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The 3 stages of sciatica recovery

The 3 stages of sciatica recovery

The 3 stages of sciatica recovery

Sciatica pain is rarely a constant problem for sufferers, rather it comes in bouts. These can be more or less severe, sometimes only causing mild discomfort, other times leading to serious pain and impaired mobility. The road to recovery comes in three stages.

Stage 1: Sitting and lying

When suffering from a debilitating and painful bout of sciatica, advice to ‘keep active’ can seem far-fetched, if you are currently doubled over with back pain only the gentlest of movements are even possible. So you must look instead at your sedentary habits. Many sufferers find that the worst pain comes while seated. It is a good idea to temporarily avoid sofas and soft armchairs at this stage, and replace them with hard, straight-backed chairs. If the mattress you sleep on is very soft, consider replacing it with a firmer one.

Stage 2: Gentle exercise

Sciatica pain almost always subsides after a period of time, especially if the stage 1 advice above is followed. But if you return immediately to your former lifestyle without making any changes, sciatica is very likely to return. So here you must capitalise on this pain-free window by introducing some gentle exercise into your routine. Swimming is a great low-impact all-round exercise but can be a hassle depending on your access to a pool. Walking is also an excellent option and is much more accessible for most people. Whatever form of exercise you choose, there’s no need to overdo it, just moving on a regular basis will suffice for now.

Stage 3: Mobility exercise

Once you are walking, swimming or doing some other form of gentle exercise on a regular basis, this alone helps a lot to prevent the return of sciatica. But since you are doing so well, why not look into something a bit more advanced? Regular training in an activity designed to increase strength and flexibility, if done properly, is your best option for preventing sciatica returning. The options for this type of training are vast, ranging from yoga to weight lifting. Find something you like the sound of, and give it a try!

77 Comments

  1. Kat on September 3, 2021 at 3:18 am

    I have had what appears to be sciatica for over a year now. I’m take a large dose of Lyrica but I’m still in a lot of pain, we just upped my dose too. Over the past month I’ve been wondering if it really is sciatica. It presents as it but no treatment is working. I’ve done chiro, heat, ice any over the counter medicine that might help but nothing is. Is it possible something might seem like sciatica but not actually be it? And what could it possibly be? I can’t see my doctor for 2 months to discuss my concerns

    • SPRC on September 5, 2021 at 8:25 pm

      Hello Kat,
      It is important to remember that sciatica is a symptom not a condition. There are several things that can cause sciatica symptoms the most common being nerve root irritation of the nerves emanating from the lumbar spine. This root cause accounts for probably 85% of the cases of people experiencing sciatica so tends to be called the condition. If you have any concerns you should try to see your Doctor as soon as practicable. We have a blog that gives some other things that lead to sciatica type symptoms, which is worth a read. There are other things too. Hope you are feeling better soon.
      https://www.sciatic-relief.com/is-your-leg-pain-sciatica-or-something-else/

    • Teresa Everett on September 10, 2021 at 7:48 pm

      I’ve had excellent results with acupuncture (and I hate needles). A good acupuncturist can make your sciatica get better with each visit. Mine took three (but she moved out-of-state).

  2. Kumar S. on August 1, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    Hi, I am 30 years old, when I wake up in the morning there is always pain from standing up to even trying to sit on the toilet on the lower right side of my body. The pain is from my buttocks area and heavy in the back of my right thigh. I usually notice that sleeping on my side is a bit more comfortable and sometimes I am able to sleep flat on my back as well. I usually have to sit and stretch in the morning because as soon as I get out of bed there is numbness and tingling and a lot of pain when I stand on my right leg. I tried acupuncture and it left like it helped, I was also looking into chiropractor. Do you think these things will help or if you can guide me in the right direction.

    • SPRC on August 6, 2021 at 9:56 pm

      Dear Sundeep,
      Sorry to hear of your situation. Sounds like you are on the right track by doing things that help alleviate your pain and get you going in the morning. It sounds like compression of the lower spine may trigger your symptoms as you say when you stand your symptoms start. Read our blog on the how to get out of bed in the morning. This routine may help warm you up before you start the day. Best wishes.

  3. Angela on July 29, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    Hello! I am 22 female. Last Saturday I fell off of a porch directly on my hip and back. I was told it was only a strained/bruised lower back muscle and nothing was broken. I can walk okay for the most part now. But when I try to get out of bed, I have excruciating pain through my back and butt and my leg. It’s absolutely horrible and it BURNS. It feels like my body is on fire. Once I get standing, I am better for the most part. I know they say bed rest isn’t ideal but I hurt so badly that I just have to lay in bed to relieve any pressure. When I sit in a chair, I have to have my back completely straight otherwise if I don’t, I get the burning feeling when I go to stand up. Is there anything that can help with this?! My doctor refused to order me an MRI and said I was completely fine and just have to rest/move around and continue taking naproxen and muscle relaxer. Idk how much longer I can take this pain. It is the worst thing I’ve ever felt in my life. Please help

