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

Relapse after lumbar discectomy?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Lower Back Pain
In July of '08, I suffered a somewhat herniated disc on L3-L4 and a small herniation on L4-L5. In February of '09 I had surgery, during which the leaky bits of L3-L4 were trimmed away, and I started my rehab late March.

I was in fairly bad condition at the time, and still was a few months later, but in August I finally started working again, progressively going up to full time in September.

While I've had to be somewhat careful in regards to what I do, in order to avoid pain, I'd say I'm probably 90-95% good as new.

A month ago, I managed to run 150ft for the first time in 1.5 years without sciatia affecting me, and boy was that a good feeling!
Still, I've been taking things easy and try to figure out how my body works.

A week ago, I went to the gym to start getting rid of a few pounds, doing some power cycling and some abs & lumbar muscle training.
Some exercises I couldn't do due to sciatia, so I skipped 'em.

I was fine during the evening, but the day after I felt somewhat sore.
I figured it was just part of that whole ol' "exercise" thing ;-)

Now, almost a week later, my back isn't really agreeing with me, in that it's having a bit of a hard time letting me switch from laying down to sitting up, or sitting up to standing. Also getting the same thing trying to pick things up from the floor.

Walking around is fine, as is sitting and laying down.

The switch from position to position hurts like a 3-4 on a 10-scale, and I was kind of hoping to have gotten rid of my back pain after the surgery.

Now, the time of the year being what it is, I can't reach my old physiotherapist or my doctor for the next few days to discuss this with them.

Does anyone here on Spine-Health have any similar experiences? Ideas? Suggestions? Things I could talk about with my doc when I finally get ahold of her?

As for pain killers, I still have some Codeine at home, having gotten rid of my Tramadol and Oxycodone based ones a few months after surgery, but would prefer not to use 'em.



  • i understand your desire to get back to fitness and lose a few pounds .but you must understand that your back will never be a strong or as good as i was before it got painful{if you understand me } i do not thing going to the gym is a good idea swimming ..yes gym no ..this advise from my physiotherapist ..he told me never to put my back in a situation where strain is put on it and going the gym can make your back fail again .trust me my friend i do understand you and i was the same myself .after my first operation i stated to put on some weight and singed myself up to the local gym but after a few months i noticed that as i was warming up stretching etc my lower back was killing me ..so much so that i walked out of a session and got straight in to the pool,the pain in my lower back got worse and worse again i tried to work it off by going to the gym but the pain never left my side one day i got out of bed and bang ! hit the floor ..back into hospital for another operation ..this time S1 had gone ..i don't think that my good intentions at the gym helped my back and now i can't even swim and i am waiting for another operation ..my advice let you back rest and when you are as pain free as you can be don't return to the gym but do swimming ..you don't want to be in my situation ..i have gone from a 14 stone fit man that went to the gym 4 times a week and swam a mile a day and walked the dog 3 miles a day to an overweight blob that is in terrible pain and can't even leave my home for anything more than an urgent appointment.and i dont sleep due to pain ..do yourself a big favour and don't push yourself in to an early retirement ..take care}
  • I have heard many patients who have had microdisectomy to later go on to a fusion. You have to be forever mindful that your discs in those areas are weakened. For now I suggest total rest from exercises other than walking, no jogging, no weights, etc. Ice or apply heat to your back several times a day. Then as straker advised, swimming or water therapy is good. I also suggest gentle back stretches including your hamstrings.

    Best wishes,

  • I have to disagree with the thought process that an individual who has suffered a spine injury and successfully rehabbed it is forever doomed to having a "weak back". In fact I subscribe to the thought process that someone who has recovered and continues to keep a good regimen of stretching and core strengthening actually has far less risk of an injury than the individual who has never had a back ache in their life.

    Yes there are injuries that can a do weaken the spine permanently, but not all injuries do so. Discs can and do scar over and heal to a point that they won't reherniate. If the individual reinforces that healing with strengthening the core and keeping it strong and flexible, the risk for reinjury is far less than someone injuring their back for the first time.

