Hip Pain-Sciatic Nerve?

Lounge By michellenj Updated 22 Sep 2008 , 6:55pm by michellenj

michellenj Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 2:21pm
post #1 of 34

Have any of you had problems with your back? Lately, I've been having pain in my left hip. Sometimes, it starts in my butt cheek and goes down my leg, but sometimes it stops and really hurts where the leg joins my hip. Occasionally, when I am out running, my toes will go numb on that foot icon_confused.gif , and sometimes it almost feels like the pain is from my girl parts, icon_redface.gif b/c it's so deep and not massageable. Occasionally, it switches to my right side, but mostly it stays on the left.

I do have some fibroid tumors in my uterus, but I don't think that is the problem, since it switches sides and my toes go numb.

Does anyone have any experience with this type of pain? What do you take for it? Would yoga or a certain stretch help?

33 replies
playingwithsugar Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 2:35pm
post #2 of 34

Oh, Michelle, I am the expert on sciatic nerve problems.

Mine started when I gave birth to my son - he was a back labor baby.

I get cramps in my left butt cheek, or a burning feeling in my left hip, or the fire and pain down my left leg, every single day. It's worse during PMS week.

I have been told that the stretching in Yoga might help, but there's no guarantee.

I take valerian, which is the herbal equivalent of valium. I buy it at the health food store, along with empty capsules. I make the single dose into 3 doses. Any more than that and it makes me too tired to function.

What's nice about taking the herb rather than the pill is that it's less addictive. I only take it when the symptoms are at their absolute worst.

If you decide to use it, be aware that it should be taken with food and lots of liquid, otherwise it can cause severe heartburn.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

michellenj Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 3:11pm
post #3 of 34

You know, my son was an 11 pound back labor baby, and that is exactly when it started! A always knew he messed me up somehow (besides my stomach). Valerian, huh? I'll have to see if they have it at Wallyworld today. Some of the herbal stuff scares me. I used to take St. John's Wort and Kava Kava, my whole office was taking them so I was like what the heck, I'll try it too, and then they came out w/ health warnings for the Kava.

jen1977 Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 3:15pm
post #4 of 34

I had the same pains, and thought it was the nerve, but after an mri, found out I have two bulging discs in my lower back. I'd have it checked out just to be sure!

Amia Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 3:55pm
post #5 of 34

I had the worst sciatic pain when I was pregnant with my boys -- I carry in my back -- which is probably why I was the only prego wearing 4 inch heels. The heels seemed to take the pressure off my nerve and stop the pain. That was really the only thing that worked for me, besides laying down. I think mine was worse than most because of an enlarged growth plate in my back too. I wish I had some actual advice to give, but if you like heels, maybe that will work for you. icon_lol.gif

itsmylife Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 4:04pm
post #6 of 34

My DH has a sciatica problem that started a few years ago. He was told that the sciatica pain is always caused by something else (injury to the back/spine, swelling of a muscle, bulging disc, etc). Whatever the 'something else' is - is what is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve causing the pain. So the trick is to find what's causing the sciatica nerve to hurt.

I think the doctors will try to figure out if it's something that can be managed with medicine or therapy, and then look at something like surgery as a last resort. It depends on what's causing it, I guess.

His was caused by a muscle... basically, he was playing with the kids - swinging them back and forth - and just twisted his back wrong and pulled a muscle in his lower back which apparently swelled and put pressure on the sciatica nerve.

He almost dropped our son because the pain hit him so suddenly. The doctor said that it could take several months to heal correctly and that's if he doesn't re-injure the muscle. So, ever since that time, he's had a few incidents where he gets that twinge - usually has a tingly sensation down one butt cheek and down the back of his leg before he gets that sudden, painful tightening feeling.

He manages it with a prescription anti-inflammatory, a muscle relaxer, and a pain med, and being careful. He only takes them if he gets that feeling - and even then, he usually will take either muscle relaxer or the anti-inflammatory. Doctor also told him to lose some weight, which he did, and to try to exercise a bit more because that would strengthen his back.

He was having the problem every few months, but each time it would be more time in between 'attacks' because he was being careful and did those other things the doctor recommended. I think the last time he felt the pain was at least 9 months ago.

michellenj Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 7:26pm
post #7 of 34

I do love heels, I'll have to see how it feels when I wear them.

Isn't it odd how back pain is sort of a mystery? So many people I know have had problems, and the doctors have found out the reason in some cases, and in others they just have to make a guess.

DH's back bothered him for years, and finally they realized that one of his legs is 1/2" shorter than the other, and once he got the lift for his shoe his back was magically fine.

