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Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: May 23, 2007 08:22PM
My Mom has it bad. Pain pills haven't helped. She's tried ice packs and a heating pad and chiropractic. The doctor said get bed rest, but that's what she was doing before she went to him. I've only had minor bouts of it for short periods and it's miserable.

Any suggestions?
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 23, 2007 08:51PM
should we already assume that you have googled for hours and/or visited a specialist?

not sure what else there is to do?





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: h'
Date: May 23, 2007 09:00PM
Bedrest== W R O N G.

1) Sit less

2) Google "Treat your own back" by Robin MacKenzie.
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 23, 2007 09:01PM
take it easy jdc.

sometime help comes from an unexpected place. never hurts to ask. in fact, sometimes hurts NOT so ask.
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: jdc
Date: May 23, 2007 09:05PM
no -- im cool with the request -- but if i google and link to all of my google hits -- not sure thats helpful

so i dont want to go over the same research already done

my wife has problems with hers as well, but not on a regular basis





Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: h'
Date: May 23, 2007 09:07PM
I get this sort of response half the time too--- "since you haven't written a 500 line essay on what you've already done, we must assume your first and only strategy was to ask the mr/f . . ."
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 23, 2007 09:10PM
jdc, I agree, no point in posting google links. Anyone can do his own googling.

But look at h's suggestion, I for one did not know about that book, and I am not sure I would have come across it just by googling.
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: May 23, 2007 09:18PM
Quote
jdc
should we already assume that you have googled for hours and/or visited a specialist?

not sure what else there is to do?

Correct.
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: Drew
Date: May 23, 2007 09:21PM
I've had back problems off and on for many years. Usually, my lower back would suddenly cramp while doing the slightest motion, but I would end up virtually unable to move and in extreme pain. Over time, I learned to feel it coming, which helped to avoid the worst most of the time. A year ago, it happened again but didn't get better. I finally got to the point where nothing helped and my leg and toes were numb and/or in big pain. Went to the doctor and found out I had a herniated disk, and was eventually scheduled for surgery. Since I was in such pain and because of some of the tests, I was forced into no movement bed rest and I began to recover. I did not want to have surgery and because the symptoms were relieved, I cancelled the day before I was to go in. The doctor wasn't happy. After that, I found a book that has helped a lot. It's not revolutionary, but has made a difference for me. I think that the disk is still herniated, but now there is not much pain and the numbness down the back of my leg and in my toes is gone.

[www.amazon.com]

Also, there are a number of back-pain related discussion groups on the internet. Some have good information, though you need to be skeptical of a lot.
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: May 23, 2007 09:33PM
Robin Mackenzie is a god on this stuff, IMHO.

The one thing that helps me, other than preventative exercise, is the pain killer/muscle relaxant Aleve.
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: h'
Date: May 23, 2007 09:35PM
Quote
Drew
I've had back problems off and on for many years. Usually, my lower back would suddenly cramp while doing the slightest motion, but I would end up virtually unable to move and in extreme pain. Over time, I learned to feel it coming, which helped to avoid the worst most of the time. A year ago, it happened again but didn't get better. I finally got to the point where nothing helped and my leg and toes were numb and/or in big pain. Went to the doctor and found out I had a herniated disk, and was eventually scheduled for surgery. Since I was in such pain and because of some of the tests, I was forced into no movement bed rest and I began to recover. I did not want to have surgery and because the symptoms were relieved, I cancelled the day before I was to go in. The doctor wasn't happy. After that, I found a book that has helped a lot. It's not revolutionary, but has made a difference for me. I think that the disk is still herniated, but now there is not much pain and the numbness down the back of my leg and in my toes is gone.

[www.amazon.com]

Also, there are a number of back-pain related discussion groups on the internet. Some have good information, though you need to be skeptical of a lot.

Research shows those who have back surgery and those with similar problems who don't end up in about the same condition down the road. Good decision, most likely.



I suffer from the same sensitivity that you do. A few nuggets of wisdom were shared with me and I'm "trying" to incorporate them into my life. First, remember that nobody can hurt your feelings unless you let them. You can always reject what is being forced on you emotionally.
Second, nothing changes unless you change it. If you don't want the behavior to be repeated then you need to take action. Otherwise the kid has learned that his behavior is the way to get things done, because everyone lets him get away with it.
In the meantime I sympathize because I've been there.
-beerman
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: h'
Date: May 23, 2007 10:02PM
Quote
anonymouse1
Robin Mackenzie is a god on this stuff, IMHO.

The one thing that helps me, other than preventative exercise, is the pain killer/muscle relaxant Aleve.

Our posts crossed in the mail.
Thanks for backing me up on Mackenzie. It was the only thing that finally broke me out of my original L5/S1 crisis in '97, after chugging along for 2-3 months.
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: MacManMaz
Date: May 23, 2007 10:04PM
I highly recommend visiting a physical therapist. Most insurance now gladly covers them with a small co-pay because they have found that patients do better than just rest and pain killers. Surgery, is definitly a last resort.

