I've had a bad back on and off for the 4 yrs... about 7 wks ago I started to get sore in my right butt cheek doc said I had a torn ligament... the pain got worse 3 wks ago it goes from my bum cheek right down to my toes my thigh calf muscle go into spasms. .. pins and needles I'm in agony also get shooting pains I can't cough or really laugh or walk it's torture I've been housebound for all this time I can just about cope with going to the loo even that hurts to sit on the loo seat .. I've got an appoint with a rhumatoligist 31 March my doc has asked me to say can I have a mri to see if a disc has come out... I heard that I have servere sciatica is this right

23 Replies

  • If it's causing you that much pain, along with pins and needles, it needs seeing to quickly. Get yourself to A&E as soon as you can, a rheumatologist isn't who you need to see, you need an orthopaedic surgeon or a neurologist. Insist on being seen sooner, it's your body!

    I know, because I have suffered for 35 years!

  • Good advice,if you go to A&E,you will be seen by an orthopaedic surgeon who will arrange an M.r.i scan for you,to see if you have prolapsed disc,which is very painful& needs to be sorted,good luck x

  • If it's anything like my A&E (Wales), my daughter was told that they wouldn't do any treatment for her (severe abdominal pain) as they were not willing to pay for any scans etc, she was told to go back to the GP and let them pay for it, in the meantime my daughter was in agony, the NHS is down to cost these days. I have problems with a disc in my lower spine, I have just seen my pain nurse who has told me that they are cutting down on the number of epidurals they will, I am now worried that I am not going to get the pain relief I desperately need, hope I haven't stopped you trying A&E, hopefully you have a better health authority where you live, good luck and hope you get some relief from your pain soon. Just thought have you tried a tens machine.

    Regards. Sheryl

  • I agree with you getting to A&E,my son in law has been in the same sorts of pain since last October. He was given painkillers and massage and is on crutches then Last week finally got an MRI and has a bulging disc,so the other treatments could have made things worse. Look after yourself don't wait demand an MRI.x

  • Could be sciatica or disc issue? Agree this needs attention ASAP. If you are having difficulty going to the toilet could be serious so you should go to A&E. I have just had MRI after big problems with probable sciatica. Waiting for results.

    On very heavy duty painkillers but what to know what is actually causing problem. Had to really convince GP of need for MRI ......!

  • Definitely sounds a possible disc related pain - I totally agree with others, don't wait. The longer the nerve is irritated the more likely a chronic pain situation will be set up.

    Wishing you all the best

    Let us know how you go



  • I do wonder what your G.P is thinking ! To simply pass the problem on is neither helpful or professional, all I can suggest is A&E or a walk in center if you have one, it sounds like sciatica to me, it was the first thing I got diagnosed with before my MRI and all the other investigations. 5 years and two major back operations later.......Ask for an urgent referral to the pain clinic and a Neuro-surgeon, it has been my experience that RA clinic will not send you for an MRI. As for them it isn't a good diagnostic tool. You have to make a nuisance of your self, as for being housebound because of this problem UNACCEPTABLE.

  • I do have an app with the rhumatoligist 31st of this month and my doc has asked for a mri as he has said my disc might of come out slightly .... last night was the pits I wanted to chop my leg of as my muscles weni can go to the loo but i cant push into spasm I can't take much more of the pain ..I can go for a tiddler but the other I can't apply pressure it sets the nerve off I can't take much more of it

  • Muscle went into spasms

  • Thank you, everyone I think il go to the hospital....

  • Good Luck - have the same issue and considering A & E - let us know how you get on

  • Will do x good luck to you x

  • I have sciatica I attend the pain clinic at the hospital and the Doctor I see gives me spine blocks and he does radio frequency { burning the nerve ending } it works but the nerve grow back I'm due another in the next few weeks

  • Feel for you I have lived with this problem for a long time not nice. Try a higher loo seat!

  • If you are having pain that shoots down both legs at the same time then you need to go to A&E. If you lose control of your bowels then that also means a trip to the A&E. Whatever happens, go to see your GP and explain how worried you are about the symptoms. You should consider an ultrasound scan and definitely a MRI scan. X Rays only tend to show bony structures. have had sciatica for several years and have two bulging discs in my lower back. One does learn to live with it. An occupational therapist can advice on what changes can be made to help you live day to day e.g. Heightened toilet seat. Good luck!

