©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Sciatica

Question:

Please describe your experience with sciatica. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Monie, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 12

I have 2 herniated discs in my back and apparently 1 of the discs broke off and it is pressing on my sciatic nerve. The pain is a horrible throbbing pain that shoots down my buttocks, through my thigh to the side of my lower leg above the ankle. Most of the time, it's a burning pain where it feels like lava is running through my veins. I have had 2 injections and they haven't helped my sciatica. I was taking 800 mg of Motrin, Voltaren, naproxen, Percocet and oxycodone, but still nothing helps.

Comment from: ouch, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 22

I have been dealing with sciatica for a couple years. I am 23 years old and had the worst pain of my life a year ago. This pain lasted months. I was basically crippled and needed help doing everything. I've recently had a baby (5 months ago) and the pain is back. Sitting, standing, walking, lying - it all hurts. With a baby, there are times when I have to move quickly and that just inflames me even more. You can't win in a situation like this and it makes me want to end it all sometimes.

Comment from: Lula, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I have had sciatica for 3 months. I have tried chiropractor and acupuncture - both of which did not help. I now take omeprazole to help protect my stomach from the ibuprofen. I found naproxen absolutely useless. I have just been prescribed gabapentin to help me sleep as I am woken up by severe burning pains in my hip and leg. Tramadol gave me nightmares! Who knew that sciatica was so excruciating!

Comment from: Joesmom, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 28

I have been dealing with sciatica pain for well over a year. My MRI shows that it's due to 2 bulging discs. I have been through the gauntlet of adjustments, massage therapy, physical therapy and epidural injections, not to mention the plethora of pain medications and muscle relaxers (of which none have worked). So far nothing has worked. My pain level is so bad that I'm unable to walk at times and my right foot is becoming weaker and weaker. I'm at the end of my rope. I'm at my wits' end and honestly, I don't know how much more I can take. The pain is so bad it's spiraling me into one the biggest depressions ever.

Comment from: sarah, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 16

I had sciatica for 6 years before any doctor discovered what it was! Seriously! I also had several MRIs and nobody saw it! I also had injections in the facet joints; they didn't help at all, made no difference whatsoever! I even had a top surgeon tell me I needed a pin in my hip because my sacroiliac joint was too wide; glad I didn't do that surgery because that is not what I needed at all. I also did months of physical therapy; that didn't help either, neither did electro stimulation or anything else the doctors told me to try. I decided to try to heal myself all by natural way as a last resort and was glad I did. I went for chiropractor spinal adjustments, yoga and stretching, and acupuncture and massage therapy. Avoid sitting for long periods, get moving! Use heating pads and reduce inflammation. And after suffering for so long and finally walking with a bad limp after the surgery I had no pain at all! Exercising can help some depending on the severity of the pinch but if the nerve is well and truly pinched exercise alone will not fix it! Try this method see if it helps you.

Comment from: blue eyes, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: June 22

I had a sciatica attack last December 2017. I had pain for about 3 days. The pain went away but I am left with a limp in my left leg. I had an epidural shot but so far it has had no effect.

Comment from: aimeee, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

I pulled a muscle in my groin/thigh pretty bad about a month ago. It got to the point where I would feel my left leg tighten if I walked even just around the grocery store. And it made my buttock cheeks feel like they were on fire just by sitting for 10 minutes! I saw my doctor twice for this and all she told me to do was ice and ibuprofen. That didn't help at all, I knew it was more than a pulled muscle. So then I started seeing a chiropractor a week ago. He said I definitely pulled the sciatic nerve. I have had 2 sessions so far and my buttock cheeks don't feel like they're on fire anymore so that's improvement. Hoping things continue to improve!

Comment from: Lena, Female (Patient) Published: January 20

I have been misdiagnosed years ago with tendinitis in my feet and ankles. I started noticing my pain in my back and calves. Everything kept getting worse. I could not walk after physical therapy. I finally got an MRI and have a bulging disc and arthritis, and narrowed canals. I got cortisone shots for my sciatica. I found some relief for only a week and now I am worse!

