was referred to the pain management clinic run by a DO (one of the Drs can explain the diff) and was scheduled for steroid injections a month later following a physical therapy session (the PTs/sports med are where the good chiropractors go...got lots of STIM too :). ). I had 2 injections over the course of 3 months and almost a third but I had responded so well to the first 2 that he decided to forego the 3rd.

Since I retired in 08, I have gone back to PT one time and have had great relief of symptoms. Of course I'm not rucking, running or jumping anymore to exacerbate it.

BLUF - Ice and Motrin, consult with Ortho, PT, surgery or pain management, PT as needed.

Odd Job
05-04-2013, 05:45
OP, you need a more solid diagnosis before you do stretches or physio.
I've had sciatica from piriformis impingement and that was very bad, the worst kind of pain I have experienced which does not let up.
I do daily stretches now to make sure it doesn't happen again, but I also have an MRI report which proves bilateral pars defects and a grade 1 spondylolisthesis at L5-S1 with some impingement on the L5 nerve roots.
In my case, that was not the cause of my pain, but I'm only 41 and in 20 years time that spine is not going to be any better.
You need to exclude other stuff going on before you go for any physical therapy.

UWOA
05-04-2013, 11:06
The pain you are experincing is called Ridicular pain (the pain thats shooting down your thigh/leg). Nerve impingement/involvement causes this. You more than likely have something going on in L5-S1 are (give or take a vertebrae or two....;).

True everyone handles pain differently, but unless you are an 18-25 year old healty adult, with your military service time, which Im sure is considerable....you have some damage that probably wont improve with NSIAD/Muscle Relaxants, etc....

See your Doc and get an MRI so you know what your dealing with....And ask him/her for the appropriate drug that treats nerve pain. When I had a blown L5-S1 three years ago, I took a drug called Gabapentin, and it took the edge off in a big way.

Good Luck to you Sir....And get that MRI!
:munchin

What he said ... except the impingement was incidentally induced ... the anti-inflammatory will reduce the size of the sheath thus reducing contact at the impingement point(s). The NSAIDS will reduce pain ... in combination they afford the sheath time to heal. That does not mean there won't be a reoccurence, especially if you repeat the activity that produced the initial impingement ... the liklihood of this is based on your overall physical health and activity. Barring a degenerative disc condition you should recover ... but, as has been said elsewhere, the MRI is an excellent diagnostic tool that will accurately portray the depth of the problem.

.

JMART5
05-04-2013, 20:09
Appreciate all the medical advice. Ice helps. I also got a deep tissue massage which helped loosen the muscles. I stretch throughout the day. It's no longer constant. Hits late afternoon and at night. Ortho doc said if it doesn't go away he'll start me on physical therapy followed by MRI. Again, thanks for all of your suggestions.

hotshot
05-04-2013, 20:39
Appreciate all the medical advice. Ice helps. I also got a deep tissue massage which helped loosen the muscles. I stretch throughout the day. It's no longer constant. Hits late afternoon and at night. Ortho doc said if it doesn't go away he'll start me on physical therapy followed by MRI. Again, thanks for all of your suggestions.

JMART- I'm with you with this issue brother. I have been dealing with it for over 5 years now. All of the advice here is on point from my experience dealing with sciatica. I have a disc herniation at L5-S1. My road to treatment has been long and painful but I'll withhold my opinion on why.

Mis dos centavos...

First off, if you have access to any Thor3 PT's or facilities I would go see them ASAP. Being as flexible as you can right now is very important as well as core stability.

I bought an inversion table (You may be able to get one through the Army). It was probably the best thing I could have done for myself. I had to stop dead lifting, squating and cleaning weights. Now i use the machines for those movements instead. I found a chiropractor that has been great and when I'm feeling off, I go get an alignment.

The next best thing besides the inversion table has been deep tissue massages. I have noticed that if I get a massage about once a month, I have less issues.

There is probably a lot more I could add, but it seems like you are on track. Good luck with your recovery.:lifter

CH

*caveat, I am by no means an SME in back problems or medical professional. These are all experience based opinions...

Stobey
06-03-2013, 20:57
Iv'e dealt for 1.5 yrs. with what I THOUGHT was sciatica. Toward the end of Dec. , 2012, I was taking 4 motrin qid (3200 mg.!) and that only made the pain just bearable. Bloodwork showed significant renal impairment - like 50%. Rheumatologist didn't know what to make of that until I told him how I was trying to cope with the pain (excessive ibuprofen use). Said to STOP taking the ibuprofen. X-rays showed severe osteoarthritis of L4, L5 & S1. Doctor wanted to start giving me cortisone shots. I said: "Hey Doc, I already take 8mg Medrol DAILY for the Rheumatoid Arthritis" (+ Methotrexate weekly). Asked him if I could try Cymbalta.
(Got tired of hearing the commercials crowing: "Imagine yourself with less pain!")

I know that Cymbalta (60mg daily) is an SSRI anti-depressant; but for some strange reason, has worked wonders for the pain in the lower back. I know that Cymbalta is no CURE for the severe osteoarthritis - it's apparently masking the symptoms; and it will apparently work until... when? That I don't know; but I can walk upright now and don't feel like I'm 80 yrs. old!