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Old 10-31-2012, 05:36 PM   #21
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I am so, so sorry. Since sitting brings on your misery, have you looked into getting a standing workstation? They are not cheap, yet some people in my workplace have gotten the employer to pay for them on the strength of a doctor's recommendation. They are adjustable to the user's height and you can get a cushioned mat (similar to what hairdressers use) to take some of the strain of standing.

I hope relief comes to you soon. You are so young to be putting up with this.


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Old 10-31-2012, 06:08 PM   #22
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So sorry you have not had any relief . I would try a chiropractor . They are usually covered by insurance and it may be just what you need .

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Old 10-31-2012, 06:43 PM   #23
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Been there, done that.

Here are things that have helped me:

1. I walk at least 2 miles a day
2. Yoga at least twice a week
3. Thai Yoga Massage (monthly)
4. Regular Chiropractic visits
5. Skelaxin Rx when it gets really bad

I used to scream from the pain, scared my kids to death. I honestly think stress brings mine on, but I attribute the above to almost no flare-ups in the past few years.

The Thai Yoga Massage is glorious by the way. Well worth the $$.

Good luck to you & keep us posted.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:42 PM   #24
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Hoping some of the advice is beneficial. I am sorry for your pain and hope you find relief soon. My mom suffered from sciatic pain in her 40's. It no longer bothers her, but it was certainly a major issue back then. She spent time in traction every day, but I have no idea if it did any good.

Keep us posted on your progress, please.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:09 AM   #25
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I am not your doc but 2 suggestions that worked with my aunt. Ponder/discuss/read over it and decide yourself.

She took intensive PT and magnesium supplements. When it started she was about 41, lived through it until almost 50 and then in 3 years, the pain is almost gone (but the age factor is kicking in).
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:38 AM   #26
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Don't sit too long and avoid padded chairs. Any chair that brings on the pain should be avoided until the pain is completely resolved. Sitting on an exercise ball might help.

When the pain comes on try to locate the area where the pain "begins". Admittedly this is difficult as you likely feel the pain all the way down your leg. Try to find the spot where there is pain and which is closest to the spine. Ice that area every time the pain comes on for about 15 minutes.

Only sleep in positions that do not bring on the pain. Usually this will be either the stomach or the back.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:00 AM   #27
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I'm sorry to hear about your pain.

As a past sufferer myself, I can attest that it can be debilitating/frustrating/depressing. It's among the worst pain I've ever felt. For my, anyway, it would take forever to go away & it would reappear without warning.

Knowing that every case is different, I can only share how I finally rid myself of this condition; which was caused by my spine pinching the sciatic nerve. This in turn caused pain & swelling... which caused muscle spasms... which prevented realignment and healing.

First... While not a huge fan of Chiropractors, I found a good one who relieved the pain through occasional adjustments. Note: I never signed up for (nor was I pushed into) a lengthy series of visits. Insurance covered a good portion of these treatments.

Second... I simply asked the Chiropractor to show me a method for "self adjustment." I asked "What if I was stuck on a desert Island... how would I fix myself? - and he showed me! (I now recommend him to everyone in the area... but haven't needed to see him, myself, in many years.)

Third... I purchased a pair of "Hang Ups" and began a regular habit of Inversion (hanging upside down). Once I was comfortable with the hanging, I started doing sets of inverted crunches in order to strengthen my core. I always follow these sets with stretches and "self adjustments."

While I still over do it occasionally and strain my back... I, fortunately, haven't pinched my sciatic nerve in years. Now, after I do my crunches/stretches/adjustment, my back cracks like a bag of walnuts into alignment. It's a great feeling.

Best of luck with your condition!
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:10 AM   #28
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Three thoughts:
Hematologic disorder... Advanced blood analysis for possible source. This is diagnosis, not cure, but can show predeliction, and possible direction for treatment. (not the normal blood tests)

Hypnotherapy--- again, not for solution, but to separate the physical from the stress/mental part of pain. A beginning.

Physical immobility in comfortable position for long periods. A contrarian type of resolution, but one that worked for DW, after months of debilitating pain. Bulging disk/lower back. Five years ago, no recurrance.

Good luck...
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:16 PM   #29
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Sorry for your pain. I have a very engineering based simplistic view of the body also some significant interest due to family member with major spinal injury. I am very optimistic that you can find a solution, but it will require time.

