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sciatica?? do what now???

mswijiknyc's picture
mswijiknyc
Posts: 421
Joined: Oct 2010

He had been having pain in his left leg from hip to toe that had been getting progressively worse since Sunday. For hubby to ask for meds means its baaaaaad. He took Tylenol 3 with little relief. So off the to ER we went. His diagnosis: sciatica.

Ok, do what now?? After I did research, I found that sciatica is a secondary to something else. Could this be in anyway related to his tumor and it's location at the base of his skull?

He's doing better in that regard today. Still not wanting to walk around much, but when he does it's much better.

Any ideas? I'm stuck.

Pam M's picture
Pam M
Posts: 2194
Joined: Nov 2009

Man. Has he been sitting around more than he used to? What kind of chair is he sitting in? Have you checked his chair posture?

I had Sciatica a while back (way before diagnosis). That was some special feeling. Dunno if his could be in any way related to the tumor at the base of his skull. Doc told me mine was perhaps due to improper body alignment, sitting all day at work, then going home and sitting some more at another computer. I was on meds for a little, while, then the pain eased up and went away - no problems since. The magic Google just told me that folks should avoid sitting or lying for long periods of time with pressure on the buttocks. Glad he's got some relief - hope his sciatica is like mine was.

mswijiknyc's picture
mswijiknyc
Posts: 421
Joined: Oct 2010

He fractured his vertebrae when he fell 20 feet at work about 10 years ago. He's kinda lucky to still be walking around really, and his tailbone curves around like a hook.

That said, he kicks back on the recliner part of the sofa when he isn't sleeping. His posture is different than others, because of his back. He slouches because it hurts to sit up completely straight. After doing heavy physical labor over the summer, he does sit more. He does walk a bit, but he's not doing any marathons.

Thanks for the tips. I'll see what happens and if the steroids help.

Noellesmom
Posts: 1315
Joined: Aug 2010

I think you need to schedule an appt with an orthopaedist, mswijik. Sciata is extremely painful but takes a unique combination of triggers to be the true diagnosis.

You do not say what vertebrae was fractured but if it is in the lumbar region it could be the pain he is having is from that injury, old though it may be.

Sitting more than usual on something soft can cause a flare of sciata or lower back pain from that previous injury. Sciata is specifically a particular nerve being impinged.

That having been said: the steroids are likely to help with the pain for now. They will arrest the inflammation but when they are depleted, the pain may be/seem worse than ever.

I would call an orthopaedist and schedule an appointment. I hope the ER recommended that.

Hugs.

Hondo's picture
Hondo
Posts: 5927
Joined: Apr 2009

When my back starts to hurt it sometimes goes all the way down my leg into me feet, all I can do is to put some heat on it or sit in a tub of hot water with Epson salt and witch hazel mixed. Also I try to see my chiropractor when it gets really bad, a little adjustment helps alot

Hal61's picture
Hal61
Posts: 656
Joined: Dec 2009

I'm in my young 60s, but as a young man I had sciatica and lower left back pain for several years. Outside of impacted tooth pain, it was the worst pain I've had in my mainly lucky life.

I went to a chiropractor regularly at the time, for over a year, with no result. I finally added stretching to my workouts and that fixed me. There are several stretching excersizes designed for the lower back. Even with your husband's history, he can stretch the area with the right motions. I worked out regularly for over thirty years, but have lain or sat on my butt for the last year of treatment and recovery. I blame my attitude, the Internet, and NetFlix

There are lots of simple charts on the net, but I mainly do three things when my back gets a bit sore now. One: lay flat on my back with my feet flat on the floor, knees pointing up, then both knees to the right towards the floor, then back to the left towards the floor. Two: lay flat on my back, feet flat on the floor, knees up, and arch my back, down, then arch again. Three: again flat on my back--or as flat as he can stand, then arms gripping shins, gently pull into a more or less fetal position and feel the stretch, relax and repeat.

There are lots of other good stretching and strengthening exercises for the back you can find online. Just be sure he does it all gently and persistently to test and see if it will help. It's the only thing that ever helps me, and I hope it will help your guy.

Hal

rozaroo
Posts: 667
Joined: Apr 2010

My hubby had it bad last summer. Went to a chiropractor & all is well now. It really did help him.

adventurebob's picture
adventurebob
Posts: 691
Joined: Jun 2010

I had it for a couple years prior to diagnosis. After chemo it's gone. Not sure if that means it was related to the cancer or if chemo just helps sciatica. I have heard that chemo helps arthritis. I do have an old shoulder injury that aches constantly that also went away after chemo. Unlike the sciatica, it came back shortly after the last round of chemo. For both problems I always used heating pads and hot water bottles along with ice packs for temporary relief. Ibuprofen helped too. Exercise always helped. Yoga helped. Accupuncture helped. Maybe he can try some of those things. Let me know how it works out. All my best,

Bob

kingcole42005's picture
kingcole42005
Posts: 177
Joined: Oct 2010

The best thing I have found when I have a bout with sciatica is rest. It has been happening alot to me lately when I am being aggressive with house cleaning. I will be down for days after, shoots down the side of my leg above my knee. Terribly painful. So rest up. Only get up to go to the bathroom and eat that's it until the swelling goes down. Heating pad and aspercreme also. Then if that doesn't work back to the doctor for MRI. Good luck and Happy HOlidays, Shelly

DrMary's picture
DrMary
Posts: 527
Joined: Nov 2010

Doug had some numbness in his right instep and flexor weakness lately. I'm thinking OMG it can't be neuropathy yet! (He's less than 3 weeks post-treatment.) The doctors agreed that it was due to the weight loss - radiation doctor thought it was sciatica but chemo doc thought otherwise and sent him to a neurologist - still might be caused by weight loss but the involved nerves are only in the lower leg and not the back (he had disk surgery years back, so lower back issues were a possibility).

Your husband's issues does sound like sciatica - it may be a combo thing: he's less active, which aggravated his old back condition; the chemo made some nerves raw; it could all be made worse by weight loss, which removes some of the protective padding to the nerves.

Not fun, no matter what, but sciatica is often helped by physical therapy - hope he gets relief soon.

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