I just got through telling my fibro doctor last week that I don't want to treat my sciatic pain with medication because it's so unpredictable and quick, that I am just trying to cope with the pain as it occurs as best as I can and wait until the lightning pains subside. I never know if it's going to last for seconds, minutes, or hours, but most often it's seconds. Most frequently, the sciatic pain is in the back of my right thigh and buttock, no lower than my knee and usually no higher than my butt. I take enough pills and meds for the fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, sleep problems, asthma, and all that stuff. I figured one more pill might not be a big deal, but it's money I likely won't be able to judge as well spent if I can't tell whether it's preventing or reducing these quick pains. Not worth it unless it starts firing constantly again, like it did right after the car accident that seems to have started all these ills.
My sacroiliitis, however, is more on my left side, and in my hip, around to my lower back on the left side. Well, right this second, my left hip and lower back are firing lightning-style pains into me and making me jerk in surprise, much like the sciatica usually does. This is not good. The left hip usually aches in a dull, inflammatory kind of way, sometimes more than others. What is this new, intensely painful shock-like pain now? Is this sacroiliitis or is this some variation of sciatica on the other side? Can sciatica fire upwards from the buttocks, rather than just down into the leg? I've had my left leg feel the same kind of lightning pains as the right, but much less often than the right. And right now, the leg is not being affected. It's very much nerve-like pain and I feel it deep in the pelvic bone and up a bit in the back.
When my doctor and I discussed both of these problems a week ago, he poked and prodded me a lot to see how my nerves, reflexes, strength, and tenderness are in the piriformis and sacroiliac areas, down through my legs and feet. The tenderness testing supported his left-side sacroiliitis diagnosis and the sciatic nerve impingement on the right by the piriformis muscle (a thin muscle that stretches diagonally across each buttock). (Wow, I've never the word "buttock" so many times in one post before.) Anyway, he also made a passing suggestion, before all the poking around, that I may want to get (another) MRI or scan of my sciatic nerve areas, in case there is something really wrong.
Since this isn't really a new symptom, and since tests are a pain in the buttocks (hee) for chronically ill people like myself, I declined. Now I'm not sure I should have declined so quickly. I guess I'm tired of having to go through all the trouble of making the test appointment, scheduling my work around it, enduring the IV poking (which almost always takes multiple tries) and waiting around for the results, which usually find nothing of any interest. You other fibro people reading this, I know you know where I'm coming from. You want to hear something other than "everything looks fine" after being tested. I don't think they have the right tests out there for us yet. Until then, it feels like a bunch of trouble for nothing.
Anyway, if you can relate to these new, shock-like pains that are firing from the hip up into the lower back, toward one side, let me know about it. If I have a hint of what it's called or how to sit or what to do to ease or prevent it, I'll be happy.