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Do yo listen to your body, or your doctor?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Lower Back Pain
So here I am 9 weeks post-op microdiscectomy, and my quality of life is, well, not good. I had my post op MRI and it shows another disc protrusion, annular tearing, defect in Lamina, and post surgical fibrosis at L5-S1 where I had my surgery(I'm still waiting for feedback on this from my surgeon). My doctors have been telling me not to bend, to take it easy. But my body sometimes screams for a forward bend. My hamstrings have become so tight it's ridiculous. So, I carefully bent forward to try to touch my toes. This was my first stretch/forward bend in 9 weeks. Of course I couldn't stretch that far, BUT, I found once I came back up from the bend I had instant back relief. IT FELT GREAT!! So my question is, do we walk on eggshells for the rest of our days, in fear of pain and injury, or do we trust what our bodies are telling us to do? I'm so tired of being afraid. I'm wasting away mentally and physically, I'm depressed and I just want to get back into life. I want to move again. And against everything I've been told--No bending, twisting etc--why is it that when I do what I've been advised not to do(forward hamstring stretch), I find relief?


  • I re-herniated after my micro d days after wards and am still not right that was july 08. I kinda listen to both when i'm having a good day I tend to do a little more and when I'm having a bad or not good I try to do nothing . Sometimes there are things that you have to do and you just have to deal with the pain during and after.
  • I'm sorry to hear about your recent set back. I can relate to this because I suffered a reherniation at L4-5 after my micro-D and developed retrolisthesis at the same level. I also have severe DDD on L4-S1, and L5-S1 was still compressing the nerve. I was told I have permanent nerve damage stemming from all of this too. A recent MRI found scar tissue at L4-S1 and this occurred after the fusion I had last year.

    All of us had made the mistake of bending or twisting at some time or another and felt pain after those movements. It is hard to learn and accept limitations and realize that we may not move like we once could. We all have to be extra careful to not re-injure our backs and this is a life long precaution.

    I know how frustrated you are because I feel isolated at home all the time. The only way I can be comfortable is to lay down and use ice packs for my back and heat for muscle spasms. I hate missing out on activities too and the worst thing is the fact that I can't take my kids out to do anything fun. When we go out as a family, I have trouble when out and I'm limited as to where I can go or what I can do. At least I know that I'm not the only one going through this and I hope things get better for you. Take care
  • I found a great hamstring stretch. It worked better than any other and is safer for my back. What I do is simply sit down on the floor with my back against the wall, legs straight out. This supports my back and stretches the hamstrings. I can't actually feel it stretching but it does work. Once I was comfortable with that position I put a book under one foot to raise on leg a bit. Then switched to the other foot, eventually more books up to about 4 inches high. Each leg I was stretching for 10 minutes. I really didn't feel the stretch but I could see the results when I tried the normal forward bend.

    Interesting thing about stretching. I stretched and stretched for many years with not great results until I found this idea: the goal to keep in mine when stretching is to relax, not to stretch! Stretching is the -result- of
    relaxing. Concentrate on the goal of relaxing while doing a stretchings exercise. This change of focus really helped me

  • When I started aqua therapy, my pt gave me a sheet with stretches and one core exercise. He said these were exercises that can be done straight out of surgery, and one happens to be an odd hamstring stretch. I looked for the sheet, but unable to find it, I will try to spell it out:

    Lay on your back. Bend your knee, and bring your thigh to a right angle with your upper body. Hold the top of your thigh right under your knee with hands interlaced behind, and straighten the rest of your leg. He originally said do this 2-4 times on each leg, holding for eight seconds between bending knee/releasing/lowering leg.

    I am now up to holding for 15 seconds, and I do about 8 of them every morning. and it feels GOOD.

    Good luck! :)

  • i would think some pt should be beneficial for you...ask for a referral from your doctor!
  • I listen to my body (and mostly ignore it) and my doc listens to me!
    If he didn't, then I'd find one who did!
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