I've read these forums a lot, but this is my first post here. I had a pretty typical case of severely herniated L5-S1 - unbearable pain shooting down my leg and foot. I had a micro-D on Sept 25, 2015 (10 weeks ago). I was nearly painfree right after surgery, had a few tweaks in the two weeks after (especially after I was sitting with bad posture on the couch) but everything resolved quickly. My NS recommended I not go for PT until 6 weeks or more after surgery, but suggested I wouldn't need it - that being a mom with 2 young kids would be "plenty of PT." He also told me to never get pregnant again because that would increase my risk of herniating another disc, which was hard to hear because I'm 28 and we were hoping to have one more child. I conferred with my cousin, who is a PT, who spoke with a well-respected NS at her hospital, and he said I should try PT, strengthen my core muscles, and get a second opinion before ruling out having another baby. I'm in otherwise excellent health - about 10 pounds overweight, but no other health issues. The spine specialist I saw said I have DDD, but a few other specialists said my spine is pretty typical for someone who's had 2 kids. I never had back pain before the herniated disc, and I don't have any pain now.
Two weeks ago, I started PT. The therapist gave me some exercises to strengthen my glutes. She also encouraged me to frequently do back extensions (deepen the curve in my lower back), both while standing and while laying down. However, after a few days of doing these exercises, I started feeling the pain down my leg again, though not as bad and was easily remedied by laying flat. I went to another round of PT, where the therapist seemed confused about why that would happen, but she upped the intensity, having me do the exercises incorporating an exercise ball. I did the exercises once, and I quit. I understand some soreness is expected, but no exercise should be replicating the sciatica pain. I've been trying to walk and be on my feet more, but I've not been doing any core strengthening exercises since.
Has this happened to anyone? Is it possible I started PT too soon and should wait for the nerve to calm down? It seems like everyone has a positive experience with PT except for me! Even though my herniation was posterior, is it possible that back extensions would inflame the nerve? I don't really trust doctors right now because nobody believed how much pain I was in until I had an MRI, and then they took me seriously! Now I've had this experience with a PT, and had an equally bad experience.
Thanks for any feedback!