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My Experience With Sciatica

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posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 07:50 AM
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I was asked to put this up by a couple of guys in another thread. Hope it helps.

I don't remember exactly when it started ... sometime in the '90s. I felt relatively young, certainly invincible -chuckle-, and still unwilling to admit it when I had a problem. I kind'a got used to it when it flared. By the time I retired I was used to living with it full time. I started a second job (sedentary work), and the exercise during work and getting there, was about all the exercise I got. I put on some weight ... not a lot. Five years pass.

It's probably safe to say I have a high tolerance for pain. I broke a bone in my foot once, limped around for three days, and didn't find out fragments of that bone were floating around down there, until I broke it again in a motorcycle accident some twenty/thirty years later. When I had my first root canal done it was followed immediately by two more. This might be important ... so I tell you.

First of all ... what is sciatica?


Sciatica or lumbar radiculopathy is a set of symptoms including pain caused by general compression or irritation of one of five spinal nerve roots of each sciatic nerve—or by compression or irritation of the left or right or both sciatic nerves. Symptoms include lower back pain, buttock pain, and numbness, pain or weakness in various parts of the leg and foot. Other symptoms include a "pins and needles" sensation, or tingling and difficulty moving or controlling the leg. Typically, symptoms only manifest on one side of the body. The pain may radiate above the knee, but does not always. Wiki's got us covered.


I'd suggest you read the various causes listed there. Mine (probably) would have been of the 'wallet' type. I don't recall ever suffering any 'real' injury to my spine.

Back to the story. It's getting worse and I'm getting less and less exercise (note the self-blame here). It's progressed to a point of noticeable constant pain and general discomfort like I'm wearing a mannequin's legs instead of my own. I'm prone to going from a relaxed seated position to a standing position quite explosively and unexpectedly. This can make your boss feel uncomfortable about being around you. So I decide to see a doc about it.

Now, for those of you who don't know, I work in medicine. Not a doc ... but I know who's who. I make some discreet inquiries about 'a friend of mine' with this chronic condition who seems to be getting worse. Who's the best guy to talk to for some straight advice before opening up the wallet? You know the deal (so did they). I finally consult with a young captain (optimist) and an old colonel (realist). Both of 'em tell me they can issue a script that'll make it more manageable ... but there's not a lot that can be done. Not looking good.

At this time I'm in the twilight of an overseas tour. I've landed an assignment in one of the Army's larger hospitals on the East Coast. Not thinking very much about sciatica. Get a new desk, new office chair, new boss (total beezatcher), blah-blah blah-blah ... learning my way around the new facility.

One day, middle of a staff meeting, boss is going off about stupid stuff ... bam ... I'm on my feet and halfway across the conference table heading straight for her. Meeting adjourned. Lucky for me I had seen that colonel before I rotated into the States ... and that he had a clear memory of what we had talked about. The big boss of the hospital makes a couple of calls ... and TriCare sets me up an appointment with this 'teaching doctor' down in Hope Mills.

I thought about being descriptive of who this guy was. It would add a lot of character to this story. I might later, but for now I'm gonna cut to the chase.

Anyway, doc explains to me all about himself, what I'm dealing with, that it CAN be fixed, and that he's gonna get'r'done. I get a ‘surprise’ steroid injection very close to my spine (it felt more like it was IN my spine). Two pricks. Doc says to take my wallet out of my back pocket and go home. I'm feeling a LOT better even as I walk out to the parking lot. The next day, I go in to see my boss and tell her I have to go back for another treatment (I can't remember what the gap was). I can't remember how many times I went back for shots (maybe three or four).

On the last day of shots, the doc hands me a script. He goes through the whole spiel about what they do and how I'm supposed to take them. Then he says he knows I'm gonna try to get them filled at the hospital's pharmacy where I work ... but, that I won't have any luck, and will wind up at Walgreens. I have to go back and see my boss anyway to tell her i'm gonna be out for weeks (she's pissed), so I stop by the pharmacy while I'm in the building. My doc was right. They're not gonna fill the script.

