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Should I walk even when it's excruciating?

I have an 8mm l5-s1 disc protrusion. Neurologist said I can have surgery or wait. It's been 9 weeks and I have had no significant improvement. I understand that being active to a certain extent is helpful for the healing of back pain. I read that walking is one of the best forms of exercise you can do. My question is do I walk and push through the excruciating pain in my butt and leg (down to my ankle) or is that a sign that I should not be walking. I do not walk far distances mainly around the block or the mailbox and back etc.

Also how can I relieve the muscles in my butt hamstring and leg to get some sciatica relief? I have just started around of Pt and have some stretches but still most stretches and exercises make my glutes and leg hurt.

Any advice is helpful, thank you


  • Lmr106LLmr106 Posts: 119
    edited 05/18/2014 - 4:02 PM
    I've also heard that walking is great for people that suffer from chronic pain, but I would talk to your neurologist to be sure. Every case is so different, it might not be best for you to be walking.
    A stretch that helps me is when I lay flat on my back, and lift my leg straight up and back, towards my face. I grab my leg around the knee, and I've found that the higher up I go on the leg with my hands to do the stretch, the more my buttock stretches. But again, I would check with who does your PT.
    2000- spinal fusion, complete spine due to scoliosis
    2012- pain began, started treatment for chronic pain
    2013- install of pain pump, procedures to address complications
    2014-blood patch, spinal fluid leak
  • Thank you for your replies. I feel like I have sharp pain in by back, but my more excruciating pain is in my glutes and hamstring. When I walk I feel like my left leg just wants to run because it is free of pain, but my right leg is stuck. And any step I take stretches my glutes and hamstring and it literally feels like it's ripping, even though jts not. The fact that this is 9 weeks without significant improvement must show I am headed for surgery.
    Did you have this terrible glute and hamstring pain? Did it stop and if so when.
    Thank you :)
  • When they say stay active, does that mean going to work? I teach grade one and I don't feel like there is Any way I can stand on my feet all day! I terribly miss my job, but my priority is to get better for my daughter who is not even 2! I any lift her and it's very challenging.
  • you should talk to your doctor first before any exercise that might cause pain. make an appointment and tell him what is going on and listen to him. he is your first defense against pain and further damage
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • NeedingadviceNNeedingadvice Posts: 29
    edited 05/19/2014 - 11:48 AM
    Thank you for your Advice. Shivamahna how long did it take you to get better? how did you get better/ what things did you try? I feel like I have given everything a good try and now I am super discouraged.
  • Dont be discouraged I noe it is easier said than done . I suffered through this from 1st jan 2013 to 6th feb 2014 . Had a micro discectomy in feb . In my case it all started with back pain and me not being able to bend forward in jan . I did physio for 2 weeks and then almost assumed on myself that it is fine . But it wasnt . It came back with pain in my hip in july . Mri showed me having a herination at l4 l5 . I did physio from july to dec , now a series of events took place during that :-
    august - I developed hip and side thigh pain . Kept on doing physio .
    Sept - developed hip side thigh and leg pain . And also developed a lyst ( body tilting towards one side since I qas walking in a wobblinh manner ) so my stomach got rotated .
    October - pain came in big toe and was killing me . Had to drop out of college and on bes rest since sept 21 . But never gave up on physio .
    Nov - my faith on physio was now being tested . So tried functional manual therapy along side physio . No help . In more pain than before .
    Dec - finally gave up on physio . Coudnt even go to washroom . Believe me that should not happen with anyone . Doc put me on steriods for 15 days to chk if it helps . Side by side I started with acupuncture and acupressure . Didnt help AT ALL .
    Jan - docs gave up and said ... surgery only option . Even coud t go to docs for a review ... was in so much pain ... had to talk with docs on phone .
    Feb - decided to go for surgery .
    After surgery on 6th feb - pain gone . :)
    Now - doing core strengthening exercises and pain free :)
  • shivamahnasshivamahna Posts: 3
    edited 05/22/2014 - 4:59 AM
    And I forgot to mention that all this time ( fr july to feb ) I was on a continuous dose of lyrica and ultracet and ... I believe due to lyrica ... now my eyesight is also weak . Also 2 more things . Now my lyst is also not there ... perfectly fine now . :)
    Look we can only share our experiences to make you feel better . Always do wat docs tell you to . 9 weeks is too little time to give up on physio and other options . But again it is you and ur doc who know ur case best . Best of luck . And always rember , ( just for ur future ) since it is a elective surgery ( not like a heart failure and to be done compulsory ) doc can never force you to have it and the final decision shall always be yours .let me know if you wanna know something else . Cheers
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