Sciatica: Last night I went to ER and was... - Pain Concern

Pain Concern
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Last night I went to ER and was diagnosed with Sciatica. My right leg is totally numb and there is pain (no pain meds help). I cannot even stand up, due to the numbness. I have a call into my primary care physician to see what is next and how long this will last.

The pain is one thing, but not being able to even stand, get to porta potty, etc. is horrible.

Any ideas?

Thank you

15 Replies

Hi - I've had this before myself and it's nasty. The only thing you can do is rest and wait till it improves. The doc put me on co-codamol and told me to rest. Within 3 or 4 days I was able to get to a physio and he was able to work on some of the muscles around my spine and free things up for me. The other thing your doctor might be able to give you is diazepam (I think it was that?) as a muscle relaxant. I was offered this if all else failed, but thankfully didn't need it in the end as it can be nasty stuff and needs to be used very carefully.

I hope you feel better soon.

Caroline, thank you so much. You have given me some hope. I am 71 and was never sick ... the last couple of years, everything seemed to hit.

in reply to MsLadyLM

I'm 57yr old man and have dealt with pain from sciatica constantly since 2006. Constant means ALL THE TIME. First couple of years doctors gave me Morphine for pain( that was the only thing that worked) and SOMA (Carisoprodol) for muscle relaxant, did several epidural shots. I was able to get through the day with a lot less pain....pain never goes away, the level just changes depending on activity levels and meds. Well, a few years ago (I live in USA) the DEA came out with a regulation that doctors cannot prescribe 'controlled substances) for patients because people are getting addicted to pain meds in large numbers. you are required to take a drug test randomly basically when you go to an appointment, to see if you're taking the meds you're prescribed for and whatever else. Well, my so-called doctor found out I was using medical marijuana (which helps me greatly with pain, anxiety, insomnia among other things). So they took away my effective meds and now I suffer in pain between epidural shots which they will only give every three months. Doctors are supposed to relieve pain not facilitate it plus i feel it is a major invasion of privacy to treat people this way. I had no problems with the morphine and did not become addicted to it at all, same with any meds. We tried every drug they could think of but nothing has worked like the morphine. My non-life due to the pain is being cut shorter by my body having to deal with the pain constantly and lack of sleep due to being in pain, not to mention no social life, no sex life but doctors and the so-called health system don't care. I've only read this site a couple of days but it seems everyone is in the UK and maybe they treat people humanely there (that doctor also told my disability insurance that i was read to go back to work which is so not true).

Just needed to vent....we have no control over anything in our lives especially when our health is involved. People, especially doctors, are cruel, inhumane, uncaring, greedy, greedy, greedy.....did I mention greedy, and there is no hope for the from drug companies, health 'care' companies, etc. keeps the power structure in place. Nothing will work until we get rid of private insurance carriers....they are taking away my most important medication (not covering it) and hiking up prices on name brands and pushing people to generics (which, I don't care what people say, is NOT the same drug, people react differently to it and may lose their life because of side effects the name drug didn't have. What is this world coming to?

Thanks for listening and sorry for ranting on. Good luck to all dealing with chronic pain (on top of all the other health crises we have to deal with).

just an aside...during this time I"ve had two kidney stones.....turns out all the meds I've been taking dehydrates your body. I read all the warning that come with the meds but nothing ever said anything about dehydration or anything else about taking drugs over time.

in reply to perrydig

@perrydig !!Your whole story sounds like what was going on with my dad! I live in the U.S too! The V.A just pushed my dad to the side didn't listen to him or me trying to tell them what was happening to him! It all just made him so depressed after 3 years of all this he suddenly passed of heart failure (March 6,2014) an day before my oldest 14th birthday and right before his birthday (March 10,1956)! My dad was my rock I lost my mom in 1998 3 days after my 17 birthday. We had our ups and downs (we were just alike and that don't mix well) I still miss him every day he was the last of my family (the others an I don't speak, dad's mom passed years ago after a battle with A.L.S. An dads younger sister passed in a car accident) so it's my husband an 2 kids! Birthdays and Christmas is the worst, I was always a big Christmas lover putting my stuff up before thanksgiving haha, last year I didn't get anything put up till second week in December an did that for the kids, still hurts a lot an feel numb like it's not real! An just found out I have fibromyalgia dr says it was brought out by a traumatic experience (wow wonder what that was) so now I have that with bipolar, depression,panic a,insomnia,thyroid under active,an all the debt my dad left with no life insurance! Sorry to go on, your story just sounded so much like his! Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you get some relief!

in reply to 1TeiaMarie

I live in the US. Do you know that unless you were a co-signer on a debt or shared a bank account with your Dad that you are not responsible for ANY debts he left behind?

