Is Surgery the Best Way to Fix Sciatic Nerve Pain? It Wasn’t for Me

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fix sciatica nerve pain
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I have a pretty long history of back problems, specifically sciatica.  This all dates back to 1999 when I was told that surgery was the best way to fix sciatic nerve pain.  As an active 27-year-old, I had back surgery, something I regret to this day.  I have had a lot of ups and downs over the years and in this post, I want to talk specifically about the year 2011 and get into the details of this very painful time in my life.

Ouch, that hurt!

There was nothing out of the ordinary about the day I heard and felt the “pop” in my lower back. I did something I had done probably 1000’s of times before.  I bent over to pick up my daughter.  She was five years old at the time.  All I did was bend over to pick her up!  I felt and heard a “POP” in my lower back.

I knew it right away, something had gone terribly wrong.  This was the only time in my life that I had ever felt and or heard anything like that.  Through all of my back problems, there is no instance I could point to that was the cause.  Well, that drastically changed with one routine action, the simple act of picking up my daughter did it to me.

I had been through a blown disc a few years earlier in 2009, but an inversion table fixed me right up and I was back on my feet a few months later.  In 2009 being out of commission for several months was tough, but one of the worst times dealing with sciatica was 2011.

I got this

In the aftermath of picking up my daughter, I thought I had this back pain stuff all figured out.  I hopped on my inversion table and figured I would be good to go in no time.  This time was different though.  After a few weeks, I was getting worse, not better.

One of the problems is that I was not using my inversion table the right way. Dealing with an injury, I should have eased into it and started at a shallow angle to see how my body would handle it.  Then over time increase the angle as I was able to.

Well, I didn’t know that at the time and I was doing more harm than good with the inversion table.  My angle was way too steep and I was trying to just power through the pain thinking I would get better.

Here we go again

I finally went to a pain clinic after one month of thinking I had all the answers.  Painkillers and physical therapy would be the prescription.  I had been down this path many times before.

For whatever reason, I have never responded to painkillers, and physical therapy had not worked for me in the past, as a matter of fact, PT had put me in a worse position way back in 1999.  This time was no different, painkillers, epidural cortisone shots, nothing worked.

Mind you, I was still going to work every day, even though I struggled to walk from the parking lot to my desk.  There were also days where I didn’t know if I would be able to make the 45-minute drive to work.  The pain was with me all the time!

Unless you have dealt with sciatic nerve pain, it is hard to describe the pain shooting all the way down my leg into my toes.  Getting dressed presented some serious challenges, and I couldn’t bend over to put my shoes and socks on.  I was a mess.

After all the pain meds and repeated attempts at steroid injections, the doctor finally presented me with one final option…SURGERY!

I said no thank you, I have been down this road before and I would just rather deal with the pain than have another back surgery. My first (and hopefully only) surgery did give me pain relief for several years, but then the pain returned over time.  I was not about to have that same experience again.

Anyway, after months of visiting the pain clinic, and no progress, months of driving to work wondering how I was going to get through the day, 16 months later the pain went away.  I literally woke up and it was gone.  No surgery, no more painkillers, no more injections, just like that the pain was gone.


I can’t tell you what the best way to fix sciatic nerve pain is, but now you know what my experience has been like.  Every person and back problem is unique and what works for one will not necessarily work for others.

This period of time was hard not only on me but on my family. The mood in the house was not always great, and chronic pain can have that effect.

After having back surgery 20 years ago, I should have done more research on maintaining a healthy back. So, I do take responsibility for my back problems over the years.  I relied too heavily on other people to tell me what to do.

I hope you can take something away from my experience and maybe you have a story you would like to share.  Maybe you have a similar situation or know someone who has dealt with this type of pain.

Please feel free to leave comments or questions below and I will get back to you soon.

You can also contact me directly.



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