How do you know if your back pain is sciatica?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lvjesus, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    I have been struggling with a pain in my lower back on the right side. Today it is running down my right buttocks and I wonder if this is sciatica? I am not even sure what that is other than something to do with the nerve.

    It is part of FM? because I know alot of people here have it.

  2. Bailey-smom

    Bailey-smom New Member

    I have suffered from the same problem for the past 7 years. The sciatic pain does not always go to my foot - sometimes it stops @ the hip - sometimes the theigh - sometimes the calf & sometimes it goes all the way down. My MRI showed no other problems so we know it is just the nerves.

    What seems to help me with this is stretching. I can't always sit with my legs out while I am on the floor so I will sit with my legs crossed and just lean forward & hold it for 10 or so seconds and then lean toward each knee & hold it. I can feel it stretch in the lower back & hips.

    Hope this helps!
  3. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    I think it is not that then. It is not from the spine area that I can tell. It is still in the muscle and goes to the buttocks some.

    I got another 1.5" foam topper to add to my 2" topper, but am not confident that it helps a lot, but time will tell.

    I guess I am hoping that I can return to my usual sleeping position with more foam. I might have to break down and get a full foam mattress.

    I work for a furniture company that sells them and the buyer told me I could probably get one for about $800 because the vendor will cut us a price break to buy, hoping that we will testify to customers about them.

    The regular retail is about $1600.00

  4. Empower

    Empower New Member

    Usually runs down your leg - I get it alot
  5. rileyearl

    rileyearl New Member

    I think we have the same strain of this weird ailment! I've been struggling with pain in the right buttock and down my leg for a number of weeks. The PT says it's from the piriformis muscle. It's a small muscle way inside the buttock that the sciatic nerve either runs right through or adjacent to. When that little muscle flares up and turns rigid, the sciatic nerve goes crazy. The PT released the pirifomis by digging into my buttock so hard she left bruises, but the leg pain continues from the rigid muscles that dominoed from the piriformis.

    Last year I had sciatica from a cyst caused by arthritis on my spine--lower back. This time it feels different and starts lower.

    Hope it's better soon!

  6. JLH

    JLH New Member

    My sciatica nerve is currently pinched in my lumbar spine between L4-L5 and S-1.

    The pain is horrific and it runs down my leg and to my big toe and the toe next to it, making my leg and toes numb.

    I am currently going to a chiropractor who said he knew exactly where the nerve was pinched because of which toes were numb. If it were the next two toes or the "pinkie" toe, it would be other disks in my spine!

    If your pain is not running down your leg, it's probably not the sciatica, but rather something else.

    My problem has nothing to do with fibro. I have a multitude of back problems, and this nerve somehow got pinched between disks that were already degenerated, had spinal canal stenosis at this point, and osteoarthritis of the facet joints, which all caused me low back pain.

    I cannot get any medical relief from my pinched nerve (surgery not at option now), so I have turned to a chiropractor to see if he can manipulate it so as to "unpinch" it!!! So far, 6 treatments, and no luck!

  7. Dara

    Dara New Member

    then it's Sciatica. I've had this problem off and on for years. But, what I've had for the last two weeks is the worse it has ever been.

    I fell walking up the stairs, yes up, not down, and two days later I actually could not get out of bed. It started feeling better after about a week, but just since yesterday it feels as if it has flared up again for some reason.

    The pain goes from just below my waist on the left side and goes clear down into my foot. My knee and lower back just have this terrible ache that will not go away. Pain medication has not helped at all.

    Are you able to lift your foot off of the floor without it hurting? I can't even use my left foot for the driving. I'm one of those two footed drivers, but I'm being forced to use only my right foot for now.

    I hope you get some relief with your back. If you find anything that helps, let me know.

  8. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    it is not that then. It is in the muscle beside my spine (Lord knows I should get a chart and know those muscle names! If we are going to be this intimate, we should be properly introduced!!) and into my right buttock some.

    This morning, I took my new 1.5" mattress pad that I had under my 2" mattress pad and folded it in half on my side (getting desperate now). The bed looks funny and not sure what the husband will say, but I am hoping it will help.

    I am back to waking off and on throughout the night, although my night meds are knocking me off my feet before I lay down.

    I am rousing just enough to know it and am wondering about that sleep study...

  9. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member

    my latest obsession is trigger points and i highly recommend (to everyone!) picking up a copy of the trigger point therapy manual by clair davies. if you take a tennis ball and put it against those butt muscles that hurt, lean against a wall and roll around, you can begin to rub out that pain in your back and buttocks. if you have trigger points in the QL muscle (the back muscle you feel when you grab your love handles) and your gluteus medius muscle on your buttocks, those trigger points can feed off one another and cause that back/buttock/thigh achiness that's often mistaken for sciatica.

  10. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    good tips. I have a tennis ball in a sock in my drawer at home right now!

  11. CanBrit

    CanBrit Member

    I think the muscle you mean is the piriform (sp?) muscle. It can cause sciatic irritation because of where it is located.

    I've had that pain on and off as well. Sometimes it feels like I've been kicked. Luckily I don't have it travelling down my leg yet.

    Seems it's part of FM to me.

  12. JLH

    JLH New Member

    your pain sounds exactly like mine.

    My pain started in June and I did cry and often. I went to the doc and had xrays done thinking that I had a broken hip that it hurt so terribly bad.

    Hip wasn't broken, so I went for CT scans (they suggest MRI's but I can't have them because I have a pacemaker).

    I was allergic to the dye they needed to use, so they couldn't see the nerve to see if it was pinched. But after all these weeks had passed, and after being on meds to reduce the inflammation, the narrowed it down to a pinched nerve when I told them that my leg and foot had become numb--and my big toe and toe next to it.

    With my leg numb and the first 2 toes numb, the doc said he could quickly narrow it down to even WHERE the nerve was pinched at. It's pinched at L4-L5 and S-1. He knew this because of the toes which were numb. If it had been the other two toes, it would have been pinched at a different location in my spine; same think if it has been my little toe numb.

    Since pain pills didn't help, I turned to a chiropractor hoping he could "un-pinch" the nerve by his adjustments.
  13. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    doesn't it?

    Well, today, after I adjusted my new memory foam topper ONE MORE TIME, like tearing the bed apart 3 times was not enough, my right hip is back to huring and NOW the pain is running down my thigh IN THE FRONT to my knee.

    What do you think about THAT??

    I would say this is like an adventure, you never know what is going to be wrong on any given day, well, I guess it is a kind a GRUESOME adventure...

    I say leave this stuff to Indiana Jones and let me out of this place! Can anyone show me to the exit door please???

  14. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    what is arnica?

  15. Bruin63

    Bruin63 Member

    could also be the cause of this type of pain.
    Mine goes out, and it Hurt's like you know what.
    I also have Sacitic problems, but when it's the Sacrum acting up, my Hips hurt more, and so do my legs.

    I use Moist Heat, and take my Soma's and rest up.
    DH, has to help me get it back into place, my Massage Theraphist Friend, showed him how, when we were moving.
    Because I can't afford to run to a MT everytime it's pop's out.

    Look up Sacrum, and also check out the Trigger Points, because I have Chronic Myofasical Pain Disorder alos, and they can feed off of ecach other Pain wise.

    Good luck to you,
  16. Donya58

    Donya58 New Member

    Have you ever tried sleeping with a pillow between your knees (knees bent)and lay on your side? It does help keep your back straighter. Donya:))
  17. LottieWilkins

    LottieWilkins New Member

    My pain doc has been working with me, trying different things for months, both to diagnose the source of my intense sciatic pain (from mid left rear, down leg into foot)--the worst of all my various and moving pains. In my case we have finally narrowed it to what he calls "pirformis syndrome." Same as someone else described above, that muscle that goes across the sciatic nerve at that point.

    And that sciatic nerve is enormous! My doc says that's why it hurts so bad.

    He's tried a couple of types of injections, but no luck. Going to try a botox injection next, to try to let the muscle and nerve rest and get better. Guess my rear will look nice and young.... :) Hope it works.
  18. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    yes, someone suggested that to me and I did try it, but this is coming from laying on that side. If I could lay on my stomach or other side, it would be better. I had the same thing a while back only on the left side where I usually do not sleep.

    If I would turn over that was by accident, it would wake me up and I would turn back to the right. The problem with it moving to the right hip (saddlebag area) is that is the side I NORMALLY sleep on so even though I start out in another position, I move to that side in my sleep, then the pain wakes me up!!! GRRRR