herniated L5-S1, nerve root compression

herniated L5-S1, nerve root compression

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Yojee
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Last seen: 4 years 3 months ago
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Joined: 03/27/2009 - 8:28am
herniated L5-S1, nerve root compression

Hi All,
my doc tells me i have herniated disc L5-S1 and a nerve root compression. Anyone had similar issues? What can i do???
(I'm 30 used to work out daily, play tennis and my work is such that i sit on computer all day...)Pain started suddenly after an uphill contest.

The pain in my lower back only occurs when i either sit for long hours, or immediately when i get up after laying on my back with my feet touch the ground. No pain though when i lay on bed with feet on the bed-strange i know.

The sciatic pain occurs one (on left side) mainly when i stretch, or bend to touch my toes that kind of thing.

It has not stopped me from daily activities, thought i miss playing tennis and jogging all of which i've given up since the pains begun-coming to one year now.

Please help, what exercise, treatment, things can i do to get better??????

deltalady
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Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
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Joined: 12/21/2008 - 4:19pm
Hi Yojee

Wave Welcome to the forum. I assume from your post that you've had some sort of x-ray or MRI to get this diagnosis from your doctor. Did he not recommend physical therapy or give you exercises to perform to help your back? Just curious as most docs wouldn't give you that diagnosis w/o giving you some sort of treatment option.

Compressed nerves cause all types of weird, painful symptoms. The fact that you aren't in constant pain is a blessing. Please check out the sciatica section of this website -- there are excercises recommended for your issues.

At only 30, hopefully you should be able to get this issue resolved.

Take care,

Judy

gwennie17
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Last seen: 4 years 2 months ago
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Joined: 12/30/2008 - 12:07am
Welcome to the board ~

Nerve compression goes hand in hand with a herniated disc. When the disc is shaved off during surgery or it "heals" on its own, it is reduced in size and moves off the nerve, thereby relieving the compression.

Clinical studies have shown that five years after injury, people report the same level of pain whether they have had surgery or have let it heal on its own. The problem is that most people are in so much pain that after six weeks or six months of conservative treatment, they opt to have surgery. It isn't quite as simplistic as this...but I hope you get the point.

What you can do is pay more attention to your back. It can take a long time to heal and during that time, you must be very careful to avoid those things that cause whatever healing has occurred to have to start over. For now you need to avoid any activity that involves bending (no touching toes!), twisting, pushing, pulling, reaching, lifting anything more than about 8-10 pounds (if you had surgery, they'd say a gallon of milk)--any activity where the body is jarred or vibrated....You need to get up every hour at work and walk around. Sitting puts a great deal of downward pressure on the spine. If you are not sitting using excellent body mechanics, it is even worse.

In terms of exercise, for now walking is the best exercise. Stretching and working with light weights can be done, too...carefully.

If you run a search --something like "exercises for lumbar herniated disc" you will come up with many good sites that will show a variety of exercises. If you look through a number of them, you will notice that some exercises are universal. Pick and choose and try some of them to see what feels like its helping.

Are you under a doctor's care? If so, you will probably be sent for an epidural steroid injection followed by a course of physical therapy, where you will learn which exercises are helpful and which to avoid. If you are going to keep your back healthy once it is healed, it will be important to learn, understand and employ good body mechanics. We all have little bad habits that increase stress and wear and tear on our discs. It behooves all of us to learn and practice good body mechanics!

Here is a link from this site that may give you some ideas:

http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/exercise/exercise-sciatica-a-herniated-disc

http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/herniated-disc/lumbar-herniated-disc

Hope some of this information helps. Feel free to post often with questions and comments.

xx Gwennie