sciatica

I have had sciatica for about 7 weeks, in that time it has moved from my left buttock and thigh where it first began to my front right thigh and groin it seemed to clear up for about a week during which time I thought wow its gone only to return with a vengeance last weekend in my right buttock. my GP is on holiday, I can,t get hold of the phisio in the meantime I am in agony trying to do the exercises and move as much as possible.

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  • There's no reason to connect sciatica with PMR. My sister has it and not PMR; I have PMR but not sciatica. However, one thing I would say is that it could be a mistake to do exercises unless they are very gentle stretches, because the wrong movement could aggravate whatever is causing pressure on the nerve. Surely your GP has partners or a locum whom you could see while he/she is on holiday?

  • there are other gps but i don't like them he is the only one who understands me. the exercises are very gentle recommended by the phisio who i have since contacted and am seeing tomorrow and friday

  • kingharold, my experience with sciatica has always been that it occurs on one side only from the buttock down to my foot. I have a a slipped vertebrae in the lower spine and the attacks of sciatica generally follow something simple like a slight trip or going over on an ankle. In my experience there has been very little to help with my bouts of sciatica, a couple of which have been very long lasting and then just disappear over time. The one thing that has helped to relieve my pain in recent years has been to don a support girdle for a few days.

    However, having said all this, I am really wondering whether the pain that your describe, moving from side to side of your body, is more connected to the inflammation of PMR - it can be very difficult to judge between the two. Have you tried increasing the steroids for a few days to see if that provides any relief?

  • I have increased the steroids I am on 9mg as recommended by my GP

  • If you are, indeed, having sciatic pain (this is only ever pain along the sciatic nerve running from the hip down the leg) you can put a heavy shoe (or an ankle weight if you have one) onto the foot of the affected leg. Then lie on the opposite side on your sofa. Keep your spine and hips very straight and hang the affected leg over the edge of the sofa. Keep the knee fairly straight. The added weight of the shoe will create a kind of traction effect which relieves pressure on the sciatic nerve. Let it hang for 30 minutes 2-3 times per day.

    I go to the chiropractor right away when I get sciatica & get the pressure relieved via gently adjustment. This relieves the pain after a couple of adjustments in the course of a week, much faster than physiclal therapy. But I realise you may not have access to or be comfortable with chiropractors. Knowing its effectiveness, I pay for it out of my own pocket. The sofa traction is a stopgap method.

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