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Question about pain relief from muscle relaxants (Valium, Xanax etc)

Hi guys,

I am nearly 7 weeks post L5/S1 microdiscectomy for a large herniation. I had a setback a few weeks ago and have since been in pain. Sneezing whilst sitting down a few days ago did not help. I just hope I haven't reherniated. I don't have pain in my legs but I have been having a lot of pain in my lower back since the setback. It's hard for me to walk too much without Valium and I've been pulling to one side (crooked torso).

Anyway, to cut a long story short I am not taking anymore opioids and I'm actually getting relief from 4mg of Valium. My question is this: Does me getting relief from muscle relaxants indicate that the pain I'm currently experiencing is muscular (i.e. my set back from a few weeks ago irritated the muscles and nerves but I did not rehearniate) ?

Thanks guys
L5/S1 Microdiscectomy for large herniation on 9/11/2013


  • I myself am 10 days out from L4-L5 posterior fusion and I was given Valium between opioids while it the hospital. I does work amazingly well but the nurses did tell me that it would the muscles not to spasm. Hope this helps.

    ALIF April 2011 but it turns out I broke before it barely fused.
    L4-L5 posterior fusion December 2013
  • Richmond_TigersRRichmond_Tigers Posts: 16
    edited 12/27/2013 - 2:15 PM
    Annie-m said:
    I myself am 10 days out from L4-L5 posterior fusion and I was given Valium between opioids while it the hospital. I does work amazingly well but the nurses did tell me that it would the muscles not to spasm. Hope this helps.

    Thanks for the reply Anne and I wish you well with your recovery. Yeah it's really good for pain but my recovery seems very slow since I had that set back a few weeks ago. It's been 7 weeks today since my surgery.

    Anyone know how long I should wait before considering a new MRI ? I have an appointment with the surgeon again on January 22. I'm hoping it's just inflammation and bruising that will eventually go away.
    L5/S1 Microdiscectomy for large herniation on 9/11/2013
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  • If you don't feel comfortable about the sudden pain you are in, you can always call your surgeon and let them know what's going on. They may order a MRI or prescribe a new med.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • It's possible you herniated again, but most likely you've pulled or strained a muscle. Most people after back surgery have an "oh crap" moment when they feel they have blown another disc.

    Your insurance may be the one to say if you can get another MRI or not at this point. Muscle relaxers like valium do a good job calming things down which may be all you need for now. In my case, I had muscle spasms for weeks after surgery and even to this day, I have them at night while in bed. Usually, if I can stop the spasms, the discomfort level would go down (albeit a little bit).

    Good luck and I hope you feel better.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Thanks guys

    Well today I am 7 weeks post op and I woke up completely crooked (torso) just like before the surgery ! Everything was going so well until I had the setback when I kicked the football.

    I'm very sore and pulling to the left side and have bad right knee pain. Surgeons office are all on holiday at present too so it couldn't have come at a worse time.

    My symptoms at the moment are as follow as:

    Very crooked torso pulling to the left
    Lower back pain in center, left and right
    Sore knees (mostly right one)
    Occasional leg pain that comes and goes
    Extremely cold feet

    These are basically all the symptoms I had before the surgery too
    L5/S1 Microdiscectomy for large herniation on 9/11/2013
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  • Richmond_TigersRRichmond_Tigers Posts: 16
    edited 12/28/2013 - 6:38 PM
    Just went to see the doctor, can't get in contact with my surgeons office because they're on holidays.

    Tried to get Medrol but doc wouldn't subscribe it and put me on Celebrex instead for possible inflammation (I was on this for 1 week post surgery) . What are people's experiences with Celebrex after a setback following back surgery ? If it truly is only inflammation from the setback and nothing more, can it actually remove the inflammation/bruising and set you back onto the road to recovery ?

    L5/S1 Microdiscectomy for large herniation on 9/11/2013
  • If you are able to Crouch down, i highly recommend doing that the next time you have to sneeze!

    I re-herniated 5 or 6 days after my first Discectomy...I wish someone had suggested the crouch before I did, instead of after.

    I think if you are still experiencing pain, another MRI is probably a good idea. Better safe than sorry.
    L5-S1 Herniation. 1st MIrcrodiscectomy 11/9/13. 2nd Microdiscectomy 12/19/13
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