Dealing with Sciatica pain

Posted by junebug15 @junebug15, May 1, 2017

Am dealing with pain on my left side radiating down my leg with numbness and tingling, diagnosed as sciatica. MRI showed two bulging discs and spinal stenosis. Ironically, I question whether the sciatica is from the above, but may involve my piriformis muscle. I had this problem in 2009 and my neurologist injected a steroid into the prirformis and I had relief for all of this time. After taking steroids with no relief I asked for a shot in the piriformis (rather than an epidural) and this has helped a little. Am due for another shot soon. I am now also having severe muscle cramping in my groin and thigh upon standing and walking, which is very painful. Would appreciate anyone's input. I am going to look into PT and ART (active release technique). Thanks for your input.

@junebug15

Hi Justin: My dr. said it would take 24-48 h. before I would feel any difference. I haven’t felt much better. I am scheduled for another shot next week. Since I had problems with the piriformis muscle before I wanted to have a shot in that area before I had an epidural. That would be my last resort. I also want to start PT. Am interested in ART (active release therapy) which I heard can be very beneficial. I have absolutely no pain upon sitting but feel severe muscle cramping in my groin and lateral thigh upon standing. Was wondering if anyone else had the same problems. Am just not sure if this is from bulging discs or spinal stenosis.

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Hi Junebug 15. I have similar pain and cramping in my right front thigh and groin. It’s very disabling and I have a blind 88 year old husband to care for. This started after back surgery…I was put into a broken bed hours after surgery and it crashed from the highest to the lowest position and my whole body jerked. When I went home 3 days later I lost consciousness and fell because I was not told that two of my meds could not be taken together. Apparently I was supposed to be born with that knowledge! I seemed to be ok for 6 months and then pain started…so I’ve gone the usual round of primary Dr ordering physical therapy, no help. Nerve tested by neurologist, I have bad nerve damage so on to a pain Dr. She tried various opioids, no help. I’ve had ablations on both sides, no help. Last thing was caudal epidural, helped some but seems to be wearing off after 10 days. The whole leg is getting weaker and sometimes I almost fall. I don’t know at this point if I should get a spine stimulator or start looking into a wheelchair. Treatment has gone on for over a year…I don’t know where to turn anymore.

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@junebug15

Hi Justin: My dr. said it would take 24-48 h. before I would feel any difference. I haven’t felt much better. I am scheduled for another shot next week. Since I had problems with the piriformis muscle before I wanted to have a shot in that area before I had an epidural. That would be my last resort. I also want to start PT. Am interested in ART (active release therapy) which I heard can be very beneficial. I have absolutely no pain upon sitting but feel severe muscle cramping in my groin and lateral thigh upon standing. Was wondering if anyone else had the same problems. Am just not sure if this is from bulging discs or spinal stenosis.

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Hi.  So terribly sorry to hear about what you have be been enduring.   I wish I had the answer for you.  I just came back from my second shot today but got no immediate relief, so will have to wait and see.  Don't give up.   I would continue working with a neurologist to try and find the origin of the pain.  I'm assuming you've had an MRI.  Sometimes it's very time consuming trying to find the right doctor but when you do it makes it all worthwhile.   Much luck to you.  Sending hugs.

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Hello, sciatica is a symptom that something is pushing on a nerve which gives the pain referred to as sciatica, now you have to find what will reduce this inflammation. Epidurals worked for me about 5 years then I was rear ended by a truck while waiting for a red light so finally had a fusion of lumbar 2,4,5. I know what folks say about fusions not helping but they do but you must abide instructions, like I have a limit of lifting only 18 pounds which is equivalent to a gallon of milk and so to make it simple I only buy half gallon jugs. Yes I have pain daily but know now that sometime I can get along with Tylenol plus muscle relaxer rather than using the ultram. the only person that can help you best is yourself. If you have a bad disc they now can replace it, I do not know your location but I do know of a super ortho surgeon in Minneapolis, Dr. Amir Mebod. I also smoke mJ and it helps to relax the body and help to tolerate pain. I am a Christian and will by prayer give you great help. Please keep in touch about your progress. Sent with love and concern Maxine

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@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @junebug15, I am sorry to hear of your recent diagnoses.

I would like to invite @blindeyepug, @goodtime376, @pat3316, @jeriliz, and @jjwest to this discussion as they have all discussed having spinal stenosis as well and may be able to offer some insight regarding your concerns with treatment options and epidurals.

@junebug15, did your physician(s) mention or talk about how long the shots would take to start having an affect?

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Hey goodtimes. Had my second shot today but I really have some negative feelings about its effect. Will do like the first time and give it 24 to 48 hours, but that also did not seem to help. Do not think I will go for a third. Started physical therapy and am interested in Active Release therapy which I will discuss with my PT. Contacted the Mayo Clinic, as I’m looking for a really good neurologist to discuss this condition with, especially before I would have an epidural. I want to make sure I get a second opinion on a diagnosis before I do anything further. (And yes, I do question my dr. And his treatment regimen). It’s quite discouraging but I’ll keep plugging away. thanks for your input, sending hugs and best wishes.

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@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @junebug15, I am sorry to hear of your recent diagnoses.

I would like to invite @blindeyepug, @goodtime376, @pat3316, @jeriliz, and @jjwest to this discussion as they have all discussed having spinal stenosis as well and may be able to offer some insight regarding your concerns with treatment options and epidurals.

