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Almost 3 month update.....

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 10:02 am
by krd
Hey All,

Well it has been almost 3 months since my epidural injections. Again, had 1st on Sept 1 and the 2nd on Sept 21. Prior to these injections, I was virtually bed ridden for 6 weeks. Could walk about 100 feet but the pain was intense. Now the good news. I rehabbed for 3 days a week for 8 weeks with a great PT. I am now doing my "core" exercises every day and working out with resistance bands and the Total Gym 4 days a week.

I now have no pain or discomfort at all in my leg or my back. I am waiting patiently until next spring so that I can get back on the golf course (Dr. orders and PT also). Anyhow, I was very reluctant to get the epidural injections, but now I wish I had done it sooner. I know that it does not heal the herniation, but it did allow me to eliminate much of the pain so that I could rehab.

As for all of you out there suffering, remember that once you are pain free, you must continue working on strengthening your core muscles. I have to do them everyday for the rest of my life to maintain this back problem. I now find that I have become an exercise freak and I can't wiat for the days that I work out on the Total Gym and the resistance bands. Being down and out so long really makes you want to get back in shape and back to living again.

Hang in there all of you. If you too are worried about the epidural injection, reconsider. I can only speak from my own experience, but it has been nothing short of phenomenal. Last weekend, I took a 1 hour walk with my wife and dog, came home and worked out for approximately 1.5 hours, then put up Christmas decorations and then mowed the lawn, and still had the energy to go christmas shopping for 3 hours..... no pain!!!!

Thanks to every body here for there advice and support during this ordeal. I will be checking in the progress gained by all. Good luck and happy holidays to everybody.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 12:59 pm
by randolph
Thanks for the report, Ken. Great to read of your continuing improvement. I guess if there's one up-side to this whole sciatica ordeal, it's that we really do appreciate (A WHOLE LOT MORE) doing the simple things again, like hanging up Christmas decorations and shopping. :D Wow, was I happy the other day when I mowed the entire lawn WITHOUT a break!!

I'm wondering a few things.

What exercises are you doing to strengthen your core? I've been focusing on strengthening the abs and quads to take more of the load off my back, and I'm wondering what else can be strengthened to help reduce the strain on my back.

Can you give me the number of your doctor, so he can prescribe 18 holes of golf every other day for me, too :lol: ? And if your doctor would really prefer for you to start golfing (for medical reasons, of course) before your NJ courses thaw out up there, NC courses are green and ready to go RIGHT NOW!!


Core exercises...

PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:03 pm
by krd
Hey Randolf

Good to hear from you again. I do the plank exercises 3 times a day for 30 seconds each time. I do the standard plank and then I do side planks. I also do stretches, knee to chest, hamstring stretch, etc. I am also do lots of squats using an exercise ball against a wall, and I am now up to 3 minutes on my wall sit. This has strengthened my legs significantly. Also, I am doing approximately 100 crunches every other day laying on my Total Gym.

As for golfing... I have hit the ball a few times, but only about 6 shots on the course the other week when I walked it with my golfing buddies. If I could, I would come to Carolina just to play. Hey, at this point Scotland is on for July. I can only hope and pray that the progress continues.

Merry Christmas :P

PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 11:03 am
by randolph
Hello again, Ken

Sounds like we're doing some of the same exercises ... and reaping the same good rewards. I'm particularly fond of variations of the plank, squats, and crunches, too, and have seen muscle strengthening, also. When driving the big truck, I can do them everyday ... but at home being the "home repair guy", I have to limit it to every other day.

I was reminded (painfully) yesterday while cleaning some windows and making just one twisting motion too quickly, how important it is for us to maintain a "nuetral spine" during our activities ... and I'm wondering how you can prevent re-injuring yourself during that huge twisting and bending movement you make on a full-downswing, like when driving the ball off the tee? Do you have to lay-off going for the distance for now, and settle for starting with partial wedge shots, and gradually build up over the months till you can safely go for a par5 in 2 shots?



PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 2:21 pm
by krd
Hey Randolf

Actually, my PT had me throwing a 5 pound medicine ball against a trampoline sitting at a 45 degree angle and catching it as it came back to me while using a rotational (semi-golf) action. I now do a similar exercise on the Total Gym. I sit on the glide board, and rotate my shoulders around my torso, strengthening it.

I am not bragging, but so far there has been no pain from this exercise and I have taken a few full swings with the 7 iron with no pain. I am having a hard time being patient because I love golf so much. However, I know that it takes a long time for the nerve to heal, and Scotland is the carrot at the end of the stick for me.

Are you still in pain?? How are your leg symptons?? Did you ever consult your GP on epidural injections? I hope that you are doing well and have a great Christmas.... Talk to you soon.


PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 7:18 pm
by randolph
Hello again ... again ... Ken

Thanks for all the info about your exercises. Sounds like you're in good hands with your PT. My guess is you'll have enough patience to not do anything stupid which would prevent your going to Scotland in July '07 ... and considering where we were last Christmas, this holiday promises to be more hopeful for both of us. :D

Since my painful relapse last April, improvement has been slow, but steady. Because I continue to improve by doing the exercises, maintaining a nuetral spine in everything I do, and getting plenty of rest, my GP favors doing the epidural only in case of relapse and/or unacceptable increase of chronic pain.

Being able to run for hours and hours like I used to, is the carrot at the end of the stick for me. During the DC trip last week, I played several short games of chase with the kids while walking between the monuments and museums ... with very little pain the next day :D But I still have to limit walks to less than 30-45 minutes in duration and then take a break of similar duration. When the sciatica pain flares even just a bit (mostly in the right hip, behind the knee, or in little toe), I take that as a sign to take a break (no matter what I'm doing) ... and I'm gradually doing more and more betwen breaks. Considering where I was last year at this time, my progress is nothing short of amazing.

All the best!!