While I'm standing there waiting to be told this, a number of pharmacists stroll past the counter and look me up and down real good. Then 'the' pharmacist shows up and starts asking me, "What's up?" I explained. He's highly skeptical. Tells me they don't give drugs this powerful to the 'expectant' patients up on the terminal ward. Understand that Iraq II is full-on, and short of burn patients, I’ve never seen our guys in this bad’a shape. He hands me my script back and off to Walgreens I go.

The pharmacist at Walgreens doesn't bat an eye. He calls my doc, verifies the script, tells me to come back in an hour, and not to be even one minute late or he won't be able to issue the pills. I come back, check-in at the desk, wait for a delivery truck to show up, see the exchange, the pharmacist doesn't even set the pills down, make my co-pay, and he puts the bottle in my hand. Everybody winds up signing a receipt for the delivery guy and off he goes.

So the pharmacist says to me, "Those pills are going to virtually paralyze you. Don't even think about taking them until you get home. You need to lay down on the floor ... flat on your back. Never exceed the dosage or you probably won't wake up. Take them on-schedule and take them all." So I did. I can't remember now if it was four weeks or six, but I think it was four ... Hell, it might have been eight ... it was a big bottle and they were little pills.

First dose was two. After that one at a time. I got up to go to the bathroom and only ate when I was really hungry. After that, take a pill and go back into a coma for about 14 hours. By the time I was done, my wife was ready to have a fit. We've been married over thirty years now, and from this day to that, I have never been as still as I was during that time. She said she was constantly checking my pulse every half hour and was never really sure if I was alive or dead the whole time. When the pills were gone ... I was cured.

-Continued




posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 07:50 AM
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-Continued

Now, what the doc said to me, was that we have these tendrils of nerves which hang through a hole on our pelvis bone. He said that the sheath covering those strands had worn away probably from doing too many sit-ups on active duty. They were unable to heal as long as I sat down for any length of time at all. He said they'd start to heal as I slept normally at night, but I'd just re-injure them on my drive in to work the next day. Guess who doesn't _ever_ do sit-ups anymore? Crunches seem to work just fine.

I had some phantom pains during the years right after treatment. Broke down and cried once because I knew it had come back, but it didn't really. I don't have those anymore, but sometimes my legs twitch awfully bad at night just before I fall asleep. My wife threw that pill bottle away and I don't remember what they were called. I've got the name of that doc and he's still practicing medicine. He told me he traveled abroad once a year … something like MSF … but not the same.

Not going anywhere anytime soon. Ask, if you have questions. U2U is fine with me.
edit on 3092014 by Snarl because: spelling error



posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 08:07 AM
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a reply to: Snarl

I've been diagnosed with sciatica, and get the pins/needles/electric shock sensation every day, coupled with the pain as well. Non stop dull throbbing pain punctuated occasionally with a sharp stabbing pain. I had to quit my job because of it and it was a physically hard job. (I loved that job) Luckily I retired from the military before my injury so I still have some income coming in.

Now for the question.

Do you think that the pills putting you down for such great lengths of time helped you?, Or do you think that if you could have just laid there doing nothing without taking them the same results would have occurred?

The only thing I take these days is Tylenol (325) and a baby aspirin and a 10mg BP med. (Those were prescribed.) It seems to help me get up and about, but I fear I'll still never get hired again as the pain is daily and probably more out of fear, limits me to what I can do. And I hate popping pills.



posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 08:11 AM
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I don't understand how a "cure" could be induced by what (appears to be?) a powerful sedative? My mom is going in for an MRI analysis by a Stanford doctor for the same condition. Its not yet as severe yet as yours was but I was interested to hear of your "non surgical " cure.

Another relative has gone under the knife twice for Sciatica and she still isn't "cured".

Loved the humor in your post Snarl, wondering if you have any additional advice or links? I am not up on this as much as I should be. My mothers problem stems from a horse back injury decades ago.



posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 08:14 AM
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a reply to: TDawgRex


Do you think that the pills putting you down for such great lengths of time helped you?


