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Nerve pain sciatic?

By Anonymous September 19, 2018 - 2:11pm
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I was shoveling, pain in upper crease of right leg. Pain shifts... every step shooting pain at top of leg. Limping I think it might be a ligament and pinched nerves. My lower back also. I have stenosis bulging disc DDD and arthritis I'm going to start physical therapy in six days but wanted to reach out to you Susan for some relief now. It's really strange because sometimes there's no pain at all and then other times it's debilitating. I guess that's probably the nerves. Thank you Marilyn

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HERWriter Guide

Hello Marilyn

Thank you for writing.

It does sound like you may have sciatica. Sciatica is irritation of the sciatic nerve that passes down the back of each thigh.

The sciatic nerve arises from the lower spine on either side and travels deep in the pelvis to the lower buttocks. From there, it passes along the back of each upper leg and divides at the knee into branches that go to the feet.

Sciatica typically causes pain that shoots down the back of one thigh or buttock. Sciatica pain is often burning, tingling, or numbness on one side of the leg. Pain may also be present on one side of the buttocks that worsens when seated for a long time.

Your stenosis and bulging cyst may be causing this. Stenosis is a common cause of sciatica. It's good that you are going to PT soon so that you can have this evaluated and treated.

The goal of treatment is to reduce sciatic nerve irritation.

Treatment options include:

Limited Physical Activity
Prolonged bedrest is usually not advised. However, your doctor may recommend resting in bed for 1-2 days. Too much bed rest can weaken muscles and slow healing. Doctors generally recommend staying active within the limits of your pain and avoiding activities that worsen back pain.

Medications used to treat sciatica include:

Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen , aspirin , or ibuprofen
Muscle relaxers for muscle spasm
Cortisone pills or injections where the sciatic nerve comes out of the spine
Antidepressants for chronic pain
Physical Therapy
Physical therapy may be done at home or at work. It may include the following:

Hot or cold packs
Stretching and strengthening exercises
Ultrasound treatments
Electrical stimulation
Alternative Therapies
These therapies have not been proven by scientific studies to have an effect on sciatica. However, some people may find some pain relief from the following:

Surgery may be done to relieve pressure on the sciatic nerve. This is performed in emergency situations or if conservative treatments fail. Common surgical procedures are microdiskectomy and lumbar laminectomy .

Talk to your doctor about the right treatment plan for you. For example, a study found that after one year, there was little difference between patients that had microdisketomy and those that had conservative treatment (such as rest, physical therapy, and medications). But, people that had surgery did report faster recovery time.

Let us know how it goes in physical therapy.


September 19, 2018 - 3:25pm
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