Comment from: novascotiagal, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 24

I have had sciatica over the years but worse this year than ever before. Mine is not caused by a disc or back issue but due to the muscle that runs deep in the behind; so I am told. The pain was excruciating. I took naproxen and Tylenol and got some relief. Occasionally I took an anti-anxiety pill as it relaxes muscles and I had spasms at times in the muscles that would almost cause me to fall. I had severe pain and a feeling that that my leg was being hit with a hammer causing sudden loss of balance. I went to see the doctor and she prescribed gabapentin 100 mg to take 3 times a day. And I could increase to 200 mg in 4 days if it didn't work. I took one and it was like a miracle. Pain stopped, I slept soundly all night and in any position; I was so tired of sleeping fitfully on my back! Now I take naproxen as well and the two seem to do the trick. The doctor felt that this might be only a short episode and I should be able to function without medication in 3 to 4 weeks. I am told this medication is dangerous with bad side effects but so far I am only a bit drowsy and hopefully I will be one of the lucky ones as it is making my life so much better.

SLIDESHOW

Back Pain: 16 Back Pain Truths and Myths See Slideshow
Comment from: cookies, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 15

I have been having nerve pain in my ankle for almost 3 years now. All of a sudden, I have a sciatica pinched nerve and it triggers all the way down to my calf on my right side. It is starting at my lower right butt cheek and my back. It makes me so tired and I have serious trouble sleeping at night. I am exhausted. I use heat and ice packs. The ice slows down the pain very little. I started going to the chiropractor but it's not helping. I need advice and how to make this thing go away. I will do anything at this point and I can't take NSAID anti-inflammatory medicines.

Comment from: lindagalion, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 05

My husband had total knee replacement 3 months ago. Knee is well, no pain. However he has had pins and needles sensation in the bottom of his foot ever since the surgery. He was sent for an EMG and finding was damage to the sciatica nerve. He was given two blocks before surgery, one in front of leg and one in the sciatica in back of the leg. Doctor says pain in the bottom of the foot will go away in time.

Comment from: rc422, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 09

I'm 23 years old and I was diagnosed with sciatica. The pain that I've gone through is terrible. Sleepless night after sleepless night, I can't even walk straight. I currently don't have insurance to afford a doctor. The insurance I had doesn't cover chiropractor or physical therapy. I've had it for 2 months now and I wouldn't want anyone to have to go through this. My hip feels like it's tearing apart inside. My whole right leg is always in pain.

Comment from: DrJ., 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 16

During my nursing career I received Chiropractic care for chronic sciatica. Needless to say I received immediate relief after only one Chiropractic Adjustment. Resultantly I became a Doctor of Chiropractic now I can give the same relief to my patients. My order for care is: Chiropractic 1st Drugs 2nd Surgery LAST

Comment from: Anitha, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 06

My experience lasted approximately one year. During this time I was treated and medicated by my GP as well as a specialist, orthopedic neurosurgeon & various sessions physical therapy. I had reached the end of my tether in terms of pain and decided to go to a biokinestist who taught me various exercises and ways of stretching & strengthening the core, back and leg muscles. I went through these routines faithfully as well as changed my bed to a more firm one and now I am without pain. Some days I do get pain but it's manageable and I certainly will not recommend surgery until each and every avenue exhausted, especially massage.

Comment from: big italian 4 u, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 10

This is my third day with lower back pain, or sciatica, and it's getting worse, mainly on my left side. It's radiating down to my lower left leg. I have tried muscle relaxers, pain medication, heat, ice, and bed rest. Nothing seems to work as of yet. I am planning on going to see my doctor soon. Pain is around an “8” on the scale from one to 10.

Comment from: linda, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 05

I have been getting lower back pain a lot pain, it goes into my buttocks, into my thigh, and then my knee, sometimes into my calves. It hurts when I sit for long time and hurts when I walk. The pain is really extreme, I think it may be sciatica.

Comment from: Hi Guys, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: February 24

I am a victim of sciatica, it shows up in my lower back and right leg and the pain is not possible to describe but to people that are also having this problem. I need to drive a car and it was only possible for some 30 km and I would get this leg pain that would mean I had to stop and walk around or my wife would have to drive. There had to be an answer. I did various ways of adjusting the seat to almost sitting flat out, the police don't seem to like that. Then as my wife is a horse fanatic I thought that when a horse has a back problem they use a gel pad under the saddle to cushion and distribute the weight. So I borrowed one of these gel pads, folded it in half, put on top of that a small cushion from the cat basket, and put them towards the back part of the car driving seat and I sit on top of this. This means that the underside of your thigh is not pressurized by the driving seat. It needs a little practice but I can now drive 800 km with only one stop and that's not because of the sciatica. It works for me, I hope it works for you.