Here is my 2c worth -> a trial "model"/hypothesis based on an understanding of an explanation of the spine like Lumbar Pinched Nerve, Physical Therapy, New Jersey, NJ

(1) A nerve is getting pinched when you sit... and now lie probably due to continual pinching causing inflammation and exacerbating the pinching.
(2) The areas of numbness (buttocks and backs of thighs) almost tell you exactly what part of the spine. Seems lower down and this why it might be difficult to work out a position as you have more flex a few vertebrae higher. However, there may be more than one area.
(3) It is not getting pinched when you exercise - sounds great that you can find such a position(s).
(4) Having it pinched makes it inflamed and easier to pinch
(5) At the moment anything that hurts is bad, so don't do it -> increasing inflammation
(6) If you can reduce inflammation and maintain it in a state that the nerve is not pinched, the right exercise may help your muscles to maintain that state (but exercise may or may not be sufficient) - I know fusion/rods/screws can provide completely pain free mechanical replacement of major (think missing chunks) vertebrae damage.
(7) So if the above is correct then I think it makes sense that step 1. Stop inflaming it: Find a position when you lie down that does not hurt and keep yourself there when asleep - use pillows? brace? zero gravity chair? relax the back chair? I am thinking that if you can find it while standing and exercising that it is possible.
(8) I can understand MRI not showing. The anti-inflammatories by mouth are prob not strong enough when you are really inflamed; Steroids etc reduce inflammation, if they get it in the right spot - L4 and L5 seems too high for your current pain. It may be that you have damage in a couple of areas Also you had an underlying issue... before continual pinching inflamed it... so reducing the inflammation will not necessarily be a 100% fix.
(9) Unfortunately, this stuff takes time to fix and diagnosis can be slow. e.g. in our family case damage to nerve took months to heal completely, even though source of damage/pressure was 100% removed by surgery... and you are constantly inflaming it.
(10) I don't think I read anything in your description that does not fit the above framework. Obviously the above is not medical advice and I think you should persevere with finding the right spinal/nuero guy or gal.

However, I hope this simplistic framework helps. If you can describe exactly what spinal positions hurt and what doesn't this will help in conversation with medical profession.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:27 PM   #30
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Oh, yes, as someone else said, sitting on an Excersise ball was very helpful.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:06 AM   #31
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I am so sorry for your situation. I had a friend who had a similar problem. Severe constant lower back pain. They tried everything, went to multiple doctor etc, but nothing helped. What they ultimately found to be helpful was a book written by John Sarno. I forget the name of the book, but I'm sure you can find it on Amazon. Maybe it would also be useful for you.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:55 AM   #32
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Sorry to hear of your situation. I had 20 years of occasional debilitating back pain fixed by surgery. Know you've been to tons of Doctors but since you're in Houston I would mention Dr. Stanley Jones at the Spine Center (close to Southwest Memorial). (DW, myself, and Rick Perry have used him.)

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Old 11-02-2012, 09:15 PM   #33
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Sorry for your pain. I have been there and still not 100%. L4/L5 issues with many tests, many attempts, many hours of pain and about 80% pain free now.

A lot of great input from others on this thread. Maybe something someone suggests will work.

In my case a real hybrid mix:

aa) physical therapy when pain allows and managed exercise
bb) swimming is one activity with zero pain
cc) spinal epidurals when it overwhelms me
dd) low dose (300mg) gapapentin
ee) regular massage therapy--very deep
ff) quarterly accupuncture from MD (medical accupuncturist/family practice combo)
gg) tylelnol
hh) ibuprofen
ii) occassional chiropractor
jj) heat packs
kk) hot tub time

Your situation sounds bad. Sure know what nerve pain in legs and low back is and have suffered also several years. A real mix of things to keep me at bay...again, right now about 80% of the time pain free but can irritate it and have a flare up if I bend wrong/twist wrong/lift wrong and then bang...right back with searing pain and rehap all over again.

Good luck. Keep searching. Keep trying things. Keep discussing with medical professionals.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:47 AM   #34
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I agree with this approach.
Originally Posted by bbbamI View Post
I am so sorry... I always recommend a pain management specialist, but I've seen you have looked into it. I've had chronic pain and I know what it's like.
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:08 AM   #35
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Thanks all. This has gotten so difficult lately as most days I wake up early and feel the pain - really more of a tingling - all across the back of my pelvis and upper thighs. Bad enough that it will keep me from getting back to sleep. If I get up and start moving around it dissapates. It has gotten increasingly difficult to find a position in bed where the sensation goes away.