In my mind ... there's no doubt.


Or do you think that if you could have just laid there doing nothing without taking them the same results would have occurred?


You can't lay that still. One thing that's probably amazing now that I think about it: I didn't get bedsores.



posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 08:19 AM
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a reply to: intrptr

I'm not sure my story is much more than an anecdote. It's 'my' story and I've never heard of another like it.

Do note that I did not feel I had suffered any injury. The sheath got worn away (per my doc). I would assume from what I've read on the subject, that an injury can kind of kink those nerve fibers. I don't imagine the same treatment would apply.



posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 08:24 AM
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a reply to: Snarl

Well, if that narcotic actually paralyzed you and kept you still, I'm pretty sure there would be a adverse reaction between it and my BP meds.

Side effects: yada, yada, yada and Possible Death.
(I've always thought that was a hell of a side effect.)

One other question. Do you experience a build up of pressure in your leg or joint until it pops followed by temporary relief, and the cycle begins again?

My back now sounds like a xylophone after the injury as well. Chiro helped some, but Tri-Care doesn't cover it so I have to pay out of pocket the full cost.
edit on 30-9-2014 by TDawgRex because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 08:27 AM
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a reply to: Snarl


It's 'my' story and I've never heard of another like it.

Me neither. That doc prescribed the medication for it so it might be more than just unique to you.

What struck me is the need to lay still for so long. Like you wouldn't have otherwise and so the body can't heal. These pills were like an induced "traction" of sorts?

My mom is always busy and refuses to sit still. She "collapses" after a while, complaining of pain. Maybe its a bit like tennis elbow when people don't stop aggravating an injury.

She can't take much medication, bad reactions and all. Maybe I should tie her to the bed, lol.
edit on 30-9-2014 by intrptr because: bb code



posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 08:39 AM
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a reply to: TDawgRex


One other question. Do you experience a build up of pressure in your leg or joint until it pops followed by temporary relief, and the cycle begins again?


There was a definite cycle. I could feel it building ... sometimes more, sometimes less ... but I could always tell when it peaked and when it was going to ebb. Once the 'mannequin legs' manifested, that never diminished.

Listen brother ... I typed this whole thing out for one reason, and that is to motivate you to find treatment. What I described in this thread was a life-altering experience for the good. And, I wouldn't hesitate to get another root canal if a tooth went bad on me again either. Different kinds of pain, but both were chronic. I'd have to flat-out hate somebody to wish what I know as chronic pain on them.



posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 08:42 AM
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a reply to: intrptr


These pills were like an induced "traction" of sorts?


Never thought of it like that, but that's as fair a description as I've ever heard applied. I'm stealing that in case I have to tell this story to someone again.




posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 08:48 AM
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Aw gawd...............I wish I could get over there and sort you guys out! Or somehow do a vid and post it to show you how to sort your sciatica out for yourselves! Yes you read that right.

22 years ago whilst I was doing my training, I was taught an amazing technique that solves sciatic problems. It has never let me or any of my clients down. My teacher who taught us said at the time she learnt the technique her mother had been wheelchair bound for almost 2 years, with, at that time, no hope of any recovery/cure. She immediately went home and started doing this technique (very sceptically) on her mother. Within the week her mum was out of the wheelchair and a couple of weeks later running around like a spring chicken.

Also, when it gets to the point where the melanin sheath wears off the nerve endings, grapefruit essential oil is required during the massage technique which you do up and down the inner side of your shin, as, for whatever reason, grapefruit eo repairs and helps to 're-grow' the melanin sheath.


Jane



posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 08:52 AM
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a reply to: Snarl

I appreciate this thread. I've been doing a lot of research (Even bookmark many sciatica related sites) and even though some say that there is a cure, most say the damage is permanent. That it's not about healing and going back to normal, but rather pain management.

"Pain management"...I hate that term.

