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Non surgery stories



  • Well i have had my third esi today and so far i can't see any help from it the last 2 the relief was immediate..... i popped some vicodin because i just need some time without pain. last night was awful with out anything. i saw on orthosurgeon about a week ago. he said no surgery. my pc dr wants me to see a neurosurgeon so that will happen in about 2 weeks. thia has been going on since february and i can stick it out if there is an end in sight. i really don't like to take the meds. but maybe i should just take them and get relief rather than try to take very few and not have the relief i need? my pt said that it didn't seem to be helping me so we put that on hold. i do walk on my treadmill 30 minutes a day. if the weather ever gets warm i will try swimming too. i guess i am just really depressed today because i was hoping for more relief than i have gotten today. it is nice to see that people actually improve though without surgery and that taking meds is not so awful....
  • You know what I'm suspecting? The best thing to do is take ibuprofen (master this), walk, don't lift anything, and just accept the reality of doing nothing for 6 months. I'm really suspecting that stretching is bad. pt and inversion are bad. I'm suspecting that stretching is good injury prevention, but after injury it just inflames and prolongs sciatica. Just a suspicion.

    Tricks I've learned:
    If my leg is about to throb, look down.
    If I have to sneeze or cough, stand and push my hips forward.
    Forget speed walking or running. Slow walking is my friend. Great time to bond with my dog.
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  • I've been told (by PT and other research) that stretching (particularly hamstrings) can indeed inflame sciatica.

    As you said, it's great before the sciatic inflammatory cycle begins, but can make things worse once you are already in pain.

    Exercise (gentle walking or, even better, walking in water) is good as long as you aren't in excruciating pain. In general, my PT lady says just changing position throughout the day can help (sitting stinks... for me and many sciatic patients, any forward bend -- which includes sitting if you think about it -- is the worst).

    The PT I've chosen (McKenzie Method certified) doesn't do any agressive stretching. So far, big changes just from her educating me on posture, how to get out of bed, up from the floor, in and out of the car, put on my socks, etc. And I always considered myself pretty knowledgeable about this stuff... am a part time yoga teacher (well, I was!) and a very active (hike daily and swim 3 x a week) person. But I'm learning a lot about how to get a flare up (when the pain goes up above a 4, which happens all day long currently) and then stay out of it and keep things at a 0 or 1 to 2.

    Good luck!

  • I agree that stretching when you are in acute pain is not good, I tried it and it always seemed to make it worse (or when my PT would try streching me I always felt worse after) . However once the constant pain settled down I think that light stretching has really helped me. The last couple days I have added some hamstring stretches and I must admit that I think it really has made a difference, I feel almost normal again. I still have a little pain when walking or sitting too long but it's tollerable.

    I think every person is different and needs to listen to his/her body. That's the most important thing I have learned the past 2 1/2 months is to slow down and listen. If I am starting to feel pain I stop what I am doing. If I am sitting and start to feel stiff or pain I get up and move, if I am moving and it starts to hurt I sit down or lay down.

    I have a little "emergency" routine that I do when I start to feel like I am going to have a setback. For me it's a few minutes of extension exercises (Mckenzie method) followed by 5 minutes of laying on the floor with my feet up on the couch followed by 15 minutes of ice on my back. And depending on how I feel afterwards I may take some motrin. Usually if I do this I feel much better and knock on wood it's been working.

    Some tips that I found help me
    * Avoid bending forward at all costs
    * when I have to pick something up I go down to one knee keeping my back straight
    * I Fixed my posture sitting, sleeping and walking(Mckenzie Books helped)
    * I am careful when I sit or strand up especially getting in and out of the car
    * I use a rolled towel behind my back when sitting at work or driving in the car (again Mckenzie trick)
    * Ice on my back seems to really work for me
    * Always look up and do a quick back extension when I have to sneeze or cough

    For some easy stretches that have helped me look up books by Robin McKenzie and Pete Egoscue.

    Hope this helps someone.

  • For me the trick was realizing they weren't the same thing. My protrusion is definitely better but the sciatica was persisting due to my 'get it fixed' attitude. It's like developing pneumonia after the germs are already gone.
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  • seems the 3rd esi has kicked in. whew. at least a little relief for a while. the last one lasted about 6 weeks. Hope this one lasts as least that long. i can stretch now without too much pain. i guess i just have to be careful not to overdo. am going to a neurosurgeon for another opinion on monday. the ortho surgeon said no to surgery. that is all well and good but that doesn't help the pain. i am taking 2 aleve twice a day and have vicodin for any pain that the aleve doesn't get. i spoke to a radiologist i work with about herniated discs and sciatica. he had this situation a few years ago. he opted for no surgery. did light stretching, lost weight, strengthened his core muscles, and did lots of extensions and watched his posture, no bending. said it took him 6 months to feel better and a year to be back to normal. now it is just a be careful game for him. that was very encouraging. i am curious what the neuro guy will say.
  • Can't speak for everyone, but the natural way is working for me and I had a hell of a protrusion. The hardest part was not letting it get the best of me. Many times I thought, "I'm just getting this thing out of me!" so I know what everyone is going through. A living hell. I look at everything differently now.

    Week 1: Why does my butt hurt?
    Week 3: I really need to see a doctor.
    Month 2-3: Living hell. I'm permanently broken.
    Month >3: I can sleep pain free! I can even ride my motorcycle to work! I just can't overdo it.
    Month 4: ?
  • I want to share THE product I can not live without 7 month after the hell started. It is McKenzie inflatable lumbar support. It is 15 bucks or so, can fit into my small purse, even into clothers's pocket, takes very little space, can be inflated with few light blows in 3 seconds, and it is going with me everywhere. It is very discret to use. I found that most if not all chairs our there are not good for your back - I am talking restaurants, movie, train, concerts, cars, taxies, etc. This roll is making my sitting bearable when I have to sit.
  • I had a bulging disc L3-L4 in May 2008. Very severe pain in leg (radiculopathy) and back for 2 weeks, couldn't walk more than 10 feet, couldn't sleep, lost 15 lbs. I got one epidural that seemed to do the trick. Got involved in a lot of exercises at the beginning (been slacking off lately), use a swopper chair for work, trueback device at home.
    Thank God I seem to be completely recovered. I am very cognizant of my posture, especially when sitting at a computer.
  • has anyone ever tried ginger or tumeric for inflammation? i am getting tired of aleve and have been reading that these supplements are strong anti inflammatories.
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