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Old 12-10-2011, 02:35 PM
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,090 posts, read 45,584,713 times
Reputation: 61691


I need it to stop, and I need it fixed NOW. MRI is scheduled for next week and if laser surgery is an option I'm jumping on it. I'm miserable right now.
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Old 12-10-2011, 05:57 PM
Location: Prescott AZ
6,119 posts, read 9,068,748 times
Reputation: 11540
I have it and it comes and goes. I elected NOT to do any type of surgery, injections, etc etc because of everything I read that said it won't help. I have changed my sleeping position and also do some exercises every so often. I found the exercises on the web. In addition, I started Schiff glucosomine daily. I also walk daily whether or not it hurts. I have to say that, while its not gone, it is better.
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Old 12-11-2011, 01:38 PM
Location: Northern Appalachia
5,156 posts, read 6,347,169 times
Reputation: 6022
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
I need it to stop, and I need it fixed NOW. MRI is scheduled for next week and if laser surgery is an option I'm jumping on it. I'm miserable right now.
I was scheduled for surgery. It was scheduled for 6-7 weeks after I had an MRI and saw the neurosurgeon. My primary care physician ordered physical therapy and I did that three times a week. The sciatica lasted 2 months. The pain peaked to the point that I was unable to sleep at all one night. I don't think any of the PT therapies helped very much. Around a week before surgery I was feeling better and ran for about 5 minutes on a treadmill at one of my PT appts. I pushed myself to run outside a few times and decided to cancel the surgery. I was 46 at the time and had been running a lot for 6 years. I did a lot of research on back surgery at the time and the medical research indicated that outcomes were no better with or without surgery. I would check this website (and others) for the lastest research. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Home

The best advice I found was to try to be as active as you possibly can. During part of that two months, this meant walking to the end of my driveway to get my mail.
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Old 12-11-2011, 05:35 PM
2,633 posts, read 3,371,380 times
Reputation: 6970
Agree with the above post. Avoid surgery at all costs.

The data shows that patients who get surgery do not get any better then those that don't get surgery.

I have sciatica.

Have you had a course of intensive physical therapy yet? That is certainly the place to start. Try not to go to a small private PT place. Find a major medical hospital or even better, a major rehab hospital and do PT there. The results will be better. Do the home exercise program religiously.

Have you tried neuropathic pain meds? At least a trial of Neurontin and nortriptyline?

I've seen too many poor surgical outcomes....
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:49 AM
2,633 posts, read 3,371,380 times
Reputation: 6970
And laser surgery is not a common/routine treatment for this, so I would be very suspicious of any surgeon recommending this. I would carefully ask them how many patients had had it, what their outcomes were, and then if they seemed "too good to be true" - ask them to explain why other surgeons aren't using lasers and why the published data shows surgery isn't very helpful.

I have found too many surgeons just want to do surgery.... regardless of the outcome.
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Old 12-17-2011, 02:00 PM
Location: Greater Greenville, SC
5,893 posts, read 11,393,478 times
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I would consider surgery as an absolute last resort. I have just recently come out of another round of physical therapy for sciatica and low back pain. The stretching exercises they taught me are key and must be done routinely, or I stiffen up and can barely walk. While I was going to PT, I alternated between therapy sessions in the gym and in their hydro pool. I must say that the exercises I did in the pool were much easier on my body while doing them, but I really did feel the results afterwards.

I wish I could continue PT forever, but my insurance company limits the dollar amount per year, and I can't afford to keep paying the 20% of regular visits either. Since I don't believe there's really any more they can do for me, I decided to join the Y and to continue to do my exercises here at home and there in the pool. Also going to take some of the gentler senior classes to see if I can increase my muscle tone and flexibility.

I've also found that changing my diet and avoiding foods that cause inflammation goes a long way in helping reduce the amount of pain I feel on any given day.

My greatest frustration is never knowing for sure how I'm going to feel from one day to the next. It really makes it difficult to plan things sometimes!
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Old 12-18-2011, 11:32 PM
Location: Colorado
18,827 posts, read 4,939,389 times
Reputation: 5476
For me it also comes and goes. So far I take ibuprofen for inflamation and started glucosomine
just recently. I limp sometimes, sometimes not. It hasn't been as bad as some folks are experiencing
but I hope I don't end up needing any surgery.
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:37 PM
Location: Florida
741 posts, read 1,387,775 times
Reputation: 1168
Did the Dr. ever suggest that you take Vitamin B6 and other vitamins?
Did you research the subject on the internet?
Do so, you may find some simple easy things to help it.
Surgery, to my mind, is pretty drastic.

Also you should have the alignment of your frame checked.
This can cause a lot of such problems, and can be corrected.
Also - do you have flat feet?
This can throw the alignment of your spine out of balance and cause problems.
Also correctable.
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:53 AM
2,382 posts, read 4,498,527 times
Reputation: 3430
I'd also suggest avoiding surgery if possible - I've had back issues on and off my entire life as well. I'd look into anything and everything before considering surgery....
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Old 12-22-2011, 02:24 PM
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,212,583 times
Reputation: 36087
I had it 3 years ago, got an MRI, went to a pain doctor, who talked about steroid shot. I asked about Physical Therapy, he said Fine, see if that works. It did. Two days a week at the PT clinic for about 6 weeks, simple no-sweat exercises at home every day, in two months the symptoms were almost completely gone. One or two mild flareups since then, but going back to the exercised for a week and thinking consciously about my posture was all it took to allay them.

The strategy is this: The sciatic nerves pass through an area in your lower back, where your small muscles, which you rarely use, have gotten very week. The exercises are to build up those muscles to form a kind of saddle to support your back and reduce the contact pressure on the sciatic nerve.

About a year and a half ago, I started sleeping on the floor, with just a folded blanket for a pad under hips/shoulders. It was a miracle cure for lots of things. All back discomfort went away, sciatica didn't come back, no more leg cramps, and now I need only about 6 hours sleep a night.
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