Honored Contributor
Posts: 13,913
Registered: ‎03-10-2010



Sounds like you are in the hands of a very good doctor and his treatments are in the correct order. I think PT should almost always be the first thing to try. With the years almost everyone has to deal with the compression of their spinal discs.


This leaves a smaller space for the nerve roots to pass and also why we get a bit shorter as we get older. The less weight one carries over the years and the better care they take of their spine, and it's supporting muscles and tissues, barring a major trauma, the better the chances of fewer spinal issues. Of course one's type of employment also can play a major role in spinal damage.


Hope the PT helps you, but just remember: PT does not end when the formal PT visits end. It has to be made a part of one's daily maintenance schedule.





Valued Contributor
Posts: 784
Registered: ‎05-12-2010

If you don't have one already, invest in a tens unit.  It helps, although temporary.  You can use it for most types of pain.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,432
Registered: ‎03-16-2010

I have suffered from bouts of sciatica for 11 years now. I have tried all sorts of things. Sitting is the worst, you have to get up and walk around every 10 or 15 min. Walking helps the pain. When I have an exacerbation, I lay on my side in bed for as long as I can. In the past 2 1/2 years, I have gone to a therapeutic massage therapist every 2 or 3 weeks. She is very good at working to release that sciatic nerve in my buttocks. Since I have gone to her, I have not had any extended bouts with sciatica. Going to massage therapy, by far, has been the best pain relief that I have had. When I first went to her she specifIcally worked on that nerve. It hurt but I soon felt better. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,923
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

My hubby was out 8 months from work with his sciatica pain, not even our primary could help with acupuncture, physical therapy recommendations.  The doctor he was referred to immediately talked surgery once all the tests were done and hubby wasn't going that route. 


It wasn't until his disability carrier from his job sent papers about his pain management treatment and a light bulb went off in my head and I asked is there such a thing as a pain management doctor....yes there is we found a good one near our home and he reviewed his test and said he didn't need surgery and started him off with a shot I don't know what it was composed of but in a couple of follow-up visits he was so much better and was able to go back to work.  The doctor did tell him he will never be 100% but so far he is close enough to have his life back to enjoy pain free.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,403
Registered: ‎03-14-2010

@sweetee2 wrote:

I pulled a muscle in my back many years ago. Hubby made me go to a Chiropractor. I won't go into that hoopla, but one thing he told was how to get rid of Sciatica .


Twice a day lay on your back. Raise your knee to your chest as far as you can. Count to 10. Do the same with your other knee. Do this 3 times with each leg. I would do this in bed before I'd get up and when I go to bed. I've never had a problem since.


I best friend has Sciatica in her hip to where she has to get a shot every time they go on a trip. I told her about this and it has help her.




This sounds like a treatment for the Pyriformis muscle syndrome.  This nuscle spasm mimics Sciatica but doesn't run down the leg.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,258
Registered: ‎03-10-2010



Hi Nananana,


Am very sorry you're experience moderate to severe pain.


Couple of things are roaming through my head at present.  Do you know absolutely that what you have is caused by some sort of impingement of the sciatic nerve?  Have you had an MRI to confirm this?  Or, is your physician just guessing?


The reason I asked the above is that "some" cases of sciatica are actually "piraformis syndrome."  This means that the piraformis muscle has been injured or inflammed in some way and due to its anatomic position can fool even the best of physicians into diagnosing sciatica instead of piraformis syndrome.


Also, one poster indicated that sciatic pain went "horizontal" across the buttock or rear-end area.  This is not true.  The sciatic nerve travels in a more or less vertical drop down through the gluteal muscles, down the thigh, then the lower leg to the foot.  One of the most painful areas of sciatic pain for some is at the knee: very close to where it bends, on the side.  The pain at this point, if you have it, is quite intense.


I've been through this on my left side, had a cage fusion at L5-S1, which relieved the pain for maybe a year, before it returned.  My primary complaint on that left side has always been horrible muscle spasms.  However, now the lateral portion of my left leg is numb and my knee is buckling (in the last 8 months).  I must now walk stiff legged, as my spine doc in the new state we moved to basically said, "So sad, too bad."  Can you believe it?


Then last monday my L4-5 finally blew (the disk).  I knew it would, as I had seen the MRI 18 months ago.  Honestly, there wasn't much disk remaining, but as of last Monday I had sciatic pain such as I have never had before.  I went from zero sciatic pain to sciatic pain all the way past my gastroc muscle (calf muscle).  I'm hoping that it does not move into my foot, as that means I'm headed for the O.R. but quick.


Let's hope we all get straightened out.  I'm seeking the opinion of a new neurosurgeon soon across the river in Washington and hope you get that MRI, if you haven't already had one, then onto physical therapy for you, providing circumstances are such that nothing beyond PT is required at this time.


All the best to you. XXX



Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,971
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Without reading what others said here, I'll just reply and say that my husband had this for about 6 months, and finally it was surgery that helped and now he is without pain.  He also went to PT and chiroprator.  But my sister, 92, has had it for a long time too, and someone recommended acumpture and she has had two sessions and it's helping her!!  So I would try that.  Surgery is the last resort.  Lots of pain, I know what my husband went through.  

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,245
Registered: ‎04-16-2010

I had sciatica many years ago. The doctor prescribed a muscle relaxant. I went straight to the drugstore to fill the prescription. The pain was so excruciating I just slid to the floor while standing in line. It was so embarrassing but the staff was wonderful. They helped me to a chair and offered to call someone. I doubt it would be handled that way nowadays but an employee drove me home while another followed driving my car. The extreme pain gradually diminished over a couple of weeks. Alternating heat and ice helped a lot along with gentle stretching.