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Online clinic on arthritis & pain management - Oct 2018

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Pain Management

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Ongoing pain from sciatica

Postby Guest Posts on Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:05 pm

I suffer from Sciatica due to herniated discs, how would you deal with this ongoing pain that often made it hard to lie still but in reverse you struggle to weight bear on one leg due to numb foot and hypersensitive electric type flashes up your leg.
Thank you
Sarah
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Re: Ongoing pain from sciatica

Postby talkhealth on Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:06 pm

Hi Sarah

Thank you for your post. Please find an answer below from Wendy at Arthritis Action:

If you have a numb foot plus electric shock symptoms, it sounds very much as though you have pressure on one or more nerves due to the disc problems in your back. Sometimes these symptoms can settle on their own or with physiotherapy and stretching, but sometimes they don’t and if the leg pain is severe, or if you start to develop weakness in the legs, or difficulty controlling your bladder or bowels, then unfortunately surgery may be necessary or even essential. Some pain specialists or spinal surgeons try a type of injection called a caudal epidural which is an injection of local anaesthetic and steroid low down into the spine around the place where the nerves are sensitive, and this can settle things for some people. If you have already had surgery and the nerves are still sensitive, there is still hope for improvement as nerve pain often settles with time. Certain medicines for example pregabalin or gabapentin can also be effective for nerve pains. If you have not already seen a spinal surgeon you should ask to be referred by your GP although unfortunately there are often long waits on the NHS.

I hope this is helpful.

Kind regards
talkhealth
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Re: Ongoing pain from sciatica

Postby Tracy Corbett on Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:00 pm

I would strongly advise discussing with your GP. Physiotherapy may be able to help you with pain management techniques, special neural slider/glider exercises to help ease the sciatic nerve pain, lifestyle and ergonomic advice, manual therapy can be really helpful to settle the pain (soft tissue release, gentle joint mobilisations), and kinesiotaping can also be very pain-relieving. Your GP could refer you to physiotherapy if he/she feels it is appropriate. Your physiotherapist will conduct a detailed assessment including performing very specific tests to attempt to determine the source of your sciatic pain (the sciatic pain can be caused by a number of different structures).
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Re: Ongoing pain from sciatica

Postby Wendy Green on Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:03 pm

Regular gentle exercise such as walking, swimming and yoga, can often help with sciatica. However, if you try these activities but gain no relief it would be worth asking your GP for a referral to an NHS physiotherapist, who will be able to advise you on the best exercises for your condition.

I hope this helps.
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Re: Ongoing pain from sciatica

Postby Dr Sandeep Bawa on Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:06 pm

Sorry to hear about your issues. Back Pain can be very inconvenient and painful. First and foremost is pain control. You may need further investigations if it is not settling down or if you have red flag symptoms. So , if not already done so, do please see your GP.

Physiotherapy also plays a large part in treatment. Injections and surgical options also may be offered if appropriate.

In the first instance I suggest you ask for a review with your GP.

Hope that helps.
Dr Sandeep Bawa
Consultant Rheumatologist - MBChB, MRCP, MSc (Sports Exercise Medicine)
http://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/online_clinics/experts/dr_sandeep_bawa.php
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