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Reckoner

Sciatica

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I just thought I’d give this a go for asking for advice from anyone who’s suffered from this awful condition. It’s horrible to see my dad in so much pain. Nothing seems to be working and there is so much conflicting advice out there. He’s tried morphine patches, strong neuro painkillers. Some work to a degree. He’s currently seeing a chiropractor. Gabapentin didn’t work. 
Maybe someone out there has experienced this painful condition and can give advice. 
Cheers.

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Never yet suffered but the only thing I can think of is something you can't get anymore. Distalgesic was my painkiller of choice. I gave one to my dad when he was in so much pain he was really nasty and snappy. An hour later he was fine and full of apologies.  No idea why it was withdrawn from use.

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18 minutes ago, Reckoner said:

I just thought I’d give this a go for asking for advice from anyone who’s suffered from this awful condition. It’s horrible to see my dad in so much pain. Nothing seems to be working and there is so much conflicting advice out there. He’s tried morphine patches, strong neuro painkillers. Some work to a degree. He’s currently seeing a chiropractor. Gabapentin didn’t work. 
Maybe someone out there has experienced this painful condition and can give advice. 
Cheers.

Not sure if youre in the UK?

 

The doctors here are inundated with people with bad backs swinging the lead for benefits.

 

You need a scan, but they cost money so the NHS will send people for physio, prescribe tablets or/and, in my case, electro treatment. When you go through all this youll get the scan and it will identify the problem. 

 

In my case I had a divider put into my spine and on the friday before the op i couldnt walk more than 200 yards to to 3 days later i could walk 5 miles. Good luck!

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26 minutes ago, Chr15 said:

Never yet suffered but the only thing I can think of is something you can't get anymore. Distalgesic was my painkiller of choice. I gave one to my dad when he was in so much pain he was really nasty and snappy. An hour later he was fine and full of apologies.  No idea why it was withdrawn from use.

I’ll look into that mate. I’d imagine there’s a reason they withdrew them but even dodgey American websites are up for consideration just now. You’ve just got to get your dad out of pain. It’s horrible to watch.

17 minutes ago, A Red said:

Not sure if youre in the UK?

 

The doctors here are inundated with people with bad backs swinging the lead for benefits.

 

You need a scan, but they cost money so the NHS will send people for physio, prescribe tablets or/and, in my case, electro treatment. When you go through all this youll get the scan and it will identify the problem. 

 

In my case I had a divider put into my spine and on the friday before the op i couldnt walk more than 200 yards to to 3 days later i could walk 5 miles. Good luck!

Yeah I’m in liverpool mate/ he goes private, he has a scan lined up soon actually.

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7 minutes ago, Reckoner said:

I’ll look into that mate. I’d imagine there’s a reason they withdrew them but even dodgey American websites are up for consideration just now. You’ve just got to get your dad out of pain. It’s horrible to watch.

Yeah I’m in liverpool mate/ he goes private, he has a scan lined up soon actually.

It looks most likely distalgesic was taken off the market as it was made from paracetamol and dextropropoxyphene, the latter of which was an opioid linked to overdoses and heart arryhtmias. These two ingredients also form the medication co-proxamol. Co-proxamol is still available but is unlicensed. This is a medication that should be thoroughly researched before jumping into as it does seem to come with strong warnings.

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Just now, Shooter in the Motor said:

It looks most likely distalgesic was taken off the market as it was made from paracetamol and dextropropoxyphene, the latter of which was an opioid linked to overdoses and heart arryhtmias. These two ingredients also form the medication co-proxamol. Co-proxamol is still available but is unlicensed. This is a medication that should be thoroughly researched before jumping into as it does seem to come with strong warnings.

Massive thanks to that mate. I was just researching it but hadn’t found that out. Me considering buying loads of strong painkillers on the internet might be thoroughly stupid. Who’d have thought it! 

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11 minutes ago, Reckoner said:

Massive thanks to that mate. I was just researching it but hadn’t found that out. Me considering buying loads of strong painkillers on the internet might be thoroughly stupid. Who’d have thought it! 

Paracetamol is one half of that medication so it may be worth considering buying max strength paracetamol from the chemists. The other option could be codeine which is also an opioid. You can get co-codamol online for £3.40 a box, which is made of paracetamol and codeine. It may not be as strong as co-proxamol but it's certainly stronger than Lemsip. Click on the image below for a chemist link to the product.

