Hi. My peace of mind is falling part by the minute and I need some help.
It's been just less than 5 weeks since surgery to remove an L5/S1 herniation. My symptoms first appeared 2.5 mos prior and progressed quickly. The main symptom was explosive leg pain when standing -- debilitating. Walking was great. Sitting got uncomfy quickly. Two surgeons and a physiatrist all said the same thing -- surgery is a reasonable option. Tried epidural, didn't do anything. So went for surgery. First few weeks were good, at three weeks things felt great (almost normal). I am very fit and the surgeon advised that I get back to working out as soon as I could after surgery, with some restrictions - no weights, no running, or anything that would compress spine. He recommended walking, cycling and elliptical and said to follow what my body was telling me.
At four weeks, I upped the level of intensity for only one workout because i felt really good. Still some residual leg pain, but very minor. Maybe a 2. The one thing I added were dips (he actually told me push-ups were fine too). So I did 10 dips. Much harder because I had not done them for about 5 weeks at that point. I contracted my stomach muscles to help. I still felt great all rest of that day.
The next day, however, the leg pain was much more pronounced and did not fade. Mornings are now pretty bad. Pain is not the same as pre-op, but it is level 5-6 now and always there. 2-4 advil help a lot. In fact, two days later, two advil in the morning had me feeling normal that day. Today I had to take four. Pain is there still, but way less. I am also sitting much more due to a changing work situation. Doc isn't sure why this is happening, but is going to start me on oral steroids.
I am scared as heck that I reherniated the disc doing those dips, or intensifying my workout that day. It's been a week now and the pain has not subsided. It's not the debilitating pain I had pre-op (which hit a 10 at it's worst). But it is enough pain to be concerning. Any thoughts? Please -- I am so so worried. Thank you.