You may have to go to your primary care physician to get a prescription for the therapist. My experience is that you are best off with a "Mackenzie Therapist" for anything that has to do with the back or spine. Look for one in your area that is a certified Mackenzie Therapist.

I don't want to scare you, but bed rest can actually sometimes make the condition worse. Also, if you suffer along and do not go for treatement to relieve the pressure on the pinched nerves, it can eventually lead to permanent nerve damage and loss of strength and function.

I would pick therapy over chiropractic, my experience is that it is much more comprehensive and you can learn to relieve pain on your own.
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: h'
Date: May 23, 2007 10:33PM
Online fora can be a horrible place to get advice on a medical condition.
So far, this thread is a pleasant exception!
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: May 23, 2007 10:37PM
Quote
MacManMaz
I highly recommend visiting a physical therapist.

She was taking physical therapy for "a bad back" when this started hurting.
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: lost in space
Date: May 23, 2007 10:54PM
Physiatrist saved my life. I couldn't sit for more than five minutes without partial paralysis. I'd been diagnosed with sciatica for years, he found it to be reflex sympathetic dystrophy. I am 99% free of it now, with occasional Aleve or generic Naproxen Sodium.
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: h'
Date: May 23, 2007 10:55PM
Any clue as to what specific exercises the PT was having her do at that time?

Sometimes a bluging disc can cause problems, and then get pushed over the edge into a full blown hernmiation. The herniation is actually preferable to the bulge IMO since it can heal, while the bulge just lingers.
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: h'
Date: May 23, 2007 10:56PM
Quote
lost in space
Physiatrist saved my life. I couldn't sit for more than five minutes without partial paralysis. I'd been diagnosed with sciatica for years, he found it to be reflex sympathetic dystrophy. I am 99% free of it now, with occasional Aleve or generic Naproxen Sodium.

Huh?!?!?!?

Willing to describe all that in further detail? RSD of the spine? What was the cure?
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: Drew
Date: May 23, 2007 10:58PM
I'll second the vote for Aleive (sp?). It's the only over the counter product that seems to have an effect for me. Also, I've found that standing under a hot shower with the water focussed onto my lower back works well, even better than just a heating pad or something else like that.
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: May 23, 2007 11:12PM
Quote
h'
Any clue as to what specific exercises the PT was having her do at that time?

Sometimes a bluging disc can cause problems, and then get pushed over the edge into a full blown hernmiation. The herniation is actually preferable to the bulge IMO since it can heal, while the bulge just lingers.

She didn't say what specifically caused it. She's had one back operation already. She went through all of this before and then 3 shots before they operated. I assume that's what they'll do this time.
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: MacManMaz
Date: May 23, 2007 11:26PM
Quote
Dennis S
Quote
h'
Any clue as to what specific exercises the PT was having her do at that time?

Sometimes a bluging disc can cause problems, and then get pushed over the edge into a full blown hernmiation. The herniation is actually preferable to the bulge IMO since it can heal, while the bulge just lingers.

She didn't say what specifically caused it. She's had one back operation already. She went through all of this before and then 3 shots before they operated. I assume that's what they'll do this time.

Well, I think that she needs more than PT in light of the past surgery and shots, it sounds a little more complicated and you may consider a visit to an orthopedist on her regular doctors advice. Good Luck.
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: Kiva
Date: May 24, 2007 12:20AM
If you're into alternative theories, many people swear by this guy:

[www.amazon.com]

for me, I had the beginning of sciatica. Had the MRI's, physical therapy, etc. Hardly touched it. 9 treatments of acupuncture, and I haven't seen it since. Go figure..

kiva



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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: davester
Date: May 24, 2007 12:20AM
There is no "cure", but here are the things that I feel are critical (from the experience of both me and my wife's sciatica over the years_:

1. Lose weight. If your mom is overweight at all, she's probably not going to progress until she takes some of the load off.

2. As h' says, stop sitting! Invest the big bucks in a motorized sit/stand workstation if she spends time at the compute or sitting watching TV. For the few seats she must sit in, then you need to make dang sure they do good things for her posture. The worst possible sitting situation for most people is generally the car. I finally found relief with a McCarty Sacroease device combined with a foam wedge (to tilt the pelvis forward).

3. Sometimes the sciatica is so bad it requires bed rest for a while (my wife was laid up for 6 weeks) to get through the intense pain period. Unfortunately, this won't do a dang thing for improving the situation long term, and may make things worse. Strengthening and flexibility exercises are what will help things in the long term.

4. I have found that looking very carefully at all of my daily "back hurting" behaviours and altering them has made a huge difference. I have reduced my sedentary periods as much as possible, and improved the posture situation at all the places I sit. This has done wonders! Humans are made to be active, not to sit.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Anyone have a cure for sciatica?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: May 24, 2007 01:31AM
My younger sister has a herniated disk on one of the lower vertebra. It caused pain down her leg and other problems. First PT she went to did not help, turned out that one was giving her the wrong exercises and such to help with the specific location of the damaged disk. The second PT put her on a different set of exercises, that is helping a lot. So it may take going to several PT's until your mother gets exercises that improve her condition.



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