 

co-codamol-8mg-50mg-32-tabs.jpg

 

I would advise a trip to the chemists and discuss options for pain killers before jumping on the web and receiving a box of fentanyl or morphine!

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4 minutes ago, Shooter in the Motor said:

Paracetamol is one half of that medication so it may be worth considering buying max strength paracetamol from the chemists. The other option could be codeine which is also an opioid. You can get co-codamol online for £3.40 a box, which is made of paracetamol and codeine. It may not be as strong as co-proxamol but it's certainly stronger than Lemsip. Click on the image below for a chemist link to the product.

 

co-codamol-8mg-50mg-32-tabs.jpg

 

I would advise a trip to the chemists and discuss options for pain killers before jumping on the web and receiving a box of fentanyl or morphine!

Thanks. He’s getting professional help and seeing qualified people, GPs, specialists. 
I got a bit emotional and thought any pain killers that work will do. Thanks for the level headed reminder of the dangers. Maybe you stopped me overdosing my dad haha although I like to think I’d have worked it out myself. 

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18 minutes ago, Reckoner said:

Massive thanks to that mate. I was just researching it but hadn’t found that out. Me considering buying loads of strong painkillers on the internet might be thoroughly stupid. Who’d have thought it! 

 

8 minutes ago, Shooter in the Motor said:

Paracetamol is one half of that medication so it may be worth considering buying max strength paracetamol from the chemists. The other option could be codeine which is also an opioid. You can get co-codamol online for £3.40 a box, which is made of paracetamol and codeine. It may not be as strong as co-proxamol but it's certainly stronger than Lemsip. Click on the image below for a chemist link to the product.

 

co-codamol-8mg-50mg-32-tabs.jpg

 

I would advise a trip to the chemists and discuss options for pain killers before jumping on the web and receiving a box of fentanyl or morphine!

Shooter's right mate, you've got to be bloody careful.

 

Co Codamol comes in different strengths, I think the strongest is 15mg/500mg. I'm surprised your Dads GP hasn't prescribed them for him, unless he's on some other medication it might react with. 

 

I was on Co Codamol last year and found them to be pretty good but they can make you drowsy and cause constipation.

 

I was prescribed Diclofenac when I had it years back, but I don't know if they use that anymore.

 

Anyway, good luck to him, I hope he gets it sorted soon.

 

 

 

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I have suffered from sciatica for many years as a result of a herniated disc in my lower back. Fortunately I am still reasonably active and I have found that the sciatica is less of a problem if I keep my "core" muscles engaged - walking briskly, sitting upright, even doing jobs around the garden etc.  The sciatica is much more pronounced if I slouch, walk slowly, stand for any length of time, or do anything that puts direct vertical pressure on my spine. The back specialist I consulted did an MRI scan then told me that the hernia is in the front/side of the disc, so operating would be very difficult, with no guarantee it would improve things - in fact, it could even make it worse.  I've had a cortizone injection into the disc, but it didn't lead to any long term improvement.  I asked the specialist about a brace, and he recommended avoiding that as he feels it is better to build up core muscle strength, and a brace has the effect of weakening the core muscles by removing the load. I am not taking any medication as I really worry about the long term effects of anti-inflammatories and pain killers.  My advice would be first to get an MRI scan and find out the basic cause of the sciatica, then consult a reputable specialist about the best course of action. You never know, it may be operable. Avoid chiropractors, and I honestly don't think pain killers are a good long term solution as he may be doing more damage without realising it. I'm going to make a disclaimer here - I am NOT a medical professional, I have no medical qualifications of any kind, and the above is just a description of my personal experience with sciatica. I have concluded there is no "cure" for my condition, so I have to find the best way I can to manage it and live with it. Good luck with your Dad's diagnosis, I sincerely hope he can find some relief.  

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2 hours ago, Waitak said:

I have suffered from sciatica for many years as a result of a herniated disc in my lower back ...

I used to work for a physiotherapist; we saw loads of patients with sciatica.

