Sciatica and Mental Health

Posted by kaptainkat @kaptainkat, Dec 30, 2022

I have been nosing around for connections between my emotions and my sciatica. Mostly I find articles about how or whether one's emotions AFFECT their sciatica. When various stresses can bring on episodes of pain.

I am NOT seeing much on depression brought about by sciatica. Feeling useless, hopeless, just wishing it would END.

I HAVE seen articles that suggest sciatica sometimes brings on feelings of guilt and shame. 'Why me?' 'What did I do to deserve/earn THIS????' And the DIS-ability leaves a lot of daily living chores up to someone else while 'we' sit inert barely enduring our pain.

I've seen where some antidepressants are prescribed for lumbar issues as they have a pain killing side effect. I have been on 90mg of Cymbalta for I believe two years now. I fired the psychiatrist that started me on THAT when he/his office/CVS left me cold turkey for a month. My next psychiatrist started me on Mirtazapine a year ago, and we have gradually up that to now 30mg.

My NEW psychiatric nurse practitioner is suggesting we up my Cymbalta to 120, 60 in the AM and 60 in the PM. He will take on that script from my GP. Who also keeps me in Gabapentine.

'Let's try it.' After all, it IS a PRACTICE, isn't it?

Obviously I would love to hear some feedback and other's stories and how they are dealing with their issues.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Spine Health Support Group.

FYI – The Mirtazapine was added in an effort to induce some appetite. I stopped eating in Spring of 2018, but I was tipping the scales between 165 and 170, and now fight to stay above 130.

I have had esophageal issues resulting from years of intense GERD, along with a hiatal hernia, the repairs of which has laid to waste the valve between my gullet and my stomach. EVERYTHING goes straight through with a SPLASH that causes 'displacement' and ultimately a wall-rattling belch.

There is virtually NOTHING about the food process – buying, storing, preparing, actually consuming it, and cleaning up that I enjoy anymore.

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I had sciatica several years ago and had “aqua therapy “ (physical therapy in a pool)with a physiotherapist who worked wonders for me! The therapist held a PHD in his field.

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I've inquired about isolation tanks, but not necessarily for my PHYSICAL issues. 'Mind travel' has been more the interest.

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My sciatica was actually trigger points in gluteus minor. There are a few conditions that mimic sciatic pain.

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@kaptainkat I would be weary of using psychiatric drugs for pain. I have had bad side effects from all of them, luckily only small permanent effect on my mental function as confirmed by neurological testing. I know this is not the current popular opinion, judicious use of pain medication along with finding the physical therapy that helps reduce the pain and therefore the amount of pain medication is a journey that takes time and money. Whether it is dry needling, massage, water therapy, TENS, trigger point therapy, myofascial therapy, kinesio tape, etc., something will help. I have also found a course offered by the University of IL. It is a once a week course offered by video conference for a nominal fee, I think $25, that provides so much information to help you manage your chronic pain and it has helped me reduce the need for pain meds. If you are interested in the course, you can reach out to lemm6@uic.edu, that is the email address for the professor of the course.

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@debkl

My sciatica was actually trigger points in gluteus minor. There are a few conditions that mimic sciatic pain.

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She the herniations in the MRI.

No 'pseudo' here!

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@bustrbrwn22

@kaptainkat I would be weary of using psychiatric drugs for pain. I have had bad side effects from all of them, luckily only small permanent effect on my mental function as confirmed by neurological testing. I know this is not the current popular opinion, judicious use of pain medication along with finding the physical therapy that helps reduce the pain and therefore the amount of pain medication is a journey that takes time and money. Whether it is dry needling, massage, water therapy, TENS, trigger point therapy, myofascial therapy, kinesio tape, etc., something will help. I have also found a course offered by the University of IL. It is a once a week course offered by video conference for a nominal fee, I think $25, that provides so much information to help you manage your chronic pain and it has helped me reduce the need for pain meds. If you are interested in the course, you can reach out to lemm6@uic.edu, that is the email address for the professor of the course.

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Thankmew for your reply.
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And concern.
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I am being what I feel to be quite minimal as far as medication for pain. I am OK at 300mg a day of Gabapentin via my GP, and have just started with a new psychiatrist. My previous one started my on Mirtazapine, at 7.5, then 15, and now 30. I still feel depressed and have no appetite.
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The guy before her started me on Cymbalta, and we progressed up to 90 ere I cut him loose for lack of 'support'. A long story.
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My new Dr. is suggesting we 'try' upping that to 60 in the AM and 60 in the PM.
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Oh, and I am in the State's Medical Marijuana program.
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It's all a 'practice' anyhow. New Dr. has a .pdf of my full adult health and medical history including scripts, who prescribed them, addresses and phone numbers.
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I aspire to feel BETTER, not NUMB.
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(=^..^=)

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Sciatic pain would be no different from other persistent pain. Depression and anxiety woukd be completely normal. Pain psychologist Rachel Zoffness is teaching medical students and doctors who encounter patients with persistent pain how science shows the connections.

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@debkl

My sciatica was actually trigger points in gluteus minor. There are a few conditions that mimic sciatic pain.

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Ja, me too, nothing pseudo here either. Herniations can cease to inflame with time, and location of herniation along the annulus can make a difference in level of pain. I have no disc left at L5-S1, and herniations throughout, but when I started doing trigger point therapy, it disclosed what was causing my "sciatica." Just an idea, not diminishing anything you're going through.

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@kaptainkat

She the herniations in the MRI.

No 'pseudo' here!

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Should be 'SAW' the herniations…

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