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Quick backstory: herniated L5/S1 at 16 years old, but doctors gave me the run around about my pain for almost 7 years. Just had microdiscectomy in 04/2018. Started working out and lost ~65lbs, but unfortunately I overdid it at the gym in 10/2018 and I have recurrent herniation- a pretty large one. I took it easy for a few months and gradually got back into exercise and my back GREATLY improved.
HOWEVER... I'm now having a lot of new symptoms in my right leg. I've always had sciatica, and that didn't resolve after surgery. But now I am getting numbness and tingling, muscle spasms, and definitely weakness. I'm seeing my doctor on Monday to see what options exist. By the way- I'm a 24 y/o female, about 5'10 and 178lbs, I exercise very regularly (usually 5x/week)
At this point, I don't feel that I would benefit from PT. I've done a lot of PT over the years. I feel that it's more beneficial for people who have an injury AND are sedentary. Im a pharmacy technician and I do sterile compounding, so I'm on my feet all day and I exercise very regularly.
I'm willing to try steroid injections, but at what point should I be treating the underlying herniation and not just the symptoms of it? I'm still able to tolerate standing and walking, though it can be very painful. My right leg is markedly weaker, which I can tell when I workout at the gym and my trainer also noticed that my muscle definition in that leg is noticeably less than my left leg. Of course I don't WANT another surgery...but what's the alternative to get rid of the weakness so I can continue on my fitness journey and also live as pain free as possible?
Thanks in advance!