@junebug15, did your physician(s) mention or talk about how long the shots would take to start having an affect?

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Hi Pat. So glad you were able to get relief from your pain. I had my second steroid injection today into the piriformis but don’t have very high hopes regarding the pain reduction. I had this condition before, and like you, had a piriformis injection and received very quick relief. That is why I choose again to have a piriformis injection rather than an epidural. I started PT and hopefully this will give me some relief. I’m also interested in Active Release therapy and need to find a really good massage therapist that does this. I’m hopeful that eventually I will get some relief as you did. Take care and stay well.

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@sandytoes14

@junebug I recently read an informative article from another site about piriformis syndrome I will attach here : http://bit.ly/2pHeHuj
I certainly understand your reluctance in getting an epidural. I have had several in my cervical spine due to stenosis and disc bulge. I will only have them done by a specialist, usually an anesthesiologist, under a fluro scope. That way the doctor sees exactly where the catheter is positioned. As I recall, it wasn’t until my third injection until I felt significant relief. I hope you get some relief with the piriformis injection.

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Thanks sandytoes. Am reading articles like yours and finf some good info in them. Am also looking into ART therapy. Started PT and am hoping for the best outcome. Thanks again.

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@junebug15

Thanks Justin. Would love to hear what @predictable has to say about ART. Stay well.

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Hey predictable. Thanks for the interesting and informative info on ART. Got a second shot today so we’ll see what happens. Am going tp PT and will definitely try ART. I think ART can help get to the root of your problems by releasing your muscle spasms and breaking us the scar tissue. Will keep you posted. Take care.

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@junebug15

Thanks Justin. Would love to hear what @predictable has to say about ART. Stay well.

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You’re welcome @junebug15. Perhaps my personal experience with a problem similar to yours will be useful to you. I was treated by PT for a diagnosis of inflamed nerves from spinal arthritis, then the spinal surgeon pointed me toward steroid injections to reduce the inflammation. I turned that down because it appeared to be a bridge to major spinal surgery.

I asked about the possibility of Piriformis Syndrome, which didn’t interest the surgeon. Instead he had the physical therapist put me on a spinal stretching table, theorizing that would relieve any bone pinches on nerves coming out of the spine. The stretch made things worse! It apparently aggravated one or both of my Sacroilliac Joints, causing continuing and exaggerated pain where the spine attaches to the pelvis.

Discussing next steps with my primary care physician, she knew about cases of Sacroilliac Joint dysfunction; the SJ is the spinal joint closest to where the Piriformis attaches to the Illium mound of the pelvis. SJ pain is treated with an injection into the joint. If the pain stops, that confirms the SJ diagnosis. I got the shot, the pain ended, and it hasn’t returned in three years. My wrongly diagnosed spinal arthritis, as well as suggested Sciatica, haven’t bothered me since.

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@junebug15

Thanks Justin. Would love to hear what @predictable has to say about ART. Stay well.

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Very interesting predictable. I think half the battle is getting the rigjt diagnosis. If this second shot doesn’t work I think I will find a good neurologist for a second opinion.

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I have had very good success with PT( when I do the exercises) & Shiatsu massage working on the piriformis muscle . I have also found that a 3-4 mi walk also helps. I just need to start slow & pick up my speed. At about the half way mark my sciatica has improved.

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@junebug15 regarding sciatica, I have read many posts regarding this. I’ve had two epidurals and several steroid with lidocaine shots just above my buttock. All seemed to work, but the streoid shots were very short term 1-2 days for pain. I have all the spinal problems that begin with an ‘S. Saw my PT twice last week, who does manual massage to move muscles off offended nerves,( would this be the ART?@ ultrasound heat instrument and followed by electrical stim. In the past all my treatments have been fairly successful, but the latest pain seems to be my sciatica nerve coupled with with a bulging disc and the pain meds don’t seem to do much for the sciatic nerve. I take ,1 advil plus 1 7.5 Norco upon awaking and sit against heating pad. Thought of going back to pain doctor whose basic method is an epidural or nerve abilation. Problem is my husband has been asked to retire and we must move out of our mobile home that still has mortgage, but first clean up the clutter that has accumulated, have the house thoroughly cleaned and then start packing up but my main concern is with an epidural or steroid shot, you are supposed to take it easy for awhile which no one ever told me before and I started doing household chores only to lose the benefits of the cortizone. A church organization called Love ,Inc. is waiting to come help me clean, once the house has been decluttered and my pain meds are no longer as effective… especially the sciatica. So what really works the best for sciatica? So sorry to be so lenghy. Have not had time to look up social agencies recommended by
A fellow poster whose name starts with a “J” all medical complaints aside, it seems as though decluttering is priority # 1 and then groups will be able to help. I,m so tired. Medical co pays are piling up. I need to get some lab work done for my PC but Medicare and secondary supplement
Is no longer paying for much of this. Poster J with social agencies, I will get back to you soon. Victorious 69.

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My sciatica was caused by a synovial cyst that pushed on the nerve. I had surgery to remove the cyst and was without pain. 6 months later I formed another cyst that also pushed on the sciatica nerve and so I had surgery a second time. That was 12 years ago and I’ve had no more problem. I think this is rare but thought I’d throw in another cause for people seeking a cause.

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