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Thread: Sciatica and farming

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    Sciatica and farming

    Just into week 3 of acute sciatica, has anyone any advice as to what can help or make this worse from a practical farming point of view, I imagine tractor driving is not helpful milking in a herringbone parlour seems ok so far.

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    Go and see your doctor, then get referred to a neurologist before it gets worse. At least, they can check it out for you. I speak from experience! You have my every sympathy. The worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. Do not neglect it!

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    Junior Member MR NODDY's Avatar
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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    Best advice I can give is to get it seen too ASAP. I didn't and it is now a recurring nightmare. If you have to keep working, which most of us do, give yourself plenty of variation, by that I mean don't stand for too long without sitting and don't sit for too long without standing and moving about. Currently waiting for a second caudal epidural, they work great but it comes back when they wear off.

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    Quote Originally Posted by Basic slag View Post
    Just into week 3 of acute sciatica, has anyone any advice as to what can help or make this worse from a practical farming point of view, I imagine tractor driving is not helpful milking in a herringbone parlour seems ok so far.
    18months ago I went to the GP about the sciatica pain in the lower half of my legs during evenings, usually at its worst after a lot of standing at work. First thing he said to me was I needed to loose weight!

    Lost about a stone in the first 8-10 weeks and the pain had started to subside, then lost another stone by late autumn. Went on the Fast diet, not difficult, just got to loose the 7lbs put on last month on holiday in Oz, plus another 3/4 stone to get about where I ought to be ideally. Sciatica pretty much gone now.

    ff

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    The only good thing about sciatica (if you see what I mean!) is that it's about the only time where soldiering on and trying to keep going is actually the right thing.

    Had a bad attack of it about four years ago, as stated above the pain was intense. Hit me early January, was really bad till about March, and then gradually declined over the next five or six months. Happily, while I still have a bit of hassle with it, haven't as yet had a re-occurence as severe as that first bad attack (touch wood) despite the "experts" telling me that I was basically fecked.

    Get it checked out and get some decent advice regarding exercises and stretches specific to your problem and it'll help no end. Maybe I was lucky but in my case it hasn't turned out to be anything like as bad as I was preparing for.

  6. #6

    Re: Sciatica and farming

    In my experience GPs are not much help, or at least weren't when I sought help 15-20 years ago. Things I have learnt over the years are:
    1. Don't use pain killers if you are working, you need to feel what hurts and what doesn't to avoid more damage.
    2. Keep moving, siting or lying around makes things worse.
    3. Don't use heat on injury until in recovery phase, it causes swelling making pressure on nerves worse. It feels good in short term but delays recovery.
    4. Use regular ice on the back injury, it helps reduce swelling and therefore reduces pressure on nerves. After 10mins ice you need to stretch back. Do this by laying on your back and hold you knees to your chest and rock to and fro on your back.
    5. Avoid spending more than short periods on a tractor (siting position for too long again).

    Those are the things that have helped me manage it over the last 20 odd years.

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    acupuncture, works a treat!!

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    You have my sympathy indeed. Some postcode areas have good NHS services and some don't. My friend used to get sciatica attacks and I couldn't believe it when we heard 'he can't get out of bed' but, fifteen years later, I know the pain can be so intense as to be unable to straighten out even. The temptation is to dose up on whatever painkiller is around - the GPs hand them out like sweets despite the side effects - and to keep going, but that is just daft. Acupuncture can seem miraculous but it needs a very skilled person and will not be cheap. The wait for NHS acupuncture here is a long one and I wouldn't trust them anyway. It's tough to look back on all the heavy objects one has hurled about with disdain, trenching heavy soil with a spade, carrying bulky materials for absurd distances, but that's what has to be done. Look back and yet still keep moving, without getting sour. I used to guarantee my best wall for a hundred years but that'll have to slide. I've not even been able to get back to where I left my tools when I left off five years ago. Maybe this summer!

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    My advice, based on experience, is to try a CHIROPRACTER, preferably a Mctimony Chiropracter.
    Unfortunately, they are not available on the NHS.

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    Try out an inversion table - Excellent video

    http://www.electronichealing.co.uk/products/f5000.htm

    There are more engines killed through lack of water than through lack of oil

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    I am very grateful to read of the expieriences of other sufferers,saw the Doc who put me on morphine straight away heading back to see him next week, agree with other posts that the pain is on a different level.

    Nice to read a hint of optimism amongst the advice given too.

    A Bientot.

