Sciatica Questions and Answers
Archive 2010

This Q&A section is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Any medical condition should be referred to a qualified medical professional.

Comment: I am a retired medical tech and I know quite a bit about the spine, as I worked in radiology for over 30 years. Well, this did not prevent me from eventually suffering from back pain and sciatica. My doctor told me the usual BS about it being from 2 minor herniated discs. I was not convinced. I like your explanation a lot better and find it far more accurate in most cases, including mine. Like you, I still have those herniated discs, but I spent some time, on your suggestion, coming to terms with the emotional issues which may have been the source of pain and the pain vanished. You showed me the way to beat this pain and it has been 4 months now. I am secure that it will not come back. Who knew retirement would cause such emotional issues? Well, I know now! Thanks, Robert

Q: Hello Sensei, Sciatica really ruins my life. I know that I will not find relief from doctors, as I have tried for decades. I am really appreciative for your site, and intend to spend the next few weeks reading all of it and trying to find the right answer for my pain. Thanks, Johanna

Comment: I was suffering from sciatica. For the past 4 years I had been to all the top doctors in India and had spent a fortune on all the scans and cures. Then near my village somebody introduced me to a person, he is a humble farmer and he cures Sciatica, he inherited this art from his forefathers, i have taken his treatment since Feb 2009 and it has done wonders to me not only me but to many others whom he had cured due to his humble and simple approach towards life he is not into publicity and minting money through his art. He lives in a small village called Meherbanpur near Ludhiana Punjab India.

The treatment:He says that there is unwanted puss in the body which causes all the trouble and needs to be taken out. He will make the patient to sit in the sunlight and then pinch his ear opposite to the side on which the pain is there for 20 Min then a vain will bloat up and then he will take a big needle with a thread attached to it and pierce this vain and pass the thread through the ear, the process is painful as he does not uses any anesthesia after 2 days we have to move the thread to and fro lubricating it with luke warm then for next 1 to 2 months you have to continuously move the thread and take out the puss twice or thrice a day. the more the puss out of your body the better you will feel. When puss will stop coming then there will be no more pain left. Vikram

Q: My pain started with a Herniated disc years ago, went to therapy which helped, but then weeks later I got Sciatic pain in my left leg. My doc did a MRI and found my herniation was pinching the nerve - tried 3 injections which did little, other than the 3rd one hurt Extremely bad (First two were ok) - then surgery. I was told "Instant relief" but its worse now than before. They've tried two Nerve block injections since, still with no help. I've had the leg pain for roughly 6 months prior to surgery and 3 months since. Another MRI shows (according to Doc) that my nerve is clear. I'm starting to lose hope, and if not for pain killers I would spend my day in bed balled up in pain. I'm 43 and in decent shape, I really took it easy on my leg since surgery (Due to pain) and recently decided to try cardio at the gym and losing a few pounds? I dont know what to do and my doc's whole plan seems to stay with injections, of which ever since my 3rd one (Two more since) have been absolutely horrible (Screaming in pain on the table) Please help! Rich

Q: I have had lower left back pain for the past 5 months. Physio thought it was facet issues, Chiro thought SI. I stopped both because neither helped. I had a bone scan and CT scan which revealed nothing. The pain recently change (actually moved from lower back to buttock to hip flexor) for which I was medicated because it was so intense. Since the pain has subsided, I now have zero back pain, but my left quad is significantly weaker than my right and my left shin is also always numb. These two most recent symptoms have gone on for about 4 weeks. Any suggestions or theories would help. MArk

Q: Hello! I had a surgery of L5 S1 a month ago (i.e. Dec. 7th 2009), after the surgery the intense pain I was feeling throughout my left leg back region had gone but, now sometimes I feel very mild numbness without any pain in my left leg. is it normal as Post Operation Syndrome? Irfan

Q: hello i am experiencing what i suspect to be sciatica damage through exploratory surgery. i am experiencing numbness in my toes in both feet, burning sensations on outside of legs especially left leg beside knee. my feet always feel cold no matter what. this all took place whilst i was serving in the military and was placed in hospital. i was experiencing internal bleeding but they could not find the source so exploratory surgery was required. also spinal taps after surgery were performed. the doctor told me that he is almost certain that he may have partially severed the sciatica nerve. could this be the reasons that i am feeling numbness and burning sensations in my limbs toes and hip? sometime the pain is excruciating, please if you can help with info it would be greatly appreciated. kindest regards.any info please. Albert

