Sciatica, ouch! Is it ms?

Hi everyone, Haven’t been on here for a while, but ithis site was a really big help when I was first diagnosed about 5 years ago. Things have been ticking over fairly quietly with just fairly minor symptoms, but today i’ve suddenly been struck with awful acute sciatica pain in my lower back and down my right leg. It struck out of the blue when I was getting into my car, and is still exquisitely painful! Not too bad when i’m sitting still, but when I try and stand up i’m like an old woman. I’m assuming it’s related to ms as it is the sciatic nerve that’s giving me pain, but I can’t see an obvious s link when I google it. Does anyone out there have any answers? I’ve taken naproxen (an nsaid) and my usual lyrica for neuropathic pain, but still horribly painful, like nothing i’ve ever experienced before, and I,ve had 3 children! (ok they were caesarians under spinal, but still…) Has anyone else had similar pain? How long did it last? Did anything help? Do you think it’s ms? A Thanks in advance, Gilly H xxx

Hi I had sciatica around 5 years long before my CIS attack! Or maybe it was related who knows but anyways worse pain I have ever experienced go to docs for some painkillers and def see a physio as excersises do help it…I tried various other thing massage etc but only time seemed to heal it, it took around 3 months but hopefully yours won’t last as long! I can totally sympathise :frowning: good luck and hope it improves soon! Emma x


Firstly never assume that something new is due to your MS. Get it checked out. Sciatica can be caused by a slipped disc in the lumbar spine and physio can definitely help with it.

It can also be cause by MS. I get sciatica as a result of spasms in my piriformis muscles which are the muscles that run sideways across your buttocks. Because my sciatic nerve lies between the muscle layers uinstead of under them (a normal variation) it gets squashed by the spasms and then gets inflamed. Yep, hurts horribly

I have physio and massage for it which sort of helps but it is very diffrent physio than the sort you would have if the sciatica was being caused by a lumbar disc problem so it is important to get it properly diagnosed.

In the meantime don’t lie down and rest it. Try and keep moving as much as you can and use an anti-inflammatory and see if an ice pack helps too.

Hope it settles soon. It is a miserable pain.

In sympathy,


Thanks both for your replies, it’s no better this morning. Haven’t tried to get out of bed yet but just sitting up was excruciating. hubby is making me some coffee then I will get up, but horrible pain when I try and move, never had pain like it :frowning: Will call nhs direct later I think, to see if they can suggest anything, and carry on with the painkillers i’ve already got. Hope it doesn’t last 3 months like yours did Emma! Did it get a bit easier over that time? Please say it did! I understand what you’re saying about keep moving B, but can’t imagine being able to go to work if it’s still like this on Monday. Cheers, Gx

I have had it a few times,once for 4 months,painkillers didnt even begin to touch the pain,i was ok once i got up and moving but trying to get up and stand,and anything that meant moving and lifting my leg was awful,i would get some physio that may help. its such a painful thing to have,hope you get some relief from it.

jaki xx

Hi just remembered something else that really helped was those heat pads you can buy from chemist that you put in the microwave that helped me worth a try and hope it eases for you soon…Emma x

And I found the only thing that eased mine was test but some people say keep moving you just have to do what works take care x

Sorry should have said rest!!!

Hi Once the naproxen kicked in after I got up the pain did ease a little, and I’ve been able to potter about tidying up a bit (with 3 teenagers and me working all week house does tend to get a little bit messy!) apart from bending over i’ve managed ok. Think the pills have worn off now though :frowning: It did start with a ‘spasmy’ feeling in my lower back, perhaps what brog describes, and yes, lifting my leg like Jaki says is awful, but i also wonder if it could be a lesion on the sciatic nerve causing it? Will ring ms nurse next week if no better. Cheers all, off to pop some more pills now Gx

I really doubt it would be a lesion on the actual sciatic nerve. MS causes lesions in the Central Nervous System, ie brain, spinal cord and optic nerves and the sciatic nerve is what is called a peripheral nerve as it starts outside the CNS.

Far more likely to the result of a mechanical problem either due to a disc bulge or a secondary MS problem due to muscle spasms or if your walking is badly affected by the MS a wonky gait pattern could also be impacting on the sciatic nerve.

But whatever the cause it needs to be assessed properly so the correct physio can be started.

If you have a pilates ball sitting on one of them can help too

All the best


Hi Gilly

Hope your pain is getting easier, as I practitioner I recomend getting it looked at, as mentioned it might not be the ms, sciatica is not a diagnosis but a sign the nerve is being irritated/compressed in some way and this can be a number of things, such as joint, disc or muscle, a practitioner can assess these with tests putting you in a better position to treat it or manage it, or they maybe able to direct you to someone who can help.

Keep moving

Francis Connor

I use a TENS machine I had sciatic pain last year which lasted for a few months, I kept dong everything but had my machine on, just an idea.

Before I was diagnosed with MS I ran to the doctor for months and kept being told I have Sciatica I dont know If the two are linked

I was diagnosed with ms in 2016. Christmas last year (2017) i was told i had scoatica it went after a while but its come back ate the 2 related has any1 rlse had any ltoblems. Im being out in dmt’s in the next mo th or so for ms so dont want to go and get oain killers from a doctor just yet. Any1 have any suggestions on what csn help ive been told bouncing on a maternity ball may help any ideas?

Dear B, my worse pain runs across my buttocks. All day and every day. I felt this pain long before I was diagnosed with MS. I have always put it down to gynae stuff and it is hard to explain, so the doctors etc seem to not take it seriously. I know that you can’t diagnose, but do you think that this could be MS related.? (MRI shows that my spine/disks are good)

i also have painful and constant sciatica, at first, I thought it was a running injury. My doctor said to take more pain killers and keep running with the pain. Do you all think that this is good advice? Cheers Ali

i got sciatica years ago, trying to dig up stubborn roots in garden (more able days!) Best thing I found was a good massage therapist. Doctor just said take paracetamol and gave me exercises. But the masseur - she fixed it!!

Surely running through the pain is the worst idea as it could make it worse i no you should keep active but take it easy i have sciatica and ms ive read sciatica is very common in people with ms i also read that using an exercise ball that pregnant women use can help the pain i havnt tried this my self yet but im gonna give it a go.