Introduction, advice/motivation requested...

Discussions related to Sciatica and Leg Pain

Introduction, advice/motivation requested...

Postby kevman » Tue Sep 30, 2008 3:35 pm

Hey,

After staying away form all internet solutions I just bought Dean's book because it truly looked like he's just trying to help and not make a few bucks. I felt the next thing I needed to do was register on the forum, introduce myself and "vent" a little to make myself feel better… or to wallow in my own self pitty…so I hope you don't mind.

<background>
I recently "injured" my back in March but as far as I'm concerned I did nothing to "injure" it because there was no "oh snap" moment. I had been suffering with back discomfort since January and in an attempt to better it I decided to try Yoga. I stress that prior to March it was simply just a discomfort because I was more than able to do everything I wanted to. Back to the Yoga... it felt really good while doing it. Things were warming up, I was stretching further than ever before and I generally felt like this is something I'd like to continue. The next morning when I got up I was stiff, but not too bad. Most of the stiffness was in my upper body and I got even more excited at the prospect of building a little upper body strength at the same time. I then got into a car to drive 2 hours to visit my brother at school. When finally arriving I tried to get out of the car and well I'm sure you can all see where this is going...

Looking back I did have a weaker back than most but found I was generally able to take care of it growing up. In fact, playing high school football seemed to be the best thing I ever did for it. I’m assuming it was from the stretching… As a result I used to always do a few stretches and one simple core bridge before bed every night. Not a lot but it should also be noted that for whatever reason I got out of this habit while traveling last summer…

OK, that should be enough back ground info… Fast forward a little bit. I’m 23 now (22 when it all began in March). I love to snowboard, a lot, I went more than 30 time last year in January and February alone before the injury. I also love to mountain bike, a lot, I rode more than 100 days last summer and I race downhill at a pretty high level.
</background>

On to my injury… When it started I was getting a severe cramping in my right thigh. I could not sit still for long and it was even worse when I got up as I could barely walk. I was limping everywhere and the only thing that seemed to make it better was lying down. I immediately went to phyiso who sent me to acupuncture who sent me to a chiropractor who finally sent me to the sports medicine doctor I’m seeing with the assistance of more physio. I started this round of physio with trigger point injections in July and have seen a little improvement. The pain started to subside in my thigh as a cramp and replaced itself with a stabbing in my shin. I took this as a good sign because the light stabbing was much more tolerable than the incredible cramping. The stabbing is slowly fading but still very prominent. I’ve been working out a lot, to the tune of 2+ hours every day most, or almost all, of it is stretching and core. I’ve defiantly seen an improvement in my core strength, my girlfriend loves my new found 6-pack, and I feel stronger but I can’t for the life of me improve my flexibility in the injured leg. Currently if I were to try and touch my toes I’d make it to my knees on a good day. My “cobra” flexibility is fine for I am able to fully extend my arms but when ever I try to bend forward I get a sharp “no more” in my right leg. It’s not a friendly ‘push a little harder’ muscle pain but instead a hard edge on/off ‘I will not move further’ pain. This is the pain that’s got me bummed out. I can’t even stretch my hamstrings because I can’t get them to stretch before this pain starts.

I know I need to be patient but I’ve stale-mated. Sports are my life and I’m going crazy… Comparatively it’s not that bad from what I’ve read and I’m defiantly not looking for sympathy but my high spirits are shrinking and I just need a little positive reinforcement. My physiotherapist says I’m on the hump but it’s been a BIG hump.

Phew, well I feel better already… I look forward to reading the site and would really appreciate it if someone else that has experience this particular ‘no more’ point could offer some insight! The weird thing is I state my “back” is acting up but besides a spasm here or there that starts in my piriformis I have very little to no actual pain within my back…
kevman
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 2:40 pm

Postby TBone » Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:45 am

Kevman,

Don't give up. You'll get better. Just remember not to rush back into activity too soon. And, when you do get better, continue your therapy for the rest of your days. I know it's hard...I am an avid athlete myself. I wish I could go back in time and stop myself from playing hockey on the night I hurt my back...since that night, it has never been the same. I was injured and I tried to play through it. Don't do that!

Then, when I finally got better, I stopped doing my therapy exercises and 2 years later...blam...I hurt it again. Don't do that either!

Backs seem to take a long time because every little move requires that you use it. You can't really take weight off of it like if you were to blow out your knee, so the healing is prolonged. (Poor design on God's part...IMHO) Screw the extra rib, what Adam and mankind really needed was another vertebrate to support our weight!

Anyway, I think you are doing the right thing by seeing a sports medicine doc. I have had some good results so far with my physical therapist who specializes in sports injuries, but the jury is still out and I am trying to stay even keel on it.

I have also learned that depression and anxiety about my back only makes things worse. Keep your mind as busy as you can and trust that eventually you'll get better. It is bad enough being hurt, but any depression or anxiety will only add more weight onto an otherwise heavy load.

Good luck,
TBone
TBone
 

Postby kevman » Fri May 29, 2009 6:16 pm

Update:

Good News - My back has been slowly getting better, much better! I have been doing Yoga for the last 6 months and it has helped immensely! I was able to snowboard this year, with zero paid by the end of the season, and managed 38 days on the slopes! Biking season (and soon race season) has just started and I've been able to ride with very little pain. I was even able to drive 10 hours ride hard 3 days and drive back 10 hours in a long weekend and felt pretty good...ok so that's the quick and dirty things sound good right?

Bad News - I finally got my MRI (hoorah Canada health care!) 14 and a bit months after my injury.... A picture says 1,000 words...
[why can't i post photos, is there seriously no way to share a photo? anyways, i have a herniated disc at L5-S1 and a bulging disc at L4-L5 with the one at L5-S1 being pretty gnarly looking...]

Bah humbug! How could this be? I'm so discouraged... I don't understand how my pain has gotten so much better lately only to find out I have not 1 but 2 herniated discs (albeit one is much smaller than the other). What's the next step? I'm not prepared to give up a season of biking but I guess my long term health is more important...
kevman
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 2:40 pm

Postby TBone » Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:42 am

Hey Kevman,

That's just the thing with MRI's...they cannot detect pain...only abnormalities (which everyone has). I just had a discussion/argument with my dad who is an old-school rheumatologist. My MRI showed a small bulge...2mm at L5 S1. He is convinced that this is the problem...the bulge and mild DDD (also, which almost everyone has by age 20). However, I have pain in my tailbone and at the left sacroiliac joint. This pain prevented me from sitting and standing for any long period of time. I can reproduce this pain by pressing on the areas. These areas are well away from the bulge. I have been getting prolotherapy on these areas, and they have been improving steadily. It was those weak and stretched ligaments that were causing the majority of the pain...basically, I had a sprained butt! Prolo has helped strengthen those ligaments and low and behold, the pain gets lesser and lesser each day.

I can now stand for hours without problems and I can sit for about an hour before I have to get up...much better than the 5 minutes it used to take before I had to get up.

If I were you, I would not be discouraged at all. You are feeling better. However, the tendency I have always had when I started to feel better, was to jump back into activity with full force. That is probably the reason why I have had continuing issues with my back...I haven't let it fully heal. The MRI that you have should encourage you to continue the exercises...especially the cobras which are designed to coax the disc back into place. Are you able to do those?

I would also encourage you to warm up slowly and properly before trying any activity and certainly after activity. Is there a way that you could cut your biking activity in half? Or, maybe take this season off to properly rehab...you want to think about longevity...biking will be there next year and many years after if you take the proper steps to rehab.

Good luck,
TBone
TBone
 


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