Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

spondololysis and sciatica- my solution

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Chronic Pain
I'm 28 year old male and have had chronic back pain for 6+ years. In 2007 I had an MRI that showed a spondololysis on L5 with disc bulging. The symptoms up until that point were variable, starting with general muscle pain(2001-2004) due to over use and bad posture, changing to persistent sciatic pain.

Until the MRI 2007 I went through the standard medical care where my reflexes where checked and eventually had an x-ray. These all turn out to be normal. Standard physical therapy was prescribed to strengthen the core.
This didn't help. I stopped running, started road biking regularly and did yoga every day. The yoga typically ended with 10-20 minute deep breathing and relaxation.

After 2 years of biking, the sciatic pain came on and got worse. The low back muscle pain was mostly gone because I learned better posture ( a little Alexander technique)and limited the activities that strained the muscles (dishes, cleaning, working over a table in a laboratory setting).

The sciatic pain became ingrained in my nervous system. Stress could bring it on and deeply effected my mood and personal relationships. I could not sleep well and often had to sleep on the floor with my legs raised. The biking stopped, along with any strenuous physical activity. Walking was the only exercise that seemed manageable.

In 2008 I entered an intensive back rehab center. A program had been developed with specialized equipment to strengthen core muscles. After 10 weeks (2 times a week with daily home exercise) the pain became the worst its even been. I quit the program and was on my own.

I did learn a couple valuable things out of the experience.
-my pain was brought on by compression on one side of my body. Certain positions could relive the pain by creating space.
-pain could be strongly effected by state of mind
-every type of pain is different and needs a customized solution.

From this point on, everything got better quickly.
I went to an osteopath on recommendation from a friend. This osteopath took an approach that focused on the positive things rather than the negative. I saw him every week for 6 weeks. The physical manipulation involved loosening the lower spine that had been effectively frozen due to the pain and over work from the physical therapy. Followed by massage at the low back area and above and below. The daily exercises recommendation was to keep loosening the spine by twisting and forward and backward stretching. This was combined with yoga and 10-20 minutes relaxation every day. I also walk twice a day for 30-45 minutes.

After about 4-6 months of this, the pain had reduced significantly. I focused on periods of good and not on the bad. The pain often came in waves lasting for 1-3 weeks, followed by 1-3 weeks of little pain. I began to learn what caused the pain and avoided it.

The osteopath encouraged me to increase activity. Running and biking were out. Standard fitness equipment such as stair climbers, elliptical machines, treadmills didn't work. I already walked twice a day. so I tried roller blading. This actually worked really well! I had found something I could do to work my muscles and get my heart rate up. This continued to improve things.

Now I feel that while I'm not cured 100% I have made a huge improvement and can only see things getting better the more I increase my activity.


  • If you don't care to read my whole story here is what worked for me in a shorter version.

    6 years of low back pain due to spondololysis including daily sciatica.

    what didn't work:
    - running
    - biking
    - standard physical therapy
    - inactivity
    - pain killers

    what did work:
    - stretches and manipulation to increase motion of the spine. Spinal twisting was crucial.
    -as much activity as manageable, but take it slow and listen to your body.
    -roller blading was my key to low impact cardio that got me moving again.
    -there will be ups and downs always. Focus on the up time and how to stay there.
    -your mind has an incredible ability to control pain. Relaxation and distraction work better than pain killers. Look for pain cues and back off activity at the right time.
  • Thanks for sharing dgray!
    I wish you greater health in the future.
  • My son is 10 years older than you and has some of the same problems. He is trying to avoid surgery and stress seems to bring on his pain. He would love to be as active as you. He really misses surfing and other water sports.

    He is in a really bad pain cycle right now and I know that most of it is stress related. He got divorced recently and worries about his children all the time when they aren't with him because his ex-wife is hanging around with some people that are quite shady.

    Keep up the good work and let us know how you get on.

    It's nice to hear good stories!

This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.