  • Thank you everybody for yr advice x

  • My sciatica sounds similar. In my case I believe it twisted round and stretched when I had an undiagnosed partial hip dislocation for several months. I was told that they cannot see soft tissues and nerves. I would recommend seeing a VERY QUALIFIED physiotherapist as well as persisting for various tests. All the best.

  • Reading your post was like reading my own story, word for word! I eventually had a MRI which showed a prolapsed disc at L5/S1 that was pressing on the sciatic nerve, and was referred to a neurologist. He advised a disc-ectomy (cutting away part of the disc that is pressing on the sciatic nerve).

    He did not beat about the bush! He said it was 50/50 chance the op would remove the severe sciatic pain, that the op would do nothing for my pack pain and that the nerve damage (numbness/pin & needles) might or might not improve in time. Do I want the op yes or no?

    I was taking all sorts of drugs which had their own side effects and problems. I was struggling to carry on with work and caring for a young child so felt I had no option other than to have the operation.

    I had the op and it did remove the sciatic pain (thank god!) . Unfortunately the nerve damage caused by the prolapse left me with numbness that runs down the back of my leg, under my foot to 2 of my toes. I have some muscle weakness and occasional cramps but nothing like the spasms before the op and I still have the lower back pain. Yes I still have problems but for me the op was worth having, it is such a relief to be rid of the excruciating sciatic pain!! I remember wanting to chop my leg off too!!

    Don't let your Dr palm you off, phone or go every week, cry and make yourself heard. Pain is hard to live with, especially when it's invisible!

    Ask for stronger painkillers - but be careful because they come with their own problems. Diazepam was the only thing that would help me when I went into spasms, but that's not very good for you either. I was given Gabapentin and then replaced with PreGabalin but I had very bad reactions to both - they help some people with nerve pain.

    Your Dr might refer you to the Pain Clinic which has it's good points but it's not about fixing the pain or problem it's about accepting it and finding ways to live with it. A lot of people referred are unaware of this and then end up disappointed and upset.

    NHS physio sadly is a waste of time but if you can afford to pay for it yourself it is worth it, they can help you a lot. My physio told me to lie on my front with a pillow or two under my pelvis, it helps to open up the vertabrae and can take the pressure off the pressed nerve. When lying on your back, putting pillows under your calves to raise your legs a little can make it more comfortable than lying flat. For extra relief use an ice pack rather than heat.

    ....and funnily enough, as mentioned in the previous posts a higher toilet seat really does help.

    Good luck lsherwood11, hope my post was helpful :-)

  • Hi, I wanted to chop my leg off the other night .. lack of sleep pain etc ...I can't wait for Tues to see the consultant. . Many times I've wanted to go to a/e but I can't sit or stand for long so I think it will be to much for me to wait around ... I'm glad I'm not the only one suffering if you know what I mean I wouldn't wish my worse enermy with this ...I hope there a light at the end of this torture tunnel xx

  • Hi I ended up going to a/e yesterday as I couldn't take the pain any more yes it's like reading about myself I have a buldging disc too I'm on co-codamol plus what you are taking I've got a appointment on Tues with a rhumatoligist hospital said if doesn't get any better after 12 weeks then surgery is needed it's been 7 week since it started I actually feel the tablets wearing off its torture isn't I just want my life back

  • Please let us know how you get on. Best wishes.

  • Will do... thank you for caring x

  • I've had sciatica on and off for 4 years. this last attack is down both legs. I had mri scan which shows herniated disc hitting sciatic nerve and minimal narrowing onl4. Whatever that means. I am ok sometimes but other times cant bend down and in agony. I get shooting pains in my left upper thigh and pain all way down in to my ankle . My boss actually said its just a pain, learn to live with it. I have to be fully fit for my job and Im trying to get fit.

    I haven't had surgery. Im back jogging but am in agony. Ive tried acupuncture with no success and endless visits to physio who thinks they can sort it, but am still in pain. Im now trying pilates at the gym and have been doing stretches everyday.

    I think il have to just live with the pain. I don't think im brave enough for surgery. Think im not quite ready for self defence training, but should I be running.

    I appreciate any help or feedback

You may also like...