As far as over the counter meds go, do any of you find one to be better than the others?

mocakes Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 9:39pm
post #8 of 34

Can I join the Sciatic Club too?

Mine, too, started during pregnancy. I have flair ups every now and then....even depending on the weather. The scary thing is that sometimes it comes out of NOWHERE and BAM....it makes my leg just give out.

My MRI revealed bulging disks, so the doc sent me to a pain management doctor to do steroid injections. I did about 5 rounds of shots...a total of about 12-15 shots, and it did nothing! When I would go back for a 2 week follow up....he would scratch his head and say...."Hmmmm, you shouldn't still be having that pain....we numbed that nerve!"

Oh, yeah? Well, tell that to my back.... I haven't been back since Feb. I just don't want a bunch of steroids in my body!

I take Aleve and stay off my feet when it flairs up! icon_cry.gif

michellenj Posted 2 Sep 2008 , 9:57pm
post #9 of 34

I actually found a bottle of expired Aleve in the middle of the night last night when my hip was bothering me, and I do believe it might have worked better than the Advil I usually take. DH has some REAL meds from his back probs, but I'm afraid that they will knock me out, and I'll be drooling the next day cuz I'm so zonked.

Does stretching help at all, or am I just wishing?

shelbur10 Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 12:59am
post #10 of 34

Aleve can be a huge help, it helps take down any inflammation.
I had about a year and a half of disc problems compressing my sciatic nerve and I now have scar tissue (from 2 back surgeries) doing the same thing. I'll tell you what my irritating dr. told me...it's a hard pain to treat. Thanks, doc.
Be very careful doing any activities that cause you to twist or bend your back. It is possible that you have some sort of disc damage and that will only make it worse. The good news is that even if it's a ruptured disc, about 90% will heal on their own within 90 days. Of course, it could be a muscle or something else irritating the nerve that will go away more quickly.
I think if the pain persists and doesn't improve, ESPECIALLY since you're experiencing numbness in your toes/feet, you should see a doctor. They can identify the problem and give you some appropriate meds to take care of it.
But a word of caution from my experience - don't wait too long to go to the dr, if it's serious, you will only make it worse. BUT, when you go to the doctor, be very cautious about surgery and the pain meds they give you. As I mentioned, I have permanent scar tissue creating pain from the surgeries that were supposed to make me better. I know A LOT of people who had great success with back surgery, but it's worth remembering that the doc is serious when he says it might not work.
About the meds, I saw 5 different doctors for my back, and every single one of them was very quick to hand out the narcotics. None of the meds I was on completely got rid of the pain, they mostly just made me fuzzy, sick and stoned. And very fat, too. icon_cry.gif
If it's something that you can live with for the short term, Aleve is the best OTC and walking is the best exercise.
Sorry this is so long, but hope it helps a little!

cakelover25 Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 3:10am
post #11 of 34

I've had this same problem off and on for a few years. Mine comes from sitting incorrectly at a desk for too long at a time. My doctor told me to stop wearing heels (which I didn't cause they are cute!).

He also gave me some excercises to strengthen my stomach and core muscles. These really seem to work so any time it flares up, I get back to the exercises for a couple of days and I start feeling better.

TexasSugar Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 4:06am
post #12 of 34

Do you sit in a chair alot, like the same one?

Last year I was having a big problem with the nerve down one side of my body. On the right side. It would hurt sitting down, standing up, walking. Even just sitting would cause pain. You know what I finally figured out it was? The computer chair. Our computer chair should have been thrown out long long long ago and I realised when I was sitting in it my hips were slanted to the side, but I was adjusting my upper body to sit straight. The pain went on for months before we changed our chairs. With in a week of changing the chairs it was feeling better and after another week completely gone.

If you sit in a computer chair or a desk chair alot you may want to trade it out and see if that helps any.

Also with the numbness you get, PLEASE PLEASE go to the doctor. My mom was having a numbness in her legs when she would walk alot and it ended up being blocked arteries and she had to have stints put in in her lower back. Numbness isn't a sign to just brush it off. Better to get it checked out than to find out later that it was something major.

michellenj Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 1:00pm
post #13 of 34

I do sit at a bar stool in our kitchen while I'm on the computer, which is a lot! I'll have to try another location and see if it gets better. I'm afraid that my running might be part of the problem, and a dr. is going to tell me to stop running. Another part to this is that I am afraid that I'll end up having worse back problems if I start seeing dr.'s about it. My mom was my age when she started her battle with back problems/pain and pain meds/alcohol and I'm afraid I'll end up going down the same road she's been down. Does that make sense? She's completely addicted to pain meds, whacked out all the time, and after multiple surgeries her back still gives her problems.