    • SPRC on August 1, 2021 at 6:37 pm

      Hello Angela,
      Sorry to hear about your accident. The symptoms you describe sound like sciatica symptoms, but it would be good to get confirmation of this from a healthcare professional. You do not necessarily need a scan. A good assessment with a manual therapist such as a physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor should be able to determine that for you. Sometimes when people have traumatic events at the lower back hip, this can cause issues at the sacroilliac joint leading to sciatica symptoms. Given your age you will recover fairly quickly so for now just manage your symptoms with some simple modifications so as not to exacerbate them. Once the symptoms start to calm most people can increase their activity levels to help with recovery. Best wishes.

  4. priya Li on July 28, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    Hi,
    I am 36 years old female. I live very healthy life style with proper workout and controlled weight.
    Past 2 months my pain started and gradually increased. Tried acupuncture and home stretches. My doctor prescribed anti -inflammatory tablets for a month, it didn’t work so directed me to Orthopedic.They checked my X-ray and my spine and discs are perfect and directed me to Physical therapy .
    I could’n even walk for a week. Now slowly I am walking, but not sure when back to normal? Not sure what is the cause of this issue? Will it come back again?
    Mornings are fine, towards night pain slowly build up.

    • SPRC on August 1, 2021 at 6:29 pm

      Dear Priya,
      Firstly, you need to ask the healthcare professionals you are working with as to what is causing your symptoms. An orthopaedic doctor and physiotherapist should be able to diagnose your symptooms.
      People experiencing sciatica symptoms in the gluteal area and/or in the leg can be caused by issues in the lower back and if not there it can be caused by issues in the gluteal area giving rise to conditions such as piriformis syndrome or deep gluteal syndrome.
      We hope you find the root cause of your symptoms soon. Best wishes.

      • Shannon Woodburn on August 5, 2021 at 3:17 pm

        Shannon and I am 48 I have been having a sciatic nerve pain in my right leg and a herniated disc in lumbar area I have been not able to walk I have to the hospital like 5 times already the last time I went there they told no surgery after all in my back but go see a spine specialist I have been not even be able to walk for about a month or so I ve been laying down longer than that I barely getting feeling back in my shin and my foot and ankle in my right leg my right knee is getting feeling back little bit but my right thigh still hurts on top all the way to my groin area is that normal

        • SPRC on August 6, 2021 at 10:01 pm

          Hi Shannon,
          Sorry to hear about your current situation. The symptoms you describe sound like they are in the front of your leg (groin, thigh, shin). If this is the case then pain in this area is associated with femoral nerve pain, which is similar to sciatica but not the same. Sciatica symptoms are at the back of the leg. You need to be sure what is causing your symptoms so best to discuss with your doctor. Best wishes.

  5. Ashna on July 16, 2021 at 11:46 am

    Hello. I have sciatic pain it has been 2 month now. I want to find out whether i am getting better. The tingling sensation has reduced in my leg but still numb. And compare to before i can walk better now. The pain in my back is worst. I need help.. I just want to feel better from this unbearable pain. Thank you

    • SPRC on July 16, 2021 at 7:46 pm

      Hello Ashna,
      From what you describe you have reducing symptoms, which demonstrates improvement and is a good indicator you are getting better. Unfortunatley the recovery can never come quick enough, but take heart that things are generally going in the right direction. Best wishes.

      • Michelle on July 26, 2021 at 7:57 am

        Hi got bulging disk and root irritation .I have never felt pain like this .I’m on 20 mil of morphine daily and pheagablin 450 .This has changed my life the pain is unreal I have been admitted for five days .I get up in bad pain the family have too do everything. I’ve been referred to pain clinic. Any advice would be great.

        • SPRC on August 1, 2021 at 6:16 pm

          Hi Michelle,
          With the level of pain you are experiencing it is always difficult to imagine getting through this. In this acute phase it is important to focus on the near future when this pain will start to subside, because even though it does not feel like it now it will. When it does you can then focus on doing things to help your recover. For now listen to the healthcare professionals helping you to get those pain levels under control. Best wishes.

  6. vivian on June 14, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    hello.. My pain started 7 months ago…stiffness in my lower back that made it difficult getting in and out of a car. Then the next month, the pain increased (lower back, left hip, thighs and knees). I had difficulty standing up when I sat down for a long time. It was so painful when I cough, sneeze or even when I open my mouth to take food. So painful when I sat down on the toilet bowl. I couldn’t put my pants on on my own. Couldn’t bend down to pick up anything that I just resorted to kicking all fallen stuff to one corner of my room for somebody to pick up later. I dread rising up in the morning because the pain was excruciating once both my feet were already on the floor. I saw a doctor and had x-rays. Told me that I have bone slight degeneration on my lower back. But if it’s so mild why the intense pain? I’ve undergone physio theraphy where they use Electric Machine and TENS on my lower back. The PT also taught me stretching exercises that I can do to manage the pain at home. The pain improved that I already stopped taking pain relievers..But numbness and weakness in both my feet and legs started that makes it so hard to walk. I feel like I’m not in total control of my legs and will fall down anytime.