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmer on a bike View Post
    In my experience GPs are not much help, or at least weren't when I sought help 15-20 years ago. Things I have learnt over the years are:
    1. Don't use pain killers if you are working, you need to feel what hurts and what doesn't to avoid more damage.
    2. Keep moving, siting or lying around makes things worse.
    3. Don't use heat on injury until in recovery phase, it causes swelling making pressure on nerves worse. It feels good in short term but delays recovery.
    4. Use regular ice on the back injury, it helps reduce swelling and therefore reduces pressure on nerves. After 10mins ice you need to stretch back. Do this by laying on your back and hold you knees to your chest and rock to and fro on your back.
    5. Avoid spending more than short periods on a tractor (siting position for too long again).

    Those are the things that have helped me manage it over the last 20 odd years.
    I was taking pain relief when I got the quad stuck. Struggled to push out and that night suffered the worst pain ever.
    A visit to the neurologist followed, also scan. Eventually got my "urgent" operation. I couldn't believe the immediate relief on coming round from anaesthetic. I still have no feeling in parts of left leg or foot, too much damage apparently, and still get twinges, but if they offer op, I would give it serious consideration.

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    I always used to recommend going for manipulation by an osteopath which has always worked for me.
    But A very big word of warning.
    My wife was made far worse by manipulation which actually caused severe damage and should never have been done to her.
    She went from knee pain to being nearly crippled and needed a surgery requiring a a steel brace inserted into her back
    she is still not where she was before the manipulation.

    anyone who thinks acupuncture will assist sciatica, has never had sciatica!
    Ixworth Solar Farming Ltd.

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    First developed sciatica after slipping a disc 25+ years ago and tried everything from traction, manipulation to total rest for a month but the only thing that had any real effect was valium.

    It appears that valium will stop the muscle spasms in your back that cause the sciatic nerve to become trapped, so now when I get that initial twinge I pop a few 5mg valium for a day or two and that fixes it.

    I did have an inversion table and that used to give me instant relief from sciatica but another spinal condition made further use of the table a big no no!

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    "anyone who thinks acupuncture will assist sciatica, has never had sciatica!" I was speaking hypothetically. I can vouch that it works on arthritis, and I'm diagnosed with both. I'm still looking for the chinese sage that I would trust to put needles an inch and a half deep over me kidneys for fifty quid a session. When I started walling a few people told me 'your back'll only last ten years'. It's the lifespan of a waller and one young lad we knew went at it top speed and only lasted six. I stretched it out to nearly twenty five by just working in the summer and using a daft japanese roller. The Ma roller! I would mark my height before the year's work and then during it. An inch and a half would disappear between now and July. Nobody would believe that but - here comes the summer, why not try it? One gadgee I was talking to in the Post Office told me he'd lost four inches to osteoporosis. I can remember him taller ...

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    Senior Member Bald Rick's Avatar
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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    Why suffer pain when you can take some pain relief? The only thing that gets me going in the morning is a dose of pills whilst I am on the "32 week" waiting list just to be seen by a specialist never mind the waiting list for a (hopefully) op.
    Sometimes that pain is so bad that all you can do is lie down on a hard surface and hope it goes away. Sciatica is especially bad when it gets in to the feet then walking is almost impossible.
    Weighlifters belt is a quick fix help. RDX off ebay for 26 & with you in a matter of days

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    Quote Originally Posted by mtoto View Post
    My advice, based on experience, is to try a CHIROPRACTER, preferably a Mctimony Chiropracter.
    Unfortunately, they are not available on the NHS.
    This is what I have been doing every 3 months or so for last couple of years, seems to do more good than any of the many GP's I seen, all they wanted to do was give me pills which were great apart from the side effects couldn't work as I could hardly stay awake! they just knocked me out!

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    I once had a 6 week stretch where I could not lift a zimmer frame in front of me - Pain killers = 8 x 400 mg ibuprofen per day only encourages more damage

    Isn't morphine WONDERFUL
    There are more engines killed through lack of water than through lack of oil

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    More farming less sitting at computer helps....and naproxen when you get a bout.

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    Senior Member Huffy's Avatar
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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    I can only agree with Courier about Inversion tables . I had a trapped nerve in the lower back for 10 yrs or more and odd trips to phsio etc but one day I leaned over and to the side and had the most intense pain down my leg that resulted in sciatica . Made me not able to sleep for best part of a week and I could hardly walk , painkillers didnt touch it.
    Ragwort bless him , suggested an Inv Table and I bought a second hand one a day later .
    My physio ( Cousins wife) says they work in exactly the right way allowing your own body weight to put traction on your discs and release trapped nerves whilst pulling your spine back into line again. But another physio told me they were not to be recommended , although I am not sure if that was from a safety issue or the fact I might not return to hand over another 30

    Obviously not for everyone but I can now stand and sit and am 100%, as long as I am careful.
    Any twinges and i got straight on it - works wonders
    Never ever thought I would say that again

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    Sounds nasty and painful hope it starts to improve soon, just wanted to mention about a gel I use called bio freeze, can buy it in boots. I suffer arthritis and tendinitis and this stuff does help me, don't like taking pills so in flair ups allot of the time can mean avoiding taking them. I know it's not the same as what you have but it might be something to help ease it a bit.

