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30yr old male, small l5 S1 "protrusion"



  • I hope everything gets better for you 

  • Bit of an update.  Last few weeks have been pretty good, pain was fairly low etc.  I went to a physio session on Wednesday however and he pushed me pretty hard.  Previously I had only been walking and doing planks and some mackenzie stretches, he said "we need to get going on this" and had me do some nerve flossing for the first time, as well as passive leg lifts (with a strap, on by back lifiting my leg up and from outside to inside) as well as 20m on the bike.  Needless to say, I was in more pain yesterday than I have been in a while.  The tops of my feet feel an itchy burning type pain, which I haven't really experienced before.  I know that nerve flossing can aggravate sciatic pain...He told me to do the exercise every day, but I'm a little frightened to. I felt like I was making a little bit of progress with the core strengthening workouts, and yesterday and today I feel like i've regressed. 

    Is this a case of no pain no gain and I need to push through?  Or should I not do things that aggravate my back and sciatic issues?
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  • Another update: Pain has dropped down to normal level after the painful physio and a 7hr car ride to camping (and sleeping on a small air mattress for 2 nights).  Saw an orthopedic family medicine doctor and he didn't want to give me an injection at this point.  Still continuing with my core exercises from physio and starting to use the inversion table a bit more, at a gentle angle.

    It feels like the biggest culprit is sitting in my office chair all day.  I try to get up very often, and ice it and heat it at different intervals but to no avail.  I feel the sciatic pain (light burning/warmth inner thighs just above the knee down across the inside of the knee and shins, worse on left but present on right side, as well as tingly feet at times and burning/warmth on tops of both feet). 

    Back feels a bit stronger, where walking was difficult before, I enjoy walking now and it seems to help.  Did 15m on the eliptical and 10m on the bike the other day and felt good during and not too bad after.

    This is a long road!! I'm now about 4 months in, and while the pain has shifted and changed quite a lot, it hasn't "improved" all that much.  I know it can take a really long time so I'm hoping by 8 to 12 months I am updating you all that I don't feel any pain in my legs at all anymore and my back is much stronger!.

  • Another update in case anyone is following. Leg pain still there, and has changed a bit...pain is now also in my thighs..inner thighs coming across the inside of the knee and up.  It's actually painful to the touch in some places like a sore muscle. But for the most part, the pain is like a cold/burning type pain.  Not excruciating but really annoying.  Is this the femoral nerve perhaps?  Doctor wants to wait another month or so before trying an injection.  I'm starting to work out a little bit more, back does feel a bit stronger.

    Still, would have liked to be improving much more at this point about 5 months out from the onset of all this.  I'm thankful that I can walk and bike and sleep without too much discomfort...but this is a far cry from where I want to be.  I am going to a new physio this afternoon who also teaches a yoga for backs class that I might sign up for.

    Trying to keep it all together.  I've only taken 3 days off work during this last 5 months and i'm really proud of myself. 

  • I'm following and am very glad you continue to provide updates. 

    Glad you're doing better overall but sorry you have a new pain. 

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  • Hey wrcftw,

    I'm not a doctor so this is not medical advice. Did you get a second look at your mri from another doc? Sometimes a second opinion can put your mind at ease.

  • catapamcatapam AustriaPosts: 157

    In my opinion even if 10 doctors will check MRI, this will not change your condition 

    If you are managing without pain pils is great, just go ahead listen to your body, read and learn about you condition 

    Exercises are the key so take it easy but do them regularly. Ideally is to alternate like one day swimming, one day biking, 15-20 min, do not push

    Some books like McGill, McKenzie, Gokhale are good and will increase your knowledge but each of the book may be wrong in some conclusions and some exercises may not help you but you will find something for you

    Do not blindly follow any advise ignoring body response

    Try not to go on steroids injections that will mask the pain, if you are not in real pain. Is better to let your body to talk to you

    You may never be the same but if you are doing things right you will enjoy life.

  • I really refuse to believe I will be dealing with this pain for life.  I will never stop looking for solutions.

    I've been biking more and trying to live my life.  Back pain itself seems to be improving and it feels more stable.  But my lower body is a mess.  I biked to and from work yesterday and am feeling it today.  This is definitely the hardest thing i've ever had to go through in my life...not sure if that says something about me, but I guess i've had a decent ride so far.

    I continue to not take any pain meds, although I do smoke MJ sometimes (can't say it really helps for pain that much but hey, its an escape).  My next steps are yoga, a new firm mattress, and either steroid or PRP.  I just need the weird leg pain to cease, i can live with a sore back...i can't live with constant pain in my legs all day.

  • catapamcatapam AustriaPosts: 157

    @wrcftw I think from my response you read only the last sentence 

    For sure this is your big concern 

    I was there, I was 24 when I was confronted with the same problem, back pain, leg pain, foot dropping, refusing surgery and so on

    Now I am 30 years later and back pain was part of my life but I had one with wife, kids, vacations and so on

    In some way back pain motivated me and I was most successful than 90% from my university colleagues 

    So take it easy 

    Coming back to steroids, why you want to do this if you are not in acute pain?

    In my opinion it is better to feel in order to understand which exercises are good for you

  • Hello - sorry, i just take issue when people say i may never be the same.  Obviously it's a possibility, but one I can't accept.  I'm following my doctors suggestions at this point. I'd only get the shots if my doctor felt that it was good for my long term recovery.  I can deal with the pain, it sucks and I wish it wasn't there but you're right, I don't want to mask it.

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