Comment from: Desperate, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 29

My sciatica started about 15 months ago with hip pain. I was sent off to an orthopedic surgeon who did some X-rays and told me I needed a hip replacement. A cortisone injection in the hip achieved nothing, however, so we moved onto an MRI of the lumbar spine and a bone scan. These showed a disc bulge but nothing too dramatic. A referral to a neurosurgeon was arranged. He could see nothing on the scans he could operate to fix. Meanwhile, the pain has gotten worse and worse; I am in pain when standing, walking, sitting and lying down. I am sleeping very poorly (due to pain) and finding myself dopey in the morning if I take over-the-counter drugs (e.g. Mersyndol night) to try and get a good night's sleep. I am feeling very despondent about all this and desperate for a solution. My latest referral has been to a neurologist who has sent me for an MRI of the thoracic and lumbar spine -- still no solution in sight and I am limping around like an old lady. I am only 50, not overweight -- and usually -- have an active lifestyle. I am trying to keep up with my exercise, but it is getting harder and harder to do so.

QUESTION

Nearly everyone has low back pain at some time during their life. See Answer
Comment from: dee, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

I joined a gym a couple of years to lose a little weight and tone. As time passed the muscles in my butt and back of my thighs felt like they were on the verge of cramping all the time. About a month ago I had some dental work done and was given a script for swelling. When I finished the script my muscle pain became impossible to tolerate. Getting out of bed was the worst. Standing up straight before my muscles warmed up pulled those muscles so bad. A friend of mine suggested yoga. I bought yoga for beginners DVD and did it every other night for a week. It didn't take long for me to find out how bad my posture is. So, with bad posture and lifting weights I figured I must have had a pinched nerve or something. So I took a 3 week break from the gym, started taking ibuprofen and kept doing the yoga DVD. I had to pay attention to my posture at all times, but when I had it right I could feel the pressure release in my lower back. And when I had it wrong I felt the instant pain in my muscles. I started feeling better a little more each day. At the end of the three weeks I decided to Google lower back pain to find out exactly what was wrong with me. I came across Sciatica. Every single one of my symptoms were there. From what I read the more active you are the better you will feel. I started going back to the gym and I'm pain free most of the day now. I think once I put the correct posture with strengthening the muscles that will support me I'm taking the pressure off the sciatic nerve. I'm not 100% yet, but I can stand up straight as soon as I get out of bed with no pain. Today was my 4th day of going back to the gym.

Published: September 11

To begin with, the pain was located in the upper inner quadrant of the left buttock as if a deep intramuscular injection was given! Then the pain started radiating down the buttock, back of the thigh down to the popliteal fossa. I could minimize the pain by adopting certain postures. Heat was more effective in alleviating the pain. In three weeks time, the pain severity came down by almost 50% without using too many analgesics. Walking exercises were continued despite pain.

Published: September 11

My pain started a few days after a long driving trip (4000 miles). It's the first time I've had this problem. The pain was very intense making even simple movements of my left leg very painful. It was a 10 on the 1-10 scale. Bending over was impossible. No matter how long I looked at my sock on the floor I could not pick it up. The pain would strike from my left butt cheek to my left ankle. After I'd move it would continue to ache for a period of time. I could not sit in most chairs as it was too uncomfortable. I spent four days in a chair with minimal time out of the chair. I could barely walk to get to the bathroom or to get food. After the fourth day I found that 800 mg of Ibuprofen would give me relief for about three hours. The day after that (today) the pain was much less, only about a 4 on the 10 scale and that was without any Ibuprofen. I'm looking forward to continued recovery.

Comment from: Laura, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 03

For 2 years I had pain in the back because of this disease called sciatica. I tried a lot of treatments but many of them were unsuccessful. I even went to a doctor, but still no results; until I found this amazing product called Sciatica SOS. I am really surprised by the results, in just 7 days I got rid of back pain.

