Hi everyone! I'm glad to have found this community. I'm a moderately healthy mid-twenties girl who woke up the morning after a nice workout this past Christmas with some pretty severe "hamstring pain"... which turned out to be sciatic pain related to disc protrusion at L5/S1, a slight protrusion at L4/L5, and slight spinal stenosis.
How the heck did I get here?! Years of bad posture? Perhaps going too crazy with my workout regimen? I don't really know. I lost about 40 pounds in the past three years, and had completely taken on a new identity as exercise enthusiast, so it is really depressing to face this type of setback.
I've tried many remedies and what has proven the most effective for me are the steroid injections. I'm awaiting the 3rd... and really hoping this does the trick, because I do NOT want surgery. Most days, I feel as if my symptoms are not severe enough to justify it (although after a night of tossing and turning trying to get comfortable, I woudl revise that statement).; however, I don't want to deal with these symptoms forever.
And the clock is ticking because I am getting married in 11 months
I am the MOST confused about how to deal with physical therapy at this point. I went biweekly for a while, and the pain changed quite a bit. It mostly eliminated the sciatica in my leg, but moved pain to my back-- and triggered foot tingling. still have massively sharp pain in my buttock whenever I flinch or lay down. During my last visit, the therapist recommended that I stretch my piriformis muscle and abandon the backbends and press-ups.
And of course, now that I've eliminated them, when I try to lay on my stomach, I get excruciating pain in my back and buttock. So maybe I shouldn't do that?
I've thought about seeing a different therapist but it is very expensive for me. Maybe it would be worthwhile though?
I am also confused about how I should be "taking it easy" with my exercise vs. keeping up with physical activity. I do know that I definitely sleep better when I work out. I am gradually accepting that running (Even short distances) is only making matters worse at this point, but I am hopeful that my elliptical machine (without the arms) isn't harming anything.
It is very hard to stay optimistic about this. Any tips on improving emotional health or decreasing physical pain are appreciated!