ZocdocAnswersWhen it rains my sciatica is excruciating. Will soaking in the hot tub do any good?

Question

When it rains my sciatica is excruciating. Will soaking in the hot tub do any good?

I have degenerative disc disease and have had the L5/S1 disc removed and the L5 vertebra fused to my sacrum. NSAIDs don't seem to help. Ice normally helps but not when the weather is exacerbating the condition. I am on Fentanyl, with hydrocodone to control breakthrough pain, but my hydrocodone dose is about maxxed. Low barometric pressures make the pain excruciating and impossible to ignore.

Answer

This sounds like you have a very complicated back history with a lot of pain at baseline, and it sounds like your pain control is not very good. Although of course for some people ice or heat or water therapy, among other nonmedical remedies, may be helpful, I do not think you are likely to get substantial relief from this given the numerous other therapies that you are on and given how advanced your back pain is. I think the best thing to do would be to talk frankly with the specialists and primary care doctor who manage your pain about how things are going. For example, you may benefit from referral to a pain specialist doctor or clinic, if you are not in a clinic like that already. This is because these clinics are expert in the management of chronic severe pain conditions and they will have many ideas about how to adjust and regulate your various pain medications. They may also be able to suggest alternative medical therapies other than just pain medications, such as a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator or an additional surgical procedure. You could talk to your primary care doctor about these ideas, as they may know who to refer to.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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