I would like to thank you in advance for taking the time to read, and possibly reply, to my long-standing situation. I am a 32 year old male with a baby boy on the way, who up until 3 months ago, led a very active lifestyle consisting of surfing, swimming, routine exercise, etc. I was diagnosed at 17 years old with an L4-5 central disc protrusion and L5-S1 central disc herniation, both with moderate central stenosis. A recent MRI shows no change. I never recalled a "boom" moment when the herniations occurred. I have had acute bouts of bilateral leg discomfort/pain over the past 8 years wihtout any physical restrictions but always pushed through and it eventually passed. Recently, while walking in the sand after a surfing session, I took one step and felt a deep pull in my lumbar/sacrum area which caused me to stop dead in my tracks. I was able to walk to the car and move very slowly from place to place. No radiating leg pain, however it felt as if something was tearing me apart at the sacrum area or as if something was misaligned now in my lower back. It took 3 to 7 days to wear off but occured again when stepping off a slightly elevated wheel well about a month later. Since then I have been doing PT and constantly performing lumbar stretches and exercises. I have refrained from running, surfing, etc. and been very cautious for fear of a recurrence. I seem to have a nagging ache near the illiac crest/lower back (tearing feeling) and buttock pain since the start of stretching and PT however. My questions are as follows;
1) Can overstreching do more harm then good? *daily in morning/night, about 3-4 different stretches and exercises
2) Is surgery an option for this area if I can manage the pain, or is it just a matter of time? I tired of being confused...
3) I am only 32 and very scared of being a disabled father/husband, is this a reality or just paranoia setting in?
4) any recommendations?
I always thought a healthy, active lifestyle would lead to a healthy outcome...
Thank you all and bets of luck.
No one is qualified to give you any suggestions about whether excercising right now is a good option for you, and what stretches you should be doing. That information should come from your doctor, after examining you and ordering any imaging he may feel is warranted. As to whether or not surgery would be an option, again that needs to come from your medical provider, based on your symptoms and test results.
If I were you, I would make an appointment with a board certified spine surgeon and start there.