Carolynn's Sciatica Pain

I am wondering if I will ever have an end to this sciatic trouble that has plagued me. I have been under the care of chiropractors for five years now - without relief. In fact, I have been referred to my current chiropractor by prior chiropractors who have given up on my case in frustration.

So, now I'm seeing the chiropractor’s chiropractor. Apparently, I have an issue with L4 and L5- the source of which I don't recall. Perhaps an injury from years of ballet as a teen, or past pregnancy or a fall. I can't pinpoint the originating issue- can anyone really? Nevertheless, my current treatment includes once or twice weekly trips to the chiropractor- usually followed by 10 minutes on a decompression table.

I've had acupuncture, diathermy, moist heat, decompression therapies- but end up back to square one. Motion X-rays were recently done that illustrated that when I bend to the left, there is a lack of mobility of L4 and L5- yuk! So I'm doing some left bending exercises using a weight in the right arm.

I also recently was prescribed orthotics and a lumbar brace- because after adjustment- I return to clinic with my pelvis out of alignment again. So there was a thought that there is an issue with the ligaments having had such chronic inflammation and stretching by the misalignment problem, that I fall out of the "correction" quickly. It was suggested that I begin taking manganese to help with ligament healing. There is definite X-ray evidence of SI trouble, especially on the left. I've not had a recent MRI.

My current symptoms include low back pain and fatigue. When I walk, I feel the left hip is dragging; I have a definite motor issue that is evolving from this. I tend to have to throw the leg out and concentrate on my steps more - something that is hard to describe really.

I cannot lie on my left side - or the pinched nerve starts to sing loudly with pain. Pain does radiate down to the knee. When I sit on a sofa, I usually sit more on the right side - to alleviate the pain. I'm hoping that the orthotics and brace will help, but so far, no. In fact, I feel like I am worsening lately and have lost faith that I will recover.

I told my chiropractor that if someone gave me a free trip to an exotic place- I would turn it down, because the fatigue and pain just don't make it worth it. That is a sad state, huh! I'm not currently exercising- not sure what to do about that since it has worsened things in the past.

For instance, whenever I take up walking in the neighborhood, the left hip issue fulmates into bursitis and I back track further. I have not been given back exercises to do, so am on the computer today looking for those myself. Besides the issues of my back- I hate the fact that this chronic problem makes me seem like a neurotic complainer. I am sensitive to that, since it is not my personality.

Going to the chiropractor twice a week has taken a toll on my free time- which throws my life schedule totally off. The "super chiropractor" is 30 minutes from my home, in the opposite direction of any other places I would work or exercise. So I feel trapped by time crunch related to my sciatica. I hate to be "married" to this problem; and need to begin a more proactive approach (or should I say, yet another proactive approach).

Someone recently suggested I take up swimming, another time drain, since the pool is 25 minutes away from home. I realize that I should lose 20 pounds to also help the issue and have tried medifast to help my very slow weight loss trouble.

I'm 52 and using natural hormone replacement along with natural and prescription thyroid replacement therapy. My DEXA scan suggests osteopenia; however, I am reluctant to fill the Boniva prescription from my GYN, based on contrary advice from my natural therapies doctors.

I recently started taking lexapro - due to anxiety and depression - not unrelated to the back issue! I'm in otherwise good health. I work from home, teaching online courses for a local university as a consultant, and am a painter/ artist- which is a physical activity.

I'm highly involved in service activities including teaching art on a voluntary basis to inner city children once a week. I'd love to not be so exhausted because what I do should not feel like a candle burning at both ends! - Carolynn

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