If needed call Legal Aid as they may even just answer your question about this and/or they may be able to help you straightened out the stuff.

in reply to Hidden

Thank you for the reply but I was on his bank account, he had me put on years ago when he had a car accident an I needed to pay his bills and deposit money in his account from checks he got for being out! But we were living with him and his home is not payed for and I inherited it (and wanted it) so I have to finish paying that off and I had to pay for a funeral (because of no insurance).

in reply to 1TeiaMarie

Hi, I am sorry you had some added stress in your life but glad you were able to get the home. Such a painful thing to lose your father.

You are just like my daughter who just yesterday got all her Christmas things put out. She will get the tree the day after Thanksgiving. She works Black Friday from 4:30 AM until 2:00 PM, but will get right to decorating the tree with my 17- year- old grandson.

I wish you & yours a happy healthy 2016.

Do hope you will feel less pain soon. I have been 8 weeks with a Sciatica problem. I had MRI SHOWING Disc in L4/5 leaking on Nerve. Payed to have MRI. Don't leave things if you feel worse. Maybe A& E to check you over. Wishing You All The Best. Take Care. XXX

in reply to fibroglow

Thank you for your reply Fibroglow. All info is appreciated.

Hi MsLady, I was diagnosed with that last week, after several weeks of the new pain. The Gp suggested Gabapentin or Amytriptyline. Found that rest and the later drug helped but still a vague pain underlying but just glad to get it back to a managable level. Hope you find something that suits you.x

Hello MsLadyLM,

The best thing (in my opinion) is a dose pack of preds. (steroids).... It helps reduce the swelling around your Sciatic Nerve. Also NSAIDs that reduce the swelling like Aleve, Motrin...etc.... also ice pack on your lower spine to help reduce the swelling....

Prayers that you feel better soon...

God Bless,


See a chiropractor. They may be able to remove the problem.

Just got over a bad attack of this. I couldn't walk properly either. I forced myself to walk around the front room every hour or so, just to keep the strength up in my body, as i was seizing up otherwise! Did my own physio as soon as i could bare it! It was hell! Was able to walk properly after 3 weeks. Still a few twinges, but that's it. Worst pain i have ever experienced! Was beginning to overdose on my meds! But what can you do?? Gabapentin certainly helped, it seemed to relax me up a bit an hour after i took the first one. So i upped them to higher dose, and still on them, plus a few other for me it wasn't good to rest too much. Not that you can anyway! It's just not right to have to experience that level of pain! I hope you all feel better soon. I'm off to do some physio exercises while I'm watching Eastenders. Ha.... 😊😊

I had a spinal injection for sciatica 7 years when physio & pain killers didn't work. The injections works very well for me until a couple of months ago when it came back. It is even worse this time the pain is terrible no matter how I sit stand or lay. I am on co-codamol Naproxen & Diazepam which give little relief, I am now in a wheelchair. My doctor referred me to a pain clinic 3 weeks ago but I have not heard from them yet. First thing in the morning I could happily take the lot as I am getting so depressed with the situation. I had cancer 10 years ago & didn't get as low even with all the ops & treatment as I am now. I can't share this with family or friends as after all it is "only backache!

Does any one else ever feel as low?

If you are allowed NSAIDS then those might help - e.g. Ibuprofen or similar.  I'd personally avoid Diclofenac if offered.

I went thru an ascending ramp of pain killers - Paracetamol, Co-codamol, Solpadol, Tramadol, Zomorph - listed in ascending order of pain-killability - until at last something worked for me, so it depends on the awfulness of your pain.

Note that opiates may well lead to constipation as a side effect.

Med. articles sometimes say over in 6 weeks, but can last a lot longer.

Spinal injections and a De-nervation procedure may also need to be considered.

I think the ultimate is a "Spinal De-compression" back operation. Come back if I can help with details further.

(U.K. resident)

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