What does this mean?

Discussions related to Sciatica and Leg Pain

What does this mean?

Postby Rupert » Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:24 am

I have been recovering from a l5-s1 broad based herniation and mildly displace s1 nerve, rather slowly but steadily. It has been 2 months and a week since I had excruciating pain. Took NSAIDS for 3 days and then followed it up with PT exercises. Last week added the Inversion table also. It seems the inversion table gives a good pain relief temporarily.
I have increased flexibility now, 12 inches from toes in forward bend. I do not try it more than once a day. Can do and hold all the other stretches with moderate comfort. I feel my back is stronger than it was before i had the injury. But I do have a light burning feeling at the bottom of my feet. What does that mean? :? is that going to be permanent?

Right now except for the burning feelin under the feet I am doing quite well.

Thanks,
Rupert,PA
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Postby randolph » Sat Aug 05, 2006 9:40 pm

Hello Rupert

Glad to read of your positive, steady progress.

I've been getting that odd burning on the bottom of my sciatica-affected right foot since the scatica started last year for me. Puzzles me, too. (I'm definitely not walking on hot coals or bumble-bees) The first few months it was fairly frequent and seemed to come at the end of too much activity. Now it is much less frequent and seems to be the result of an unusual twist of my right leg while my hip is immobile ... so perhaps just the result of sciatic nerve getting tweeked. So far isn't very often and hasn't gotten worse when it does happen. The worst part of it is not knowing exactly what's happening and worrying. Anyone else throw some light on this sciatica symptom?

Randolph
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Postby Rupert » Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:56 am

Randolph,
yes the burning happens after sitting too long or doing some physical activity like lifting things. I have it under both the feet. I am counting on conservative care and herniation reabsorption.
Is there any serious medical research going on for back issues?

Thanks for the encouragement Randolph.

Rupert,PA
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Postby randolph » Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:45 pm

Yes, Rupert, lots of medical research going on all over the world on lower back disorders. Try pubmed.gov - 1000's of abstracts concerning past and present research on EVERYTHING medical. Also, check out the work of Dr. Stuart McGill; he's authored 2 very readable books on his 25 years of research on back disorders. Google his name for a preview.

Please post any interesting finds!

Randolph
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Postby randolph » Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:28 pm

Hello Rupert

Another comment on that pain we're experiencing on the bottom of our feet (and for me, especially in little toe). I'm thinking it's indicative of at least a bit too much activity.

Last week, overdid it just a bit. Had been feeling very good the previous two weeks ... so when I got the opportunity to do some relatively strenuous work for an hour, I wanted to see what would happen. Sailed thru the work with very little nerve pain (the basic repititive movement was pulling a light, but bulky weight on a hand-jack up a mild incline - man it felt good to sweat from some good old-fashioned work) ... but that night had to take some naproxen (for the first time in months) to get to sleep in spite of leg aches. One of the aches was that yucky burning on the bottom of my foot and in the little toe. After a week of minimal activity since that work, the burning pain has greatly subsided.

While I am pleased I didn't overdo it very much ... I did disregard the subtle warnings my body was sending me while I was doing the work: tiny jolts of nerve pain thruout the affected leg. I thought, well as long as it only hurts a little, it must be alright to continue. Wrong. Live and learn. Next time I just have to insist someone with a stronger back does the work.

How's that burning pain in your foot these days?

And how's that inversion table? I've got a chin-up bar rigged up on the back of my truck, to hang from by the hands several times a day ... and it is very relaxing on my lower back. Are we talking about the same idea (traction on the spine), except you hang from the other direction?

And finally, how is driving in a car for you? Several months ago you were having difficulties driving and were considering a back brace, or a better seat ... what did you finally do?

