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Please explain why sitting is so painful?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi folks, Since I had my microdisctomy sitting has been next to impossible, my lower back and thigh aches. My surgery went well but I am three months post surgery and I still am not driving etc. because of the pain when I sit. Why? I have hip bursitis on both hips because of laying down instead of sitting. I would so appreciate any information or experience. I never thought in my lifetime that I would never be able to sit for a long period of time. Thanking you in advance.
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Comments

  • hi,
    i had a fusion but it took forever it seemed to sit for a long period of time.
    its a long healing process either op for some of us.
    especially if other issues are going on like your hips.
    i have the same thing. i start to get comfy laying down then boom i have to switch because one hip becomes so painful then back and forth from there.

    i am now at the 1 yr mark and i am able to sit on a cushion for a long period. if a regular chair, lawn chair etc no.
    only for a little while and i have to turn side to side or get up.

    your still early out. give it some time. if it becomes worse or any new pain arises give your Dr. a shout.

    good luck!!
    terri
  • I have had 2 surgeries and have the same complaint. I am going back to doc to figure out a game plan.

    I hope you cn get some releif...if you do let me know. Any advice is much appreciated.
  • you will be the first to know if I can somehow figure this out, I have to find some other alternative. I have sat on everything, hoping if I could just find that right spot, never happened. Boy, oh, boy do I identify with the switching back and forth from side to side. When going to the doctor's I almost jump out of the car while my husband is driving after 15 mins if I am lucky to hang in there that long. I look at folks sitting and am so jealous, wondering if they know what a gift it is to just plain ole' sit. Thanks for the comeback!
  • that it is your facet joints. I had MicroD back in Dec 07 and my doc told me ahead of time that the facet joints would cause pain after surgery. ask your doc but I am pretty darn sure thats what it is. Have you tried ice 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off? That has been a great relief to me.
  • sitting increases pressure on the discs (it is one of the worst positions for discs). so, if the discs are causing pain either directly (lower back pain) or by irritating the lumbar nerve roots (leg pain, S/S) in the case of a prolapse sitting will increase your pain and or signs/symptoms (S/S) - numbness etc.

    technically you are not sitting on your sciatic nerve but the increased disc pressure can put pressure on it, in your back.

    moral of the story, aggrevation of your signs and symptoms with sitting is very common in lower lumbar disc related problems

    hope this helps,
  • Hello Serenity,
    The whole weight of your upper torso is being supported by your spine and to some extent like a big spring and none more so when you are in a car and feel the nuance of every bump as a consequence.

    As with most CP sufferers sitting down has a time element and for me then laying down only brings some relief, the balance is between sitting standing, mobility and then laying down, obviously this has a great impact of how we are then imposed to function every day as we move from one position to another with indiscriminate irregularity and somewhat bemused observance. To the external observer it can look as if I am nervous, never sitting still and unable to find a comfortable position.

    The preferable outcome was to learn sitting and extend this through practice by ten seconds or more over time, I did try but it never worked for me, I thought at one time it may have been learned behaviour and I examined in minute details the initial responses to feeling that need to move and reposition.

    As with many I have RLS also which make sitting close to anyone more of an event for them and rather unnerving for us all, as I twitch through indiscriminate spasm at inopportune moments, and have been known to knock things off tables and steer clear of holding hot liquids on some occasions, it is never dull.

    I can assess a chair’s suitability in a nano-second, height, back support and more importantly can I get up from it, sitting we could all write a book…. If we could sit still for long enough, a sense of humour helps, not much but it does.

    Those words I dread, shall we sit down, no thanks I will stand here on one leg, look normal and lean on everything thanks, hey it’s moving.

    John
  • Thanks so very much, >:D< I was laughing and crying at the same time because I can so identify with you all. It is such a precious gift when you find out you are not alone. As I was reading your words I instantly felt a relief that I have some buddies that can identify with me. I am so shocked by all that has happened since my surgery, still in the grieving process so thank you dear friends, thank you!!!!!!!
  • I had the same type of surgery you did in November, 07. First, the grieving--I grieved from Nov. 8 '07 through all of March '08. I still have really depressed days. Sitting--oh, to sit w/o pain. I use a great deal of gel ice packs. I keep them in the freezer here at work so I can stay at work. And, I take my pain meds (Darvocet during the day, Vicodin at night) to help tolerate the pain. When we go visit someone they always want us to "sit and stay awhile" but I tell them, "I've been sitting all day--I'll just stand."