Comment from: molly malone, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 18

I have severe sciatica and bulging disc confirmed by MRI scan. I have no pain going to bed, but after three hours sleep I wake in violent pain. Pain starts at lower back down my right leg into the back of knee and then all down my leg into sole of foot and toes. This pain would last for six or seven minutes and then I would go back to bed and again same thing would happen every 15 minutes.

Comment from: Tom May, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: April 12

I have pain in my right hip that moves along to my buttock and down my legs. The pain is disabling. Some days I just stay in bed. I take Tramadol, and when pain gets too severe. The medication then inflames my intestines, and I am off to another pain. I feel that I am not getting effective physician's service.

Comment from: Emily, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 01

Hi, all you Sciatica sufferers, I'm in my early 30's and have suffered thru this sometimes unbearable pain now for the last 3yrs on a weekly basis. Ever since my 9lb 8.2oz baby girl was born. Sometime last year, I gave in and went to a wonderful orthopedic in the Franklin, TN area. I was able to receive a MRI after the X-rays and CT scans, of course. Anyways, I have two bulging discs that are pressing periodically on the sciatic nerve. Its' that constant throbbing feeling in the lower back to my left side and the muscle in my buttocks cramps or something Ouch! Down the leg the pain goes.

Comment from: sunpoint, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 10

My sciatica presents as pain in the hip. It's worse at night when I'm in bed and the pain runs down my leg.

Comment from: lbferguson, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 08

I have had sciatic pain for 5 years. The first two years I thought it was muscular, squats, lunges, etc. from the gym where I work out 4-5 days a week. I am in great shape and am extremely flexible. For the past two years however, my sciatica has become unbearable. It is the worst when sitting, usually during the 90-minute drive to and from work 5 days a week, but I get it gardening, standing over the bathroom sink brushing my teeth, sitting my bed, sitting in a seat at a restaurant or at work, everywhere and anywhere. I have seen my orthopedic surgeon, a chiropractor, had X-ray guided spinal injections. Nothing has worked and nothing has helped. I am now going holistic and trying acupuncture. I am out of options!

Comment from: Sally, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 08

I have recently had a horrendous experience with sciatica. I was barely able to walk a few steps and even then the pain was excruciating. A lot of advice you may read tells you to carry on working or keep active. This really is not realistic if you truly have this condition of a ruptured disc. I honestly felt I could not carry on many times, I spent 6 nights in a row unable to sleep at all because of the pain, prescribed pain relief made me very sick. I lost 1 stone in weight purely because I could not get myself any food and had to rely on other people who had to go to work in the day. At one point I moved into a hotel just to have regular meals. I eventually got a diagnosis and MRI scan and the doctor could tell straight away how bad it was as the reflexes in my right foot did not work at all. My father died during this period just 8 weeks ago in Turkey and I had to have a wheelchair at the airport. Luckily, I made a dramatic improvement all in one go after 3 months. There is still a bit of pain and I can feel the piece of disc is still there but it is paradise in comparison. Time seems to heal this condition best if you can bear it. The best thing though is that I am nice and slim and appreciate being able to walk normally.

Comment from: marlene, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 19

Sciatica has been with me since I was a young girl, and trying to keep fit and playing netball did not really help, also nursing the elderly and lifting gave me a lot of grief, leading me to leave my profession. I find now that I am 60yrs some days I use a walking frame that takes the pressure off my spine and my knees. Taking medications has led me to gastritis, but at this stage I can't do without the anti-inflammatory medications.

Comment from: Alan, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: January 07

I just got sciatica for the second time. The first time, it lasted for 48 hours, and this time, it has lasted for three days. The new pain is in my right left and it is intense. It runs pretty much all the way down my leg. The pain gets worse if I twist my foot or put weight on my leg. There is a particular spot that, if pressed, makes it much worse. I have no idea what I did to cause it.

