Back Pain Forum

Back Pain => Sciatica => Topic started by: minnow on August 16, 2007, 09:55:29 PM

Title: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: minnow on August 16, 2007, 09:55:29 PM
I am 30, 5"2, 55kg and active (walk 45mins each morning, yoga and physio excercises daily + have reasonably active research job) - although I used to be much more active before the pain became this bad!!. Quick history - 6 knee surgeries (including patella femoral realignment, acl and couple of lateral releases) on left knee, one arthroscope on right. Started getting back pain during this sugery process, progressed to full-blown constant sciatica for last 6 years. Constant pain in back, hip, radiating pain in leg and pins and needles down leg to foot (all on right side). Tried physio, pilates, yoga, bowen therapy, massage, remedial massage, acupuncture, chinese massage, painkillers, anti-inflammatories and real-time ultrasound. Referred to a pain-management specialist and just had epidural steriod injections - not successful and now have been put on gabapentin to try to calm the nerve pain down so that I can get some pain relief and therefore build on the real-time core muscle work I have been trying to do. Question - anyone else tried gabapentin and what success rate + any side effects? Any other suggestions? Am slowly going mad! Thanks in advance
Title: Re: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: Steve Lockhart on August 17, 2007, 04:11:35 AM
Hi Minnow, sounds to me like the 6 knee surgeries would have totally screwed up your balance and thrown your pelvis out. Hopefully the treatments you have been getting have been focusing on getting your leg muscles functional again and then your pelvis rebalanced. I'd be staying right away from the doctors and their drugs and surgery if you possibly can before they render you unfixable.

Just my opinion. Sorry I have very little knowledge or interest in knowing about the drugs.

Regards
Steve
Title: Re: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: diane on August 18, 2007, 01:29:07 AM
Hi
Gabapentin is an anti-epileptic drug which acts on the central nervous system.

My sister was recently prescribed this drug for the same reason as you. She suffered an adverse reaction to it, and was very unwell.

Gabapentin has numerous side effects, check it out on Google, & decide if you really need this chemical in your body.

Regards
Diane.

Title: Re: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: minnow on August 19, 2007, 06:47:43 PM
Hi Steve and Dianne
Thanks for your replies. I too have very little interest in drugs and only tried anti-inflammatories this year (after suffering for 6years) - it happened to be the one just taken off the market so thankfully that put an end to my brief flirtation - they didn't work anyway. My mum is a chinese medical practitioner so my family has always advocated a more natural approach to medicine in addition to meditation and visualisation. I have had synvisc injections in my knees this year also and have had an amazing response which along with the knee excercises have allowed me to walk properly again. So yes my therapists and I have been working on addressing the muscle inbalances. The back is different - nothing I have tried has worked (Even though I am working with real-time ultrasound to teach me how the inner core muscles work and strengthen my inner abdominals and pelvic floor.) Since I posted I have had side-effects and lots of them. I hate the stuff BUT for the first time in 6years my pain level is at a 1 out of 10 instead of the usual 7-10 depending on the day (it never drops below 7). I have to go back and see the doctor because I am not happy with the side-effects. So they will probably take me off it and then (while happy to be off the drug) I will be back to square one - taking the stupid drug and having the pain go proved that it is nerve pain so what else can I do when nothing else has worked? Dianne what has your sister done now? Has she found anything that worked?
Title: Re: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: diane on August 19, 2007, 07:55:33 PM
Hello Again
You can check out what my sister has done (to no avail) if you read the August Health Letter, yes, Geraldine is my sister.

Geraldine & I have had similiar problems, as did our mother & her mother. After working in all facets of nursing for 43 years, I know to keep away from surgery & prescription drugs, unless they are the very last resort.

I too, have tried just about every other therapy though, the best, however, has been TCM herbs & acupuncture. The acupuncture relieved alot of painful blockages in the muscles.

In conjuction with Steve's program & using the Sportsmed Micro I am gradually reclaiming my life again.

