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How do you deal with the pain?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,000
Hi everyone! I'm new here and am very glad that I found this forum! I am a 39 year old male living with this horrid pain in my sciatic nerve. I have actually had it since I was 14 or so by getting thrown from my horse into a very sturdy wooden fence. While i am thankful that it is not a chronic, ongoing pain, I do have some really nasty flare ups. Like right now. :(

Usually, I can predict the flare ups by a dull shooting pain in my right hip down to my knee. It is like an electrical current that constantly moves up and down. Then a day or so later, the lower back(right where the back and buttocks meet) goes out where I cant stand normally, nor sit comfortably, nor (this is the worst) be able to even sit on the toilet. And I'm just describing the pain, not the spasms! The spasms make me feel like I have lost control over my muscles and I jerk like a rag doll in serious pain. G_D forbid I should cough or sneeze at these times!

About two nights ago I had a different flare up. It started with my right leg falling asleep and taking about 20 minutes for the pins and needles to fade. I really did not think anything of it at the time.....then yesterday I got the pain and spasms in the lower back. Walking was painful that made me feel like a 39 year old going on 69. sleeping was a chore.

Today, I took 3 aspirins and am using a heating pad(as I type this) and the pain has subsided a bit. I am getting up and walking with my back as straight as I can for 15 minute increments. Because I only get this pain like once a year, I have not seen a doctor nor am on any meds. I know, I know....go to the doctor Universal guy...I know :) My insurance is just around the corner for that!

Anyhow, is what I am describing a sciatic nerve condition? What kinds of ways do you all try to lessen the pain without narcotics? Will using only heat help or hurt? It seems to be helping me right now, but that could be the combo of aspirin and heat.....

Sorry for the long winded post. I'm just really happy to of found a board with possible answers for me!


  • I don't know if you have sciatica or not, but some of what you describe is pain and sensation I have, and I have permanent S1 nerve damage. I hope you do not have permanent damage!! I would think not, if you only get this once a year or so. What is the yearly trigger for this pain? Any kind of movement, stretching (putting up Christmas lights, for example), that you do? Have you connected any activity to the subsequent pain?

    I hope you are able to get to the doctor as soon as insurance allows. You really really do not want permanent nerve damage. For me, the sensations you described became 24/7 and were mind-numbing. I just got a SCS - spinal cord stimulator - to mitigate the pain. It is like a pacemaker for nerves, and the pulse generator in my hip sends little electrical pulses to my mid back, which blocks the pain signals coming from my damaged nerves. I feel buzzing/tingling instead of burning pain. Such a relief.

    In the beginning, my pain was not constant. But as it worsened, the pain would radiate more down my thighs, calves and to my feet. Docs said as it radiates down, it's getting worse and worse and time to worry (for me). I was bull headed, stubborn and in denial for quite a while. And I ended up allowed the damage to become permanent while I was in my lovely state of denial. Can't go back now, though, so I do the best going foward.

    Welcome to Spine Health and I hope you find an answer and a fix for your pain. You will love it here!!

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  • I used ICE packs. Two of the 4 X 9 reusable icepacks wrapped in very thin t-shirt and held against me with a big oversized towel. It would break the pain cycle temporarily.

    Welcome to Spine Health.

  • dilauroddilauro ConnecticutPosts: 12,303

    for a spine-health site introduction, click on :

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    until you see a doctor (and reading what you posted, you need to see a doctor to identify / validate what is going on with you.
    till then, to calm down the pain that can be associated with sciatic pain you can :

    - walk around, sit for a while, lay for a while, basically changing positions, dont spend any long period of time in any one position.

    - use of heat, moist warm heat. showers are good, bathtubs are better, hot tubs are even better!
    if you do not have any formal heating pad. just take a towel, wet it, put it in the microwave for about 3 minutes, wrap it in another tool and apply. but caution be very careful with any heating device that comes out of the microwave. i used a rice heating pad, 3 minutes in the microwave, slept on it with a sweatshirt and undershirt as layers between the pad and my skin. i woke up with a 3rd degree burn. 3 months later, i had the burnt eschar surgical removed and plastic surgery to cut a flap from my back and cover the hole.

    - ice packs... dont have those expensive ice packs, take a large bag of frozen peas or corn from the freezer and use that. it will mold to you body, then when you are finished, back into the freezer they go until next time.

    still, make an appointment to at least discuss this with your pcp
  • Is really just a term for leg pain. It is interchangeable for the term "radiculopaty" meaning it is not reserved for leg pain that only effects the sciatic nerve. The reason as to WHY you might be having this pain are many and complicated so forget trying to diagnose yourself. I think a product like Aleve would work better than aspirin because it has more anti-imflammatory properties. Heat works better for me as does massage (if you have a loving partner who could be called into service). But, the sad truth for me, is during a real flare. nothing seems to help execpt the knowledge that this too shall pass. EVENTUALLY. Welsome to the S-H forums. Let us know how you're doing.
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  • It sounds like you have something starting , mine started that way after being thrown from my horse, went on with spasm and leg pain for ten years, now it runs down both legs and hip pain is out of this world, those spasms can really put you down, I have had to crawl before they are so bad, I would see my doc and get a MRI and see what is going on.
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