dldbrou Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 2:27pm
post #14 of 34

Can I join your club? Many years ago I kept having back problems on my left side and went through a series of test and x-rays and all the doc told me was I had arthritis in my siatic area and to get on arthritic meds. They recalled every one he put me on and kept telling me to get blood test every 3 months to monitor my kidneys because of the meds. Well, I got off the arthritic meds and started taking 4 advils for the pain. That has worked until now. I have been taking care of my mother, who just had major surgery and I also have been moving her and myself back and forth because of the hurricane and it all this the other side of my back has flared up. I have not been able to get relief for days no matter if I take Aleve, Advil, Bayer, Excedrin. I also have aggravated the problem by mopping the floor regularly, because of the storm. I have never had a message and as soon as things get back to normal, I just may see if a deep massage will help. Well, that is my excuse and I am sticking with it. LOL Hey, I think my husband will go along with it if it keeps me from complaining. icon_lol.gif

michellenj Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 2:43pm
post #15 of 34

Okay, then no mopping for me. icon_biggrin.gif Maybe I'll have to get a maid b/c of my sciatica. icon_razz.gif

CakesByJen2 Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 5:09pm
post #16 of 34

That definitely sounds like sciatic pain, but it can be very hard to figure out what is causing it. Bulging discs putting pressure on the nerve roots is the classic cause, but doesn't explain all cases, and it's hard to find a dr. who will even consider other causes. I've had it for 2-1/2 years and haven't been able to get an actual diagnosis or effective treatment. It's brought on by any activity that involves repetitive movement of my right hip, like walking, or constant pressure, like sitting for a long time, particularly on a hard surface. My paid isn't sudden and sharp, but starts out as a very dull ache in my butt cheek and gradually builds up to a more severe ache thru my butt and thight. When it has been really bad, it will progress to a burn, and extend down my calf and rarely to my foot, but it's always a very gradual process. I'm convinced it's because of inflammation in the muscles or tendons around my hip or pelvic area, but I can't find a dr here who will believe me, even though I've had and MRI and X-rays of my back that show no disc problems. Nothing really seems to ehlp, except not walking too much or too fast, and not sitting too much. Car trips are really bad!

michellenj Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 5:40pm
post #17 of 34

Okay, since you ladies have been advising me, I have started to pay attention to when it hurts. I just vacuumed the family room and living room, and swept the hall and kitchen. My left foot is numb and tingly near the toes. I don't hurt anywhere else, though.

shelbur10 Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 8:36pm
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by michellenj

Okay, since you ladies have been advising me, I have started to pay attention to when it hurts. I just vacuumed the family room and living room, and swept the hall and kitchen. My left foot is numb and tingly near the toes. I don't hurt anywhere else, though.




AHA!! You are obviously allergic to housework!!

In all seriousness...with the numbness, I really would get that checked out. If you're nervous about doctors making it worse (and I don't blame you), remember, you don't have to undergo any procedure or take any meds that you're not comfortable with. The important part is finding the problem and making sure your health isn't in danger.

michellenj Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 9:35pm
post #19 of 34

Shelbur-you think you could write my dh a note and tell him that all housework must cease immediately due to my condition? I might need a nanny, too, my kids give me a headache sometimes. At least, util ds is potty trained.

TexasSugar Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 10:17pm
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by michellenj

Another part to this is that I am afraid that I'll end up having worse back problems if I start seeing dr.'s about it.




You do realise that going to or not going to the doctor is not going to change the seriousness behind the pain? I get where you are coming from, if you don't know what it is, it really isn't as bad as it could be right?

Please get it checked out. Better to nip it in the bud than have to deal with the additional issues that would probably come up from putting off dealing with the orginal issue.

By not going to the doctor you are also going to have it on you mind and added to your worry list. Why stress yourself out more over it by not knowing?

michellenj Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 10:45pm
post #21 of 34

You are absolutely right about nothing changing if I go to a dr. about it. I will call tomorrow. Just b/c my mom went down the ugly road of back problems doesn't mean that I have to, too!

I've never really been one to follow orders, anyway. icon_rolleyes.gif

shelbur10 Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 3:03am
post #22 of 34

Another thing to keep in mind...tell the dr. up front that you don't want surgery/drugs (or limited, or whatever you feel comfortable with) and they very likely can suggest exercises or physical therapy that can help you.

michellenj Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 12:12pm
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by shelbur10

Another thing to keep in mind...tell the dr. up front that you don't want surgery/drugs (or limited, or whatever you feel comfortable with) and they very likely can suggest exercises or physical therapy that can help you.




That's what I'm hoping to have happen. Someone suggested swimming to stay fit rather than running so much, so I'm going to see how much extra it is for a swim membership at my gym.

