I believe that once I was diagnosed with sciatica, I became aware of the need to not only comprehend but also to understand the symptoms, pain associated with it, the limitations and finally the related health issues that were all part of living with it.
Through understanding the symptoms of sciatica, such as burning, sharp or shooting, electrical, numb sensations, or like pins and needles that felt as if they were racing down my legs, I was better able work with my doctor in finding a plan of treatment to lessen the pain and improve my mobility. I was prescribed prescriptions for the inflammation, a muscle relaxant for the tension or stiffening, and a few others to control the extent of the pain. While no one medication worked well on its own, together they offered some relief. I began some small exercises to improve my mobility and balance.
The hardest part of dealing with the pain and related problems was coming to a conclusion that it was in fact a sciatica issue. In order to come to this conclusion I had to undergo several MRI, CT scans, x-rays and reflex testing. In reviewing these tests, my physician was able to see that I had underlying spinal and back problems that added to the pain. I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, nerve root stenosis, bulging discs as well as arthritis in my back and spine.
While these issues have limited my once active lifestyle, I have worked diligently to lessen their effect on me. My husband and children do most of the shopping, but I do go occasionally to stay in touch with the community as well as just to get out. I have a grabby tool to reach up high if I need something in the cabinets and I do not go down the basement stairs. Most of the medications cause drowsiness but I try to maintain a regular sleep schedule.
Learning to live with the effects, complications and pain can be a daunting task. You have to keep your head held high to keep from becoming depressed over the limitations that the pain may cause. The best advice that I can offer you is to not only be diligent in finding the cause but to also be diligent in following your plan of treatment. Too often, you think you feel better and decide to stop taking your medication and exercises only to have it hit you harder on another day.