    If anyone figures this out, please post it as we all need help. Ice, ice, ice is my only answer. Hang in there!

    Makin It
  • When I would get desperate for the pain to leave I would think I have to find something, anything. I heard about ice, how marvelous it is for pain relief but everytime I used it on my back the pain increased. I would love to be able to stick a ice pak on my back, why am I so doggone different. Why doesn't it work on me?
    Grieving is something they do not prepare you also for post surgery, the loss is tremendous. My heart aches for those who do not have folks like you to talk too. I will never ever take our conversations for granted, they are very healing and nuturing. Thank You! >:D<
  • When I would get desperate for the pain to leave I would think I have to find something, anything. I heard about ice, how marvelous it is for pain relief but everytime I used it on my back the pain increased. I would love to be able to stick a ice pak on my back, why am I so doggone different. Why doesn't it work on me?
    Grieving is something they do not prepare you also for post surgery, the loss is tremendous. My heart aches for those who do not have folks like you to talk too. I will never ever take our conversations for granted, they are very healing and nuturing. Thank You! >:D<
  • i have already been diagnosed with cervical ruptures. my lower back and sciatica is now in full swing also . i am wondering if i have lower disc problems now. i have had a lumbar discectomy 20 yrs,. ago this year. i know what it feels like. cannot even walk any distances, and very slow with PAIN. all the way down my left leg. not being able to sit in one position very long is terrible. recently my mother - in- law passed away as of 8-28. i set in the front pew of the church for services, twisting all over. it was hard enough, let alone dealing with back and pain and neck issues. you are so right , the only relief is to lay down. i remember those problems so well yrs. ago. and i know if i do not do something about it , it only gets WORSE! i am starting to have trouble lifting my leg to put on pants, or underwear. with my so recent rotary cuff surgery. as of 21st of aug. it is not EASy , i am pecking away on keyboard.( not used to that. ) my arms and legs are very WEAK! i know what you mean about standing on one leg. we all can relate here and that is a blessing, to be at least be able to vent to people here who are going thru same thing. i find complaining , or telling them whe they ask how i am, i feel that they think i am a hypocondriac.
    we all know what is true, but until you actually go thru it it is hard to believe to people that you can actually are in that much pain, and discomfort. and connot tollerate the same things as normal people. the issues enough wear you out, and meds make you very weak and tired. i am only 47, but feel like i am 70 yrs. old! well everyone i wish everyone well and take care. i just took me 2 oxycodone. i think i will go lay down and watch my young and the restless that i have taped. always leo >:D<
  • Sadly, we all seem to have the same problem with sitting and standing... With sitting, you have to wiggle around trying to find a position that you can stand for two minutes before wiggling around to find the next position that you can tolerate for another two minutes, until you finally have to stand up and switch from one leg to the other to try to relieve that nagging pain that starts in the lower back, STABS you in the rear, and travels down your leg. At this point, the realization sets in that you are just plain screwed and are going to have to go lay down. Laying down creates it's own set of problems too. Lay on one side for a while, then turn over to the other, adjusting that pillow that you have to have between your legs to line your spine up JUST right. Flip, flop, and then it's time to get up! ">image But, we keep trudging on...
    Hoping you all have a decent weekend and find a decent sitting position!
  • serenity- I find that ice usually hurts my back pain and I need to use heat to help. I have a heat pad that is gel and microwavable. The heat is moist and seems to help a little. I find that I am constantly adjusting my position when sitting. ie leaning forward, lying down and then back up, sit on one hip and shift to the next. I try to stand up but find I need to lean on something as I can't seem to stand too long either... :< jade
  • HAA hilarious I am in same can't sit ugh!
    Found this topic very funny and sums it up don't it. =D>

    I am dreading journey for a mRI scan on Thursday, and will be laying down on cushions in back of car. It is not that far but too much pain for me to sit. Iceburg would help probably. :))(
  • terri,
    I just kept laughing and crying while I read your response.
    So sad but so accurate. Everytime I try to have a meal at the table, it goes as you described. Thank you all for being there.

