- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Slipped disc, Sciatica Back Pain
A Slipped Disk and Back Pain In My Life
For some people the pain from sciatica can be infrequent and irritating with the potential to get worse. This is not the case for my husband. His pain was quite sever with pain and later numbness radiating from the lower back all the way down into his toes. My husband was diagnosed as a young man with arthritis in his spine.
A few years ago he woke in the middle of the night screaming in horrific pain. He was barely able to speak through the pain and my first thought was to get all the different pain killers in the house and give him some of each. The pain he was in was scary for me and I can't imagine how bad it was for him so we called the emergency services. They suggested that my idea of taking several different medications was ok, basically it was ok for me to drug my husband! It took several hours for an ambulance to show up and by then he was so drugged that he had fallen asleep. When he woke up his leg was completely numb with no strength, and that was a relief. The paramedics advised us that since he was now numb it would be a wasted journey to go to the hospital and that they could advise our doctors clinic to send round a doctor for a home visit.
We went down the medical rout and my husband was recommended to a physical therapist who gave him exercises and said that his options were surgery or pain management with pain pills and exercise. The surgery looked dangerous to us and we went for the pain management and back exercises instead.
We both have enjoyed rock climbing and found that it seemed to be helping, taking some of the pressure off of the nerve. The numbness and discomfort never went completely away but did improve enough that the pain pills were not often needed.
At the start of summer my husband had a real turn for the worse. He woke up one morning with the same pain he experienced before running down the other leg. The nerve bundle for that side of his body is now also suffering from the damage of his spinal arthritis.
When I asked him if I should call the doctor for a home visit or if I should call for an ambulance he was not interested in going down that road again and felt it would be a waste of time. He felt he could use the pills already prescribed at full prescription without a doctor telling him to.
He did however have an idea that was new and something we had not tried yet. When he was going for all the appointments with the doctors one of the things they did was put him in a MRI which had magnetic pulses he could feel in his back. He remembered it had actually felt somewhat better with those pulses.
A number of years ago I bought a Abdominal Toning System Belt to help me lose some weight. My husband remembered that belt and wanted to try it on his back. I fetched it for him and had the phone in hand just in case it was a bad idea, I wasn't exactly confident that it would help. Within a few minutes my husband was sighing with relief saying that it was really helping. He wore that belt all day! I actually teased him the next day that he was going to end up with a 6 pack belly on his back! He laughed and said that it wasn't sore like muscles get with loads of exercise and that there wasn't really any side effect experienced with this intense usage of this belt.
It has been about 4 months now and his rate of recovery from this episode has been satisfying for both of us. He has stopped having to take his pills more then once a day and on good days not at all. He came into the bedroom the other day and stood on his tip toes for me showing off how much strength he has gained back. We have managed to go through quite a few batteries but this seems a small price to see him recovering so well.
I am no doctor or medical authority and do not wish to be giving medical advice. I share this with you because I think some may decide for themselves that there is some scientific reasoning that would support why this has worked for us and want to explore it themselves.
What is Sciatica?
Basically sciatica pain is a symptom off an underlying problem. Sciatica literally means that the patient has pain down the leg due to compression on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest and largest single nerve in the human body. At its largest point it is as big around as a thumb. The nerve starts in the lower spine and nerve roots exit the spinal chord and extend all the way down the back of the leg to the toes.
Sciatica is usually caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve from a slipped disk or pinched nerve. Something such as degenerative disc disease may also irritate the nerve root and cause sciatica. Other conditions that mimic sciatica include piriformis syndrome and sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Sciatic pain may also be felt if the nerve is being mechanically compressed, including spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis or arthritis in the spine.