    My question is how come that just when the pain is finally decreasing, the numbness and weakness in my legs increased? Is this sciatica? I hope you can enlighten me since my doctors are not very accommodating and won’t explain things to me at length. Thank you..

    • SPRC on June 14, 2021 at 11:13 pm

      Hello Vivian, sciatica is a name given to a group of symptoms that affect the sciatic nerve. What the cause of those symptoms are is what your Doctor needs to tell you. What you describe sound like sciatica symptoms. Pain, numbness and muscle weakness are all things that can occur. There is no specific order that these things happen. People can experience one symptom or all. It can be quite random. Try speaking with your Doctor and asking what is the root cause of your sciatica symptoms. Knowing the root cause can help for better management and recovery. Best wishes.

  7. clara on June 8, 2021 at 12:05 am

    i have had sciatica for 3 plus months. I had a MRI done and i am pressing on a nerve in my lower back. I have tired therapy and so far has helped but it comes right back and i feel therapy not helping to get the pain out my leg. what other advice can you give that might be helpful

    • SPRC on June 8, 2021 at 11:17 am

      Hi Clara,
      The best advice would be to continue with the therapy that is helping. It takes a while for nerves to heal but if you are seeing some benefit then there is a good chance you will heal fully. The gaps between going forward and going backwards will get wider and wider. Read the blogs on our site and see if there are any tips that resonate with you. Best wishes.

  8. Arnav Sharma on June 6, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    Last year in June, I injured my back while lifting heavy stuff. Later in December, I started playing badminton, I felt some pain in my hip and by March I was unable to walk properly. The doctor diagnosed me with sciatica. I’m 22 years old. Now in June, I am able to do most of my daily tasks normally. But the pain occurs multiple times a day, for some minutes each time. Now that almost 4 months have passed, I’m wondering if I’ll be able to ever completely recover from this pain. Please suggest if there is anything I can do to fasten the recovery process or will I have to live with this for the rest of my life

    • SPRC on June 6, 2021 at 6:56 pm

      Dear Arnav,
      It is hard to tell whether you have sciatica symptoms or not from what you have described so we cannot comment on that. Sciatica symptoms do not usually start at the hip so being absolutely clear on with a diagnosis is key. At 22 you are young so have youth and time on your side for healing. If it is sciatica symptoms you definitely do not have to live with this for the rest of your life. Best wishes.

  9. Soniya on May 20, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    Hi I slept on one side and next day in morning I sensed a stretch numbness on left side shoulder to wrist and hip to foot! I thought it to be random nerve pull! There is no pain so I gave MRI or XRAYS a pass! Can you suggest something

    • SPRC on May 20, 2021 at 8:24 pm

      Hello Soniya,
      The numbness in your shoulder and arm does not involve the sciatic nerve. Although you are not experiencing pain if the numbness is still there then we would suggest a visit to the Doctor or a physiotherapist would be a good idea so that you can get to the full and complete diagnosis of what is going on.
      Best wishes.

    • John Glaw on August 4, 2021 at 9:27 am

      Discuss all diagnostics you can with your doctor. Xrays, MRI, Catscan.

  10. Lori on April 12, 2021 at 11:22 am

    I’m a right leg amputee due to bone tumors. I realize my left side has taken quite a beating being off and on crutches in between surgeries to save my leg. My left maybe have been overworked and a bit fatigued, but no real pain to speak of. After TMR surgery last year, I fell backwards in a sitting position and hit the wood part of a couch. I heard bone break. The tailbone pain was instant and shocking. A few days later, my lower back, lower stomach and the outside of left thigh went numb. At the hospital, an MRI showed fracture of L1 and brused tailbone. I had surgery to repair the fracture, but every since that fall, I’ve had constant severe sciatica. It’s always the same with throbbing in lower back, rectal pressure and leg and foot pain as well as bottom of foot numbness. At it’s worse, it feels like someone’s trying to pry my hips apart. A pain mgt doc started me on low dose time released pain meds. They work well for the pain and don’t feel drugged. Problem is I can’t handle the pain without medication. I’ve tried every stretch, over the counter meds, massage, pressure points ect…they just make it worse. I finally have a great prosthetic leg and my gait is great. I just want to be out of pain and get back to life.

    • SPRC on April 12, 2021 at 9:16 pm

      Hi Lori,
      Sounds like things are going in the right direction albeit you need pain medication at the moment. Discuss with your Doctor if it is possible to gradually reduce the dosage of pain medication over time to and see if you can be gently weaned off them as your sciatica symptoms reduce. It is a difficult balance to get right but something you can consider trying. Best wishes.