Q: I started with sciatica about 2 months ago. It began slowly and the pain progressively increased. I saw my Doctor who referred me to an Osteopath who adjusted my hips and lower back. I then had a slip (but did not fall) in the shower. The pain that followed was excruciatingly intense. Consequently, I had an MRI and the report showed I had a ruptured disc at the L5 and torn ligaments. I was referred to a Back Clinic and have had 2 cortisone injections. I am still unable to stand up straight etc. I can find comfortable positions (lying and sitting). But I have been unable to work. I feel the improvements, however slow. I am aware of TMS and I 'fit' the personality. However, this has not become chronic, my condition has improved and my pain is localized. Could I still be suffering from TMS or could my pain really be from the ruptured disc/injury? Mandy

Q: Hi, Last year, I suffered 3 herniated discs during a game of basketball. Over the course of 3 months with the help of on and off spinal decompression, the pain was reduced to somewhat negligible amounts. The most relief came after exercising (most likely due to oxygen deprivation in the effected areas). All was well until very recently, I hurt myself again. The pain came back, but it was a different type of pain. I could actually feel something press on my nerve when my body was in a certain position. I've started doing spinal decompression again to help but I am open to new ideas and stumbled onto your article. I accept the physical side because I can actually feel the nerve being pushed but I also accept that there's a mental aspect to it also. I was wondering as part of my rehabilitation, which one of your books you would recommend to alleviate the "mental" pain that I've experiencing. Thank you so much in advance! - Shalindra

Q: My friend suffers from sciatic pain in his leg... he has tried chiropractor and spent over 1000.00 on that. It was a total total waste of time ( I told him that) then is now going to the physiotherapist and he is still in alot of pain and is over and above miserable.. What can be done? He needs help.He's scheduled for an MRI in January . Is there anyway he can help heal himself. What can he do to alleviate the pain? Please reply to me as this urgent, Chantelle

Q: Hi Sensei, I am updating you on my situation with regard to Sciatica I have had now for going on 20 months down my left leg.I have tried most of the manipulation therapies now and nothing has worked. A private doctor I have just started seeing has now recommended that I see Psychologist as it could be emotional.Do you think this could be the case and if so could any of the Knowledge Therapy books help. Thanks, Anne

Q: I'm a 74-year-old-male, excellent health, physically active, swim 40+ lengths three times a week, walk freely, etc.In August 2008 I had knee replacement surgery and probably began driving my car too soon after the op. Even before this, my driver's side car seat had a spring protruding through the cover and I developed pain in that hamstring though it would go after stretching. I also had a habit of not sitting correctly on an office chair when working at the computer. Finally, while having sex in February, I stood on tip toes when attempting intercourse standing up - we were of unequal height. This seemed to take the hamstring pain to a new level.After some weeks of physio I was advised to have an MRI scan and this expedited by the hospital's orthopaedic dept, and herniated discs in the lower back were discovered. I'm now due for the operation, yet I have no back pain to speak of, it's all radiating from the right hamstring area and affects the buttocks a little. My mobility is fine and I have no trouble bending and stretching, etc, though on 'bad days' pain spreads to the left hamstring and leg extremities. Spinal surgery is definitely a last resort. I know in my heart of hearts that compression of the sciatic nerve in the right leg is the source of my problem. How do I fix or alleviate this? And who helps me do it? Ian

Q: I'm 18 and I have had back pain/sciatica for about a year now. For me, simple things like bending over or standing are painful. I can't lie or sit down on a flat and hard surface for too long because it hurts too much. I often have the most sciatic pain on my left side,but it sometimes happens on the right side as well. It is a very sharp shooting pain that goes all the way down my leg, and it renders me immobile for a couple of minutes. My doctor tells me there really isn't anything he can do, but he suggests I exercise and stretch to help. The problem is though, that when I stretch I more often than not throw my back out. It leaves me basically useless for a couple of days. In my opinion I'm too young to be having such back issues and I'm just looking for any advice that might help. Brittany

Q: So it all started around five months ago as an irritating tingling feeling in my right leg. A month later I had a sudden 'attack' in the leg when a sudden rush of pain went shooting down my leg, I was unable to walk properly after that and it felt like something was crushing my thigh whenever I tried to. I went to see the doctor and he put me on Diclofenac, it never worked, I went back and he put me on Co-Dydramol, it never worked, I went back and he put me on Tegretol, and guess what? It never worked. When I went back to the doctor he said that it is a torn muscle fiber in the quadriceps and has told me to wait 8 weeks for a physiotherapy appointment!!! Last night, I had three muscle spasms in both of my calf muscles which is strange since whatever I have has never affected my left leg before. For the past week I've been virtually pain free and to be honest it has been the most amazing week of my life! In your experience do you believe that this could signify sciatica? I have had an x-ray on the lumbar spine which showed nothing so they shrugged it off, I just want to ask someone who has had experience with it rather than someone who has studied it second hand. Aled

