I have been dealing with a degenerated L5/S1 disc with mild bulge (no nerve compression) for over 2 years now. Have had loads of physio and 2 ESI's as was having some leg pain in left leg only. Have never managed to be pain free but had managed to get the pain down to a managable level where i would just have the odd Neurofen or use ice if it got uncomfortable and was managing to swim a few times per week and just basically learning to live with it.
Things has been going well so i thought i would try biking again and bought a new bike that was set up for me and is one that keeps me upright. So, went out for a 20min bike ride that all felt fine but then over then next few days i got some tightness which felt like muscle tightness across the back of my hips and lower back (no leg pain) so i thought i'd go and see physio to see if we could sort it out and keep on top of it. I saw a new physio as regular one is on maternity leave and he suggested that i stretch the lower back out by laying on my back and hugging my knees to my chest.Previous physio had warned against this as it puts the spine into flexion so i mentioned this to new physio and mentioned that i was concerned about bulging the disc out further and he said no, it wouldn't do that. So i gave it a go and it did feel nice and as if it was stretching the area that needed to be stretched but then in the days after i started to have back and leg pain again. I have stopped doing the stretch and have since lasy night taken some diclofenac and today it feels a bit better but my lower back feels 'full' and stiff and as if i've been hit hard in the lower back.
I'm really concerned that this stretch has set me back months. Does anyone else do this stretch? What have i done? Is it possible that i have made the disc bulge even more? Sorry for the waffling email. I am just feeling really bad about this and i hope my physios advice hasn't caused this!
Its so frustrating. My insurance co is no longer covering me so any further physio appointments i have to pay for myself and i don't want to pay for advice that is going to hurt me!