  11. Barry on April 8, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    I have had sciatica symptoms for around 4 months. Being taking medication and following physio but it seems to be getting worse. During the day trying to stay active is getting much harder with my foot being numb and at night the pain is unbearable. The painkillers only really take the edge off it. And my stomach is feeling the effect of taking pain killers for 4 months. Mentally it is very hard with less than two hrs of sleep a night and no matter how many times i ask my doctor for help it is just the same answer pain killers and physio. Is there any other options

    • SPRC on April 8, 2021 at 8:23 pm

      Sorry to hear about your situation Barry. From what you have described if your sleep is being severely affected then this will make it more difficult to recovery. We all feel pain more when we are deprived of sleep. In this situation we should make improving your sleep a priority. We know this is easier said than done. Consider speaking to your Doctor about the lack of sleep. In the meantime read our blogs from the beginning. They cover many typical daily and nightly situations you will encounter and hopefully you will pick up a few helpful tips to help get you on the path to recovery. Best wishes.

    • kim on April 28, 2021 at 5:17 am

      I feel your pain. I have no pain killers as over the counter one don’t work and any prescription ones I either get an allergic reaction, can’t afford, or the doctor will not prescribe. As for physiotherapy the only one I am covered for is given by the hospital and it is shut down because of covid. I cannot afford the $75/hour for private physio. I can’t even afford muscle relaxants.

    • Pam on July 28, 2021 at 12:22 pm

      I am also dealing w this and have researched inversion therapy. I just ordered an inversion table on Amazon. Check it out and read reviews. Seems to really help sciatica by stretching spine/ giving the pinched area some relief/helps it return to place. Going to try it. You don’t go fully inverted- slowly tilt and give back a stretch.

  12. MooreM on March 25, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    Hello, My Sciatica pain started exactly 12 days ago. 2 weeks prior to the first day of pain – I fell but not from very far. I was walking slowly through the snow and I fell. The symptoms showed up 2 weeks later after walking for about 5 miles and forgetting to stretch. I am currently waiting for an MRI appointment to see if it is a herniated disc. The sharp pain in the buttock symptoms have lessened but both of my legs are extremely weak that I can not stand for longer than 2 minutes. Is that worrisome? I am a very active and outgoing person so this has been very hard on my mental health. Is there a positive road to recovery and what should I do from this early on to ensure a full recovery? please advice.

    • SPRC on April 5, 2021 at 10:31 am

      Hello,
      Sorry to hear about your fall. THE MRI scan will help to show if it is a herniated disc. Have you seen a physio or Doctor so they can physically examine you and take a full history as well? This is important. On the whole although something like this can be very painful and concerning if it is related to a lower back issue the vast majority of the time a full recovery is made. Once you have a diagnosis a path to full recovery can be planned. If it is sciatica related symptoms due to a herniated disc you can read the blogs on our site and you will find lots of ideas that can help you as you recover. Best wishes.

      • Irma on June 7, 2021 at 6:40 am

        Hello, I’m 26 and my sciatica started January 2021 after lifting a heavy tote. I have an L5-S1 moderate herniated disc. It’s going on 6 months and it’s less intense than before but I still get pain in my right buttock and thigh. I’m worried about getting an epidural steroid injection. Should I wait it out or do injection? I’m worried my sciatica won’t go away if I don’t do something more invasive about it. Any tips? I do cobra stretches daily and help. Thank you.

        • SPRC on June 7, 2021 at 1:26 pm

          Hello Irma,
          Sorry to hear about your sciatica. You know how much pain you are feeling and whether your symptoms are improving from when they first started. Epidural steroid injections may provide some relief to accelerate the healing process. If you have any concerns you need to discuss these with your Doctor. In terms of things to do that can help you pay attention to what triggers symptoms and what does not. You can then modify your activities accordingly to try and minimise exacerbating symptoms. We are all different some people would find cobra stretches aggravate their symptoms, but this does not appear to be the case for you. Read our blogs and take the things, which resonate for you. You have youth on your side so you are highly likely to make a full recovery in the future.

  13. Margaret Thilthorpe on March 6, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    I am female age 72. One morning i got out of bed and all of a sudden and my.hip and leg pain was excrutiating. That started about 8 months ago, it started to ease off then has come back. It’s awful. If I sit for a while whilst out walking it eases off a bit then i can walk a little further and so on. It is badly ruining my life. The pain is iright down in my lower back when coughing l. My leg tingles and feel funny at my knee area.what kn earth can be wrong. I can’t go far as I can only walk for a while before it’s just too, too painful. Any suggestions please.

    • SPRC on March 6, 2021 at 7:34 pm

      Sorry to hear about that Margaret. Sounds as though it could be sciatica symptoms coming from nerve root irritation in the lower back. The best way to be sure is to visit a Doctor or physiotherapist so your symptoms can be correctly diagnosed. Hot-cold therapy can sometimes be effective in helping reduce symptoms and is something you can consider trying. There is a blog about this technique on our site. Best wishes.

