• Lumbar support belt to deal with Sciatica

    I'm active duty Army with 18 years of service. I was an Army Ranger my first four years and have been crewing CH47F helicopters for the past 14 years, in addition to standard and non standard Army training. After 8 years of overseas duty, 4 years spent in Afghan and Iraq, and countless combat missions, I developed degenerated discs and a bulging disc in my lower lumbar. Consistent physical fitness and good diet has surpressed the pain for years, and I still maintain great physical fitness. Unfortunately, in the past few months, ligaments connecting my L4 and L5 have weakened, causing those vertebrae to misalign thus pinching my sciatic nerve running down my left leg. The pain becomes excruciating after minimal distance walking or running. I have basically become immobile, a huge disadvantage that does not allow me to take care of my guys. OTCs are ineffective. Cold/heat packs don't work. Injections are inconvenient and only last a few hours. I am on Gabapentin which only helps in high doses that usually affects my judgement and puts me to sleep. Surgery has to wait, though doing so will just open up a can of worms. I am currently in Korea, and the military does not have a acupuncturist, but i am looking for one in the Korean economy. I do have an inversion table coming in the mail. Do lumbar support belts work? If so, which is best and most durable? Does the copper nylon have any effect on Sciatica? Any advice will help. I have two years left before I can retire. I want to make that. More importantly, I have to lead my guys, especially with all the craziness going on here. Sorry so long, and thank you for listening.

Responses

  • 2 months ago

    RE: Lumbar support belt to deal with Sciatica

    I feel for ya, Brother! I've had chronic back pain since 2000, also related to duty as a paratrooper. I have multiple degenerative, bulging and herniated disks in my spine, from the base of my neck down to the top of my "4th point of contact". I have avoided surgery so far. I have an active treatment program with chiropractic, inversion, physical therapy, massage, periodic steroid injections and anti-inflammatory medication (Celebrex). I also take narcotic pain medications. The opiates may not be an option for you, as the current climate (with abusers) has made the medical community reluctant to dispense these pills. My doctor has me doing crunches. He said that when your stomach muscles tighten, it pulls your vertebrae apart. You may not have access to a chiropractor over there, but I'm confident you can obtain a massage there as often as you need it. I have never used a support belt, but I did notice a difference in my pain and numbness when I started using the inversion table. Good Luck! God Bless, Protect & Heal You!