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Sciatic nerve and inversion tables

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by memphislawyer, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. memphislawyer

    memphislawyer Practically Family

    Has anyone had experience with an inversion table? Have a couple of friends who suggested it for me. I have had pain in my back and then it left but went over to my hip and when that happened it went across my upper thigh and then down to the knee and into my shin bone. It feels like stabbing pains at times and other times it feels sore. Now it's left hip and going to my lower back. I've been to a chiropractor twice and I've had a steroid shot and a muscle relaxer. I am loath to take prescriptions on a long-term basis, even though I know this is not hydrocodone. What I've read up on the inversion table I think this may help. By the way the chiropractor took x-rays of my back and only noticed a slight curvature of 7%, which I did not think was unusual

    Was thinking between the Innova 9600 on Amazon and a Teeter. Found that HSN had a special on the Ep-970 LTD at a price comprable to the 560 so I got it, shipped, taxes and all for $285. Maybe overkill but it is well made and easier to fold. Maybe I spent too much but at this point, if I use it 5 times, it is as much as 5 visits to the chiropractor. I can disassemble it and ship it back within 30 days for a refund and be out $65 in shipping or try to list it on craigslist for my money back
  2. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    Rubbish. Get to a surgeon, get an MRI, and proceed. This is nothing to fool with. I had the exact same thing (or sounds like from your description). You may have one or more ruptured disks in your lower back, causing a nerve irritation which accounts for the leg pain. The only real fix is to repair/remove the disks. I had that done ten years ago and have had no pain since. Prior to the fix, I was barely able to stand. This can progress rapidly. In my case, two months from Okay to near invalid.
    The key is speed. Wait too long, and the nerve will not be relieved by the repair.

    And you need a neurosurgeon, not an orthopedist.
    Zombie_61 and robrinay like this.
  3. Bamaboots

    Bamaboots I'll Lock Up

    Memphislawyer, what Scott said. As one with three fused vertebrae in my neck, C 5, 6 and 7, along with the titanium to hold it all in place, make an appointment with a surgeon. Preferably a neurosurgeon. An X-Ray will not show soft tissue damage, which nerve impingement by a disc is. I have nothing against chiropractors, I've seen one many times but when one has reached the level that you describe, other measures should be taken.
  4. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

    To a man, everyone I've encountered who was following a "surgery is the last resort" path are now a chronic pain sufferer with no way to permanently fix it.

    I feel badly for coming off so strongly in my first post, and I apologize if that is the case. It's just that my own experience was nothing short of miraculous, and I always push for quick, bold action when someone describes a similar set of symptoms. At least get the information in hand. I also think chiropractors can be quite useful if you find a good one, but as Bamaboots said, after a point in time, they can't be of any help. It was my own crick-crack man who sent me off to a surgeon.
  5. memphislawyer

    memphislawyer Practically Family

    I have read these replies and seeing a neurosurgeon is my likely next step, and MRI. But this thing is funny. Yesterday, a bad day, so much so that dinner sucked. Laid in bed on a heating pad for two hours. No pain and slept great. Very minimal pain today, more of a sore shin than anything.
  6. hatsRme

    hatsRme I'll Lock Up

    Everybody's different, Memp, but my experience with an inversion table has been nothing but positive. About twelve years ago, I had four neurosurgeons tell me they could help me on L4, 5, then later on L5, S1. The last surgeon I spoke with (an "Ivory Tower" guy in a world-class Boston hospital) told me that if I was getting even a modicum of relief from PT, then I should continue (or that's HE would do in the same situation). He went on to describe to me exactly what to look out for; that is, warning signs requiring immediate attention. The other surgeons just salivated and rubbed their hands together when giving me THEIR options...
    I continued the PT, paid constant attention to the advice of the good doc, and stubbornness paid off. Get the 82 page paperback "Bible" by Robin Mackensie (SP?) "Treat Your Own Back." THAT was KEY also in my recovery, and maintenance to this day!! KEEP WALKIING. DO YOUR PT.

