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12 weeks post L4-L5 TLIF-PLIF pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:35 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone! I haven't posted for a while as I was enjoying life for a while.
Started back to work eight days ago, and now have developed burning pain down my leg that is similar to what I had before. I work at an office, and sit the majority of the time - but I'm trying to incorporate walking into every 40 minutes or so.
The pain got to me yesterday, so I called the doctor's office. They have prescribed me nerve pain med (not sure if I can type it here), and it seems to help. I afraid that it is just covering the pain, and I may do something that I shouldn't do.
Life now seems to be like it was before surgery. Go to work - come home and take it easy. But, I guess I was going to be doing the same thing anyway (hope that makes sense).
Thanks for reading! And, I appreciate everyone's posts.


  • Hate to remind you of this, but twelve weeks is still quite early in your healing process. Your body is having to adjust to the return to work, and to sitting for longer than it is used to doing since "reformed" by fusion.

    I would suggest that when possible you lie flat on the floor, (very small pillow under head if more comfortable) legs bent at the knee with feet flat on the floor. (The pelvis should be in a neutral position). The arms should be close to the sides, palms facing up to the ceiling. Breathe deeply from the belly and just totally relax your body for up to five minutes.

    This position is a natural form of traction. It allows the discs to unload and the muscles that naturally tense up to "guard" the spine have a chance to relax.

    I do this all the time (and in many "interesting: places), whenever my back starts to tense up or hurt. When my pain was more chronic, I did it ten minutes each hour during the whole day!

    If there is a room where you could go during your lunch hour, it would help your pain if you could get out from under the weight of gravity bearing down on your spine for even five minutes' time.
  • forget to mention about the nerve pain. If you are taking something like gabapentin or Lyrica, you don't have to worry about the meds masking the pain, allowing you to do more than you should. Frankly, they usually do not mask pain to the point that you forget that you have a "problem."

    They are designed to keep the pain signal from reaching the brain, so the brain does not interpret the signal as PAIN. You still use your muscles in the same way as if you were unmedicated.

    Just remember to follow the usual rules you were given post-surgery. Minimize bending, twisting, lifting, reaching up or out, etc...you know, the usual Spiney rules.
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  • Hi gwennie17, and thank you for your reply. I've told people that maybe laying down for a little while would help. Sounds like a good idea that I WILL incorporate in my work day (uppercase so I will do it).
    Every 30+ minutes, I walk around the building (5-8) minutes, which helps, but it is no comparison to laying flat.
    I realize it has been a short time since surgery. My family seems to be tired (can't blame them) of my pain complaints and seeing me laying around when I'm not at work.
    Tomorrow I will have a pillow and support for my knees. Sounds good already!!
  • You could buy one of those inexpensive yoga mats and keep it at your desk. That way you won't have to worry where you are lying down (what's underneath you!)

    I've been known to lie down in a quiet corner of an airport corridor or the dressing room of a department store when I just couldn't take the pain one more second.

    Occasionally someone will ask if you need help, but usually they just ignore you. :O
  • Today during lunch, I layed on the floor, under my desk. :-) It was a much needed rest.
    The Lyrica is working to relieve the nerve pain, although I am still not sleeping well. Hopefully, that side effect will go away. I'm giving it an open try.
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