    • Rachel Peine on May 19, 2021 at 4:04 am

      I am 73 and started having sciatica pain towards the end of last fall. eventually, I couldn’t walk at all. everyone said you just have to wait it out, so i waited and hoped it would go away. it didn’t. i finally had surgery two weeks ago with Dr. Malhotra at Penn Medicine. i was able to walk right away, but this is going to be a long slow recovery, because i can’t walk very far without starting to ache. also, i hope this helps someone: i am taking gabapentin, a muscle relaxer and ibuprofen three times a day. Good luck to all – it really sucks!

  14. Sumit on January 29, 2021 at 8:29 am

    I’m 21 year old. I’m suffering from the sciatic pain about 2.5 months. Actually this pain was started through my gymnasium. I didn’t feel any pain in my lower but yes in the left hip I will a little gentle pain.
    I wanna tell you that I can run I can walk Any activity i can do. But when I sit for a long time and try to stand then I feel difficulty.
    So please tell me the reason what should I do

    • SPRC on January 29, 2021 at 1:06 pm

      Hello Sumit,
      Sorry to hear about your pains. The most important thing to do right now is get assessed by a healthcare professional and preferably in person. You may have sciatica symptoms but based on your age and the activities you can do it is wise to get it checked out and make sure it is not something else. Hope you’re feeling better soon.
      Best regards

  15. Roger Fagan on January 13, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    I’ve was a fit and active 70 year old, still able to skip and tap dance, and I triggered severe Sciatica all by myself. I decided to do a cliff path walk with some twenty and thirty year olds,, determined to keep up with them on the steep uphill climbs. What could possibly go wrong? Sciatica is the worst thing I’ve ever had in my life, quite debilitating. When I got some relief I had to set myself small achievable goals and so far it is keeping it at bay.
    No matter how bad the weather, I have to do my walking, – each day increased by a couple of hundred metres\yards, Gentle uphills are more comfortable than the flats or downhills but they’re hard to avoid when you’ve gone uphill. EVERY MORNING without fail, I have to do some basic Pilates, stretching and resistance excercises the very moment I get out of bed. If I don’t, then my calf and achilles tendon is stiff and I start the rolling gait limp earlier than I would have done. Just keep up the constant little excercise, and the moment it begins to hurt, stop, meaning you don’t go far away from home or car, Good luck.

  16. Mary on January 3, 2021 at 1:06 am

    I had a bad bout of sciatica four years ago and again two years ago. I’m much better, mainly due to exercise including lots of Pilates. I still have some numbness in my foot and nerve tingling in my leg. Is there any hope still that this could go away, or am I likely stuck with it? Any tips to get a better recovery?

    • SPRC on January 3, 2021 at 5:51 pm

      Hello Mary,
      Although symptoms can persist for extended periods of time most people can recover without experiencing any symptoms. This could be the case for you even after this length of time. Sounds like you are doing all the right things. When symptoms people experience are not there all time they should focus their efforts on what triggers the symptoms when they do arise. There is most likely a pattern and once recognised you are in a better position to work out what you can do to help complete the recovery. Best wishes.

  17. Glori on December 10, 2020 at 7:43 am

    Hi! I am a 19 year old girl who has had sciatica for over a year (October 2019). I have gone to plenty of doctors and am currently in sadness and frustration that my sciatica is not going away. I have realized that a sedentary lifestyle prevents my pain from flaring up, and not even a walk in the park makes my sciatica feel better and it flares up instead. I went to pt for five months in the summer, and it only made my pain worse. I got it from overworking myself at the gym and I heard something pop. Since then, my sciatica nerve is too fragile to handle anything and I still can not bend over without the pain aching afterwards. I have also tried massage therapy and plenty of medications. I am so frustrated, words can not describe how I feel. Everytime I breathe in, my back cracks. Please tell me if there is anything I can do to be better. I have tried almost everything and I am giving up. Thank you for reading.

    • SPRC on December 13, 2020 at 7:56 pm

      Hi Glori,
      Sorry to hear of your trials and tribulations. The times it is taking you to recover is not typical. It is hard but very important not to give up and to keep trying different things. Your PT is probably excellent, but it is worth trying another that has a slightly different approach. Different things work for different people. You definitely have one great advantage and that is youth. You describe situations where the ‘pain flares up’ or ‘aching afterwards’. Very little and very often is an approach you may want to try so you can quickly work out just how much is too much. A level of activity that does not flare your symptoms up is the best place to start and build up steadily from there. Unfortunately your path to recovery is a long haul but you will get there. Best wishes.

      • Terry b on March 7, 2021 at 6:11 am

        Im getting a microdiscectomy next week. Sounds promising.

        • Barbara Langhorne on April 6, 2021 at 2:58 am

          Did this help? I have really bad lower back pain, down my buttocks, both my thighs and down my private parts.