Q: i've had pain now for 17 months i was diagnosed through an mri has having disc bulge i'm just having physio it does nothing and the pain is worse now than before what else should i be asking about i'm 42 and otherwise fit the pain is all right side buttock leg and hip with occasional burning in hamstring area and muscle spasms. Neil

Q: Back in September of 2008 I was lifting weights (curling) and was getting tired so I started swinging my hips to get the last few reps complete. I felt a rip feeling in my right glute/piriformis area and after a day or so my right hip/cheek area had a distinct sore spot in it, and it hurt to put pressure on it. When I'd wake up it wouldn't hurt but when I would stand up to get out of bed it would cramp up so bad that I could barely walk. After a week I think i started getting leg pain as well so I decided to see a sports dr and they thought I bulged a disc. I was doing mckenzie exercises along with electrostimulation and could literally feel a muscle in the injured area moving around and it was extremely sore. it got quite a bit better I think because of all the stimulation I had done. When I would run I could feel a muscle moving around and tighten up in that same area. I finally got an MRI in July and it only showed very minor disc degeneration in the lumbar and I think he said a very slight bulge in one of the discs but it wasn't causing my discomfort. Also the MRI on my hip showed nothing. I did a ton of research and came across piriformis syndrome so I started stretching the affected area and WOW, I felt scar like tissue being pulled on because I felt it in my right hip but not my left hip. I also sat on a tennis ball to deep tissue the area and WOW, intense pain for the first few times, along with leg pain. I also did it on my left side just to check and not even comparable. I've seen a chiro but not a whole lot of help there, so now I'm seeing a deep tissue massage therapist that says I have overly tight hams, piriformis, glutes, my whole left side is one long knot he said, and various other places are kind of knotted up. He says he thinks why I have the pain is because of my muscle imbalance, left side pulling on the right. The last visit he actually got my sacrum to move slightly. I am also seeing an acupuncturist and she says my piriformis is cramped and spasming. I would be devastated if its a disc problem as I want to be a Police Officer, I am 23 and just graduated college. Some of the common aggrevators can be sitting for a period of time and then getting up (slight cramp/sciatica), climbing stairs too quickly, slouching, and bending/squatting/twisting various ways. What do you think? Thanks, Dan

Q: Have you found lasting relief at all for your sciatica? You say that surgery is not recommended and could potentially make it worse but stretching doesn't help either. I have had this for 3 1/2 years now. Do you think after 3.5 years I shouldn't consider surgery? Addison

Q: Is it true that the sciatic nerve does not connect to the spine? Tammy

Q: I am 27 and have experienced severe back pain and spasms for about 2 years now. I have seen chiropractors with no relief. Recently at work I sneezed and sent my back into a spasm and was unable to stand or walk for 3 days. I am still out of work for this b/c my job requires lifting and bending, of which I am unable to do. I read on your page that lack of oxygen might be a cause? I was curious about this because, randomly enough, I have also had the hiccups for a little over a year now. Not constant, just maybe once or twice an hour, but I was wondering if perhaps the two could be related? I would really appreciate any advice you think that could help me. If I were 40 or 50 I wouldn't be as worried with the trouble I have, but I'm 27, and I'm afraid its only going to get worse. :( Christy

Q: My partner has a disc L5/S1 disc prolapse. Right sided posterior disc prolapse which completely fills the right S1 nerve root which is compressed. First, what is a disc prolapse.Second, they advise a L5/S1 microdiscectomy. (what is that)and is it safe. Third,can she have a normal sex life, or is it safe in certain positions. David

Q: hi all, i'm affected by sciatica pain last 4yrs. i tried almost all medicines and exercise but no use. recently 1 month back i tried yoga. now my pain suddenly reduces 50 to 60 percent. i ask some yoga therapist and they told me that sciatica its fully curable only in yoga, so continue for good result. so friends don't take tablets and surgery. pl do this yoga for good life. your's, shiva

Q: Hello i am sorry to bother you and was wondering if i could ask for your advice i have a prolapsed disk i have had 2 discectomies and there looking to do a 3rd early next year i was told by the doctor i was the perfect candidate for the fusion and until reading your page was happy to push for this. But one of my sergeants said there not going to do the op, as is a messy operation. i am just worried that when i get the next discectomy the same thing will happen. i will just be the same. please help. just advice would be great, as i am having big problems tripping sleeping walking standing for too long lying down for too long walking. thank you for you time Kelly

