Gransnet forums

Sciatica/trapped nerve

(32 Posts)
Nanos Thu 29-Mar-18 09:19:49

I have been diagnosed with Sciatica and a trapped nerve.
I cannot sit on my left side without dreadful pain and my leg goes into a wave of cramp. When I finally manage to get up and walk around the house and then need to sit down, my bed is the most comfortable place. I have decent painkillers, but feeling very guilty about lying in bed.
Any suggestions from other sufferers would be most welcome.

Situpstraight Thu 29-Mar-18 09:39:18

Has your Doctor told you the cause of your Sciatica? Mine was a herniated disc, after an MRI I had a period of bed rest, which made the pain go away, then I had physio, but I ended up with an emergency op.
All went well and after 2 years I got the feeling back in my right leg and foot!
Seriously, I went to hell and back with the pain. If your Doctor tells you to rest then please do. And take the analgesics they reduce inflammation as well as pain. Hopefully your Sciatica won’t progress. Hope you feel better very soon.

loopyloo Thu 29-Mar-18 09:47:33

Don't rest too much . Keep gently on the move. Are you able to sleep at night? Doctor might give you a few doses of valium which relaxes the muscles.
Try sitting on a special cushion that lifts you off that area.
Try ice packs. Take Vitamin c.
Try to find a good osteo path. And try Acupuncture. I found that very helpful.
Usually after 6 to 8 weeks the body heals.

Greenfinch Thu 29-Mar-18 09:59:56

I found physiotherapy helped a little.

jeanie99 Thu 29-Mar-18 10:01:41

Some years ago I had a trapped nerve which effected my right leg and foot.
I couldn't physically lift the leg even over a pavement, hubby had to help me with everything.
A&E did some tests and just said it would go in time.
Seven days later it went as quickly as it appeared and I've never had the problem again. Thank goodness.

GrandmaMoira Thu 29-Mar-18 10:05:19

Physio will teach you the correct stretches to help with sciatica. Strong painkillers and acupuncture help with the pain. When you have sciatica, you often have a very tight piriformis muscle which is near the sciatic nerve and can cause the pain. Massage to relieve this helps.
I had over one year off work with sciatica and have had it for long periods at other times. Getting advice from physio helped me most.

merlotgran Thu 29-Mar-18 11:01:56

Poor you. Sciatica is so painful.

I agree with all of the above especially trying to keep moving.

I found simple yoga stretches helped first thing in the morning and still do them when I stiffen up. I can't tolerate strong painkillers but somebody recommended magnesium tablets to improve muscle function.

Drink plenty of fluids because dehydrated muscles make everything worse. I agree about acupuncture and I found alternating sitting on an icepack and leaning against a heated wheat bag very comforting while I was reading or watching TV.

Hope you feel better soon.

goldengirl Thu 29-Mar-18 11:17:49

If you have a properly qualified Pilates instructor who is trained in back / leg problems s/he is the 'go to' person. As I've mentioned on other threads I had severe sciatica and it was the Pilates instructor who is an injuries specialist - who discovered (a) that I had a curved spine and (b) that I had one leg shorter than the other. The exercises I've been given are individual [no one person does the same in our group of 6] and have helped tremendously. The main thing for me is to keep moving when I get the occasional flare up and that is SO difficult when all I want to do is lie or sit down. To help me my instructor vertically taped my spine with strips of what looked like sticky plaster and that helped too. It boils down to finding the cause. I've never found a doctor who has the time to source the problem. I've suffered back problems since my twenties and was in a corset with steel bones for 2 years which in the end didn't do me any favours! Sciatica is incredibly painful and I have every sympathy with anyone who has it.

tiggypiro Thu 29-Mar-18 14:12:12

Poor you - sciatica is the most awful thing. I have suffered 2 bouts of it and found like others that painkillers and excercise (when I could) helped. I now know how to recognise the onset of it and am able to nip it in the bud before it starts.
In my case it starts with pins and needles in a leg. As soon as it starts I wriggle and move my back and waist. It looks like a very very bad dose of granny dancing. In my brain I am trying to un-stick a nerve which has got itself stuck somewhere. Whether that is right or not I really don't care as my method works. I don't think my sciatica will ever disappear completely but I am able to keep it under control and not let it ruin my life again.
I wish all sufferers some respite and an end to the nightmare.

Luckygirl Thu 29-Mar-18 14:42:45

Traction did the trick for me and helped me to avoid surgery. I do know how miserable it is and hope the pain will ease soon.

Jayh Thu 29-Mar-18 14:42:50

Commiserations 💐I have had a couple of episodes of sciatica and it is horrible. I found that lying on the floor was tolerable while the painkillers took effect. I position myself so that I can watch the telly. Also, my yoga teacher gave me some stretching and twisting poses that help to release the trapped nerve. Once I can move again I walk it off. Rest is certainly part of the treatment so don’t feel at all guilty. I lay on the floor for a whole day.

varian Thu 29-Mar-18 19:48:15

Physiotherapy is the answer. It certainly helped me.

