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Hi and thank everyone for their answers and input.

I have received the results from my EMG. The doctor says I have radiculpathy as a result of the ddd in L5 as previously shown on an MRI. The nerve roots coming out from L5 are impacted from degeneration, as shown on the EMG, thus the sciatic nerve is compressed and causing the pain.

He says there is nothing that can be done and I have to learn to live with it!!!! He says to take the percocet, flexeril, tramadol (ultram), do whatever activity I can tolerate with the pain medication, etc. Altho that activity has been mostly lying around since December when the pain became intolerable, he says that is the worst thing I can do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I guess I'm now supposed to drug myself up and train for a marathon.

To say I am devastated is a vast understatement. This is the MOST unsympathetic doctor I have ever met. After delivering this news, he can barely wait to get out of the room. I asked if a neuro or ortho doctor would be an option and he said no.

My partner was with me and she heard that I'm supposed to take drugs and exercise. Today I am flat on the couch in pain again and truly don't care if I ever get up.

Hi hobbes. Gosh, I am really surprised that the doctor said not to bother seeing an ortho or neuro. Is this your family doctor? I can't imagine why he didn't think there was any help available to you.

I think you should make an appointment with an Orthopedic spine specialist (not a regular ortho) or a neurosurgeon(whose practice is mainly devoted to spinal issues) and take the results of the MRI and EMG with you. If the MRI is not fairly new, he may order another. These specialists are the best at reading MRI's, picking out things that others may have missed. He can then tell you what can be done to help you. An EMG is not the standard for deciding a treatment course. In fact, I have had 3 of them and all 3 were wrong. One missed nerve damage in my left leg, one showed no problem, and one said I had severe nerve damage in my left leg. I do have some nerve damage, but it is not severe. I'm not saying your results are wrong, only that they shouldn't be used to determine whether you can be helped.

I do hope you find a good surgeon who can help you with this. Please stay in touch.

I'm very surprised at what your doc said as jaw dropped. I am hoping it was not a pain management doc or spine specialist. I also think you need to find a new doctor, preferably a spine specialist that's an orthopedist or neurosurgeon that specializes in the spine. If you have insurance, and they allow it, please do see someone else. Depending on what's causing your compression, there are so many different things that can be tried. It just seems obvious that doc doesn't care about getting to the root of your problem. If it's caused by a disc herniation, there are many procedures to remove a herniation (some might only need laparoscopic surgery versus major surgery). If it's due to bone overgrowth, then the only thing that would help that is surgery to remove the bone.

It is true that when one gets "back pain", that it's better to rest only a couple days, then try to move around again. However, I'm not sure if that would apply to sciatica. I know what sciatica feels like and it's sheer agony. I know you can try to move all you want, but you can't.Many times things like this do resolve on their own, but normally they say if you have pain that's severe like yours for more than two weeks, it's time to see a doc. Looks like you've had yours at least 2 months. Please do remember, it is your body and you're the one that has to deal with the pain and problems that come along with it. You need to be your own advocate and if one doc isn't willing to help at all, then find another that will try to help you. There's never a guarantee that anything will help, but it's worth a try.

I wish I could give you some advise as to what could possibly help the pain, but I've never found a way myself until I've had an ESI. Even then , the pain relief doesn't necessarily last long.
I agree completely with what the other gals have said. Get up off the couch, go to your computer and look for a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon who devote their practice to issues of the neck and back. It is always a good idea to get more than one opinion when it comes to treating the spine. I would say, in your case, it is imperative.

People have decompression surgeries all the time for a disc that is pressing on a nerve. Perhaps there is some reason the doctor feels you cannot have surgery, but you need to check with some other specialists before accepting that "diagnosis" as FACT.

While you are waiting for the new appointment, you might try icing the area (lower lumbar area). You can use ice (or a cold gel pack) for 15-20 minutes every hour around the clock, if needed. It often works just as well as any medication.

Good luck. Back problems can be tricky. Sometimes it takes several or even many attempts before finding a doctor that can help your situation. Don't give up.
Thank you so much for your replies--my jaw dropped too when he said there was no use in seeing another type of doctor!! I couldn't believe it and I don't believe it still. I am going to actively research the doctors in my area for a neuro or ortho who specializes in back problems and get myself in to see one, taking along all copies of the tests I've had. The EMG and the MRI's clearly showed the L5 disc is pressing on the sciatic nerve and is the culprit, and there must be something that can be done. This is NOT a mysterious problem; it's clearcut. And yes, he is a pain management doctor, willing to just dole out percocet freely. The problem is up the road I'll need more and more percocet to manage the pain!! Plus I don't like the days I am forced to just lie on the couch in pain taking 8 percocet a day -- 1-1/2 every four to five hours. Then I am completely groggy and sleepy.

Again, thank you all for responding and for caring!! You can't imagine what it means to me to get such nice support when I feel so alone out here. I saw my therapist yesterday and her first response was "Get another doctor!"

Praise the Lord!!!!

Bless you all!!!.

BIG HUGS!!!!!!!:angel::angel:
Wow, I'm even more shocked it was a pain management doc that told you that! All the PM's I've seen provide many different ways to try to manage pain. I mean there are people who really do need percocet or other meds, maybe they are passed surgery, or can't have surgery, or don't want to, etc...I mean, most PM's that I know of really do a lot of ESI's, nerve blocks, even spinal cord stimulant implants, Rhizotomy, physical therapy, all sorts of different things and/or a combo of different things. There's no guarantee that any of these would work, but many people do find relief from them. When I get sciatica, the only thing that gives me a lot of relief are ESI's, but that's just me. I still take my meds, though.

I am happy that you're going to take our advice and find another doctor. Please do let us know if you ever have any other questions or want advice on anything, or even just to vent....we're all happy to lend our ears!

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