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Just home from PT - NO pain!!

farmhousefanffarmhousefan Posts: 24
Hi, all.

I'm pretty new to this forum...

I'm about three weeks into a reherniation between L5/S1. Major sciatica. The pain steadily increased over the first two weeks and this last week has been hell. I wake at a 2 and progress to an 8 or 9 by the end of the day (I have to work at a desk).

I had my first PT appt. tonight with a therapist I chose b/c she's trained in the McKenzie Method... something I've read positive things about.

I should say -- on my own -- I've been finding some relief in "sphinx pose" (on my belly, propped up on elbows). But it doesn't last after I get up.

She did a lot of shifting me a bit here and there, then asking me to evaluate the location and severity of the sensations in my leg. We progressed to me on my belly and her slightly adjusting the location of my legs, my pelvis, etc. Turns out I can get more relief with my pelvis/hips shifted slightly to the right (she thinks the herniation may be a bit to the side based on the relief I get in this position). After about 20 minutes laying there, I got up and had ZERO pain. I had walked in at a 9... weeping from the pain driving there.

Who knows how long this will last, but she also took a lot of time to talk to me about how I hold my body during the day. How to get up from the floor, out of bed, in and out of the car, how to bend down, what to avoid, the minute adjustments in posture, etc.

So just thought I'd bring a spark of hope to anyone who can relate to my story. Maybe look into the McKenzie method? I know... it's early... but I have some optimism. And that's something!

I really want to avoid a third surgery. She thinks the fact that I can get to a zero in terms of pain is encouraging. The question that remains is can I get to the point where it stays there...



  • I think I'll try it with a little shift of the hips. I hope it works I'm not in Pt and haven't been since last year. I'm happy for you and hope you continue to have positive results. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • The McKenzie method is what they use for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and it is the most gentle PT I've ever encountered. It's too bad that more therapists aren't trained in the method. I'm so happy that it's working for you. Keep up the good work!

  • HOLY cow. Guys, I did not go into PT with a whole lot of hope, I'll admit it. I am trying to be optimistic this whole time, but I've been down this road twice before over the years and it's always led to surgery.

    But it's been 60 hours since that one PT visit and I'm still pain free. It's kind of freaky.

    I think the key, really, was getting the idea that I can wake up at a 1-ish and keep at that level all day if I'm very careful. It also seems I'm more prone to triggering the pain early in the morning. If I bend or squat just the wrong way to get the dog food I will get searing pain. This happened yesterday AM, and I limped back to bed and slept another hour and seemed to "reset". But as the day goes on I'm more and more able to bend or twist and no pain.

    Now I should say, having read this forum for weeks, that I read other people's stories and think "Oh, well she wasn't in as much pain as me to begin with." Like I read about people saying to walk as much as possible. Before, unless I went first thing in the day, I couldn't walk. I just couldn't. It hurt so much just to go a few feet. My pain would slowly escalate during the day until I was at an 8 usually.

    So believe me when I say how utterly shocked I am!!

    I do wonder where to go from here... I mean, I don't have pain, but I also know it's RIGHT there if I shift just a little the wrong way. And I haven't been sitting AT ALL. So this isn't really liveable. But I'm hoping the longer I am without pain the more the nerve inflammation can go down and maybe the disk is able to heal a bit??
  • Yes, that can happen,your disk can heal, but you have to be vigilant. You have to be very careful in the beginning as it is easy to undo the healing that has taken place. I think it took my husband about six months after he ruptured a lower lumbar disk to be able to resume most activities. To this day he does his "back" exercises every single morning before doing anything else. This has allowed his to return to a "normal" life, doing the things he wants to do. He gave up a couple activities just to be on the safe side, but that was his choice.

    Do you reherniate the same disk or other ones?
  • Thanks, Gwennie. I reherniated the same disk (both reherniations).

    Yep, I haven't jogged/run in years... gave it up in favor of swimming and hiking.

    I will be so cautious!

    However, it's tough when you live alone and are small (I'm only 5'4" and 110 lbs) to do the regular stuff around the house. I have a 200-yr-old farmhouse and like to do a lot of projects, including landscaping. Even simple stuff, like bringing home a tub of cat litter, is a hassle. Who hauls it in for me?? Sheesh.

    Thanks for your reminder to be cautious and keep up my exercises.
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