it hurts like hell.
Bulging/herniated L5-S1 like many others here. A went to PT 2 years go for many sessions, and they determined what I should be doing are those classic McKenzie prone presses and press-ups. But at the time, even lying prone flared up sciatic pain in the left half of my butt that was so fierce I couldn't stand it for more than 15 seconds.
2 injections later, pain gone and I was able to get through the exercises. I worked on flexibility and core stability, and I thought I had it licked. 3 weeks ago doing a workout I've done several times over, I noticed a good deal of pain back there. Within a couple of days I was right back to where I was 2 years ago. Slightly more mild than before.
I really don't want to head back in for an injection. It's not a cure, it just shrinks swelling. Unless you deal with the cause, the swelling will eventually come back. Right?
So now I'm trying to lie in prone position and it hurts. Lying supine also hurts unless I bend my legs and let my spine flatten out a bit. Here's the interesting part: if I'm up on all 4s I can do the extensions. If I keep the extension constant in my lower spine and slide forward so that my legs start to straighten out behind me and I lower myself into a prone position, the pain flares up. So it seems like the extension itself doesn't hurt much, unless my legs are outstretched.
I started digging into this and learned about the function of the psoas muscle. Odd that no one ever mentioned it or tested it for tightness/weakness before. If tight, it will pull on the lumbar spine as you extend your legs. If weak, it should let your back go too flat. Research shows that I should be able to stretch that muscle by lunging. Of course, a prone press-up would also do it. But any of those motions hurt like hell.
So what's a guy to do? Head in for injections to kill the pain enough to get through stretches and PT? Suffer through the pain and ice after? Could it be something else entirely?