  • terri,
    I just kept laughing and crying while I read your response.
    So sad but so accurate. Everytime I try to have a meal at the table, it goes as you described. Thank you all for being there.

  • Serenity - I have not had surgery yet and all of this is quite new to me as my problems started last year with hip bursitis and have now found out that I have a bulging disk plus other things.

    I also find it painful to sit and it seemed that it was easier for me to stand for a longer time but now it seems that the standing is being very painful due to the pain down my leg and sitting causes relief, but if I stand again, then the standing is worse after sitting. I have used both heat and cold compresses but find that heat helps me more. I'm sorry I'm unable to help with suggestions for now, but I did want to add my two cents of experience.

    Terrie- thank you for the good laugh, it was needed and I will remember it tonight when I am tossing and turning. :))(

    _______________

    Mary

    Age 65, MRI 19/05/08, DDD, central posterior heriation of L4-L5, bulging of L5-S1 (sorry for the bad translation from Spanish).

    Meds. At the moment Neurontin 300 ad was recently taken off of Meloxicam



  • I loved reading all the comments and its so nice not to be alone in the I can't sit, I can't stand department. I have had a laminectomy (L4-5), 360 fusion (L4-5) and then fusion of L1-5). Just when I think all is going well... something else goes wrong. This time its my SI joint and I can't sit. Very painful. I am having a cortisone injection tomorrow. Acupuncture was not effective. Oddly riding my bike gives me some relief. I have a very narrow saddle and it seems to act like one of those sacro wedgie pillows you sit on that takes the pressure off the SI joint. Swimming helps too. }:)
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Are you folks doing any stretching of your lower back, hamstrings, piriformis and other core muscles? I mean serious stretching where you are spending a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes a day dedicated to this.

    "C"
  • I am on my 5th water therapy session and one of the things I am doing is stretching. I couldn't do anything on dry land, much to painful. They have me doing stretches, strengthening exercises and for the first time in months I can now put on my shoes and socks. I couldn't even lift my legs, my hamstrings were so tight, they are connected to my sit "butt" bones and exercising my hamstrings in the water have improved my sitting, a little at a time, not aggressively, just very tiny little smidget of successes. serenity
  • I would agree with hagland and serenity - since I started stretching I find I am more mobile generally and I can sit a little longer and with less discomfort.

    I do about half an hour once or twice a day (supposed to be twice but some days are easier than others!). I still have quite severe nerve pain and am on lyrica which doesn't completely dull it - and the stretches are painful but I persevere!

    N
  • I am 7 months post-op my L5-S1 fusion, and I still have much pain trying to sit for more than 30 min. (I can stand much longer). Doesn't help when your commute to work is over 30 minutes; and I've only been to 2 social dinners because of this since my surgery. I have found sitting on a memory foam pillow (I bought at Costco for about $20) does see to help somewhat - although I don't know if it is medically the right thing to do.
  • I stretch, but not for any length of time. Interestingly when I went for accupuncture the doc (who is an MD and licensed accupuncture) told me to stop stretching and my pain would go away. I did and the pain did not stop. So I went back to my stretches, which I have done for many many years. They don't seem to make a difference but I know its important to stretch so I will continue.
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Gee I can identify with all the above comments. The one good thing I can say is that I live in NY City and the only place you can go where you won't hear "Have a seat" is on the subway. I hang onto the poles (but get no money for doing this! :))(

    Knocked off my bicycle by another cyclist in 2000, landed on right buttock,elbow, helmet cracked but not skull!
    Had MRI's in 2002 and this past January.
    1) diffuse disc bulges at L3,L4, L5 with mild stenosis
    2) bulge at L5-S1 space with mild degeneratate facet joint disease and disc material extending into left neural foramen, encroaching on exiting nerve root.
    3) Had 3 epidurals over six months in 2003.
    4) Have had Chiro treatments since Dec.2007
    5) Had EMG in Feb,2008 Neurologist said my reflexes were normal
    6) Take Ibuprofen 200 3x day and when needed oxycodone/acetaminophen. Use Melatonin to help get to sleep.
    Walking more than 30 minutes causes sciatic pain down to right foot. Sitting in forward bent position causes pain in buttock and lumbar area.
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