    The inversion table REALLY helped when I had mid-back and cervical issues. The PT I saw during that episode was convinced that my twice daily use of it was primarily responsible for a (relatively) quick come back from that.

    Moreover, You should submit a co-pay to the Lounge for all the medical advice you've received here!!

    P.S. Let me know if I should provide the details of the warning signs of "cauda equina" that the doc outlined.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
    mmbarnes likes this.
  7. memphislawyer

    memphislawyer Practically Family

    P.S. Let me know if I should provide the details of the warning signs of "cauda equina" that the doc outlined.

    By all means, yes!! The inversion table is still on the way. Today, the pain is but 25% of what it was yesterday.
  8. basbol13

    basbol13 One of the Regulars

    Had a pinched nerve that started in March of 2016. When I drove my car I was litterally in tears. My other leg was almost as bad. At the time I didn't know what it was I was eating Advil like candy. It finally dawned on me in July to go to my physician and get a dose of prolotherapy. It took a while and four times going in for therapy and I'm pretty much over it. I will tell you this, if you started going to the Chiropractor, your pretty much going to be addicted to treatment. The Chiro does the right thing by resetting the position of the spine, but he is only treating the symptoms and not the cause. The difference between Chiropracty and Prolotherapy is Prolo treats the cause. When you have a pinched nerve, it's because the spine is not properly aligned. The Chiro physically pushes it into place, as opposed to the Physician who uses Prolo injections to tighten the ligaments and therefore allowing the body to reset the spine. Think of it this way, when the Chiro forces the spine back into position he has aligned the spine, but what about the ligamnets? they are now stretched and sloppy with out tightening them back up, the spine will revert back. This is the reason people continue to go to the Chiro. Also, with Prlotherapy there are no steroids used in treatment period. Again, steroids treat the symptoms not the cause. I had a trigger finger and was treated in the conventional manner with steroids, the treatment allowed me to reuse my finger, but the trigger finger returned in a month. I went again for another treatment and again the same result at that time the physician was talking operation. In my rush to avoid surgery, I discovered Prolotherapy, so I got the shots and guess what I've been symptom free for 10 years. Which is why I kicked myself in the behind for not thinking of it when I first experienced my pinched nerve.
  9. hatsRme

    hatsRme I'll Lock Up

    There are an almost infinite number of factors surrounding lower back pain. Here's what Dr. Woodward advised me to look out for (indicating surgery), and I am delighted that he did...
    If the pain is in the bottom of your feet, that's not good.
    If the pain is on the inside of your legs and buttocks, (called the "saddle area") not good.
    You can best tell if your gait has changed (another bad sign) by listening to the sound made wearing leather soled shoes on a tile (or hard) floor. You'll hear the difference!

    But remember, the best long term approach is to rebuild that core strength everybody's talking about. You know, the muscles that deteriorate from an occupation that keeps you plunked down at a desk, counselor! Physical therapy is intended to do that. Another caveat, get yourself to an "engaged therapy" therapist. Not one who puts you on a machine and walks away, or who seems to use an abundance of gizmos instead of making YOU WORK. PT should get you to a place where you hold yourself together.

    Finally, your long term "cure" is going to be a wide combination of factors, but quick daily stretching and exercises will maintain it forever. Yes, do them forever.

    OH! GET that book "Treat Your Own Back," about $10-15 online, and read, err no, STUDY it, cover to cover. I did, and as I mentioned earlier, it was a CRITICAL piece of my recovery.
  10. I'm an example of this, though the "surgery is the last resort" issue was on the part of the various doctors I saw; I had no such reservations.

    September, 2003. I get up from my seated position on the couch, and feel a "pinch" in the back of my left thigh. It came and went, then happened again the next day. And the next. And the next, getting a little worse each time. Doctor's appointment, x-ray, MRI, eventually diagnosed as a herniated L5-S1 disc (the one between the spine and pelvis). This treatment, that treatment, none of which had any effect. Over the course of a year, despite the various "treatments" the pain went from that first "pinch" to what felt like lava flowing from the center of my lower back across my left buttock, down the back of my left thigh, into my knee, then down the outside of my calf into my ankle and foot. And it was constant. Even the 3500 mg of Vicodin I was taking daily did nothing. Finally, the neurosurgeon I had consulted said I had two choices--live with the pain, or have surgery.