Just posting here to say that I was going to say a lot of things, but this post is top to bottom excellent and I agree with pretty much every word. To sum up, I'd just say:

 

  • surgery should be a last resort - you often fix one disc only to start causing problems on the next one, which leads to loads of people who get one fusion, then another, then another and by the time they're 15 years post-their-first-op they can't move their back at all. For some people it can work, but usually you should try everything else first.
  • this doesn't solve the short-term problem but in the long-term it helps a lot to improve core muscle strength to take the load off the joints
  • stay away from chiropractors - you'll meet people that say things like "I love my chiro, he's been treating me for 5 years and I feel amazing every time I leave his office." Yeah, well, you know what? He's not treating the underlying problem, or you wouldn't still have to visit him after 5 years of treatment! Can serve a purpose for short-term pain management but please see an orthopaedic doctor to fix the underlying issue!
  • I don't know why, but some people get huge benefit from steroid injections and it doesn't even touch the problem for others. Worth a try to see if you're in the first group.

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7 hours ago, Waitak said:

I have suffered from sciatica for many years as a result of a herniated disc in my lower back. Fortunately I am still reasonably active and I have found that the sciatica is less of a problem if I keep my "core" muscles engaged - walking briskly, sitting upright, even doing jobs around the garden etc.  The sciatica is much more pronounced if I slouch, walk slowly, stand for any length of time, or do anything that puts direct vertical pressure on my spine. The back specialist I consulted did an MRI scan then told me that the hernia is in the front/side of the disc, so operating would be very difficult, with no guarantee it would improve things - in fact, it could even make it worse.  I've had a cortizone injection into the disc, but it didn't lead to any long term improvement.  I asked the specialist about a brace, and he recommended avoiding that as he feels it is better to build up core muscle strength, and a brace has the effect of weakening the core muscles by removing the load. I am not taking any medication as I really worry about the long term effects of anti-inflammatories and pain killers.  My advice would be first to get an MRI scan and find out the basic cause of the sciatica, then consult a reputable specialist about the best course of action. You never know, it may be operable. Avoid chiropractors, and I honestly don't think pain killers are a good long term solution as he may be doing more damage without realising it. I'm going to make a disclaimer here - I am NOT a medical professional, I have no medical qualifications of any kind, and the above is just a description of my personal experience with sciatica. I have concluded there is no "cure" for my condition, so I have to find the best way I can to manage it and live with it. Good luck with your Dad's diagnosis, I sincerely hope he can find some relief.  

This x3.

I literally have 3 bilateral prolapsed discs in my lower back. Several years ago my Dr told me cauda equina was a real risk and that surgery was more a when than if. The pain does flare up but I just do everything I can to keep fairly mobile. Waitaks advice is sound especially wrt core.

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i’ve been suffering for 9 months with this now. Its important to understand what the cause of the sciatica is. I was initially assuming I had piriformis syndrome (nerve trapped in hip muscles) so was doing lots of stretches. Due to covid it took me a while to see anyone in the nhs. I was initially prescribed over the phone a mild antidepressant which did nothing. In this time I went to a private chiropractor who shown me how my body was leaning to one side with a condition known as lumbar shift and he recommended lots of stretches. I did all exercises but was showing no improvement. I then went to nhs physio who suggested similar exercises to chiro but these weren’t helping at all

 

After 6 months I finally got an MRI which confirmed a bulging disc. Due to the severity of the bulge I was referred to the spine specialise at walton - who are actually in fazak, but this was earlier in the year and they weren’t operating due to lockdown. Finally went to see him face to face a couple of weeks ago and he said theres no need for surgery and I should go back to physio. Got a call with them on monday but I don’t think they will tell me anything new as their after several sessions of showing no improvement their previous guidance was always to find the ‘right’ exercises for me

 

I want to recommend a fella off the internet called dr stuart mcgill who I discovered in January. Hes a spinal specialist and has avery good book called the back mechanic. I noticed he was mentioned on lots on youtube vids and does interviews and discussion. He does say to use surgery as a last resort. He also recommends the importance of getting an assessment. I recommend the book because it has suggestions on defining the problem yourself and gives guidance on maintaining spinal health. also recommends 3 core exercises he calls the 'big 3' which i do daily. all exercises involve minimal spine flexion. i’ve been working to this now for 3 months and its really helped me. If you want any more info on this let me know but it does take a lot of effort.

 

i’ve found simple actions were exacerbating the problem but the thing with sciatica is the location of pain isn’t necessary the source.

 

Everyone i’ve spoken to also tells me the pain eventually heals itself so the book I recommend could well be a placebo. i’ve still got some pain but feel much more mobile now. i’m still not quite running and cycling yet but much closer now.

