Some Help to manage pain


I'm looking for some advice. I've had problems with sciatica since I was 18, Im now 37. Over the last 6 months Ive had pain on a daily basis, lower back, left leg which radiates down my leg into my foot and my foot feels as though its on fire (on the inside), it also radiates to my groin and left buttock. Around 6 weeks ago the pain became unbearable and I suffered for 3 weeks continuing to go to work, then I had to go off sick as I was not fit for work. Ive had an MRI which shows protruding discs on the right side lower back which are irritating the nerves.

My GP has put me on Gabapentin which over the last few weeks has increased to 1800mg daily, 400mg Tramadol daily, 150mg anti inflammatory daily (sorry cant remember name of it), paracetamol. This is not touching pain. GP is now going to give me a muscle relaxant.

Anyone any advice they can give me. Im at the end of my tether with the pain. I have an appointment with orthopaedic surgeon next month but until then I need some relief from this pain.

The only place I can truly get comfortable is in bed but Im not going down that road.


12 Replies

  • You could try phoning the hospital and if you can be available at short notice, ask to be put on a cancellation list to get an earlier appointment. Other than that, the only thing I can suggest would be alternating ice packs with heat (maximum of 15 minutes at a time of each so you don't damage your skin). I do find that ice can be really good on my lower back.

    I wonder though, has anyone shown you exercises to relieve sciatica? A physio would be the right person, though if you want to, you can find appropriate exercises by searching online. Go really gently with them at first though, and don't do anything at all that increases the pain. I find I get quite a lot of relief from a couple of the curling up exercises, as it seems to open up the area where nerves are pinching.

  • Thank you, I will try ice and heat pads. I have found heat helps. I have some exercises from physio that Im trying. Physio don't want to see me again until im seen by orthopaedic surgeon

  • I tried everything for the pain including opioids that I'm on now. I had 2 epidural snow luck. I'm am going to try the alpha stim m unit next. Look it up on the Internet. I am a disabled Vietnam marine vet

  • Thanks Janice. I have found the Gabapentin has helped the nerve pain that I was experiencing. However I still have lower back pain its like toothache but only 10 times worse. I may ask for Amytriptyline again as that has worked for me before. I have gone from taking 3 tablets a day till about 40 tablets a day one more wont make a difference 😃

    Thanks for the advice

    Sandra xxx

  • I have lower back pain tried everything including drugs. I'm taking 5 hydrocodone pills a day they are opioids. I'm trying to get off them. I am going to try a alpha stim m unit next. Look up alpha on the Internet

  • Thanks for that. I will look it up

  • Hi SandraMill31

    Are you taking the Paracetamol & an anti-inflammatory regularly throughout the day & night? This is a good idea though you might need something like Omeprazole to protect your stomach with the anti inflams.

    I so know how painful it is but taking the Tramadol regularly will eventually do nothing for you. All the opioids lose their effectiveness if taken all the time. As you feel the Tramadol isn't have any effect, maybe stop it for a few days and then take just a dose to see how it helps? You almost 'Re-start' the effect that way.

    A muscle relaxant is a good idea but do you know if it's a regular one or an as needed one? I take Baclofen regularly and then Diazepam as I need to but not too often otherwise, like the opiods, it doesn't do anything.

    It's so hard to get a stretching & medication plan in place, and then when you think you've nailed it, it stops being beneficial!!

    It's definitely a good idea to 'keep moving' though (strictly within your physio's direction) as taking to your bed, although very tempting, will make it all so much more painful!!

    If it gets intolerable, maybe ask you GP for some oral Morphine (Oramorph)? I find it great at times, not so much at others but again, too much and it won't do anything for you.

    It's all a waiting game unfortunately and surgery may not be the answer. Some surgeons prefer to do epidurals and physiotherapy first to see if they give any relief.

    It's so frustrating as you want help right here, right now!

    As others have said, a hot watter bottle or an ice pack on your back could help, as could maybe a tens machine? All worth a go I say - what have you got to lose?

    I do also find laying on the floor with both my legs up on a dining chair - knees bent over the seat, helpful sometimes. I don't know quite why it's comfortable but it is!

    Hope you get some relief somewhere, somehow, soon!


  • Hi

    Yes I am taking anti-inflammatory and paracetamol regularly throughout the day as well as tramadol and gabapentin. I already take pantoprazole to help any problems with stomach.

    My GP is giving me a muscle relaxant and I think its just for short term but Im not sure what he is prescribing yet.

    I just want to find some relief and get back to work. Thanks for the advice.


  • Hi I really feel for you with the pain I had a car accident 2014 and it caused nerve impingement on my spine tried everything gabapentin accupunture nothing helped thought I was going out of my mind with the pain April last year my Doctor sent me to A/E they sent me home on a Zimmer frame because I couldn't walk I was sent to a Nuorosurgeon and he operated last November it wasn't a bed of roses but I can now walk without my crutches still a bit sore but early days I would have been in a wheel chair if I had refused the opp if they offer you the opp my advice would be have the op don't suffer all your life you are only young please let us know how you get on there are some wonderful people in pain on this site but still take the time to try to help God bless Spoon39 To Sandramils

  • Sandramils. Sorry forgot to say I had L4/L5 decompression surgery like you it was in my right buttocks and down my leg with numbness in my feet and back burning apparently they make room in your spine to let the blood flow through good luck x Spoon39

  • So sorry to hear that you are suffering with so much pain.  I am on Gabapentin as well and my dose can no longer be increased.  I now take Amitriptylne and a muscle relaxant ( shaped like a little house )  as well as Arthrotec.  I have found that If I forget to take any of this expecially at night the nerve pain ( burning, pins and needles and numbness and pain ) is unbearable .  But I do find that it is a combination of different meds that works for me.  Hope you are able to find some relief .


  • Thanks everyone. I'm finally getting relief from pain. Think the anti inflammatory and the increase in Gabapentin is doing the trick. Having more good days than bad at the moment. Long may it continue so I can get back to work. Hope you are all well.

You may also like...