  18. Cherryl on October 28, 2020 at 11:15 am

    I have had sciatica for over two months now. It is in my left buttock and runs down my leg. Sometimes the pain makes me cry. Some mornings I can’t even bend to put my socks and shoes on. I think I know when I did it while picking up some heavy pots in the garden. It came on suddenly two days later. Bending is difficult. Some days I think it has gone but then it starts again. I’ve had trapped nerves before but nothing like this

    • SPRC on October 28, 2020 at 2:47 pm

      Sorry to hear this Cherryl,
      Even though you have experience of nerve pain before please do make sure you get this checked out by an appropriate healthcare professional. We’re sure you have already done this, but still worth mentioning just in case. We hope you start improving soon. Best wishes.

  19. Eileen Sayers on October 12, 2020 at 3:52 am

    August 6th it started on my left buttock n started getting more painful each day to where I only had to lay completely straight to be pain free, as soon as I got up to use the restroom severe pain to where I cried I had a mri done n have two herniated discs, I had a epidural steroid shot which didn’t really help I was unable to shower or do anything I was completely need ridden for 36 days when I would go to appointments I had to have the car seat pushed all the way back to where I was completely straight I went thru hell had to use a walker to get up for the restroom my kids had to wash my hair in bed I couldn’t work I couldn’t do nothing.. this has been the worst pain I have ever been in I was given OxyContin Vicodin Percocet n morphine I was hospitalized for three days where I had morphine this was a life changing thing for me, I was suppose to have surgery but got put off because of my a1c so I’m trying to get my sugars down so I can have surgery, but as of right now my pain just gradually went away and I feel pretty normal I am so happy to be able to get up n walk n do what I used to do, so I’m just wondering why it just went away?

    • SPRC on October 12, 2020 at 9:52 am

      Hi Eileen,
      That sounds like an ordeal, but glad to hear you came through it. The fact of the matter is the body can heal if given the opportunity. So, even as you are enduring the pain the healing process is taking place. Unfortunately nerves heal slowly. The pressure that is exerted on nerve roots in the lower back can subside as the swelling due to inflammation in the nerve reduces and if the herniation/bulging disc retracts. Both take time but this sometimes possible. Stay well.

      • Matt on November 23, 2020 at 6:39 pm

        Got sciatica pain in middle of night, worst pain I’ve ever experienced.B urning down left leg. I could walk no problem other than that I could only lie completely flat. Sitting was torture…I got 3 rounds of prednisone but pain would always return. Found out I had herniated disc l5 also affecting l4 s1… during third round of steroid and week following I’ve started feeling better…I got foot weakness right away and that remains but otherwise better. Getting pt but it seems they only work on core strength. Anyway I felt pretty good last 3,4 5 days but today the sciatica is acting up more than usual though not as bad as first 2 weeks.. is this normal? To be expected? It’s very rainy and cool today as well.. i’m just discouraged today.

        • SPRC on November 23, 2020 at 9:23 pm

          Ups and downs on the road to recovery is normal Matt. Sounds like you are doing well, as you are going in the right direction. Take heart in that fact when the symptoms return. The gaps between symptoms and feeling great will get longer and longer. Keep up the PT work. That’s key to giving you the best chance of it not returning when you fully recover. Best wishes.

    • Michelle on October 24, 2020 at 10:58 am

      Oh my gosh! This sounds exactly like me right now! I am on week 5 of being bedridden. My poor kids have to do everything. I have to eat laying down because I can’t sit or stand for more than 3 minutes. I show up at my appointments shaking, crying and in so much pain. I’m only taking t3s. I finally felt like yesterday the pain and deadness in my foot is going away. I’m trying to walk a tiny bit in the home with my walker. I used to be very active and this is mentally debilitating as well as physically. Please tell me how and when it went away. I would love a little inspiration and hope right now!

  20. Susan on September 16, 2020 at 2:25 am

    I at the end of April, my hamstring pain turned into leg numbness and weakness. I was started on celebrex and lyrical. I started basic physio. No both my legs go numb and weak if I try to walk. I was doing ok atvwalking 1.5 miles per hour for 10 minutes sometimes. But now I am back to numbness and weakness as soon as I walk and sometimes at rest. It has been 4 months. I am becoming afraid of permanent nerve damage. How do I get better? I’m losing my mind!

  21. Varun on September 12, 2020 at 3:03 am

    HI
    I had sciatica from past one month, It started from using excessive weight in gym,I was doing back squats and it went wrong.
    I was having pain starting from my lower right back till my right ankle,
    Now the pain has improved but still have a little pain in center back, a little tenderness
    I know i will be fine in few weeks but afraid to decide if i should starting working out again or not.
    (I am 30 years old)

    • SPRC on September 12, 2020 at 8:55 am

      Dear Varun,
      Sounds like you are well on the road to recovery. Consider reviewing your exercise routine and rehabilitating fully before trying to lift anything too heavy in the gym. Something like a course of Pilates could be very useful. When you decide to return to the gym steady progression will be important.
      Take care and best wishes.

