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Sudden back pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi everyone,

I suffered from a slipped disc and sciatica and had a microdiscectomy in Feb 2008 which relieved me of all pain and symptoms within a month or two. I'd had no back problems since but yesterday, after lying on my front on a sofa, with my laptop in front of me, for an hour or so, I got up and was hit with a stab of pain. Basically my lower back felt like it had locked, and really hurt.

It's still feeling like that - there's no pain when I lie on my back, and not much if I sit in a comfortable upright position, but as I rise everything hurts and feels tight around there for want of a better description. There's a slight numbness in my legs at times, but I think this could be psychosomatic as I can't help but think about the pain I felt before my op. The pain in general feels like it did immediately post-op - achey, and I can't bear weight. I'll be sleeping on it and visiting the hospital tomorrow, but I'm terrified that it may be the beginning of another disc problem.

Is that likely, or does it sound like it could just be a freak strain?


  • Oh, it was an L4/5 slipped disc by the way.
  • Hopefully this won't amount to much of anything. Have you ever had your leg extended out with your foot on a coffee table and left it there for awhile? THe knee actually becomes hyper-extended, the ligaments stretch and it can cause permanent damage, but usually things go back into place in a couple days.

    Hopefully that is what you've done -- stretched some soft tissue in a way it is not used to being stretched. I would suggest logging some time flat on your back on the floor, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, arms to your sides, palms up. This is a form of natural traction that helps the discs to unload and it should help the muscles to relax and go back where they belong. You might also want to take some ibuprophen, Aleve, a NSAID...something to calm down the ligaments, tendons and muscles that probably have been stretched. I would try icing the area, twenty minutes at a time....and drink lots of fluids.

    I would give it a couple days before going to the hospital unless you are really in pain.

    Hope this helps and it turns out to be nothing.

    FYI -- when you have had a disc problem, you are better off never lying on your stomach unless you have a pillow under your belt area -- the natural curve of the spine does not want to go that way and it puts undue stress of the discs.
  • I hope your tests are all alright and keep us informed how you're doing. Take care. 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 pain was bearable but only just and I was so worried that it was disc-related so I went. I got a couple of injections in my spine and a bunch of painkillers and muscle-relaxant. I'm to give it a week and if it doesn't improve to return, but it looks likely that it's unrelated :)
  • Never feel bad about getting things checked out. Not once you have had a problem with your spine. I hope that things get better, but never lay on stomache without a pillow under you like Charry says. Ice it and see how it goes, and I wish you well...Will be watching for an update. Good luck
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