    So I had surgery in October of 2004. And it was successful. I was pain free...for a year, when I started experiencing a strong, sharp pain in my lower back, which slowly progressed as well. I have what is known as Post Laminectomy Syndrome, a medical term which means they successfully repaired the defect in the disc, but the patient (me) is experiencing chronic pain related to the initial injury, the surgery performed to correct it, or both. It happens so often they had to come up with a name for it. The fact is that medical science still doesn't have a complete understanding of the human nervous system and/or how to repair the nerves when there's a problem. So, more unsuccessful treatments, during which I was also diagnosed with Spinal Stenosis (narrowing of the passageways in the bone through which the nerves pass, compressing the nerves) and Lumbar Spondylosis (small bone deformities), both of which are believed to be simply a part of the aging process and are only seen as a problem when they impact the nerves. Which they apparently have, in my case. Lucky me.

    So that's the long way of saying I'm one of the chronic pain sufferers that Scotrace mentioned, and have been for a little over 11 years now. I can't sit longer than 30-45 minutes without having to get up and walk around for a while. I have "good" days and "bad" days, and often use a cane. I rarely get more than 4-5 hours of sleep per night, because if I lay in bed longer than that I can barely move because of the pain. I currently use over-the-counter pain meds because I don't want to have to deal with the negative effects of long-term opioid use, but my pain level on "average" days has slowly increased over the last 11 years so I will probably have to rely on opioids at some point in the near future. And any physical labor more strenuous than carrying groceries or taking out the trash results in increased pain levels that can last hours or days. So, with all of these issues combined, I can't work and have been on disability since early 2006.

    Now, I'm not sharing my experience because I'm looking for sympathy. But speaking from personal experience I can say dealing with chronic pain is difficult, and that's putting it mildly. No matter what I do, the pain is there. I've learned to deal with it, but that's more difficult some days. It wears you out, and wears you down physically and psychologically. And it affects the people around you.

    So stop screwing around and go see a doctor.
    mmbarnes, Bamaboots and scotrace like this.
  11. Just food for thought... Another cautionary tale, like zombie's...

    A few years ago I waited too long to get surgical treatment for a herniated disk. Symptoms... sciatica (often excruciating) all the way to my left ankle, numbness in my leg, periodic back spasm (but Interestingly, that went away after about a week).

    After 3 weeks, my leg and foot became gradually weaker. When I finally saw a specialist, his face was visibly alarmed when he asked me to push up on his hand with my left foot and nothing happened.

    I had emergency surgery within 3 days. But my sciatic nerve was permanently damaged and the function of my left leg was about 30% impaired. This leads me to periodically fall down because my brain has sent the signal to my foot to lift, but the nerve damage prevents the signal from doing what it is supposed to do (it's a hoot to fall into a display in the grocery store). Also, muscle tone in that leg has suffered. I can't hike like I used to like to. So there are a lot of bummers.

    In July, I had similar symptoms after a minor fender bender. We moved aggressively and operated within days. Because of the prior damage though, I lost a bit more function.

    I would handle things differently when I first hurt myself a few years ago. One of my blind spots is thinking that I can grin and bear things and that all will be well if I use my best judgment and the information that I can find on the Internet, etc... But I should have immediately asked for help from a professional. And the MRI was critical in finding the physiological cause and planning treatment.

    Symptoms mean things. I won't make the same mistake again. If I had been bleeding from a stab wound I would have sought immediate help. I now try to take less obviously serious health symptoms seriously. I think that it is better safe than to be sorry.

    Hope that you feel better. BACK PAIN SUCKS!
    Zombie_61 likes this.

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