  22. Susan on August 29, 2020 at 4:28 am

    At the end of April, my hamstring pain turned into leg numbness and weakness. I was started on celebrex and lyrica. I started basic physio. Now both my legs go numb and weak if I try to walk. I was doing ok at walking 1.5 miles per hour for 10 minutes sometimes. But now I am back to numbness and weakness as soon as I walk and sometimes at rest. It has been 4 months. I am becoming afraid of permanent nerve damage. How do I get better? I’m losing my mind!

    • SPRC on August 30, 2020 at 2:18 pm

      Dear Susan,
      Losing your mind is a common feeling for people that experience sciatic pain symptoms. Sounds like you are under the care of great healthcare professionals. The fact you improved is a great sign. It means you can get better. Often people do a little too much in the rehab phase and have a slight step backward. Maybe that is something to discuss with your physio. Painful as sciatica is the likelihood of permanent nerve damage is very slim so try not to worry. Keep following the advice from the healthcare professionals. If you read our blogs you may find some useful tips of little things that might help in day to day life. Best wishes.

  23. Linda Smith on February 28, 2020 at 10:09 am

    I have had sciatica since October. Pain in lower back,.buttocks ,thigh and pins and needles in foot. Physio has sorted back but the other pains persist..Can’t sleep due to the pain. Been doing the exercises . Everyone tells me it will start to improve. How long does this take, can’t see an end to it…………………………..

    • SPRC on February 28, 2020 at 12:08 pm

      Dear Linda,
      Your situation is like many others although most people show improvement with sciatica symptoms earlier than 4-5 months. The vast majority of people improve with time so what people are telling you is true. The most significant thing that you have mentioned is the fact it is affecting your sleep. It is really important to get this situation to improve as this will help to speed your recovery. Speak with your Doctor and physio about the sleep issue and see what advice they have for. Also read the blogs we have on sleeping with sciatica. We have a couple. We hope you are feeling better soon.

      • Melissa E McKenzie on July 26, 2020 at 10:53 pm

        My Name is Melissa . I have Sciatica. . I have had it now for 3 months. It hurts so bad that I cry. It hurts when I sit at night I can hardly sleep the pain is so bad. Can’t stand long either. The only comfort is when I am walking. I try everything. Hot and cold methods herbs oils massages. Medication. I just don’t know. I hurt every Day . Could u please give me some advice on it . Thank u

        • SPRC on July 26, 2020 at 11:20 pm

          Hello Melissa,
          Sorry to hear what you are going through. Getting good sleep is vital as we feel pain more when we are deprived of sleep. Keep experimenting with the things that help you. If walking brings comfort that try and time a gentle walk later in the evening. Even if it means around the home. Also consider the timing of any pain relief medication from your doctor. The most important thing is to keep trying different things and don’t give up. Read our blogs and see if there is anything there you could try. The pain will subside eventually. Best wishes.

        • Julie on August 12, 2020 at 11:08 pm

          Hi Melissa. I have had severe sciatica now since 2nd March 2020. I cannot sleep the pain is so bad, when I do sleep I’m in excruciating pain and cannot walk well for an hour or so on waking. I sleep for 2/3 hrs max. I have had an MR and it’s revealed I have 3 herniated discs, I’ve had 16 sessions of physio which I pay for and it has made no difference. I’m on 450mg of pregabalin and I still have no relief. Consultant at the hospital has offered me a steroid Injection but has said I may have to live with the pain as my discs are not bulging enough to have surgery. He showed me no sympathy whatsoever In fact he made me feel I was wasting his time. I use an ice compress and do gentle exercises which help me slightly. You have to be careful what exercises you do. I wish you luck as I feel so isolated and unless a doctor has had this they have no idea what it like.

    • Nancy on July 26, 2020 at 11:54 pm

      I got a shot. Its been a week please someone tell how long does take go way

  24. Dave on August 30, 2019 at 5:55 am

    My left leg has become increasingly debilitated over 2 weeks – pain started in and centralised still in buttock.Sitting and lying down were the only options for me. After going to a chiropractor lying down with straight legs became impossible – sitting is my only relief position.
    Standing more than 10 seconds starts to throb and becomes unbearable within a minute. Pain killers (co-codamil or naproxen) do not seem to help.
    I cannot go into work just now due to this, cannot do anything.
    Any suggestions?

    • SPRC on September 2, 2019 at 12:01 pm

      Sorry to hear this Dave. If the pain has been getting worse over the last two weeks and you are now unable to work then a visit to your Doctors (if you have not already been) is necessary. The positions you adopt seem to affect you a lot so a physiotherapist may be able to give advice on movement patterns that may help. Bringing down the inflammation may help with cold therapy so have a look at our blog on that. Hopefully you will be on the road to recovery very soon. Best wishes.

