Good luck, Andyman!
If you run through the Western medicine gauntlet and still come up empty handed, I can still help arrange for you to meet up with a very good doctor in China.
He brought me back from the dead once and I studied under him for a year.
Let me know how you make out.
Be very cautious with your water intake. It is possible to drink too much water. This can upset the chemical balance in your body and make you very sick. A couple of years ago my doctor thought I was dehydrated (why I still don't know) he told me to "drink lots of water." I saw him every couple of days and he kept telling me to drink "more" water. I eventually ended up in the emergency ward. I was so delirious they thought I was psychotic. I was lucky there was one good doctor there who ran the proper tests.
If you do have sciatic nerve problems it will be very difficult to deal with. I have dealt with chronic pain for many years and it's a tough one, sometimes like living death. It will test you (and lot's of people will write you off as a whiner). The only thing I have found that helps (chronic pain) is to stay really healthy--gym, swim, diet. This has been the one bright star for me. Because being in really good shape lessens the pain, I am very motivated to stay in shape and this makes me feel really good in the times the pain is not present.
I always took some tylenol or advil before i boarded a long flight to Asia.
I have increased my salt intake, because last year I gave up most salt. I purchased some Magnesium plls and Volarian (sp) today. These are suppose to be natural relaxers.
What are your symptoms? How severe?
I have a very minor problem with my sciatic nerve where it goes through the hip from some dumb thing or another that I did many years ago. If I sit too long or wrong, I get minor pain in the butt and some issues with numbness of the skin on the leg and other minor discomforts. I find that properly stretching it and massaging it fixes the issues. The single best stretch for my problem is to bring the knee up to the chest, stretching the Glutes I guess it would be called. Good luck.
I believe this is severe, mainly because my ability to handle discomfort of pain is high.
It comes down the left side of my body from my hip, when I step it feels like the bone in my hip stabbing into the joint. It is hard to find a location where the pain goes away.
However, it is going down, I am stretching, exercising, trying to get all my bones in proper alighment. I have put lifts in my shoes to make the two legs the same length.
I am down from taking Tylenol five times per day to two.
Does the pain go down your leg or does it stay in hip/butt/lower back? It could be your sacroiliac joint in your pelvis. Prolonged sitting in an uncomfortable seat (such as on the Thailand-USA flight) could be straining the joint.
Best of luck with it. Hope it goes away.
When on the plane or sitting a long time there is a cramp in the calf of my leg. Sometimes right before I sit down in a chair there is a pain down the outside of my leg starting at the butt and working down the side of my thigh.
It actually hurts more to stand in one one location than to walk fast.
I'm not a doctor but from what I understand if the pain goes down the leg then it is indeed the sciatic nerve. Most likely a disc in your spine impinging on the nerve. It's apparently very common.
Do you use a pillow behind your back when sitting for long periods? Bus and airplane seats must be designed by either:
1.) evil people
2.) people who never actually sit in the seats they design
I've always found them uncomfortable without a pillow or two stuffed behind my lower back.
You might be able to find some shoes or inserts for your shoes which help reduce the constant pounding on your spine.
Good luck to you. Maybe I'll see you in West Africa.
Pillows are a good idea, this nerve is a continuous problem. I have modified how I walk, I take longer strides, I sit in different ways than before.
I will go to a Chiropracter soon here in Guatemala.
Chiropractor is a good idea. They can also check to see if your pelvis is misaligned. This is hard to figure out by yourself and can be a partial cause of the problem.
Is there any numbness in your leg?
Also, don't keep taking Tylenol for more than 4 days - it will damage your liver!