Q: Most people have pain in the rear of their leg associated with their sciatica. I have the pain in my lower right hip area, but the pain also radiates to my front groin joint area, and sometimes radiates all the way down to my knee. I am usually very active, but with this condition I have limited range of motion in my right leg and it is driving me crazy. Is this common? If so, how do I treat at home. Was laid off of my job and am now out of insurance! Please help... Marguerite

Q: I have Sciatica and notice at night it is much worse pain in my butt and ham string area, i ice it for 15 min and the pain will let me sleep for 1 hr and 15 min at a time . But during the day after i get up had breakfast i am almost normal walking with a little pain is the Night pain from the nerve or tight muscles ?I try a hot bath at night but it only makes it worse .I have pain meds that only make me sick is there any exercise or stretch or anything else i can do to help me get through the night with a little more sleep?Any help would be appreciated. Bob

Q: What exercises can I do to help alleviate pain in my left buttock/lower back sciatica- I have been dealing with this for so long- I walk each day a minimum of an hour / 5 mile walk. I am diabetic with controlled levels. Patsy

Comment: Recently, I've been feeling helpless and as though no one truly understands how painful and how much having sciatica effects one's life. I'm still going through the whole process of diagnoses and treatments. I'm hearing one thing after another from physician after physician and even other sciatica patients. Anyhow, I would just like to thank you for creating your website! Going through and reading it has really helped make me feel less alone and certainly more understood. Most of the symptoms in which you describe fit me to the core especially when you stated the one about the "charley horse" sensation. I'm beginning to feel as though my pain is caused by "Psychosomatic Sciatica", which makes a lot of sense and is unfortunate that it is not more commonly known and respected. Again, thank you for this site and all that it has to offer. It really gave me back a bit of hope and these days with my sciatica I don't feel much of it. Sincerely and with fond regards, Lani

Q: When i was younger--in my 40's and sometimes when I bend over brushing my teeth in the bathroom sick and i sneeze, I would --feels like--pulling a muscle in my lower back. This would hurt and pain for over week. i use advil to cope with the pain.Now I am 61 and when i twist suddenly sometimes while sitting on a chair or sofa, I feel in my back--lower and upper back n the muscle area- as if that similar pain would occur. I try to relax and not let the muscle go into quick twist to avoid the week of pain. My research showed that possible--lack of potassium is the culprit or magnesium. I am now taking potassium pills 99 mg twice a day. I am not sure it helps but I take it anyway.What do you think is my back problems and the causes.Thank you for your feedback, Trevor

Q: Hello, My father (age53) is suffering from severe sciatica pain. the pain is so intense that he cant move his legs. he is ailing from this pain since last year. MRI reports show compression in L4-L5, D1-D2 AND D11-D12 vertebrae. we tried acupuncture, physiotherapy,naturopathy. tried everything but the pain get worsens day by day. sir plz plz plz help. Sheetal

Q: There is a swelling (node) either in the nerve or on it, on the right side of the lower buttock. It has been painful for three years sometimes on the verge of tears, mostly tolerable. Pain increases if I walk the aisles at grocery store and I have to leave (to sit down). I can sit for a minute and pain may totally go away until I start walking again or may not go away at all. Hurts when sitting too long also. I can't exercise (walk) anymore. Also, no health insurance. Is there anything to take for the pain? Thank you. Connie

Q: I live in Lauredale, PA close to Reading and Allentown and I have severe back and some sciatica problems. Is there a location near me that could help? I have Blue Cross insurance. Thank you. Janel

Q: I have been undergoing various extensive treatment for chronic sciatica pain radiating down my right leg to my heel. I was diagnosed in 2005 with a bulging disc and extra bone growth. I did numerous types of physical therapy, epidurals, SI & piriformis injections. Finally laminectomy L4-L5 with bulge removed. Pain never went away. Went back to therapy from '07-'09 and had post-op injections meds to no avail. Wen to MRI in May and now have a large bulge at L4 & 5. Had chiropractic care and disc decompression sessions for 3 months to no avail. Had another pain management group do epidurals and finally transforaminal injections, none of which worked. Had a discogram and it only recreated my lower back pain not the leg pain. Neuro surgeon says not enough evidence to do surgery since no one knows where my pain is coming from. What do I do? I have been out on disability on and off for 3 years and had all kinds of treatments costing well over $100,000 in all these years. Is there a way to get a firm and exact diagnosis since I haven't received one in the 6 years of excruciating pain. Thank you Sherry

Q: Hello, I need a referral to a doctor. I have Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance. I have not been diagnosed with sciatica, but since my pregnancy I have had increasing pain including: pain in the back of my leg that runs down my leg as it worsens, includes tingling all over but mostly in my foot, and a numb toe. It hurts the most when I have been sitting for a long period of time. Please call me or send me an email. Andrea