Randolph
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Progress and Regress

Postby Rupert » Tue Sep 05, 2006 1:04 pm

Randolph,
the burning in my feet is not there most of the time now. Only when i do the exercises twice a day or try a new exercise that i can not yet do.
But there is another worry that I have developed, The nerve symptoms are not there most of the time but when i overdo things the sensations are felt predominantly all over my lower left side ascending from the foot and felt distinctly near the hip ball joint.
I have read feeling sensations/weakness over the groin area/ saddle area is a red flag. But i occasionally get that on the left side on a day when i have tried too many new exercises. Though nerve symptoms happen predominantly on the left side but once the aggravation is done there are noticeable symptoms on the right side but mild compared to the left side.
I really do not want to go for surgery especailly discetomy since it can not replace the cartilage only scar tissue will be formed by the surgery which is weak and has the same probability of flaring up as now. All the surgery is going to do is temporarily releive the nerve unless the later on we do something that causes the scar tissue to give way and we have a herniation again.
It is best to be cautious i beleive.
Keep Posting.

Best Wishes,
Rupert
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Inversion table and driving

Postby Rupert » Tue Sep 05, 2006 1:09 pm

Randolph,
I am hanging by the ankles. It helped a lot initially in terms of pain releif. I hang for about 10-20 minutes a day. I am better on the days i use the table then the days i do not use it.

I have made paddings on the left side of my seat to make it level with the right side. I drive minimally about 2 hours in all a day for work. But i have to sit at work all day.
Kneeling chairs are useless. I beleive those are more of an exercise equipment than actual sitting equpment. They put you in neutral spine position but you can not sit relaxed in that position for work.

Thanks,
Rupert
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Know what you mean...

Postby krd » Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:14 pm

Hey Rupert

Just a thought. Why not ask your doc to prescribe for you a steroid pack. It is a six day pack of steroids to help solve some of the imflammation. The reason that I am saying this is that if you get even mild results from this, you are a good candidate for an epidural injection.

I had mine and the pain is virtually gone. It still spasm slightly every now and then, but it has only been 4 days. I can finally sit and drive again without pain. The epidural is painless and the result for me was amazing. I hope this continues. If you want to talk, you can email me and I will give you my cell phone number. Email is kdepew55@comcast.net. Always thinking of my fellow sciatica suffers.

Ken
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Re: Know what you mean...

Postby Rupert » Wed Sep 06, 2006 1:10 pm

krd wrote:Hey Rupert

Just a thought. Why not ask your doc to prescribe for you a steroid pack. It is a six day pack of steroids to help solve some of the imflammation. The reason that I am saying this is that if you get even mild results from this, you are a good candidate for an epidural injection.

I had mine and the pain is virtually gone. It still spasm slightly every now and then, but it has only been 4 days. I can finally sit and drive again without pain. The epidural is painless and the result for me was amazing. I hope this continues. If you want to talk, you can email me and I will give you my cell phone number. Email is kdepew55@comcast.net. Always thinking of my fellow sciatica suffers.

Ken





Ken,
appreciate your concern for other sciatica sufferers, i believe that is the spirit of a support group. My doctor told me that I am too young(35) for epidural i should try it as a final resort before surgery if things worsen more and more.
Doing PT and listening to my body.
Nice to hear that you have responded well to the epidural and are doing much better.

Keep posting.

Thanks,
Rupert
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Question Rupert

Postby krd » Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:33 am

Hey Rupert

Was it your GP or was it a spine doctor that told you to not have the epidural? The reason I am asking is that after seeing my spine surgeon, he did tell me that the longer the inflammation is there the more our muscles become weak and the longer it is to rehab.

All the epidural did for me was to relieve the pain which was hugh. Today is day 6 and I am getting better every day. I can sit without pain, am walking more and more every day, and the stretching is not hurting. I know that I have to limit my stretching because of muscles being so weak. However, I wish that I had not waited so long to have the injection. I am now part of my family again and that has hightened my spirits significantly. The epidural is not invasive at all. All it is, is an injection into the area where the nerve root is being irritated, on an out patient basis.

