Patient Comments: Degenerative Disc Disease & Sciatica - Effective Treatments

What treatments have been effective for your degenerative disc disease or sciatica?

Comment from: Karen Jayne, 19-24 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 26

I am looking after a young girl (23) who has been diagnosed with AS (ankylosing spondylitis). Her lower spine is already fusing together and she now has a curvature on the upper spine L2 and L3. She is now receiving infusions every 6 weeks of Remicade and she has been put on every kind of pain killer, sleeping pills, anti-depression pills, etc. She is also on 120 mg of Cymbalta. Nothing has taken the pain away or made it even slightly better for her to be able to work. They seem to have just given up and told her to claim disability. At her age, depression is a big issue as she has pretty much been told she is not going to have a good life. I have been on Kadian for 18 years now for fibromyalgia and would not be able to function. I wonder if this medication would be able to help her for pain control at all. The doctor has just taken her off trazodone and Tramacet and has replaced it with Lyrica. Beats me!

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Comment from: paul, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 06

Sciatica for me turned out to be an easy fix. I had a severe case for a while, tried all kind of medications, and relief was very temporary. I found a stretching exercise that did the job; takes a couple of days but it worked. Now whenever I start to feel any pain I just repeat the exercise. Lie on your back, and whatever side the problem is on bring that knee with leg bent till its pointing at the ceiling. Then fold it over your body pulling down on it with the opposite hand stretching the nerve. Work it as much as you can stand, about a minute, then relax your leg and foot back to the floor. Then bend your leg to your chest and back to the floor 10 times. Repeat this twice a day, it really works.

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Comment from: Ladywriter1968, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 13

When I was in my early 30s my back went, was in agony for months on end. I was told I have degenerative disc disease of the spine, being 2nd disk from bottom, and nerve pinched causing sciatica pain down my leg, pins and needs in my foot. My foot would throb along with extreme back pain, my dad suffered the same thing before I did. I found swimming and exercise helped my pain, and walking, yoga as well, and weight loss back then. Since then I have had twinges now and then, but recently, which is like 15 years later, my back pain has returned very quickly with the same pain as years before but on my opposite side now. I have gained the weight back over the years and it's harder to lose now. Carrying extra weight around does not help and puts strain on the lower spine, by losing weight is not that easy either and keeping it off. It's worse when I am in bed early morning the pain. For me when I walk it eases off. Life sure is cruel, isn't it, for us suffering. I try to live a normal life as I don't want to let it beat me. But it does take willpower, and I am not on any pain killers as the ones I had before upset my tummy.

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Comment from: Miss bee, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 18

I have been living with degenerative disc disease (DDD) pain for 15 years. Only in the last year have I been diagnosed. I spent many years seeking treatment, physical therapy and pain relief, nothing has helped very much. I can no longer work because I cannot stand or sit for long periods and bending worsens my pain. I just try and manage the condition with heat, ice packs, stretching and accepting my limitations. It has been very difficult, but I rarely take medication anymore.

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Comment from: shellybell, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 16

I was 24 and sneezed before taking my 2 year old fishing for the first time. I felt a pop in my back. I had ruptured a disc! Since that day in 1992, I've had several surgeries, I've been diagnosed with severe arthritis of the spine, degenerative disc disease (haven't we all), several herniated discs, a new rupture (upper lumbar), and every diagnosis that comes with it under the sun, you know, narrowing of the canals and that sort of thing. I've been to several doctors and hospitals in hopes of something new over the years, but here I sit on disability, and in chronic pain. Well, I'm 49 now, and it's really getting old. I want to bounce my grandchildren. I don't want to live in a chair. I don't want to live in pain! Every time I turn sideways my middle back pops, and I get shooting pains down my legs. My back feels weak and unstable. I know I can probable do a little more, but I'm afraid, I feel so weak. My courage comes in waves. I get inspired, I go out determined to change things, and then I'm in agony! It doesn't matter how little I do, I pay for it for three days! The hip pain (my hips are fine, it's the nerves that run along the hips) is probably the worst. I sleep on my sides (can't really sleep on my back due to scar tissue from my first surgery) and flip flop all night. I should tell all of my fellow back pain sufferers that I bought a new gel pad mattress, 5 inches thick and it is amazing! It is the nicest thing I've done for myself in years. Lyrica definitely helps with the pain, but I've gained 30 pounds. I was a size 7 last year, and the extra weight is horrible for my back, besides the fact that I can't fit into any of my clothes. Enough whining for today. Thanks for listening.

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