Question about exercises

Discussions related to Sciatica and Leg Pain
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Question about exercises

Post by dontpassilver » Sun Jun 24, 2007 6:38 am

Hello Everyone,

Here is my (sad) story.

I was in my usual state of good health, (I eat a good diet and was running 5 days per week), when 6 weeks ago I woke up with agonizing pain in my left leg.

The pain was so severe I was screaming and crying at times. I could barley sit on a toilet.

Two trips to the E.R., Xrays, a spine MRI, a visit with an orthopedic surgeon, and $3000 dollars later I was told that I had prolapsed disc at L3-L4.

Currently my symptoms consist of pins and needles sensation in my left leg when I put my leg in certain positions, as well as mild to moderate pain at times when I walk. I only found out about the rebuild your back program a few days ago, and only recenlty started the exercises. For the past six weeks, the only therapy I had was avoiding sitting as much as possible and power walking an hour per day, (I get pain when I walk, but the pain diminishes as I continue to walk)

My questions are: Shoud I continue to do the Cobra exercises even if they cause more pins and needles sensation in my leg? Should I start the Sciatica exercises from chapter 6 now, or wait until all of my symptoms stop. Should I avoid any exercise which causes more pins and needles sensations?

Thank you for your help with my questions.


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Question about running

Post by dontpassilver » Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:08 am

I have a question about running?

I continue to have sciatica symptoms, pins and needles in my left leg, as well as mild to moderate, (sometimes severe) pain when walking.

My pain on walking usually goes away as I keep walking, and I am able then to run.

Should I wait until after I have done the Rebuild your Back program for a couple of months, and hopefully my sciatica symptoms are gone, before running, or is it okay to start running now?

Will running now, even though I have sciatica prolong my recovery? I read the NYtimes article on running while you are injuried.

Anyboy have an opinion on this.


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Post by Ron » Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:48 pm


On your first question: The general consensus seems to be that if one exercise causes your symptoms to get worse, that it's best to not do it. Just do the others.

On the running question, my opinion is that it won't help you rebuild your back, so why risk hindering your recovery? I think the smart thing to do is just concentrate on rebuilding your back for now. You have your whole life to go running.

Just my 2 cents,

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Post by randolph » Sat Jun 30, 2007 6:32 am

Hello dontpassilver

I share Ron's opinion that it's best to back off on any exercise that causes too much pain. Certainly, you have to push the envelope a bit to promote healing ... but not too much, or you cause re-injury. You'll find that magic middle ground after the first few times you push it too far. Pain is a good teacher.

Dean's advice to do the basic exercises for a month or two before going to the advanced exercises worked for me. I wouldn't be afraid to stop running during those first few months. You'll lose some conditioning, and yes, I know, there's nothing worse than those first few or several weeks of getting your conditioning back after a long time not running. I had no choice: I had to stop running because I couldn't even walk; but I'd be cautious about pushing yourself too much to continue running. (If you run because you "sortof" can, I'd be interested to know if you heal; you're on ground there I haven't run on.)

I'm a runner. Sciatica (herniated L4-L5) laid me down to a literal crawl for 2 months in late '05 (no walking, let alone running). That NYTimes article you refer to, about the doc who ran thru his sciatica symptoms with NSAIDs .... I'm inclined to think he didn't have the debilitating symptoms some of us have. For me, I had to learn to walk again before I could start running again in late '06. Now I'm back to running freely, with very minor pain, for an hour every other day.

The most important thing I did to get back to running again was SLOW DOWN enough to give RYB a good try. It's not the quick fix. Recent research I heard reported on XM's medical channel reported folks who had microdiscectomy bounced back quicker, but after a year, those who used PT only to recover, were equally recovered. My guess is that we PT folks will stay symptom free longer than the surgery folks because we've built stronger backs. Baseball pitcher Randy Johnson's back problems seem to bear out the long term superiority of PT over quickfix back surgery. I'd be inclined to get the back surgery too like Randy, if someone was willing to pay me millions every month to throw baseballs, but the point is, that PT works if you give yourself the time to slowly recover.

Hope this helps; ask more questions as they come.


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Questons about exercise

Post by dontpassilver » Sun Jul 01, 2007 1:28 pm

Hello Eveyone,

Thanks for responding to my questions.

I am now at weak 7 since I started having sciatica. Things are improving daily. I have much less pain when walking.

One thing that bothers me, I am having a hard time doing even the basic rebuild your back exercises. I do them, and afterwards I have more tingling in my left leg as well as leg pain.

I had an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon last Monday, He went over my MRI and he stated that my MRI was basically normal, he could not discern any patholog, except for some mild disc dessication at L4, L5.

In terms of running, for some reason I have much less discomfort running than walking. I can run without any pain. I have no pain afterwards, and no additional pain the next day.

I have decided not to run until I am completely better as I am aftaid that I may be doing something which will harm me in the long run.

Take care.

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