Gabapentin may be of some value in the short term, relieving your nerve pain. However, in regard to any drug, be aware that if you are advised not to suddenly stop taking it, read that you may experience a side effect if you do, or that it is addictive. Either way, you will need to be gradually weaned off of it!

Best Wishes
Diane
Australia

Title: Re: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: Steve Lockhart on August 19, 2007, 08:47:39 PM
Hi Minnow,
On the comment that you are using ultrasound to isolate muscles and activate them in your exercises, keep in mind that regardless of what you do there, when you stand up and walk or sit for long periods the weight of gravity will force the imbalances to resurface. If your pelvis is not sitting level the important thing is to identify which muscles are causing the imbalance and work on them even though they may be in a totally different part of the body to where you feel pain.
Regards
Steve
Title: Re: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: Gareth321 on November 05, 2007, 02:10:01 PM
Hi all I'm new here,I can't really sit at my pc chair for too long as my back and right leg is in agony,I had an accident at work about 3 weeks ago and fell out of a trailer at an abbatoir.

I don't know where to turn,I've had hardly any sleep since the accident due to pain,and I feel as if I'm no good to no one at the moment :(

I'm taking Celebrex tablets and other painkillers at the moment,but they arn't making an impression.
All I want is a good night sleep,has anyone please got any help for me?

Take care
Gareth
Title: Re: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: Steve Lockhart on November 05, 2007, 06:08:00 PM
Hi Gareth, sorry to hear that mate, it sounds like you have a disc problem which can be tricky. Have you tried the lying position where you lie on your back on the floor (carpeted) and put your calf's on the seat of a hard chair. That position can tractio the lower vertebrae a bit and often is the best position for sciatic problems.

Are you getting treatment, and if so which one?

Hang in their as I am sure you will improve with time.

Regards
Steve
Title: Re: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: Gareth321 on November 06, 2007, 11:58:03 AM
Hi Gareth, sorry to hear that mate, it sounds like you have a disc problem which can be tricky. Have you tried the lying position where you lie on your back on the floor (carpeted) and put your calf's on the seat of a hard chair. That position can tractio the lower vertebrae a bit and often is the best position for sciatic problems.

Are you getting treatment, and if so which one?

Hang in their as I am sure you will improve with time.

Regards
Steve
Your joking? I can't even manage to lift my right or left leg above a couple of inches off the carpet without screaming out.
As for treatment I'm on a waiting list at the hospitol right now, yeah I hope it'll get better quickly as I'm not being paid fully whist not at the Slaughter House

Do you know if I can take more than 6 X 200g Ibuprofen tablets,6 paracetamol tablets and 2 celebrex aday for the pain?

Cheers Steve
Title: Re: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: Steve Lockhart on November 08, 2007, 03:21:55 AM
Best ask your doctor the drugs question Gareth.

It sounds like you might have some real problem unless it is just a case of you putting a joint out when you fell. This could cause those symptoms. Have a scan if you haven't already and make sure they know what is wrong exactly before doing anything drastic.

Good luck,
Steve
Title: Re: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: Gareth321 on November 10, 2007, 11:27:44 AM
I can't take Ibuprofen whist taking Celebrex,I've had a home visit by the DR, I can't even dress myself without someone helping me. I feel sick with the pain plus I'm getting refered pain the DR said in my shoulder and the side of my neck.I'm really fed up now cos I'm not getting much sleep at night.
I'm having to use them baby wipes to clean myself as I can't even get up my stairs to the bathroom. Will the pain calm down say after afew more weeks? I mean nothing can be this painful for that long.
Title: Re: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: Steve Lockhart on November 10, 2007, 03:36:48 PM
It really depends what is wrong Gareth. It becomes a bit less predictabe when you do it from a fall. I would be hedging my bets though and speaking to other therapists besides the doctor. See if you can get a good referal from friends or any high profile sports people you know. Don't think about manipulation though.

