sciatica..1 year in

so please forgive my bad grammar..I type fast and I usually forget to check my words.

as the title says, I have suffered sciatica for about year, now I know people have suffered longer and probably have worse pains...but this being a alright site..ive decided to share..maybe receive some help...
About a year ago I was helping lift some couches and out of no where I felt a minor strain..though I just ignored it. later that night I was with my wife and the night seemed good, till the next morning.. I woke up in horrible pain,, I couldnt walk hardly, I was getting constant pins and needle down my butt down to the back of my knee...again I ignored it and thought bad muscle strain...well I was half right,and decided to just bed rest it..

the next morning was worse by far.. the pain was down my calf to my foot..had to crawl(painfully) to the bathroom..this pain continued for 3-1/2 weeks..granted I made a doc appointment but had to wait 2 weeks...ibpro...creams..leg brace.. nothing worked...
2 weeks went by and the pain was partially numbed finally..I could walk a small distance with a cane(pathetic I know)...finally the doctor sees me and first doesnt acknowledge the fact id done some research while bed ridden..thats ok I let her make the diagnosis..

after arguing forever of what I felt she prescribes me ibpro(cause it worked so well before) granted the pain numbed im sent to rehab with I kid you not some the most thickheaded first day Im given a task of what I call the half pushup. it wasnt helping but they wouldnt listen at 4 weeks of the same garbage they tell me my improvement wasnt good and wanted more..well im stubborn and dumb and said no way cause really they were not helping me..I decided to do my exercises at home more and though it was only quick sharp pains I still felt the effects of kept its presence known but at a minimum...until recently..the flare ups started again..though it seems worse this time..I cant walk on it hurts horribly to even attempt my rehab stretches and its hard to make it to bathroom my bowels wanted to just explode...I know I need to see my doctor but at same time I was pretty much thrown to side and givin useless not sure what to do only 27 and I know plenty others have worse but im hoping to get some advice...thank you.


  • richjord, let me give you a little of my history.  And I am also asking others in the forum to comment as well.  My problems also started when I lifted some heavy boxes and leaned backwards with them.  The next day, I could not walk because of the severe shooting pains going down the back of both thighs.  I couldn't walk without bending forward.  I started taking some NISAIDS (naproxen) and after about 2 weeks, that horrible pain subsided so that I could walk again.  At that time, I did not know that I had central canal stenosis, which means that my canal where my spinal cord goes through is smaller than normal, which does not give the spinal nerves enough room to move without being "pinched" by a bony part of your spine.  My first attempt to seek medical attention was to a chiropractor, who x-rayed my back and diagnosed the stenosis.  Well, he was right.  I then went to an orthopedic surgeon who did an MRI and confirmed the diagnosis.  The chiropractor told me I would not have relief from anything that he could do, because there was an impingement on a nerve that needed to be corrected, most likely by some kind of decompression surgery.

    So the orthopedic surgeon sent me to a pain management doctor, who did injections trying to ease my pain.  I had three.  None of them worked.  This went on for about 3 years.  Then I went to another orthopedic pain doctor, and he said I had osteoarthritis in my spine and recommended more injections. I find it strange that he said nothing about the stenosis and impinged nerve condition at all.  I thought that to be a little odd, so I decided to go elsewhere.

    Then I went to a neurosurgeon who specializes in spine disorders, and he did an updated MRI, which revealed that in addition to the impinged nerves, I also have grade 1 arterolisthesis at L4 over L5, which means that one of my discs is slipping over the one below it because the cushioning in between the discs is no longer there.  He has recommended TLIF surgery (minimally invasive) to correct the impingement on the nerves and also to correct the L4 over L5 condition.l  

    Now, I am in the process of trying to decide whether to have that surgery.  I have read many posts on here from people who are suffering tremendous amounts of pain (before AND after surgery), whether sitting or sleeping or walking, etc.  I am not at that point.  I can sit comfortably with just a little bit of an ache in my hip area.  I can sleep very comfortably.  The only time I have any problem is when I stand or walk for too long.  Then my left leg will go totally numb and I have a very  "deep" aching in my low back.  But when I stop whatever I'm doing and sit down, I can instantly feel the left leg "coming back to life," the numbness goes away, and I can then get up and continue for a little while more on whatever activity I was trying to do.  All I am taking right now is a rather large dose of naproxen.  It doesn't kill all the ache, but just sort of takes the edge off.  I also wear a rather stiff back brace that keeps my back straight. One of the orthpedists I saw gave me that. I am not having searing pains, but just what I call a deep achy feeling in my lower back and especially my left hip area.  I really don't know if that ache is coming from the arthritis or the discs rubbing together or the nerve impingement. When I go back to see my NS, that will be one of the questions I ask him.

    Now, I am beginning to think that as long as I can do some activities, even if I had to stop and "rest," and I am not living in constant unbearable pain, then maybe I am not yet ready for surgery.  Anybody have a comment?

  • richjordrrichjord Posts: 4
    edited 07/20/2019 - 10:30 AM
    youre correct I have not had an actual diagnosis as of yet. however I called my pcp this morning and was scheduled a MRI. my biggest problem with my PT was not that they were dumb or not trying to help but everytime I would tell them my pain level or thst an exercise would hurt more then help. they would look at me like I was just a liar who wanted a free ride.  it upset me and I over reacted to how it went. thst was my mistake. The home exercises were the ones givin to me by them and when I would say it helped they told me to stop. that just confused and frustrated me. I know it was my own fault. hopefully I will have more information the next time. im glad I put my pride to side to call my pcp again cause now she feels the mri is necessary with not being able to walk or stretch. I have others stories to be grateful for helping me make that call for I have a tendency of giving up after just one try. 

    thank you again for the response and I will provide an update after the MRI results. 
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  • richjordrrichjord Posts: 4
    edited 07/30/2019 - 9:44 AM
    Thank you for the help and the push I needed, I received my mri results today and it seems Ive herniated my disc in my L5 S1, my doctors setting me with a neurosurgeon hopefully after what will be a painful weekend, I havent been able to sleep well. slight cough sneeze or movement and I awaken in pain and have a horrible flare up. the ibpro I have left (I take 800mg. doubled at night,bad I know) hasn't been helping really. but im staying positive that soon I will have some options. I want to think everyone who have commented me with what I needed to see. and for the others who suffer this pain or worse you guys are strong I wouldn't put this on my worst enemy 
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