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I get it from time to time due to disk injuries in my back years ago. Only exercise and a proper posture routine helped me to get to a decent state but it took a long time. 

 

Your Dad is probably too old to want to try it but I absolutely recommend smoking some weed to help when it's very bad. It seems to numb the bad nerves causing the pain. 

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9 hours ago, Harry's Lad said:

 

Shooter's right mate, you've got to be bloody careful.

 

Co Codamol comes in different strengths, I think the strongest is 15mg/500mg. I'm surprised your Dads GP hasn't prescribed them for him, unless he's on some other medication it might react with. 

 

I was on Co Codamol last year and found them to be pretty good but they can make you drowsy and cause constipation.

 

I was prescribed Diclofenac when I had it years back, but I don't know if they use that anymore.

 

Anyway, good luck to him, I hope he gets it sorted soon.

 

 

 

They do 500mg/30mg versions.

 

I am prescribed them, but use sparingly with naproxen 

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I was taking tramadol ages for 2 herniated discs, which short-term provides a lot of comfort but it's definitely not a solution.

 

Being as active as you can helps and the more you obsess of being pain free, the worse it gets as your mind hones in on the pain constantly.

 

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5 minutes ago, RJ Fan club said:

They do 500mg/30mg versions.

 

I am prescribed them, but use sparingly with naproxen 

You're right, I've just checked mine.

Brand name Zapain. Twice the Codeine dose I thought they were.

I was on 2, 4 times a day and they really helped with my pain which was considerable at the time.

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I've been on the co-codamol whenever my back flares up and have found them pretty good. As Harry's Lad says, though, they don't have play havoc with your arse re constipation.

Haven't smoked weed for several years but second the benefits re pain it can have

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Echo the comments about posture and core exercises. They're what made most difference for me. Never tried marijuana for it but a mate uses it for her joint pain and she says it helps a lot (she gets those drops that are available everywhere).

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My wife gets flare ups of back pain caused by pregnancy, I don't think it's Sciatica but she has found using Kinesiology tape really relieves a lot of the pain and helps her keep active. 

 

I found spinal correction exercises really helped my admittedly mild back pain. 

 

I acknowledge in both cases we might not have something as severe as what is being described but they can't hurt to try. 

 

I think @Tom had some relief from CBT oil too. 

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18 hours ago, Reckoner said:

I just thought I’d give this a go for asking for advice from anyone who’s suffered from this awful condition. It’s horrible to see my dad in so much pain. Nothing seems to be working and there is so much conflicting advice out there. He’s tried morphine patches, strong neuro painkillers. Some work to a degree. He’s currently seeing a chiropractor. Gabapentin didn’t work. 
Maybe someone out there has experienced this painful condition and can give advice. 
Cheers.

I had it bad about 20 years ago. I ruptured my back in a martial arts fight and the pain kept shooting down my leg. I was extremely fit at that time but it really is a hard pain to take. I was advised against having my back cut open at all costs and as a last resort I was sent to a Chinese acupuncturist, the results were fantastic, I had about half a dozen sessions each costing approx 25 quid they'd probably at least double that now. It may be worth looking into although unfortunately it's not a one size fits all remedy. Also anti inflammation tablets may help plus the cannabis oils now sold in shops could ease the pain. Good luck to your dad because i remember it being an awful condition.

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11 minutes ago, Gnasher said:

I had it bad about 20 years ago. I ruptured my back in a martial arts fight and the pain kept shooting down my leg. I was extremely fit at that time but it really is a hard pain to take. I was advised against having my back cut open at all costs and as a last resort I was sent to a Chinese acupuncturist, the results were fantastic, I had about half a dozen sessions each costing approx 25 quid they'd probably at least double that now. It may be worth looking into although unfortunately it's not a one size fits all remedy. Also anti inflammation tablets may help plus the cannabis oils now sold in shops could ease the pain. Good luck to your dad because i remember it being an awful condition.

Did someone sweep the leg?

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1 hour ago, Elite said:

Did someone sweep the leg?

Not far off. I got put down and landed awkwardly on my back. Painful at the time but the worst pain was to come, shooting pains down the leg for months on end and no warning when the attacks would come or how severe they would be. Its an excruciating pain when your young and fit but I imagine it being a lot  worse with age.

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