    • Janet on September 19, 2019 at 10:41 am

      I have this problem also. I try to keep active and as soon as I stand up or walk my leg and my foot god numb. I’ve been docs and she said I have to do little as possible like no hoovering or bending. Im on painkiller s also and i have to have time off work. I keep to my physio excersise I wish it would go away. Got two dogs I want to walk and it’s so frustrating.

      • SPRC on September 20, 2019 at 9:10 am

        Hi Janet,
        We feel your frustration.Stick with the physio exercises and read some of our other blogs for more ideas to get relief. I’m sure it will start to improve soon. Best wishes.

        • Nilesh on October 18, 2020 at 5:09 am

          Hi I’m Nilesh I’m 24 i have sciatica pain from last 3weeks in right leg it’s unbearable pain it’s hurts while walking n stretch exercise i saw lots of video regards exercise in sciatica but now I’m unable to doing that stretches i have taken Gabapentin n thiocolchicocide doses pls help.

          • SPRC on October 19, 2020 at 1:54 pm

            Dear Nilesh,
            We are very sorry to hear about your sciatica pain. Visit your Doctor and listen to your Doctor’s advice. If the pain is unbearabl perhaps some pain medication in the short term is required to allow you to be able to function and do the exercises that can help you. Consider seeing a physical therapist. In the long term physical activities prescribed by a healthcare practitioner will be the most effective for your long-term recovery and the earlier you start the better.
            We hope you recover soon. Best wishes.

      • Manzoor on August 7, 2020 at 3:25 pm

        My pain started 3 months ago ,left side of my back just below the hip also have pain just above the ankle on the side of same leg.have tingling sensation on side of leg right down to foot,sometimes it feels numb. Gp referred me to physiotherapist, cos of corona virus it was telephone chat,I was given some light exercise to do,after 2 months felt a slight improvement, I wasn’t crouching so much,also tried private chriopractor,about 8 sessions it was a waste of money.also tried a chinese karate instructor who also specializes in muscular nerve pain,that was more like torture, but still the pain is still there,tried cold iceing and heat therapy, tried message with different oils nothing is working for me tried naproxen, ibuprofen gel,voltrol gel,also codeine, and gabapentin, I have getting very anxious, I haven’t got many hair left to put out .on top of all this is covid 19 era.

        • Ravi Boricha on September 17, 2020 at 10:34 am

          Hello,
          I got sciatica from a disc bulge three months back. The pain comes and goes in my left leg. The pain has reduced a lot. But still when I get down to sleep the sciatica hurts but very little. And i once i have laid down the pain doesnt come back. I can say that only some twisting moments hurts my sciatica other than that I am pain free. Can you tell me at what stage of revovery I am in??.. Please do reply!!

          • SPRC on September 17, 2020 at 11:13 am

            Dear Ravi,
            It sounds like you are well on the road to recovery. Your symptoms reducing tells you this. I am sure your healthcare provider will be able to assure you. The good news is it sounds as though you know exactly what exacerbates your symptoms. With help from your healthcare provider a few simple activity modifications to reduce the possibility of aggravating symptoms will be beneficial. Remember nerves heal slowly, but in the vast majority of cases they can heal. Best wishes.

            • Steph on November 27, 2020 at 9:43 pm

              Hi, I’m 36, lone parent to three boys, love running and im a 2nd yr student paramedic.
              5 weeks ago after a HITT workout I woke with sciatica, doctors prescribed me with Naproxen and Co-Codamol after a week of pain. I had sports massages but still in pain. My eldest son (12) has to put my socks on for me in the morning.
              Nearly 6 weeks in, I’ve been on Amitriptyline for 4 nights and having trips to a chiropractor.
              I’m at my wits end now. I don’t know what else to do next. I’m supposed to be back at work next week, how can I when I can barely walk.
              My placement with the ambulance service is coming up and I want to be fully able bodied for the 12 hour shifts with no pain.
              Please help. Thank you.

              • SPRC on November 28, 2020 at 2:50 pm

                Hi Steph,
                Sorry to hear about your pain and predicament. Without knowing your full history it is difficult to advise specifics. From what you have said you are fit young and healthy so you’re highly likely to heal soon. Understandably you want to be fully fit for work, but putting pressure on yourself to heal could slow it down rather than speed it up. If your sciatica symptoms are from the typical lower back nerve root irritation and you feel pain when bending and standing then you could try to reduce the inflammation in the lower back region with hot cold therapy. Our blog on massage for sciatica describes how that works. Try work out what exacerbates symptoms the most and work out activity modifications to limit the impact. For example if you standing up and walking seems to trigger symptoms most then consider using a device to temporarily assist you while walking, e.g. a crutch or cane to take the weight off the affected side. The most important thing is to stay active keep trying to find solutions. This will keep you motivated and encourage healing. Best wishes.



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