Every one I know who have had surgery recommend against it. They may have a few years of relief, but it always comes back and usually worse than the first time around. Most of those folk also went the shot route and say it was also a lot more temporary than advertised.

The VA denied my claim (2X's) and the DAV is working the issue.

*Sigh*


I just want to get back to work, doing something with my hands.

BTW, I manage to walk 6-10 miles throughout the day, I literally have no more furniture in my house with the exception of exercise balls. That has seemed to help...though the going is slow and I have become impatient.



posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 08:53 AM
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a reply to: Snarl

Thank you very much for sharing your story with us. It makes me feel hopeful for my husband. He's got lumbar pain, and has been doing epidural steroid injections and radio frequency ablation procedures. Not much relief for him as of yet. I have to say, I'm worried that he's not receiving the best possible care through the military... it's good to see that you had success with your condition.



posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 08:53 AM
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a reply to: angelchemuel

LOL ... you're exactly right. That was part of my physical therapy.


Also, when it gets to the point where the melanin sheath wears off the nerve endings, grapefruit essential oil is required during the massage technique which you do up and down the inner side of your shin, as, for whatever reason, grapefruit eo repairs and helps to 're-grow' the melanin sheath.


I also had to lay down on this medieval torture device. Clackety uneven wooden rollers that wore my back out.



posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 08:56 AM
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a reply to: Snarl


I'm stealing that in case I have to tell this story to someone again.



Dude, I was just kidding about "Tying my momma down".



posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 08:59 AM
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a reply to: MojaveBurning


I have to say, I'm worried that he's not receiving the best possible care through the military... it's good to see that you had success with your condition.


I'd get him away from military treatment if it's not working. The military has a passable healthcare system ... within its limitations.

My treatment was provided by a civilian physician with very few (to the best of my knowledge) TriCare eligibles. Most of the cost came out of my pocket ... and in hindsight it was worth more than a million bucks ... literally. I would have had to quit working if I hadn't been healed.



posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 09:01 AM
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a reply to: angelchemuel


during the massage technique which you do up and down the inner side of your shin,

Has anyone given any credence to the as seen on TV calf thingy that puts pressure on the calf to help with sciatica?

Heres the ad…



posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 09:15 AM
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Great read.
I'm glad you finally found relief. There's nothing like those shooting pains in the lower back and down the leg! It's awful!

I have had sciatica for MANY years. about a year and a half ago, it got SO bad that I spent the following 6 weeks in bed locked up. During my "rest", I found a book with proper exercises that got me through. I now do a limited version of the back exercises three times a week and will for the rest of my life, because I haven't had a real bout since then. I can feel it every once in a while, especially if I skip a few days, but it's NOTHING like it was before that and I've not been incapacitated like I used to get regularly.

Here's the book. I also got the knee book and avoided surgery. My knees are great now and I incorporate both sets of exercises into my routine.

Healing Back Pain Naturally : The Mind-Body Program Proven to Work - by Art Brownstein, M.D.

Heal Your Knees : How to Prevent Knee Surgery and What to Do If You Need It - by Robert L. Klapper M.D.
edit on 9/30/2014 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 09:20 AM
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a reply to: intrptr

That may work to relieve the pain, but it's not treating the cause, it's managing the symptoms. From what I understand, the leg pain isn't really pain, but a result of the nerves being pinched in the back and sending a false pain signal to your brain. So, I think that contraption just short-circuits the pain signal in a way. I'd go for treating the cause, instead of the symptom.



posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 09:27 AM
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a reply to: intrptr

That thing doesn't make sense to me. When I had sciatica, if I applied any amount of pressure whatsoever to the back of my knee joint, I would damn near cry in agonizing pain that ran from my toes to my butt. There's no way I could have worn something like that.

My case was extreme though. For 3 years I couldn't even touch my knees with my legs straight. I could barely walk, couldn't kick a ball, running was out of the question.
edit on 30-9-2014 by Bone75 because: (no reason given)




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