I’m recently diagnosed and don’t know much about SS. I don’t know what a flare up is. I am now dealing with sciatica, is this caused by SS? Should I be seeing my rhuemy for this? My PCP told me this could last for a month or more. She told me to take 600 mgs of ibuprofen, which doesn’t help at all.

You've come to a great place to ask a bunch of questions, but don't hesitate to ask questions to your doctor as well as the Internet using whatever search engine you prefer- plan to do a lot of reading. So- what is a flare... well, it's a bit different for everyone and you may experience different types of flares on this journey with SS. Basically it is a worsening that seems to have come out of nowhere and ends when it feels like it. You may suddenly find yourself wiped out for days when you haven't done anything extra. Flu like symptoms, extra aches and pains, exhaustion, one of these symptoms or all of them at once- there is no exact formula and usually you'll be given no warning- it just happens. I used to have frequent massive flares that lasted for months, I rarely have major flares usually just minor ones now. You'll read stories, and it'll probably take you awhile to recognize what a flare is for you... in the meantime hang in there and lean on all of us here.

Sciatica. Ouchie, I am familiar with this one, many of us are. Does SS cause this- yes and no. Sciatica is usually caused by back problems, it's technically caused by nerve problems/ neuropathies, SS is well known to be associated with neuropathy. I find myself so often blaming SS for almost all my aches and pains, but my philosophy is simple- it's all connected. Our bodies are attacking themselves- SS is all inclusive, and yet please don't ever just dismiss something you're experiencing. Keep a log and tell your doctor what you are experiencing- might be related to SS, might be something else going on with you.

In the meantime there are exercises that help with sciatic pain. If the Ibuprofen isn't helping call your doctor and maybe something a little stronger can be prescribed for a few days.

Tell your rheumy... your rheumy is hopefully going to be one of your best friends when it comes to SS and your joints & muscles. Tell your PCP- hopefully they talk with each other.

You are going to have to be your own advocate. Although your PCP or your Rheumy may be somewhat familiar with SS there's an equally good chance that your optometrist or dentist will know more than either of them. Plan to educate people- starting with yourself. Plan to be patient with people- starting with yourself.

Thanks for this explanation. Yes, SS is an inflammatory disease, so many problems can indeed be blamed on Sjogren's. That said, sciatica is something that I would look into. It is unlikely caused by Sjogren's, and may respond well to physical therapy and other treatments.

I'll give you an example of not blaming everything on inflammation. I had a cough for close to 2 years, and shortness of breath, chest tightness, etc. I assumed it was all inflammatory. I finally got it checked out. Surprisingly enough, I was diagnosed with asthma. My point is, a lot of things can be blamed on it, but sciatica is less likely.

Thank you both for the explanation. It was very helpful. This sciatica is horrible. I’ll give it a few more days. My Dr said 2_4 weeks. It seems to slowly be getting better.

I also had trouble with sciatica right after I started looking for my SS diagnosis. It bothered me for about 2 weeks. I couldn’t go from a sitting to a standing position very well at all. I went to the park and forced myself to walk a mile when possible. It actually helped.