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L5s1. Can't sit

davew723ddavew723 Posts: 3
Newbie here...

I have been having leg pain for about 6 months now. MRI last month showed large disc herniation at l5s1. I have since been doing pt and traction at chiro with no improvement. PT did find that if I don't sit life is ok, after the morning. Mornings I still hit me 8s for 2-3 hours as I loosen up. As soon as I sit my leg starts to tingle and cramp quickly I get back to my morrning pain levels. I now work standing, which is a bit strange for a software engineer.

Is this typical? I see some people start they can't walk that's my best relief.

Does everyone know when there herniation happened? I don't I just got worse and worse over months until I was limping around in pain like a cripple and couldn't hide it anymore.


  • I can tell you for me pre surgery I had really bad sciatica in my left let and I would sit with my left leg to the side of my chair and my foot around the rear wheels, so it was bent at around a 45 degree angle, either that or I would have to prop the left side of my body up on my left elbow to alleviate the pressure on my spine. But just so you know sitting for me was way worse than standing, and I've been through 6 sessions of PT to include traction and PT never really worked for me.
    Microdiscectomy/Laminectomy/Foraminalectoy L4/L5/S1 Oct 2009, Mar 2012
    Laminectomy L4/L5/S1 Dec 2009, Oct 2012, Dec 2012
    Microdiscectomy and Synovial Cyst removal Feb 2013
    St Jude Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted January 2014

  • My friend, in my opinion, you need to go see an Orthopaedic Surgeon or a Neuro Surgeon not a Chiropractor. My Ortho gave me a Cortisone shot directly in my back and it aleviated most of my pain immediately. This is only temporary though. Go see an MD. Nothing against Chiropractors but they can do more harm than good.
  • Welcome to spine health! Have you been to see a fellowship trained orthopedic or neurosurgeon? I personally would be afraid to see a chiropractor for a disc herniation.

    I completely relate to your sitting troubles. I also cannot sit. In the beginning of my injury I found my greatest relief from walking. Unfortunately I now also have great difficulty with that as well, and use a cane for the limited amount that I do. I really never sit, rather I lounge in a semi lying position on my hip. Sitting straight up in a chair is the worst pain for me, and standing up after having to sit.

    Do you know if your nerve is impinged with your herniation?

    >:D< Karen

    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • I stopped seeing chiro but still see pt multiple days a week.

    MRI showed left nerve root is being compressed pretty bad which matches my symptoms.

    Orthopedic surgeon was suggested to me after friend/surgeon. Out come of that was recommendation for surgery. Last week.

    My normal doc suggested a neurosurgeon. They recommended more pt at the time. I will see them again this week.

    Pt doesn't feel like its helping me improve. There strategies to cope are helping some.

    Very nervious about surgery...

    I'm not convinced I actually ruptured my disc so not sure it surgery might make things worse in that case. Just more questions for the doc if I can hold it together.

    Male of 38 a/ family
  • I'm just recovering from S1-L5 surgery after 7-8 months of deteriorating sciatica. Started with a mild bulging disc, progressed to big hernia and unbearable pain, hence the decision to operate.

    I too couldn't sit down at all. In fact I understand that sitting is one of the worst things to do with sciatica, because it opens the spine in a way that allows the disc to slide out further (in general case of posterior bulge). So every time I forced myself to sit (computer job) and all these hours I spent driving...

    Apparently some people use a therapy ball to sit at their desk, because it's not static and promotes gentle exercises of the lower stabilising muscles. Got myself one, but am only just about able to sit down again after months and months of either standing up or laying down. Bit reluctant to do so, only for meals at the moment, am so scared still.

    My life had become one of a vegetable before the op. I couldn't sit or bend down, could hardly stand up in the end too, so was laying down over 22 hours a day and even that had started hurting too. I understand the fear of having an op, I was against it at first, but for me it was the only way. I hope you don't get there!! Some people can bear their sciatica for years until the hernia somehow moves on.

    Keep walking and strenghten your core muscles is my advice. Also avoid all those things that aren't good for your back. PT ok but beware of other specialists (my experience). If your disc isn't herniated yet then there's hope for it to get better providing you do the right things. If it's herniated then an op might or might not be the solution.
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