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    Quote Originally Posted by Courier View Post
    I once had a 6 week stretch where I could not lift a zimmer frame in front of me - Pain killers = 8 x 400 mg ibuprofen per day only encourages more damage

    Isn't morphine WONDERFUL
    Morphine really helps but I made the mistake of dosing up on it to get me through silage making,.........oh boy did I pay for it in the days and nights that followed!!
    Swimming has been suggested as a good therapy.

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    Quote Originally Posted by Basic slag View Post
    Morphine really helps but I made the mistake of dosing up on it to get me through silage making,.........oh boy did I pay for it in the days and nights that followed!!
    Swimming has been suggested as a good therapy.
    My wife has found the same. She was not a keen swimmer before but now does 500 yards a day and swears it helps
    Ixworth Solar Farming Ltd.

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    It scares me stiff to read some of the posts on this thread!

    See your doctor and get referred to a neurologist. These days they can do an MRI scan on the NHS and quickly decide what the problem is and whether they can fix it.

    When I was in hospital with a similar problem, visitors told me to go to a manipulator and not agree to surgery. The surgeon explained that that could cause irreparable damage and they (the surgeons) would not be interested in attempting a repair if I took that route.

    Following their advice, I was in hospital for six weeks and had decompression surgery. While I am still not 100% fit forty years later, I am fine to do most things. Incidentally, a recent long drive in a LR Defender put me out of action for a while. I've since changed the seat (Exmoor trim) and had no more trouble.

    Neglect your health at your own risk. How well will you manage from a wheel chair?

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    Senior Member Huffy's Avatar
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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    It does of course depend on what exactly is your condition ,and Dry Rot is right to be alarmed .
    If the O P has a bulging disc which has trapped the sciatic nerve , then ultimately you have got to persuade the bulged disc to return to its right position .
    Posture , weight and other factors dont help either , plus the fact we shrink from our height when we get up to when we go to bed at night , due to all the downward force gravity exerts.
    All extra pressure on our discs and any nerve thats in the way.
    Thats why Inversion tables are naturally helpful, by taking the pressure off discs and allowing bulging discs to eventually return back to their normal position.
    They feel a bit extreme to start with but once you are used to them - very therapeutic

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    When ever nerves are concerned be very very careful. My wife had a herniated disc a number of years ago which was operated on unsuccessfully, twice in a week. It has left her with permanent foot drop and mild (?) sciatic type pain. She was one of the unlucky 1% for whom the op went wrong. Given the choice now she would have tried some other things before she went down the surgical route, the main one being physiotherapist led pilates. The physio led bit being very imprtant as the instructor must be able to choose and alter exercises to suit the problem. Her weekly sessions give her more long lasting relief than most of the tablets she has to take every day and infact has allowed her to reduce the dose of some of these drugs by almost 50% over the last 18 months

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    Senior Member le bon paysan's Avatar
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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    Bon soir B.S.
    Traction worked for me, Doc sent me to Limoges. Could not work out why it would not clear up quickly,Doc sent me for MRI scan and that showed I needed a new hip. Get it checked.

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    I also suffer from Sciatica, though mine manifests in (i) A dull ache, (ii) unable to lift feet when walking over rough ground/grassland & (iii) exhaustation/extreme tiredness.
    Plus I def get gie crabbit.
    Only occasionally get "stoons" of pain.
    I find it is very very related to the position I work in.
    I cannot work bent over, I rather sit on the floor or ground, and for extreme provocation, try leaning into a car engine bay over the bumper, which in part is related to how I hurt it(one very specific occassion, when 20ish)
    But strangley shovelling or sand stones with a longtail shovel and a straight back, despite the rotation almost seems to help it, or it did.

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    In Wales at least MRI scans cost NHS doctors practise 1K for each one ,so you have to fight hard to get one.
    Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.

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    Re: Sciatica and farming

    Quote Originally Posted by skoda View Post
    In Wales at least MRI scans cost NHS doctors practise 1K for each one ,so you have to fight hard to get one.
    Yeah, my doc has quoted me 10,000 for an MRI & Op (if necessary) if I elect to go private. Doesn't he realise that equates to 7 heifers???

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