Comment from: Cyrus, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 07

I am experiencing chronic lower back pain that continues down my left leg. I have been seeing a chiropractor for the past 8 weeks who claims my pelvis is out of alignment which he is trying to correct. Many years ago I injured my back and have a 40% compressed disk. My back has not bothered me until this summer when I probably spent too much time on the golf course. I am not sure the chiropractor is on the right track in trying to cure my problem. Generally, I get some relief from acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

Comment from: happy teacher, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 29

I have dealt with sciatica now for nearly two years. Walk, walk, walk. Walking is not only physically good for you, but now my mp3 player, my good sneakers and I are inseparable. (I popped for excellent running shoes I use for balance and walking.) Massage is also a real help if you find a well-trained masseuse. Take charge of your pain.

Comment from: tiredofpain1, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 16

I have had this pain for a couple of months now. When I visit the chiropractor, I only get relief for about one day. I also take 900 milligrams of ibuprofen, which seems to help and I also bathe in Epsom salts and very hot water for long periods of time. Some say exercise my back, other s say don't. This is a very confusing condition, so I'm going to a neurologist after I see the chiropractor tomorrow.

Comment from: gingernut, Published: November 09

I have suffered sciatica type pain for years now. It's worse if I sit for prolonged periods or time, normally moving around and walking helps alleviate it. I have read that it is often the opposite that happens with sciatica. I've finally seen a doctor who didn't dismiss me and sent me for an X-ray which didn't show anything. I am underweight which probably doesn't help, my physiotherapist says that weight isn't a factor, so I wonder if my posture is mainly to blame.

Comment from: Emeraldw7, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 23

I have been dealing with pain for about 1 month now and the doctor gave me Vicodin. I have been using that when the pain gets real bad. So far I have basically had no relief at all sleeping in bed isn't even an option because every time I roll over it hurts. I cry even when I am sleeping. Hot packs don't help and I have tried the exercises but it hurts too much. The cold seems to make it hurt worse. If anyone has any other things I can try I would appreciate it. I am at my wits end. I am 27 and I used to study nursing but I can't even do that now. Needless to say it is taking its toll on my marriage, I can't even get physical with my husband because it hurts my back too much. Please I am willing to try ANYTHING!!

Comment from: ohmyback, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 21

I have been dealing with this for almost 25 years. I am only 39 years old and have gone through crippling episodes when I can't walk (from 2 days up to a month at a time) at all. Chiropractic care and exercise (mainly stretching) have always helped, but if I stop these things it always comes back. So anytime I feel any pain at all I am back to the chiropractor and back to a stretching regimen. I never take any kind of meds (nothing) because it gives me a false sense of security and I end up making it worse because I feel better so I think I can do more(not true, let it heal before exerting yourself). One of my main problems is my hamstrings, if they are not loose it puts major pressure on my lower back while bending and another episode is eminent. So as long as I keep my hamstrings good and stretched, it seems to keep me feeling pretty good.

Comment from: Brittany, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 02

I have been enduring this pain, lower left back, down my left leg. It started so quickly, and I headed for the doctors office. I have 3 medications I am taking right now. Today is the 4th day. Some relief. Yesterday though it was so bad I had to actually tell my self to pick up the left leg and walk. By the time I got home, I was physically and mentally worn out.

Comment from: pcos, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 01

I have all the symptoms of sciatica but what about neck problems as far as pulling muscles, my neck always feeling out of place and needing adjustment and moving up the back of my head causing severe migraines where ends up with me vomiting. Severe stiffness of my neck that wakes me up out of my sleep to crack my neck, and I can feel that attachment with my spine when this occurs.

Comment from: 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 22

Hi, I am 24 years old and been having sciatica pain for about a year now. I've had it once before when I was 18, but it went away completely. At the beginning I couldn't even get out of bed now it just hurts to sit in one position for too long. The pain shoots down my leg. I've been to the chiropractor, but it only made it better for awhile. I need any help on what I can do to make it better. I have two children and it hurts to even pick them up. I will try anything.

Comment from: sue, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 12

I had sciatica from a fall. I fell and hit the bottom of my back on the ice I only got the pain two days later and it felt like a really bad tooth ache. The pain shot down my right buttock and down my right leg. It was like a nagging tooth ache. Sitting down was awful. I only got relief from the pain by walking. This was hard with the pain from my back. In the end I went to the doctors and got some pain killers it still hurts but not as bad as it has.

CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors