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Chronic sciatica... now numb butt!
Lauralizzie01 posted:
ok as if the fibro isnt bad enough, i am in constant fear of developing sciatic. im 29 and have dealt with it eight times now. lower backs been sore for a couple of weeks, then earlier this week it consolidated... into sciatica again. ive been doing my excersize regime from the pt, heat, ice, ibu, all the bells and wistles, but this is new; now i have a numb butt. from my crack 5-6 inches across my cheek from about even with te top of my crack for a 2-3 inches up! what the heck! i want a back-e-otomy!
Anon_160307 responded:
Hi Laura,

Do you have a pinched nerve or pinched nerves in your lumbar spine due to disc herniations? If you don't know yet, I recommend that you get an MRI to see if this the case.

I deal with severe sciatica for the most part everyday. Mostly down my right leg. The pain can excruciating at times, especially in the middle of the night when I turn over to switch sides. I get a few days of relief from epidural steroid injections, but they are more effective for the lower back pain I experience from the discs.

I have been told I need a 2 level fusion (over my dead body! Especially after they said they would get to my spine by going through my stomach...ut uh!) or at a minimum a discectomy.

I have never experienced numbness. This could be a sign of nerve damage. The nerves can get damaged beyond repair and that portion of your body can remain numb forever. So it is very important for you to find out the cause of this.

I recommend seeing a physiatrist or spine orthopedic specialist for diagnosis and treatment. Teaching hospitals are great.

I hope you feel better soon and I pray that the numbness is not permanent.
annette030 responded:
I have had sciatica twice, many years ago, both times it healed fine with prednisone taken orally for a week or so. Both times from bad IM injections given by the same nurse. I have FMS also.

My husband's cancer doc said "numbness is better than pain" 25 years ago when my husband noted a place on his thigh that was numb and mentioned it to the doctor. He (my husband) is still alive, and the cancer went away long before the numbness did.

We all get different stuff wrong with us, for different reasons. Please go see your doctor.

Best of luck.

Take care, Annette
Peter Abaci, MD responded:
One of the most common sources of ailments in our modern society comes from issues surrounding the lower spines. In some cases that can mean low back pain, and in other instances the problem might be more of a sciatica, where the pain or numbness feels like it is going down the back of the leg. For many, the pain can be a combination of the two. There is a good chance that most of us will experience some version of this at some point in our lives.

We don't really know exactly why these types of problems are so prevalent, but it is worth thinking about lifestyle changes that have evolved. For example, many of us lead sedentary lives and are not nearly as active as our forefathers were. Spending long hours using computers is a relatively knew habit, but I don't think our spines were created to do that. Another example would be the rise of obesity that has taken place and the basic shift in body sizes that has occurred in the last few decades. Extra body weight means extra stress on the spine and joints. Eating more inflammatory-type foods like sugars, trans-fats, and saturated fats may also play a role.

Certainly, you could consult with your doctor and possibly have further testing done to learn more. The numbness that you describe suggests that there is some nerve irritation or inflammation taking place that is making it more difficult for certain nerves to function optimally. Having a better understanding of why these symptoms may have developed in your particular case and making changes to better manage them can not only help now but hopefully prevent it from being a long-term problem.

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