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Sciatica - Anyone had/have it? How do you cope?

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Sciatica - Anyone had/have it? How do you cope?

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I have been suffering with Sciatica since August last year, I know that my lockdown weight gain has to be a trigger. so I am currently & successfully loosing weight (slowly but surely)  First I was prescribed Naproxen for pain relief which did nothing. Then I was referred for physiotherapy - which was done by video call, which as you can imagine, was a waste of time. I had an MRI scan last week and awaiting the results. In the meantime I have been prescribed Tramadol which between the drowsy/zombie effect of the tramadol or the pain I don't know which is worse.   If you have had it or have it, what helps you relieve the pain? Some days I can hardly stand or even sit. It run down the full length of my leg and also if I out my head forward it fells like I have a rubber band attached to the top of my head and pulling the full length of my leg down to my toe
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  • shykinsshykins Forumite
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    when mine is really bad I use a Tens machine which i find helps, make sure you get a proper one with various modes not just a cheapy!!     I  also have acupuncture monthly (when open)

    tho i know its hard, doing some gentle exercise such as stretches and walking does help.   My acupuncturist gave me some specific stretches to help with sciatica.   one is laying on your tummy. tuck your foot under the opposite thigh and stretch the leg out, dont over do them at first!!
    hope it improves soon 

    When you know better you do better

    Atkins since 2004 - 8 stone loss maintaining
  • angela110660angela110660 Forumite
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    Having had terrible episodes sveral years ago myself and having meds, physio, exercising - the thing that was the final answer for me was seeing a podiatrist. I now have insoles in my shoes and honestly within a day or so of having them I felt renewed and touch wood - no probs since. Best wishes. 
    Free films - 2009: saw 7 films. 2010 saw 7 films. 2011 saw 7 films. 2012 saw 5 films;2013 saw 7 films; 2014 and 2015 saw 1 in each. Nothing since!
  • pickledonionspaceraiderpickledonionspaceraider Forumite
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    I have suffered with slipped disk twice in my life and I know how horrendous the pain is

    Firstly I would chase the doc for the results of the MRI  ASAP so you know what you are dealing with. I would do that today with out fail

    Tramadol did not do anything at all for my pain, so I would ask for a medication review urgently as you need nerve pain medication,   For me, tramadol and morphine make absolutely zero difference to me for this type of nerve pain.  There are far better medications you could be prescribed that specifically treat this type of nerve pain

    Physio is very helpful - definitely stick to this, as is yoga and if your mattress is a bit saggy, get a new one 

    In your situation I would be on the phone to the doctors NOW and get an appointment to through a medication review.  Dont just think the first tablet they give you will help, sometimes it takes a few to find one that may give some relief





    With love, POSR <3
  • JJ_EganJJ_Egan Forumite
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    Plenty of the old bend forward exercise as per McKenna method .
    Walking i find the best cure , but it is a long term and probable repetitive occurrence .
    Pain Relief only the basics  TENS  Ice heat  paracetamol and or ibuprofen .
    Problem is pain does not come from the leg itself but the spine .
  • SadieOSadieO Forumite
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    I had sciatica quite badly in late 2019/early 2020 and still get twinges. I too was prescribed naproxen. I told the doctor they do nothing for me (I've tried them before for other things) but he suggested I took them anyway in the hope that over the course of taking them they would help the internal inflammation even if they weren't doing much for immediate pain relief. I also have tramadol which does help a bit although not very much to be honest, apparently I am pretty immune to pain killers. You could ask your doctor about gabapentin, it is supposed to be good for nerve pain but I had that for something else once and that did nothing for me either  :/

    I found a tens machine more helpful than I expected, I borrowed one off a friend to try (you can change the pads on them, in case anyone thinks that is a weird/gross thing to share!) and then bought my own when I realised that it did actually help. It was £20 from Lloyds chemist and well worth it. Also hot water bottles and I have a right old selection of heat cream, spray and pads. Stretch as much as you can, there's tons on You Tube and of course whatever your physio told you. Congrats on your weight loss and I hope things improve for you, you have my sympathy. 
  • unforeseenunforeseen Forumite
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    I got it 2 days ago. All I've had so far is co-codamol 500/30. !!!!!! all use. It does absolutely nothing but give me bad constipation, doesn't touch the pain at all. I'm already heading toward sleep deprivation. 
  • FlossFloss Forumite
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    Not much help I know, but back in 1982 my dad spent 2 weeks flat on his back in traction for a slipped disc 😳 and once he was up & about again his sciatica never went away.
  • Sky_Sky_ Forumite
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    The NHS website has some good advice on exercises https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/exercises-for-sciatica/

    They're similar to the the ones I use (recommended by a good physio years ago) and I find they keep my sciatica manageable so that it doesn't generally impact on my daily life.

    Good luck, I hope it starts to ease soon.
    1% MF challenge. £0/1625
  • VegastareVegastare Forumite
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    I too would look into nerve pain medication.  It was also suggested by the company doctor that I should be referred for injections in my back...my GP was none to pleased with this suggestion and neither was my physio.
    After strong pain meds the addition of the nerve pain meds helped me at least stand up straight.  It was almost 8 months before I started to have some normality and to be honest some 10 years later I still have episodes.  But not as bad.
    Looked at the suggested NHS exercises but at first I couldn't stand let alone get on the floor.  I found some relieve lying on my front and also when I could lying on my back with legs up on the couch ( rather like the look of a dining chair on it back on the floor)
  • edited 8 March at 2:29PM
    teddysmumteddysmum Forumite
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    edited 8 March at 2:29PM
    I have had it since May last year. I was already on Tramadol and Duloxetine for herniated thoracic discs ( some since since 2009), so after a telephone consult ,my GP doubled both doses to the maximum , saying I must try to get along , as my last episode was cured by this medication and most cases right themselves in 6 weeks.

    Mine didn't, resulting in being taken literally screaming with unimaginable leg pain, to A&E. An MRI showed I now had a a large lumber herniation. They added the maximum doses of Paracetamol and Pregabalin (which causes awful weight gain).

    These with morphine overnight worked, so I was sent to a local cottage hospital for physiotherapy. I was completely unable to walk but had just two sessions and an assessment of needs, but was sent home. Only one smug nurse new, the rest were amazed, but I think it was to do with an altercation the night before when I dragged myself, against orders to be accompanied, to the toilet ,as no one came after ringing my alarm for 5 minutes.; then was reprimanded.

    Choices were an immediate op or a series of injections, both very risky as our hospital had a high covid burden, or wait and see as mine was a possible type to self correct; so we went for the latter.
    I waited for months and may have been lost in the system, but I now get pain despite the meds and can only walk a few steps and have to be helped up and down stairs.

    At last I saw a surgeon face to face and am on his operating list, but goodness knows how long the the wait will be, as they are the main spinal unit in the area, so incomers mean long waiting lists without a virus threat as well.

    The drugs helped with one thing, as I didn't even feel my Covid jab, last week
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