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Wierd Question

buckeyebackbbuckeyeback Posts: 384
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My symptoms have moved over to the other leg (right)somewhat. Similar pain on top of foot (both feet now), back of calfs are sore like I've been working out (both legs) and misc. tingling all over....very wierd. The latest episode or neurological flare-up started Friday AFTER visiting the Hottub that morning. Now thinking back,...the hottub visit has preceded previous neuro flare-ups. I go from the hottub to the pool and back and forth til I'm done. Usually about an hour total before I head home. The theory I had was that the heat would sooth the muscles and the back and forth action between heat and cool water (the pool) would help in healing similar to when an athlete has a sprain and would hot water to ice bucket to speed up the healing process (nice run-on sentence, huh).

Question is: Has anyone noticed that HEAT caused MORE neurological symptoms (pain/tingling/numbness)in the first few months after surgery?

I'm done with the Hottub (even though it feels so good) and I'm all ICE now,...period.

Chirogeek, in his diary, discussed a similar phenomenon,he stated

"I've learned that when a nerve root becomes severely aggravated it can indeed cause a 'spill-over' effect on the neighboring roots (probably at the cord level) and 'widen' the dermatomal symptomatology of the patient, even setting off dermatome disturbances in the other limb."

Maybe my hottub ventures are really aggrivating the root and setting me back?

Another phenomenon is Intraneural fibrosis (scar tissue INSIDE the nerve sheath) that can cause continued neurological symptoms without nerve impingement (like after decompression surgery). I believe this could be what causes continued nerve pain even after fusion or other treatments and may be the hidden cause of "failed back surgery."

Chirogeek has a wealth of great information.



  • in sticking with the ice for now. The reactions of heat and ice are easily seen by looking at telephone wires (between poles) during the summer or during the winter. In heat, the wires expand and sag between the poles. In the cold of winter, they contract and are much tighter. The logic between going from hot to cold in physical therapy is that the expansion and contraction creates a 'pump' to move fluids through the affected area, removing the toxins created by the injury. If the expansion part of this equation is causing you pain, I'd think it would be best to leave it out for a while, till you're better able to tolerate it.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I'm with you Linda. I'm gonna corner the Doc on June 1st and get some answers too.
  • I've been keeping up with all of your posts, and I'm sorry you're having continued pain. I like your statement about gravity! Uncalculated burden, indeed. I too have noticed more nerve pain after hot tub, but I still use it. It doesn't always hurt more, but sometimes it does. Good luck.
  • LOL!

    My docs didn't tell me I couldn't use the hottub or that it could cause a setback. My right leg is calming down a bit, but this whole weekend I was flared-up.

    When does this cycle stop? If I lay around, my symptoms receed to a certain point. Then I worry about more scar tissue growth encasing the L5 nerve root so I stretch and try to walk and be active, then subsequently "flare-up" again. My left hip is very sore now and lateral calf aches too. So frustrating. I am starting to doubt whether I should've had the surgery at all.

    The issue of scar tissue as a complication is not emphasized enough pre-surgery and definitely not addressed enough during surgery to minimize it however they can IMO.
  • I've noticed on other threads lately that there seems to be a bit of controversy re: scar tissue. Some Docs apparently don't believe it happens, others do. Some experts say the docs only use scar tissue as an excuse when they don't know what else to do. These folks are type A personalities for sure, they do NOT want a problem presented that they can't fix, and they don't want to admit they can't fix everything. I don't know. There's still so much we don't understand.
  • I think they minimize the potential for "intraneural fibrosis", when the bundled nerves inside the sheath are "sticking" together due to scar tissue (on the inside) from compression on the nerve root for an extended period of time. I think that is why they say if you wait for a year or more to have a microdiscectomy, the surgery may not be as successful. Just my theory. This scar tissue crap is a VERY real unfortunate complication. What I don't understand is, why research isn't being done to find a way to resolve the problem. We can put a man on the moon over 40 years ago, but we can't find a way to prevent the overflow of fibroblasts into an injured area for a short period of time after surgery so ther isn't an "excess" of fibrosis ruining the surgery?

    Sorry......I'm not used to not being a "normal" person as long as I have been.

    Will a Myelogram show scar tissue around a nerve better than an MRI maybe? I need an accurate diagnosis so I can get treated one way or the other.
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