General Question

wickedbetty's avatar

What kind of treatment should I seek for intense nerve pain along my butt and hamstring?

Asked by wickedbetty (371 points ) November 20th, 2009

Last night I noticed that my lower back and butt were kind of hurting. This morning I woke up and went to my personal trainer and on the very first exercise, a squat, I had EXCRUCIATING PAIN shooting down my left butt cheek and all the way down to my feet. It was the worst pain I think I have ever felt. I had to not even put my foot on the ground because it hurt so bad. I am 23, fairly active, fit, and healthy. I have no idea what this is, or what is causing it and I need advice of what to do to get better! PLEASE HELP ME!

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10 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Sound like sciatica. Call your GP, and he may prescribe Physical Therapy.

wickedbetty's avatar

@pdworkin can a chiropractor fix that?

dpworkin's avatar

I don’t know enough about chiropractic to say. I have had physical therapy for similar complaints, though.

gailcalled's avatar

Sciatica requires 1) a diagnosis and then 2) an individually-designed course of treatment.

My friend is going to PT twice a week; she gets heated, massaged with ultra-sound and then led through gentle stretching exercises. They are gradually getting less gentle and she is gradually starting to feel better

It is something you don’t magically cure. I would say that chiropractic is not the way to go.

timothykinney's avatar

I have sciatica. It’s a chronic condition that depends on my activity level. It is exacerbated by certain diet (drinking heavily) and certain medications (ciprofloxacin). I take ibuprofen for the pain and try to do the following:

1) Some kind of exercise where I am moving my body in different directions (raquetball is better than jogging).

2) Stretching! (VERY important). But DON’T stretch the hamstrings, this will make it worse. Instead, stretch the back by twisting carefully. Stretch the hip flexors.

3) Exercise the abdominals, including the transverse abdominals (the sides).

4) Get plenty of B-vitamins in my diet or via supplements, especially if I’m drinking (since alcohol leaches water soluble vitamins out of you).

This advice is based on my experience living with sciatica for several years. I’ve also discussed it with a room mate who is a licensed and practicing physical therapist and with a yoga instructor who focuses on sports performance and injury recovery. They both advised stretching and strength-building above all.

It flares up about once a month and usually goes away if I treat it carefully. Sometimes it will last as long as a week. Taking ibuprofen twice a day for two or three days will usually stop these long- flare-ups which seem to be looping in some kind of swelling feedback.

Note that there are many reasons for sciatica. It is a symptom, not a disease. So you should check that you don’t have a herniated disc or pinched nerve, etc..

ubersiren's avatar

It sounds like nerve impingement, and in that area sounds to me like it could be two things. The more common is sciatica (piriformis syndrome) as others above have mentioned. The other is a slipped disk pinching on a nerve.

Massaging the area can loosen the muscle that’s pinching the nerve. I know, massaging on and around the butt sounds weird, but it can be done over a sheet or through clothing, and it may be worth looking into. There are also stretches you can do. There’s no harm in massage (physically) but if you think it would hurt, of course don’t do it.

I would advise caution about going to a chiropractor in this particular case- A friend of mine was having the same symptoms as you are, and he went to a chiropractor and the pain was so bad that he passed out. He told the chiropractor that it was hurting badly, but the chiropractor insisted that it was ok and kept going.

But, don’t take my word for it! Talk to your doctor.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I suffer with pinched sciatic nerves and found Acupuncture is a quick fix because it deals with nerves. Pain meds and muscle relaxers don’t do much for me and massage though it feels fantastic to every bit of my body, it doesn’t relieve the irritation to that nerve. A lot of insurance plans allow for Acupuncture and if not then look up local schools for discounted offers, once you try it then there’s a good chance you’ll be seduced by the endorphin rushes.

wildpotato's avatar

If all else fails, there’s epidurals. But try everything else first.

wickedbetty's avatar

I found out I have periformis (sp?) syndrome. Massage and stretching help a lot, acupuncture is AMAZING.

gailcalled's avatar

I am happy you have a diagnosis (pIriformis syndrome) and an effective course of treatment.

(However, you should know how to spell it since it is now your syndrome and has caused you EXCRUCIATING PAIN.)

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