Sciatic Pain For Months....
I have been suffering with sciatic pain that goes from my right butt cheek around to the front and down the front of my leg from below my right knee down as far as my toes sometimes. It is a burning awful, nagging pain that I'm sure I don't have to describe to any of you that have had it. Most of the pain seems to settle between my knee & ankle. Though I have had one brief bout of sciatica on each side in the past 5 years, they were always relatively short-lived & seemed to resolve on their own with use of ice, rest and anti-inflammatory drugs. Not so this time around.
This most recent attack of sciatica happened in early November 2008 after my doctor sent me for some physical therapy after an episode of sciatica on my LEFT side had totally resolved itself. I was about to leave for a 3 week vacation & she recommended I go for the therapy so that I would not have a flare up while away. I went for only 2 sessions of PT & after the second one I woke up the following morning with excruciating pain on the opposite side..... down my RIGHT side from my buttocks to my foot. I couldn't put any weight on my foot or walk & was in absolute agony! I had not had an attack on my right side in 5 years & feel that the manipulations & exercises that the therapist had me doing must have aggravated something to cause a flare up.
I went on my vacation & was in terrible pain the whole time I was away. Though the pain has lessened as time has gone on, it is still there & the intensity can fluctuate. An MRI that my orthopedic doctor ordered showed some bulging disks. I've used OTC anti-inflammatory meds & some stronger prescription pain meds, but they help only sometimes. Using an ice pack on my lower back seems to give me the most relief. My orthopedic doctor has suggested that I either see how things go for a while longer or that I see a pain management specialist & consider having an epidural injection in my back. He claims that gives relief to some people, but doesn't help others.
At this point I am unsure what to do. I am scared about the idea of a needle in my back, but I am tired of hobbling around with a cane, being limited in what I can do & being in constant pain. My family doesn't understand the pain I am in.....seem to think I can just take a pill & <POOF>.... it will vanish!
I would love to hear comments from anyone who may have had experience with sciatic pain for this long. I'd also be interested in hearing if anyone has had problems flare up AFTER going for PT. Would also love to hear if the epidural back injection has offered any relief & if it is very painful to get. Thanks for having this community & for any sharing of your experiences.