Sciatic pain and aching associated with influenza


by Ivan Seeking
Tags: aching, influenza, pain, sciatic
Ivan Seeking
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#1
Jan9-08, 02:44 AM
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About ten years ago I began to experience leg cramps [really more of a severe ache] and sciatic pain in conjuction with moderate to severe bouts of the flu. And I don't mean discomfort, I mean crawling-out-of-my-skin pain. I've had three bouts like this in total, with yesterday being one of the most miserable days of my life.

I assume that this results from inflamation, but inflamation of what, and why? Or, is there something besides inflamation that would cause this?

Asprin or Tylenol don't even begin to take off the edge. Today I started on an anti-inflammatory in addition to NyQuil, which did finally help.
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jim mcnamara
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Jan9-08, 12:25 PM
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Note: this is not intended to diagnose anything....

Sciatica usually manifests as pain on the outside of the legs, starting about halfway up the calves going up into the thighs. There is often pain in the hip as well.

Most of this is pain caused by inflammation of points where the sciatic nerve passes through areas with limited "clearance". Anti-inflammory drugs, like nsaids, work pretty well.

Secondary to viral infections there may be inflammation in a lot of unpleasant places.
Viral infections, like RSV, have really severe symptoms during childhood, and recur in older people. People often label them as flu. These kinds of recurring infections may cause problems.

When you actually have influenza you are pretty sick for at least one week, and do not really start to feel better for about one month. Full recovery is longer.

What I'm saying is: a physician diagnosed influenza and sciatica? Sciatica is normally the result of something like a spinal disk rupture pushing on the nerve. You cannot rule out any kind of severe inflammation secondary to a bad viral infection.

If it truly is the sciatic nerve:
Sciatic nerve damage and basic plumbing guide --
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sci...516/DSECTION=3
Ivan Seeking
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Jan9-08, 04:28 PM
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Not physician diagnosed influenza, but what has been going around takes two to three weeks to get past, I'm told. Otherwise, I can only say that I have the classic symptoms of the flu - symptoms not included in the list of symptoms for RSV, such as vomiting and southbound problems. When I said that the pain is better, I only meant that leg pain is reduced. I am still very sick [been sick for three days and haven't slept in two nights]

I am familiar with sciatic nerve pain as my mother has suffered with it for years [diagnosed]. However, I have no real problems with this except when I get extremely sick. So perhaps I am in a situation where I have reduced clearances that only becomes a problem when coupled with inflamation?

hypatia
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Jan9-08, 08:54 PM
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Sciatic pain and aching associated with influenza


I'm sorry to hear that your not feeling well. {pours salty beef broth into HD}, just sip it.
Now for the big question, which came first, the flu or the sciatic pain? Sense you have a history of these occurrences, I would assume its just how your body deals with the flu. I tend to get major headaches with the flu, but little or no other body aches or pains.
After you feel better, you should visit your doctor, please don't put it off. Any inflamation of the spinal cord should be looked into ASAP.
Hope you feel better soon.
Ivan Seeking
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Jan10-08, 03:41 AM
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Spinal cord? This could get into spinal stuff? Tsu never mentioned that one.

You can imagine how thrilled I am about that notion considering that they just crippled and very nearly killed my mother with a catastrophically failed back surgery!
hypatia
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#6
Jan10-08, 06:18 AM
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You just need to rule out sciatica, a lower back condition. They may check for degenerative disc disease, spinal disc herniation, spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis.
You have really good odds that it is not any of the above, but simply just the way your body handles the flu. Keep in mind its not a cronic pain you have, even a mild inflamation anywhere along this nerve path{the nerve follows both articular and muscular branches}, can really hurt.
Once your past the flu contagion, 5 days or so, you should see your doctor.
Ivan Seeking
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Jan11-08, 05:27 PM
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Thanks Hypatia. I guess it would be better to know now than later if there is a problem.

