I know, I know, so is most everyone else's. But here goes...
A few months ago I fell hard on my lower back and glutes. I fell backward onto a metal bar from about 3 feet above it. I hit hard enough that I was paralyzed for a minute. Feeling came back to my limbs, went to urgent care and got dismissed with some muscle relaxers and ibuprofen.
I returned to normal activity 2 weeks later when most of the pain subsided. Normal activity for me is swimming, biking, running and weight lifting.
About 2 weeks after returning to running, I noticed amidst 1 daily run that my left calf was cramping up badly. I walked the rest of the way and took a few days off of running. A week later, I started to notice mild tingling in the left foot. A few days later I started getting strong pain in left glute and tingling in left foot. Sciatic, I know. I went through about 5-6 weeks of PT and made no progress. Condition slowly but steadily worsening.
3 months now after the fall, I can't stand sit or lie down without a lot of pain. I went in for an MRI and couldn't lie down on my back long enough to complete it. I have another attempt scheduled this week.
Here's my confusion: everything I've read about a disc herniation (which is what they think I have) indicates that you should do spinal extension exercises. Starting with lying in the prone position on your forearms and working your way up to pushing yourself up on your hands into a gentle back bend. The problem is, even lying on my front is complete agony. I have been trying this for 2 months now and it still just hurts like crazy in my left glute and sends tingling into my left foot.
When I go into MILD spinal flexion (so sitting in a chair or lying in fetal position), I get immediate relief. But the more time I spend like that, the worse the pain and tingling are when I stand up. Also, I can only sit on the edge of the chair. If there is any pressure on my left glute, it causes pain and tingling.
So if I can't do extension, and flexion allows temporary relief but more pain in the end, what the heck CAN I do? I can't seem to get an MD to understand just how hopeless and painful this situation is.
Could it be that the nerve irritation from the disc is causing the glute and calf pain? Or could it be that the glute/piriformis is squeezing the nerve and cause the problem? Both?
Any advice and experience is appreciated. Thanks.