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Things are getting better!

farmhousefanffarmhousefan Posts: 24
Hey, all.

I'm happy to report that, nearly 5 months after a herniation at L5-S1 (third time this disk herniated, after two successful diskectomies), I'm in a lot less pain.

The first three months were excruciating. The pain radiated down the entire left leg to my foot. No pain medications did anything.

I ended up going to PT with a certified McKenzie practitioner. It helped a lot initially, but then seemed to hit a plateau and even began to hurt. So I stopped.

What seems to be helping now, swear to god, is just good posture. I know, I know... sounds nutty. But I read a bunch of articles by Dr. Jolie Bookspan (you can find them online). Her theory, which is shared by many others, is essentially this: the outer layers of a disk are made up of ligaments, just like other ligaments in the body. When we sprain an ankle, we damange the ligaments in the ankle. These will heal IF we imobilize the ankle and avoid re-straining those ligaments. The same is true of our disks. The reason they are slow to heal (or won't heal) could be because we continually re-strain them with bad posture, improper bending and lifting, etc.

After trying so many things this time around (and wanting to avoid fusion surgery at all costs), I began to pay more attention to the way I stood, sat, bent, etc.

I found that I tend to stand unbalanced when doing things like washing the dishes. I began to use a lumbar pillow at work and would carry it to every meeting. I was very careful when I bent down and used my legs.

After a week of this, I felt better. After two, I felt a lot better. After a month, I sometimes forget (for brief moments) that I have sciatica.

I just began Gabapentin 100 mg 3 x a day, and am hoping that adds to the progress I'm making.

Just thought I'd post a little good news.



  • It is nice to read these type of posts...

    I know what you mean by plateau of the McKenzie as I may be close to that and I can now feel my back is a bit sore but I will take sore muscle over a nerve pain anyday of the week.

    I have also become very aware of how I walk lift and sit and agree that probably in cases like ours where the disease with just the slightest movement in the right direction will come off the nerve these type of exercises can make the whole difference in our lives.

    Thanks again for the positive post...we need as many as we can get.


  • thanks for sharing your success. it's encouraging to hear that our bodies can repair over time.

    & your ideas about posture make a lot of sense! i'm adjusting my position as i type this !! :)
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