Regards
Steve
Title: Re: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: Gareth321 on November 12, 2007, 05:58:08 AM
It really depends what is wrong Gareth. It becomes a bit less predictabe when you do it from a fall. I would be hedging my bets though and speaking to other therapists besides the doctor. See if you can get a good referal from friends or any high profile sports people you know. Don't think about manipulation though.

Regards
Steve
I've heard from the hospitol today,February 11th 2008 my appointment,absolute stupid the NHS,I mean 3 months!! It has turned cold the weather aswell and I can't even afford to have my heating on cos I'm off work, I am having to virtually live in my living room and have blankets round me to keep warm in the night.My pain is still just as bad as day one,and now I am getting big boils on the back of my neck and actual back,probably cos of using these wipes or cos I'm run down on tablets? Plus Christmas is not that far away and I'm whittling about that aswell. I've been rubbing Ibulive gel on my lower back,buttocks,shoulder and neck to give me some kind of comfort.
Title: Re: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: Steve Lockhart on November 12, 2007, 06:08:02 PM
Gareth, don't they have workers compensation insurance where you work. They should be supporting you if it was an accident at work. Were do you live? I need to know so I don't ever move there.

It sounds like your out joint wise so perhaps you need to start investigating that, your SI joint perhaps. There is quite a bit of info on the net and even youtube about that problem and much more likely with a fall. When the pain never changes and is so bad it is a clue as musclular problems will settle with rest.

Sorry to hear you are in such a bad way but I wouldn't be holding my breath that the hospital will provide any magic cure.

Cheers
Steve
Title: Re: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: Gareth321 on November 14, 2007, 04:50:53 AM
They don't want to know Steve,they told me to "F" off and not come back,I don't want to cause any aggro with them cos these guys drink alot and cos they kill animals all day they woudn't think twice on starting on me.Yesterday morning I got my Credit Card bill and the minimum payment is 283,I can't see no way out really from my predicament.


Regards
Gareth
Title: Re: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: Steve Lockhart on November 14, 2007, 12:32:57 PM
Hmmm, I'd still go to the labour dept or whaever it is called in the UK and let them deal with it. You don't have to see the employers again about it. At least they might put you on benefits for the time being.

I'd call the CC company and explain your predicament. They will work something out there.

Check out the SI Joint info on the net as I suggested and go that way initially to see how you go because if that is the problem it can be like turning a light switch off.

Good luck,
'Steve
Title: Re: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: Gareth321 on November 24, 2007, 02:26:50 PM
I had to have an amblulence 2 days ago,they did all sorts of tests on me,I had to lay in a cat scan tunnel thing,I couldn't hear what they were saying clearly cos of my pain for over an hour aswell,not nice at all,they have found out my problem and I have one crushed disc and 5 prolapsed discs. I will never work again they said.
All they can do is give me injections into the bottom of my spine to relieve my pain four times a year that is.
I don't think I can take much more of this,I can apply for Incapacity they said to help me with an income
Title: Re: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: Steve Lockhart on November 24, 2007, 06:08:26 PM
I would be filing a claim against your employers insurance as well Gareth. They couldn't do much worse to you.
There are operations where they can remove discs and even insert artificial ones so you need to do more research on it and present things to the surgeons rather than let them fob you off with such a negative prognosis. You will find lots of info on the net. At least if you have the employers insurance paying you can get expert care and they will be able to do a lot for you. Go and see an experienced compensation solicitor and see what they say, you can put the whole thing in their hands and never have to deal direct with your employer.

Good luck,
Steve
Title: Re: Gabapentin and the treatment of chronic neuropathic sciatic pain
Post by: mjb on December 01, 2007, 09:42:57 AM
Hi Gareth,
You talk about the NHS so you must be in UK. Where do you live? If you're anywhere near North Dorset, I could come and see you and see if I can help release any muscles that are in spasm. I've had to work on people on the floor and wedged in chairs so I'm sure we could manage something.

Regards Megan