It was very odd that this suddenly became such an issue. I would get the aches and pains of the flu just like everyone else, but this intense leg and sciatic nerve pain suddenly appeared and is now the worst part of getting sick. Thankfully the anti-inflammatories [which I had never tried before] do work well if I can keep them down.
Ivan Seeking
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Jan11-08, 06:48 PM
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Oh yes, but getting back to the original question, how does the flu bug cause infamation?
Moonbear
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Jan12-08, 02:29 PM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
Oh yes, but getting back to the original question, how does the flu bug cause infamation?
The "flu bug" causes inflammation just like any other "bug." Inflammation is an early part of the immune response...a generalized reaction to any foreign "thing" in the body, from a splinter to a virus. It's a fairly complex biochemical process, but the outcome are things like fever (if the foreign "thing" is restricted to a localized area, such as a splinter, rather than a more systemic region like a flu virus, that fever is also localized...in other words, you'll feel warm skin around the foreign body), and swelling from edema. This is basically your first line of defense while your body gears up with a more specific, targeted immune reaction to kill off the "invaders," and to be better prepared to fight it off the next time you're "invaded."

I suppose it's possible that the back pain commonly associated with the flu is also resulting in inflammation around your sciatic nerve. Another thing that comes to mind is that it might not be directly attributed to the flu, but to your activity changes when you have the flu...i.e., lying in bed, or maybe sitting in a chair more than usual, so that you're compressing the nerve.
Ivan Seeking
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#10
Jan14-08, 03:10 AM
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The pain actually preceeds, or at least coincides with the onset of rest of the flu symptoms. Now it even acts as a bit of an early warning system in that this time I recognized the signs.

Still sick btw. This stuff is miserable!
hypatia
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#11
Jan17-08, 09:35 AM
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Hope your feeling better. The flu bug has just started hitting here, doing what ever it takes to avoid it.
Ivan Seeking
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#12
Jan17-08, 03:03 PM
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It is bad! This is the sickest I've been in ten years. After a week and a half I am still not up to snuff. I also lost my voice which is just now coming back.

I have also been hearing from customers that some people have been down for three weeks!!!
Vee
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Feb3-08, 09:48 PM
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This is the first time I've ever experienced pain like this from the flu. Horrible pain from the hips down to the ankles alternating with upper back pain so excruciating I couldn't sit up. I didn't know the flu could cause such extreme discomfort. I can empathize!! I just wonder if I should go see the doctor - eerily close to some sort of spinal issue?../
Moonbear
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Feb3-08, 09:53 PM
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Quote Quote by Vee View Post
This is the first time I've ever experienced pain like this from the flu. Horrible pain from the hips down to the ankles alternating with upper back pain so excruciating I couldn't sit up. I didn't know the flu could cause such extreme discomfort. I can empathize!! I just wonder if I should go see the doctor - eerily close to some sort of spinal issue?../
Are you sure you've had the flu before? A lot of people call common colds and other related viruses "the flu," but they don't really have the flu. Those horrible aches and pains in the joints are hallmarks of the flu.

You could call the doctor and ask if there's any reason for an office visit. If everything sounds completely consistent with flu and no intervention seems needed, they might be able to spare you having to get out of bed and infect a waiting room full of patients, but if something sounds inconsistent with flu, they can recommend an office visit (or a visit to an urgent care office).
Vee
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#15
Feb3-08, 10:00 PM
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Thank you, and I truly don't intend to infect anybody by going to the doctor. Yes, I've had the flu before along with what I called "floating pools of pain". However, this time around, the pain was consistently located along the back side of my body - hips to ankles, or waist up. It HURT, I still hurt. I didn't know it could last weeks. Maybe I should even stay home from work tomorrow for one more day of rest and recup.
thanks again - believe me - I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.
Moonbear
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Feb3-08, 10:20 PM
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Quote Quote by Vee View Post
Thank you, and I truly don't intend to infect anybody by going to the doctor.
It's still worth a phone call. We're not physicians here, so don't take our word as final. You'd want to make sure it's not some other infection or problem causing that sort of pain...flu should only last about a week for the worst of the symptoms, though the fatigue and recovery period can be quite a lot longer. If you're still feverish or experiencing a great deal of pain after a week, definitely call a doctor about it. It could even have started as flu and while you were down, a secondary infection settled in.
Pythagorean
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#17
Mar30-08, 03:37 PM
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I've just gotten over the worse part of the flu. It was preceded by lower back pains and I still have the back pains and I still overheat (went through two changes of clothing last night, waking up drenched in sweat) but my head feels much better now.

I found that tiger balm, and alternating hot and cold work on the part of the back that's experiencing aching. The heat relaxes the muscles and the cold reduces the swelling. Tiger balm might just distract you with the sensation of burning.


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