-K8memphis Posted 6 Sep 2008 , 1:05pm
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar



I take valerian, which is the herbal equivalent of valium. I buy it at the health food store, along with empty capsules. I make the single dose into 3 doses. Any more than that and it makes me too tired to function.

What's nice about taking the herb rather than the pill is that it's less addictive. I only take it when the symptoms are at their absolute worst.

If you decide to use it, be aware that it should be taken with food and lots of liquid, otherwise it can cause severe heartburn.

Theresa icon_smile.gif




I am so happy to learn of a valerian user. It's awesome huh! I have used it for many years. I do not know of any long lasting side effects. It's great to have a go to non-prescription calmer downer to use as needed.

I use it as a tranquilizer and as a sleep aid.

As far as the op's issue and fear of going to the doc. I think it's really wise to gather as much information as possible and more or less present the doc with your research. It can be real scary though. I mean when you're in pain and you wanna trust this person and they may or may not be adequate well it's a gamble but...Y'know leave the ultimate diagnosis with them but we know our symptoms the best so being very prepared I think is good stuff.

Getting a name for what you have is a great medicine in itself. I hope you get some good relief soon!!!

gabbycakes Posted 8 Sep 2008 , 8:23am
post #25 of 34

I have been dealing with absolutely horrible sciatic pain for about a year now. I've had it off and on forever, but never this bad, and I didn't know that's what it was.

I have a prescription for a low dose of hydrocodone for when I just can't stand it anymore. I usually try tylenol first, then if that doesn't help I'll take a pain pill when it wears off. I have been told there's not much that can be done for it. One thing that supposedly does help is to lay on your back and prop your feet on the wall at about a 45 degree angle, but it only helps while ypu're actually doing it!

Sometimes mine is so bad and I can't sleep on that side (left), and my right knee will be hurting (it needs to be replaced) so I can't sleep on that side either. Old age is hell, LOL!!

bakincakin Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 2:55pm
post #26 of 34

Mine started when I was pregnant with my son 10 years ago. He sat right on my sciatic nerve. The pain was unbearable at times. I limped throughout my whole pregnancy, my leg would just give out and on the floor I'd be. icon_redface.gif I even had to go to physical therapy for it. To this day I still have problems. icon_cry.gif

costumeczar Posted 16 Sep 2008 , 11:13pm
post #27 of 34

I have hip pain that radiates down my leg, but it's not sciatica, it's just bad posture. I tend to lean to the left and throw my weight onto that side of my body, and it gets me eventually. It was killing me last week...I just had a deep-tissue massage yesterday for it, and that helped. I'd go to a doctor in case it's a disc thing, but also get a referral to a good physical therapist so that they can see if you're doing something postural. Someone who knows what they're doing can look at how you're standing and know if you're doing something that could be causing it. Don't bother going to a "fluff and buff" massage place, they won't know what to do. You need a sports massage or a PT palce that will work you.

I also thought that I'd developed carpal tunnel a couple of years ago, but it was caused by the same posture thing, and after a course of PT it's fine now.

michellenj Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 12:09am
post #28 of 34

Now THAT is interesting. While running, I have noticed that when I get tired I start to lean forward, like I am hinging from the waist, if that makes sense. And when I do that, my calves start to ache, so I found some info on this on Runner's World tht said to take a couple of super deep breaths, and that would make your posture correct. Since I've been doing that, I have had much less pain! Also, I've stopped doing yoga for distance runners.

agarcia2222 Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 12:31am
post #29 of 34

I work in an Orthopedic office. Any pain that radiates down your leg and can switch to your other leg sounds like a back problem. If you have pain on the back side of your hip meaning in your buttock region then it is more than likely your back and not your hip. If it is more in the groin or on the outside it could be something called trochanteric bursitis. To me it sounds like your back. You need to see a physician so you can have a proper work up. You probably need a lumbar spine mri to rule out any herniation or degenerative disk disease. Also you might need EMG's (nerve conduction) studies to make sure you don't have any type of nerve damage. Anytime you are losing feeling in a appendage on a regular basis is not good. You need to make sure you don't have something compressing on a nerve. It remains there too long you can end up with nerve damage. There are Epidural Steroid Injections that can sometimes be given for treatment as well as Facet injections. Have it checked either by an Orthopedic who spcalizes with the back and neck, or a Neurosurgeon.

michellenj Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 11:57pm
post #30 of 34

icon_surprised.gif

OMG! Wow! I knew there must be some cakers who knew something about this. Now I'm concerned. Should I call my family practitioner first?

<<<-------off to open a bottle of wine icon_redface.gif

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