    When we learn to do things, we make mistakes and adapt to keep from making those same mistakes again. Sometimes it is by avoiding the same situation, but most times it's by being prepared and adapting to respond differently to the same or similar situations.

    For every doc or therapist who will tell you that once you've injured your spine you are forever doomed to have issues, there's a doc/therapist who will say exactly the opposite. Attitude has a lot to do with it, your attitude as well as theirs. If you believe that you are forever sentenced to being weak and sickly, then chances are you always will be weak and sickly. If you believe that you can overcome that, then there's a great chance you can and will.

    rylin please keep in mind that most people on these forums are those who are still suffering their injuries. Those who have been injured and recovered, tend to move on once they have made it through the healing process. So the opinions/experiences (and please keep in mind that that's all you are getting here is personal opinions and experiences)you will read about here are very heavily skewed towards looking gloomy for the future of anyone with a spine injury.

    Welcome to Spine Health.

  • I have to disagree with this statement:

    very heavily skewed towards looking gloomy for the future of anyone with a spine injury.

    I am far from being gloomy for the future of all here and myself. As you said, its important for us to do stretches and keep our core strong. It is my humble opinion that especially after spine surgery or injury, that you need to be more stringent about them. You have to relearn how to do certain things and learn from mistakes made. I work on this every day and more so since my back problems came about.

  • Think about how many people never pay heed to proper lifting techniques or body mechanics until after they injure themselves. Up until that time, they cruise along through life never giving their back a second thought. Once injured however, much effort is given to rehabbing and strengthening the core to avert further injury.

  • i totally disagree with you .ask any good spinal surgeon and they will tell you that you back will never be as good as it was {before surgery} and there is More than a chance that you will have to have more surgery on your spine as the years roll on ..
  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    Keep in mind that after spine surgery you may never feel 100% pain free. I was told by my surgeon as well as a spine specialist I went for a 2nd opinion that it's unrealistic to think you will be pain free after surgery, however the pain should be manageable afterwards.

    As far as exercising, I personally feel that strengthening your core and doing stretches is very important. I heard this from 2 different Physical therapist offices. It's also important to go to a professional who can show you the proper way to do this.

    I also beleive that swimming is the best exercise especially with those suffering from spinal pain or recovering from surgery. It's the best in my opinion because you are weightless and you are working all your muscles and at times you don't even feel it. It's also an excellent way to lose weight as well as cutting your portions in half.

    I wish you the best of luck in your recovery and recommend you go to physical therapy, preferrably a place that offers aqua therapy so you can have someone guide you through your routines to help prevent further injuries.
  • I think the responses are varied b/c we all interpret the instructions differently. I know people with microdiscectomies that have gone back to running. They stopped running marathons but kept up running 5K's at jogging pace . . big difference. They also picked up biking instead. So to them, life really hasn't changed even though it has. So it is perspective.

    I was told I could run a year after my MicroD but should cut back on the distances. My MicrD didn't work though (never got relief within the 1st 3 months) and I'm going for a revision.

    Will I revise my life? Yes. Will I quite exercising? No, b/c keeping fit and trim does help recovery. But I will be wise and not do too much too fast.

    Now .. .for your question. If your back hurts, remember there are a few types of medication.

    If the incision is inflammed, anti-inflammatory is best (ibuprofin, etc). If it is actual pain, then tyelonol or some sort of pain med is better, if the muscles are tense or overworked, then muscle relaxer.

    Personally, I'm with you and would avoid any old prescription meds if possible. Decide if it's pain or inflammation. If you are unsure, try the anti-inflammatory and ice. If that doesn't seem to work, then perhaps it's just pain.

    I'm not a doctor and it seems as if you just were looking for some advice to tide you over until you can speak to a doctor.

    Good luck. Hopefully it's just muscle strain.
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.