Slipped disc and sciatica : Hi Everyone, hope... - Pain Concern

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Slipped disc and sciatica


Hi Everyone, hope you can offer some advice :)

I slipped a disc in my lower back in 2013 soon after having my daughter, which an MRI scan confirmed but the surgeon recommended swimming and Pilates first as there are a lot of risks with having the operation and for my age he didn't think it was worth it so I did but found having acupuncture was the only thing that could relieve my pain so I was fine for a few years, always have a dull ache in my back but never really painful however a couple of months ago my back went again and I've had horrendous sciatica ever since, I can't get an appointment with the back specialist until September! So I booked in some acupuncture sessions and have been using a TENS machine, these however have only made it worse, I've tried swimming, walking and just resting, I hardly sleep, have had to take time off work, I'm angry most of the time so not very nice for my partner and daughter to live with me but I'm just in constant pain. Doctor has put me on Naproxen, co-codamol, diazepam and gabapentin. I'm now on Amitriptyline tablets but doctor says they can take up to 6 weeks to start working, I'm so fed up. Has anyone tried anything else that has worked for them? Thank you for reading.

18 Replies

Find an Alexander technique teacher in your area. Only thing that has had more than a temporary improvement for me. I've had pain since 2001. It had been on and off in maintenance for the first chunk of time and permanent since 2010. I was also told I was too young for the op, just don't feel very young any more 🙁

Hang in there, you will find something that helps you.



Chiropractor or Osteopathy can help relieve the pinched nerve by pulling back the discs.

Lose weight- if that is a factor.

I have two herniated discs in my lumbar region. Recently my back locked and trapped the Sciatic nerve and I also lost control of my foot movement. A combination of physio (exercises 😟) and meds has improved the Sciatic pain greatly. I am in constant pain and also have several other serious health issues. I find that a combination of Gaberpentin and Paracetamol helps me the most. Without them I could not function. I was prescribed Amiltryptilene for another condition in the past and it gradually turned me into a zombie. I didn't realise this was the cause until I ran out one weekend and after no tablets for just two days I suddenly lost my severe brain fog. Just a warning. I wish you well and know what it is like to suffer this pain x

Totally understand have had all of the above and done all of the above too the point I couldmt walk and the op was done I was told 50,50 chance of not walking again I said well iam not walking now and went for it I was out of pain after a period of recovery but slowly all pains are back iam now on pregabalin lodine diazapain citalopramamitiptyline and morphine it helps me function but has brought other complaints with it I had op in 2009 and have had gabipention and all diff drugs but been on this lot for about 3 years I now don't work and I loved my jod I travelled Scotland and northern Ireland I miss it very much as I met lots of people and now my life so diff so am I I have too pace my self all the time which is hard as when you feel good you want lots done ie in house I hope iam not too neg iam now 53yrs

No you are not being negative. You didn't state your age, I am 74 and I have the same

back problems that you do. I went to a neurologist and I am on a massive dose of gabapentin. I am taking 900mega day with hydrocodone 5-525. This has let me function

better than any combination of medication that has been prescribed. I have been on them all. I have a hard time walking myself and this has just about done me in. My mid tells me I am still young but my body tells me different. Up until I had chemo for cancer my life has completely gone down hill. Good luck to us all.

Iam 53 sorry you feel iam negative but I had such a good life before ran a cycling club was in a walking club at the gym every other day and out with big circle of friends I cant do that now due pain cant comit and don't have money too all theses things as not working now

I have just turned 54

I am 54yrs

Jodie, I have a herniated disc in my lower lumber and suffer chronic sciatica. Reading what you have wrote is almost exactly how I have been. I was taken to hospital a few weeks ago as I couldn't move or walk due to the sharp pain. I seen a pain nurse who tied me on numerous drugs including morphine however nothing worked. She then tried me on a drug called PALEXIA (Tapentadol) this is a relatively new drug and it has changed my life. I am on 100mg of Tapentadol 4 x a day and 600mg of Gabapentin 3 x a day also taking 500mg of Naproxen 2 x a day. They were reluctant at first giving me the Tapentadol on perception but it is the only thing that works xx

Hi Jodie you sound a soul. I can sympathise with you. In a similar situation. You sound like a young woman struggling to cope with circumstances which have changed your life for the now. Try and be positive it's hard .... really hard. Start by keeping a diary of your feelings rant in to the diary I find a little relief and sometimes can't write fast enough depending on how my day week month is going. You'll feel at a loss pain causes stress, stress causes pain, worry about being a mother a wife working finances coping with the running of the house and you suddenly realise everything you have always taken for granted is now an uphill struggle or presently not achievable. Trains run around the brain throwing all of it at you at once and you don't know where to start. Medications are only a part of the process try chronicpainuk. Paincommunity Paintoolkit. Pain Association is a great website giving good help. Find a local group near you for support. I'm not sure where you are in the country but if you want a help you can send me a pm or message on here.

Medical profession can keep throwing medications at you because for many it's the only way they know how to deal with symptoms . Go back until you manage to get an MRI of your spine to see what's going on , your mechanics may have changed and need investigating. If you develop any issues with foot drop bladder bowel issues or/and numbness attend your local A+E.