The only things I know for sure is that sitting for >5 minutes makes it worse, and physical activity makes it better. I have an adjustable height desk at work and that helps some, but I can't stand in one place for 8 hours. I asked about a treadmill desk but they won't go for that. I may try one at home.

Unfortunately since we moved we don't have as good an area to be active in outdoors and the demands of a longer commute and more office time have also weighed in. But I know I have felt best, getting down to zero pain, on days where I am active almost the entire day and sitting very little (e.g. landscaping the yard with quick trips to home depot). But that is not compatible with the type of work I do.

The latest doctor (PM&R) I saw reviewed my spine MRIs and said they look good (as have most others). I had one dynamic lumbar MRI done while sitting down in the machine (rather than laying down) and I could feel the pins and needles during the scan, which showed no disc issues, so I think the cause must be outside of the spine. He is trying a diagnosis of hamstring tendinopathy and ischial bursitis, which I am skeptical of since those areas are not tender to the touch (just prolonged pressure from sitting) but I will give it a try. He wants to do more PT and prescribed voltaren gel which I have not noticed a big difference from in the last week but will give it some time to work.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:15 AM   #36
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It may not be relevant to your situation, but nearly 20 years ago I went through a bout of sciatica for a couple years. As it turned out, the culprit was... my car seat. When I'd sit in it for a considerable amount of time, it tended to flare up and get a lot worse. Once I traded that car in, I've not had the problem since.
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:50 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
Thanks all. This has gotten so difficult lately as most days I wake up early and feel the pain - really more of a tingling - all across the back of my pelvis and upper thighs. Bad enough that it will keep me from getting back to sleep. If I get up and start moving around it dissapates. It has gotten increasingly difficult to find a position in bed where the sensation goes away.

The only things I know for sure is that sitting for >5 minutes makes it worse, and physical activity makes it better. ...
I'm also sorry to hear how bad this is for you. I've had bouts of pretty debilitating back pain, and a single bout of sciatica, but they go away and I am mostly back to 'normal' (normal for me is worrying that I might throw my back out at any time, and be out of commission for a week or two).

I have one suggestion that helped me, and might be relevant for you (see the bolded phrases). I was having a back problem, and I'd get pretty well loosened up during the day, but wake up all tight and in pain in the AM. I couldn't make progress because of the setback each night. It was three steps forward, then three steps back. I finally decided to set a timer for 2.5 hours at night, so that got me up and going through some stretches 2x a night, and then back to bed. And stretches first thing in the AM, and before I went to bed.

I did that about 3-4 nights in a row, and it helped break the cycle, I actually maintained some improvement overnight, and was able to build on that during the day. Then I went to once a night ( ~ 3.5 hours on timer) for a few more days, and then just if I woke up. While getting up during the night is no picnic, it was well, well worth it for me.

I'm in physical therapy now, just trying to get all the muscles/ligaments strengthened and flexible enough to hopefully do a better job of protecting my back from problems. I have no idea if this will help me, as my problems are pretty intermittent. But hopefully, stretches under the guidance of a professional can only help - though I wonder. Backs are complex, and I have some doubts if a PT can really know what is going on. My PT pretty much acknowledged that - it's a bit of a shotgun approach - build up the overall strength and flexibility, and it should help - we will see.

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Old 12-09-2012, 11:06 AM   #38
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Posts: 153 pain has returned and has been overwhelming me for the past 3 to 4 weeks. Don't know what triggered it but severe and constant nerve pain in both legs whenever walking/standing. Hamstrings/calves/glutes....could take a marker and draw a line down both backs of legs. Steps underway to gain control again:

aa) Returned to PT with new set of back streches/arches....beginning to help I think

bb) TENS unit...exploring if it helps short term or mid term or best practices with it....sorry to say insurance did not cover...$$$'s out of pocket.

cc) New Extra Firm Simmons Beautyrest mattress/box springs set delivered yesterday. See if any impact or not.

dd) Going in tomorrow for another epidural...would like to avoid but pain is so strong no choice.

What can be done to avoid inflamation of the nerve in the low back to avoid this type of flare up? Any non surgical preventative efforts someone might suggest are welcome. Thanks.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:34 PM   #39
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Moving, I'm so sorry you are in so much pain. I'm sorry to bring this up, but has MS been ruled out?
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:51 PM   #40
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Thanks your concern. Supposedly clear for both MS and ALS based on blood tests....? It needs to perhaps be revisited if nothing else changes. Never had an idea that chronic pain could so impact one's life.

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