I need a good sciatica treatment.

by Joseph
(Phoenix)

I have been a truck driver for 30 years and never had a problem but in the last six months I have started having pain in my left buttock whenever I drive for more than 3 hours. If I keep driving the pain will run down into my thigh and sometimes past my knee. It does get better when I get out of my truck and walk around for little bit but when I'm driving I don't have time to be stopping all the time. My company bought me a new seat for my truck but that seemed to make the problem worse.

I need to know what I can do and please don't tell me I have to quit driving my truck. I have to drive for 10 more years before I can retire.

Thank you in advance for your help,
Joseph



Joseph,
I am sorry to hear that you are having so much trouble. I know how hard it can be when you need to work and have pain.

You don't mention any back pain associated with this. Do you have back pain? Or is it only in your buttock? You also don't say if you have talked to your doctor about this. Have you had any x-rays or an MRI of your left hip or of your lumbar spine?

Because you do not have any pain with walking, I would expect the x-rays to be negative and not show very much except for possibly some early arthritis in your hip or your back. I only mention arthritis because I think you are probably at least 50 years old and everyone over 50 years old has at least a little arthritis in their back and hips.

An MRI would be interesting to see if it shows any stenosis, or narrowing of the space for the nerves, in your back. This could be what is causing your discomfort.

Something else to consider is "wallet sciatica". Do you carry a wallet in your left back pocket? Sometimes men who carry a wallet, especially a large wallet, in their back pocket and sit for hours at a time will develop sciatica because of that wallet pressing on the sciatic nerve.

And, the longer you sit the worse it will get. And, as soon as you get up and walk around a little the pain goes away, just as you describe. If you carry a wallet find someplace else to carry it and see if that makes a difference.

You can read about sciatica exercises at Exercises for Sciatica and this page has some videos that demonstrate exercises for sciatica.

Have you tried any medications? Over the counter anti-inflammatories may be helpful but they can bother your stomach or kidneys so make sure and talk to your doctor first. Narcotics are probably not a good option for you because the only time you have pain is when you are driving and using narcotics when you are driving is not a good idea. Narcotic use may also be against your company's policy and it can affect your truck driving license.

Well Joseph, I hope this helps. I would suggest that you move your wallet if you have one and start doing some stretching exercises. If after a few weeks of doing the stretches every day consistently you probably need to talk to your doctor about an MRI for a more complete evaluation.

Please write us a note and let us know how you are doing because we really do care.
Good luck,
Dave


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