I hope this helps

SA x

in reply to sianr

I was just reading your post I have numbness tingling having his in my left leg and my arm is weak I've been on get up and 400 milligrams twice a day I have to wear a sonic in my s*** to know longer we're sandals on nice heels my gate is off I've been trying to get more help to know avail can you please tell me what A n E you were referring to its been over 5 years this all happened when I first I started to feel weak and my left leg and then all of a sudden one morning I fell from under me and my left side was shaking I thought I was having a stroke I was putting the hospital for the weekend or kinds of tests they said I didn't have a stroke and they don't know what's wrong so now I'm stuck with this and the only thing they could tell me is the take the gabapentin for the numbness tingling and having a side do not have diabetes any suggestions would be very helpful thank you so much

in reply to Phyl1030

Continuing my rant I also went to the Cleveland Clinic privately looked at my scans I also had to cerebral and you grams with a go up for the groin into the brain I do not have AVM

I paid privately to see a consultant I have had 3 ops micro discetomys now all for slipped discs n chronic sciatica

All 3 ops have been successful n my sciatica has vanished

My first op was at 29

The only thing that worked is the op I was on morphine in the end with the pain

Good luck but please be hopeful the op is amazing

Having had severe sciatica for a year last year, my experience might help. I started off with Paracetamol, then Co-codamol, then Solpadol, then Tramadol - all pain control drugs with increasing strength - none of them worked very well.

Eventually my GP put me on Lo-dose, slo-release Morphine, (Zomorph), 30mg every 12 hours - and that finally gave me some control to enable me to function, although I also needed occasional codeine for especially bad days. But I should emphasise I also got bad constipation from the Morphine.

Eventually, after about a year of real discomfort the sciatic pain eased over a two week period, and vanished as quickly as it had come. During that year I had MRI and CT spinal scans which showed up a lower spinal/disc problem for which I had a (steroid ?) injection which gave me around 3 months of relief before the pain returned as bad as ever, then had a "pulsed radio-frequency denervation" op., which had little effect - and it was during the wait for another injection, and eventually a dangerous back operation, that the pain ,as described above, just vanished ! - saving me the back op.

It then took me several weeks to wean myself off the drugs, and a further 6 months to get back to most of my usual activities. But I was also a club runner and had to give that up in case of further spinal problems.

In a previous episode of Sciatica I had great pain relief from Diclofenac, but then had heart trouble about a week later - co-incidence ?/don't know; but 5 years later NSAIDs are not so popular now.

Hope that helps - remember you may be different and need to talk to your GP.


Thank you all so much for replies and advice. Feel for you all. It's nice just to speak to people who have been or are going through it also, I'm sure most people around me think it's not as bad as it is but it's ruining my life, I'm only 30, I don't want to spend the rest of my life feeling this way or living on medication, not being able to sleep and constantly worrying all the time but I do see some light at the end of the tunnel. I did go to hospital the other day as my leg went numb (I still have numbness in my right leg from nerve damage from last time so worried it was happening again) but they just gave me morphine. I've tried a chiropractor and osteopath which I found personally haven't helped and last week I attended a healing group at a church, it was a pleasant experience. I'll perservere with the medication and await my appointment, where I've taken so much time off work, financially I just can't afford to go private unfortunately but hope to get referred to a physio which will help hopefully. Thank you all again.

in reply to Jodie2017

Auh Jodie it's all such a worry, I'm glad you are trying to remain as positive as you can. I'm sorry to hear your not having much luck with all the alternative treatments, you are trying as much as you can which is half the battle but can be just as frustrating when your not seeing the results your wanting or expecting. Your chiropractor do you think he/she is moving your body the correct way? I don't mean to be patronising but my chiropractor has kept me on my feet and reduced my pain to be more manageable than prior to my visit. Some are not great practitioners. I'm aware it's not suitable for everyone , you have probably thought about phoning the secretary of the Dr your going to see and say your happy to take a cancellation if you've not already done so this may speed things up a little. It's good to phone at least once a week sometimes it works. If surgery is an option and if I had the option I would try it. As with everything there is positive and negatives to any form of surgery , arm yourself with all info in order to make an informed decision. Your doctor can help.


I was in a similar circumstance a few years ago and I was able to see the specialist sooner by paying for my own MRI scan; I think it cost about £300. I didn't feel good about queue jumping but like you, I felt desperate. Ultimately it didn't do me any good, and I still have chronic back pain and sciatica and I am on all of the drugs that you are on, or their equivalents. I was offered surgery but my other health conditions were so complex it was too risky.

The best thing I can suggest for you to try is mindfulness meditation. If you do it, try to join a group. Mindfulness meditation really can help but sticking at it is the really hard thing to do. I really hope you do find some relief.

If you got an MRI scan for "about £300" you were indeed fortunate - my local Private Hospital charges around £1,000 for a full body CT scan; so perhaps there are wide variations in these charges ?

In other comment; I don't see a problem with your paying for a scan - after all it frees scarce NHS resources for someone else.

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