I had a bout of sciatica last year that I worked through with the RYB program. It took me about 2.5 months to be out of pain, and another month until I was back on the golf course. This year the pain has been on-going for over 3 months with very little results. I was starting to recover slightly and then it hit me again. The epidural broke the pain cycle and now I am able to do rehab and hopefully get my life back. Just thought I would thow this our at you if you are in a lot of pain. I know that epidurals are not for everyone, but for me it was a god sent. Be posting....

Ken
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Postby tomcat » Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:39 am

Hey Ken

Did you stick with the exercises after your sciatica "bout" last year? the reason I am asking is that i am wondering what my chances are of the sciatica returning if i am religous about exercising twice a day from now on. I know all cases are different. I have a torn disc at L5/S1 and a small herniation at S4/S5. did 20 sessions of PT followed by 20 IDD (disc decompression). have been battling this for almost 6 months and have slowly been getting better. the exercises they had me doing are a combination of the RYB basics and a few of the advanced ones, plus some not in the book. I decided to just do the RYB basic ones twice a day and have gotten alot better over the last 10 or so days. by back feels as good as ever, just can't get rid of the sciatica.

Glad the epidurals are helping you. i was seeing a spinal specialist and he never recommended them for me. i expect that is the next step, but i keep improving. he "released" me and said to call if it gets worse.

Thanks, Tom
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RYB

Postby krd » Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:22 am

Hey Tomcat

Yes I was doing the RYB stretches throughout. I am an avid golfer and that does not help. However, I was completely pain free from sciatica for approximately 9 months. This time however, it came back with a vengance.

I couldn't do any of the stretches because of the pain in my leg and hip area. The epidural, if nothing else, has broken the pain cycle and that was important for me. If you read my earlier posts, a very good friend of mine is the anestestiologist. He is the one that told me to try the steroid pack for six days to see if I got any relief. When I did, he knew that the epidural would work for me. I am pumped about being in less pain. I was in pain ranging from 1 to 10, an average of 8 to 9 everyday. Now the pain is very sporadic and even then it is only around a 3 at most.

My friend suggest that I come in for a second one on the 21st of this month. He says that from my results, the second one will eliminate all of the pain. Here's hoping. Be posting.

Ken
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Postby randolph » Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:04 pm

Hey, Ken - Thanks for the progress report of good news concerning the epidural. :D

And hey, Rupert - The red flag pains in the groin area, I think you are referring to, is cauda equina syndrome ... serious business. I'll tell you what I know from reading, but I'd want to talk with an MD if I thought there was any possibility I was experiencing those syndrome symptoms. Besides pain in the saddle area (picture the area of your butt that contacts a saddle when riding on a horse), there is usuallly also a loss in control of bladder and/or bowels. This comes from damage to the actual spinal cord ... and if untreated can possibly lead to leg paralysis. :shock:

I know a lady under 35 receiving epidurals ... but maybe it's because her back troubles are the result of injuries from a car accident?

Randolph
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Postby Rupert » Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:39 am

randolph wrote:And hey, Rupert - The red flag pains in the groin area, I think you are referring to, is cauda equina syndrome ... serious business. I'll tell you what I know from reading, but I'd want to talk with an MD if I thought there was any possibility I was experiencing those syndrome symptoms. Besides pain in the saddle area (picture the area of your butt that contacts a saddle when riding on a horse), there is usuallly also a loss in control of bladder and/or bowels. This comes from damage to the actual spinal cord ... and if untreated can possibly lead to leg paralysis. :shock:
Randolph



Randolph,
I am going to see my doctor today he would recoomend me to a spin specialist and will take it from there. Right now it is a discomfort but i have read it starts like that.
I need to act quickly on this one.
Thanks,
Rupert
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Nerve conduction tests

Postby Rupert » Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:48 am

I have been refferred to Neurologist for more testing. I would have a EMG test over there. I refused ot have the Myelogram which is an invasive procedure and can cause permanent nerve damage.

Keep you posted.
In God we trust, hopefully things will e diagnosed correctly.

Ken, If my doctor recommends Epidural i would call you first.

Best Wishes,
Rupert
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