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9 years ago, I had an L4/L5 lumbar fusion. I'm now 44 years old and for the past 10 years I've been very lucky and was relatively pain free. I've been careful not to over exert myself, and was able to keep somewhat active by playing squash, going for bike rides and swimming.
11 days ago, I went for my first bike ride of the season (after not having done any physical activity for the past 3 months) which was 30km with 200 meters of eleveation. When I got home my legs were tired and I was exhausted, but I didn't have any back pain at all. I definitly shouldn't have gone for such a grueling ride. The next morning, my lower back was a bit stiff/sore and my glutes, hips, hamstrings, groin, quads were all really tight and sore. I had some sciatica down my left leg.
11 days later and I'm still stiff and sore with some sciatica down my leg. I have some throbbing in my groin (which I did have 5 years ago and then it went away on it's own) and my lower back feels a bit weak and tingling.
I went to my physio (who is a back expert) and she thinks I've got some really tight muscles causing the problems. She pushed on my tight glute muscle and that replicated the sciatica. She pushed on the muscle by the crease in my groin and that was sore and tight etc.
We did all sorts of mechanical testing for herniated discs (lie on my back while she raised each leg, sitting on the table hunched over and extending each leg, standing and then leaning forward, back , side to side, twist etc) and I don't really feel any shooting pain or back pain while doing these tests, which is a good thing.
However I am getting some glute throbbing pain while sitting and some minor back pain while bending or twisting every now and then. I feel like I'm clenching my glutes all the time to keep things stable back there. All of this bring back some bad memories of how I felt 10 years ago and I'm really anxious that I've somehow herniated a disc at L3/L4 or L5/S1 from over exerting myself on my bike ride.
Has anyone ever herniated the disc above or below their fusion from simple activity like a bike ride?
Of course, the symptoms I'm feeling are different than before, but that's because my previous symptoms were from an L4/L5 herniation. I'm not sure if these are symptoms from an L3/L4 or L5/S1 problem or if these are simply really tight muscles that are causing the problems.
My wife has reminded me that since my fusion, I've had a few instances where I've thoguht I herniated something and all went back to "normal" after a few months, but this time it feels a bit different.
Any input would be greatly appreciated.