Willow500 Fri 30-Mar-18 07:10:11

My husband has had this on and off for the last couple of years but at the moment it's really bad. He's ok when he's sitting/lying down but when walking he starts with pins and needles in his foot which quickly progresses to intense pain up his leg and into his back and we have to quickly find somewhere for him to sit down till it's gone off again. Makes doing the weekly shop difficult as it often comes on in the supermarket! He really needs to go to the doctor but being a man 'can't find the time' hmm

Nanos Fri 30-Mar-18 08:34:37

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences of Sciatica and trapped nerves. I do have a physio appointment next week, which involves sitting in the car to get there which is near impossible. But I’ll worry about that next week. I don’t feel quite so alone since you all got in touch. Really appreciate your help.

paddyann Fri 30-Mar-18 08:53:26

try Acti Patch ,you wear it 24/7 and it lasts a month.My D used it for Fibromyalgia and got a great result with it.Its available in Boots and Gordons and online.You can read reviews online and on their FB page

petra Fri 30-Mar-18 09:02:07

Nanos
I can't agree more with goldengirl Re Pilates. I've spent £1000s on chiropractors and osteopaths, exercising under the NHS, but none of these helped anywhere near Pilates has.
For my sins I was someone who associated Pilates with navel gazing and chanting ooooom grin how wrong I was, and yes, I eat my words.
Not one of those chiropractor etc instructed me in how to physically relieve the pain.
It's a shame you don't live near me (or maybe you do) because I could come round and show you some very simple stretches.

BlueBelle Fri 30-Mar-18 09:09:29

I saw a sports physio he found the place immediately and I needed about three appointments of massaging and pummelling The muscles go into spasm and need encouraging out
Good luck next week

vetrivel Wed 12-Dec-18 06:48:28

1. Can we reverse sciatica pain using exercises alone?
2. If sciatica pain comes due to bulging disc, how to resolve it using natural stretch exercises?

EllanVannin Wed 12-Dec-18 09:23:59

Just once did I suffer sciatica--and I mean suffer ! I was working at the time and it was a week before Christmas. The hospital needed me ! I lay on the bedroom floor putting my tights on and how I ever got to work that day I'll never know.
So much pain and difficulty walking and then sitting on one side of my bottom.

Come the end of the day, thick ice and snow, my friend gave me a lift to the nearest station when suddenly her car decided to die at the lights just after we'd left the hospital.
Because there was a pub on that corner and a car-park we got out and with all our might pushed the car into the car park. I was cold and in pain too.
Believe it or not but my sciatica went after we'd got that car off the road ! I couldn't believe it after suffering all day.

So anyone who has sciatica-----push a car hahahahaha.

Larsonsmum Wed 30-Jan-19 10:30:05

EllanVannin my friend's husband could not move with sciatica, but still went to his golf - typical man! Anyway, going round the course he slipped down a wet grassy bank and momentarily feared what the outcome would be, (as he has hip problems too). When he got up....the sciatica had miraculously gone instantly!!

HildaW Wed 30-Jan-19 10:39:42

Sciatica is more a symptom of something than an actual condition. I had it on and off and then later 3 episodes of what's generally known as 'slipped disc'. I had a referral to a specialist and once the initial pain subsides its all about getting moving and getting fitter. There are lots of exercises and activities that improve core strength and mobility and I recommend finding something that suits you. Since I've become much more proactive about my back I've had very little trouble with it ....touch wood.

Marilla Wed 30-Jan-19 11:49:56

It has taken nearly a year for me to get over a nasty bout of Sciatica. After reading advice from Gransnet, I went privately to an osteopath for several sessions. I found the exercises and manipulation to be invaluable. I do have occasional bouts of pain, but I now avoid heavy lifting which seems to aggravate the nerve. I do take prescribed medication and I am able to walk longer distances and only
limp after a mile. I am aiming for three miles in the next
few months. Any one out there who is in the initial stage of sciatica has my sympathy. The pain can be excruciating.

Marilla Wed 30-Jan-19 11:52:05

Ps I am on the lookout for a Pilates instructor too.

grannyactivist Wed 30-Jan-19 12:31:48

Sciatica is a horribly painful ailment. Every morning I wake up and lie in bed dreading the moment I have to get up. Some days I have pins and needles with slight, manageable pain, but most days the pain is almost too much to bear. I found a really good stretching exercise on google that does, eventually, help, but is very painful to do - then I alternate taking ibuprofen and paracetamol until I can cope again.

Juggernaut Wed 30-Jan-19 13:28:37

During the fifth month of pregnancy, my DS positioned himself against my sciatic nerve and refused to budge.
Strangely enough, as soon as he was born.....pain gone!
However, he seems to have caused some damage as I have had recurring bouts of sciatica ever since.
I got so fed up, taking painkillers constantly, eventually I booked a course of acupuncture, and it worked wonders.
It's a very relaxing experience, in fact I've dozed off on several occasions, despite having a back full of needles!
Ask your GP if they offer acupuncture, it's worth a try!