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Disc herniation recovery

Hi, I was diagnosed with a disc herniation in December after suffering with sciatica for the previous 3 months. I have had 2 caudal epidurals and physio-therapy and most of my symptoms have now almost gone. My biggest problem has always been sitting and at my worst I couldn't sit at all without being in severe pain. Now when I'm sitting I still get aching down my leg and pain in my shin. When I stand I get sharp pain in my hip. These symptoms do not seem to be improving even though all other symptoms have. I have also recently started feeling very bruised in my tailbone area when sitting. I saw my consultant a couple of weeks ago and he was very pleased with my progress and has said to give it another 3 months and see if the sitting issue improves. I am really wanting to avoid an operation but feel that this is as good as it's going to get, so do I just put up with the pain caused by sitting. I also do not want to be taking painkillers all the time, I don't take them every day as I would rather put up with it than keep taking them


  • Like you, I too am dealing with a very similar situation. I have a disc herniation at L4-L5 and have been dealing with sciatica since January. I have good days (usually 2-3 at a stretch) followed by 2-3 rough days - this is however much better than the constant searing pain I had 4 months ago. I have had 2 epidural injections, and I have gabapentin, metaxlone and percocet available if things get really bad. This last week I have been managing with just a few ibuprophen during the day. I have found the key to my success being as active as possible. If I stay in bed too long, or if I sleep anywhere but my own bed (meaning vacationing right now is out of the question) I'll likely be suffering. I use an inversion table as this really seems to help keep my back aligned and just makes me feel better. I do use ice packs on occasion, especially for pain in the lower back/hip area. I stretch several times through the day, just a few minutes, and I walk as often as possible through the day. I did purchase an inexpensive TENS unit which I use seldom but it too can make me feel a little better. I guess the message I'm sharing is one of encouragement. Personally, I am doing everything possible to avoid surgery as I am concerned about the long term impact of any surgery - this is an absolute last resort for me. I'm encouraged by great support from my wife and we have changed some of our routines, at least in the short term, while I work through this. I will say that this is not my first bought with sciatica; my first experience occurred in 2010 - that's when the diagnosis of the disc issue was identified. I went 2 years with no pain and acting 'normal' - meaning that I was very active, working laboriously with hobbies (building, farming, landscape, concrete, etc) with no issues. I have been told that it could take 6, 9 or even 12 months to recover.... in the meantime I do what I can to find things (other than meds) to help me through the recovery.


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