How do you guys deal with Radiculopathy?
by smileyg, Oct 09, 2010
First of all thank you to all the wonderful folks who helped answer my earlier question on Lyrica. It really did help me out a lot. I have a new question for those who have suffered or are suffering with Radiculopathy. 6 months ago I noticed a burning in my right thigh where my leg bent. I thought I had pulled a tendon or ligament and tried treating it with alternate hot and cold for a couple of days but it gradually got worse and finally one morning I woke screaming and had to be taken to the er for the first time in almost 10 years. After a cat scan they diagnosed Radiculopathy, the first I'd ever heard of it. Though the horrible sharp pain eased, the burning under the skin and to the touch for a large part of my right thigh has never gone away and I've learned to live with it. Today it has struck my right foot from the ankle down. It is just dang on fire.

Is there relief other than another dang dang trip to the Dr. and more dang dang pills? I know the hot and cold doesn't work as they didn't touch the pain in my thigh. I've looked around online and see nothing but visit your Dr to find the underlying cause, lol, I know the underlying clause, L1 burst fracture, tumors on the spinal cord, bulging spinal cord, etc.

I am hoping for a rub or soak or something to ease this a bit. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. :)
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Member Comments (14)
by happyhbmom, Oct 10, 2010
No help :(  If you do ice, remember to ice your back, not your leg- reducing the swelling in the area where the pain is originating will help.  I do find heat on my legs helps some.

Do you have the really deep pain, like you can feel the ache in your spine?
by smileyg, Oct 10, 2010
Hi Happybmom good to see you. Today I looked at my arsenal of pain attack weapons and thought how very feeble they looked, lol, then went for a long soak in mineral salts and curling up in the fetal position with my memory foam wedge. :) And yes the pain goes deep in my back and my foot is burning like I dipped it in the deep fryer with the chicken. I am hoping by tomorrow that will ease off like my thigh did and just leave it feeling like bad sunburn. That I can live with.

When you say heat on your legs do you mean soaking like I did, heating pad or rubs? I'm thinking this is just one of those get through it till it's over times. Hope you are having a really good day and thank you.
by happyhbmom, Oct 11, 2010
I use my heating pad.  

Ugh, I'm a very unhappy camper this week!  I'm trying to reduce my meds and I think overall it will be good (I'm actually trying to switch back to fentanyl, but since fentanyl had such side effects, he thought I'd be better if I ramped up on it) but for now I'm miserable :(
by smileyg, Oct 11, 2010
I am sorry happymom :) Then let us be unhappy campers together. I decided we simply could not afford the Lyrica for now and am just going to take the 1/2 dosage until it is gone (couple more days) and go back to the cheaper stuff that doesn't work, lol. Last night was bad, today is bad, tomorrow will be bad, ya da ya da ya da. So right now I'm sending you good thoughts and wishing for small miracles to help you cope.
by JadedSweetheart, Oct 11, 2010
Other than epsom salt, I don't know of any other soaks that work well.  I get what I call "nerve burn" down my arm and in my neck sometimes.  I've recently developed a very strong burning pain in my upper back, near where the usual pain is and now I'm wondering if it's Radioculpathy as it sounds almost exactly like what you're talking about.  Like someone is holding a branding iron right there.  (Although not that bad)  It does feel like fire inside me, burning from the inside out.  
I originally thought it was some sort of organ pain as that's what it feels like.  It's a bummer that you can't continue the lyrica as I think a nerve medication is the only thing that helps that sort of thing.
I guess we can just call this our unhappy camping trip!
by smileyg, Oct 11, 2010
Hi Jaded :) Yes, it sounds like the Radiculopathy, I had never heard of it before and kept trying to tell the Dr at the er that yes my back was broken and yes it hurt, but the burning pain was in my THIGH. I've since learned quite a bit about it and realize how silly I must have sounded. If you are feeling it in your upper back and shoulder the nerve that is doing it is going to be higher than there like in your upper spine or neck. And you have the description of the pain spot on. It is a deep burn that is very powerful from the inside but at the same time the skin on the outside burns like a bad sunburn. Never had anything like that until the one in my thigh 6 months ago. The worst inside pain did ease off after a few days but the burn on the outside has stayed. They told me it can happen in other areas below the spinal injury so not to be surprised when it did. My foot has eased up since I posted, but just like my thigh the burning when you touch it is still there. Also feels a lot like it has tape or something wrapped tight around it. Akk describing pain to someone is like trying to draw a cow when neither one of you has ever seen a cow. lol. I hope you get some relief and if the pain is sharp I hope it eases up on you like mine did. :)

And I go back to the Dr tomorrow to tell him I need to go to something else besides the Lyrica. I have some suggestions from here written down to ask him about. I am very glad I came across this forum. Have a good night!
by cantfly, Oct 11, 2010
not sure if this helps but i find gabapentin good for nerve pain.
by JadedSweetheart, Oct 11, 2010
I have been diagnosed with herniated discs in my cervical spine and DDD.  I have had constant pain in my neck, base of skull, left shoulder/deltoid, and down the left arm.  

This new burning pain just below my shoulder blade has really bothered me.  I went to the ER about it, too, because I was afraid it was a raging kidney infection or some kind of organ pain and being pregnant I thought it was better safe than sorry.  They really just dismissed me without even looking at it and hooked me up to a fetal monitor to make sure I wasn't in labor.... seriously!  I thought it was so ridiculous but I do know they have to cover their rears.  I have since talked to both the PM doc and the OB and neither of them have a good answer for me either.  
I really hope it's not a new disc problem.  I am thinking (hoping) that it's a temporary problem caused by the extra weight on my spine or the shifting of internal organs putting pressure on that area.
I was taking topomax as a nerve med (I think it's an off-label but common use).  I had to stop it when I became pregnant but I plan on starting it again when the baby is born if the doctor agrees.  I do feel like it helped with some of the irritating nerve pain.  Nerve pain is one of the worst to me.  I have heard good things about neurontin and lyrica for nerve pain as well, but they didn't really work for me.  I'm thinking now I may not given them a good chance to work, but at the same time the topomax helped me with very little side effects so I will probably stick with that.
The burning pain goes away sometimes and other times it literally flares up.  For the most part it has been under control, though.  I'm really glad to get a better idea of what it may be, though, as it's been worrying me a good deal.  Thanks for telling me about it.  It feels less scary knowing other people have similar pain.
by happyhbmom, Oct 13, 2010
I take Topamax also.  I find it helps, but not nearly as well as the Lyrica did.  The Lyrica probably cut the pain by 80%.  The Topamax probably cuts it by 40-50%.