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Now what????

PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 12:58 pm
by krd
Well, I was doing pretty well lately, and then today for no apparent reason, a flare-up. Man this sucks. I know that I was on my feet a lot the last few days, but really what brought this on. I feel like I did about 3 to 4 weeks ago. I am not doing any stretches today and just taking it easy. I even bothers me a little sitting today. Hopefully this is just a minor setback.

I hope that you are all doing better than I. I will try to hang in there..... again.


Re: Now what????

PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 3:25 pm
by Rupert

sorry to hear that, but I guess setbacks are part of the rebuilding process. I had one 2 weeks ago when I pushed myself a bit too much at the gym for a couple of days. Now the nerves have cooled down a bit. Hopefully brother you would get better and able to resume the rebuilding.

Best Wishes,


PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 9:42 am
by krd
Well here is my update. I am down and out for the count. I am getting an MRI next week and then I will see where we go from there. I am probably going to see a specialist to get a handle on this. It is so hard to hang in there when this happens. Just over 2 months with the first battle and now I am back at square one. Pain is in my leg and hip, walking is brutal, and my family has been wonderful. Hey thanks for the words Randolf. It was nice to hear them. Be posting


MRI is in....

PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2006 12:11 pm
by krd
Hey Everyone

Got my MRI today, and it shows a rather large herniation at L5. It is putting pressure on the column. According to my chiropractor, which is the best chiropractor in the world, and a good friend, he recommends that I see a spine specialist to seek my optionsl. He feels that conservative care is the best, but that with the size of the herniation, surgery may be the best option in the long run. I guess that I am going to seek a professional opinion sometime soon, but I an not really excited about it. I can already tell you that the pain is not as bad as it was 2 days ago, but I am getting really tired of lying around all day.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Any body have epidoral injections or oral antinflammatory medications that at all helped???? Just wondering. Boy this has been an awful year. Life should be better than this. Time to be optimistic again, huh. Be posting.


PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 7:23 am
by randolph
Hello Ken

I was leaving a restaurant with the wife and kids last night ... and saw a family getting out of their luxury auto (worth more than the modular home I live in) to come in and eat. Stunningly beautiful couple with 2 daughters, one college aged and also stunningly beautiful, and a 6 yr old girl ... with cerebral palsy. Apparently her brain was deprived of oxygen during birth, long enough to prevent her from ever being able to walk. I bet the parents had other plans for her ... besides buying her a state of the art, customized, rolling walker. I know I had other plans than being challenged to be able to walk enough to shop in Wal-Mart. Yes, sometimes life sucks, and it's not fair.

But I'm still encouraged, and very glad to read you're still hanging in there. One thing we've got over that unfortunate 6 yr old girl I saw last night: there's a good chance our damaged sciatic nerves will heal. Isn't it interesting that the initial, unbearable pain does subside, and wisely doing the exercises does increase function, strength and flexibility?

My MRI revealed the same thing as yours. Hopefully, the back specialist you see will be open to your renewed efforts to try PT before opting for more aggressive treatment. For a few weeks after my relapse in April, I was feeling pretty hopeless, and was ready to "just get it over with". That's the false promise offered with surgery: that it's a final solution, and that it's inevitable. It's disappointing that the back surgeon I saw was ready to operate on me while I was in such a bad state of mind ... so I'm really glad forum folks reminded me then that "this too shall pass" ... which it did in my case. (But to his credit, he didn't put up a fuss when I said I was going to try PT first ... just said, come on back if PT doesn't work)

It also helped me to see that I really wasn't a candidate for surgery (no cauda equina syndrome, no foot drop, condition not worsening, pain not untreatable), even though I felt like I was ready. So much for "feelings".

Naproxin Sodium (aleve) was very effective for me if the pain was too much at night and prevented sleep. (Tylenol much less so) Needed to take it for 5 weeks after the initial injury, and for less than 2 weeks after the relapse. I know some folks who swear by the epidurial injections, getting them every few months. But they are also the same people who won't put the effort into rebuilding their backs and want something EZ to fix the problem. I'm inclined to "do-it-myself", so I've got a bias here.

Yes, life should be better than this ... and there's a good chance it will be for you Ken. We'll never take "just walking around" for granted again, will we!!!


Encouraging words are appreciated

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 8:39 am
by krd
Hey Randolf and Rupert

Thanks for the encouragement. I am hanging in there. I was on the internet on morning reading results on surgery for sciatica. The results are not that promising. In fact, NPR had a question and answer segment with a doctor which basically supported this. I too believe that exercise is the best scenario. I will start again as soon as possible.

Randolf, it is hard to see someone like that little girl, but it does put life into perspective. I really appreciate all of the comments and concerns brought on to this forum. There is another forum out there that I have tried, but they are alwayst touting there product. Not very good. Be posting.


I too have braod based herniation

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:52 am
by Rupert
Ken, and Randolph

I too have a broad based herniation at L5-S1. Yes it is frustrating but we will get accustoed to this too.
yes I second that this forum is very objective and patient-friendly.There is no hidden commerial agenda behind it.
And after doing a lot of research, the bottom line is only situation warranting surgery is cauda equina. Pain can never be the reason for back surgery as there is no guarnatee that pain will go away with surgery actually the opposite happening has more chances.
I am grateful to God for what I can do, I may no longer have the courage to run a 12 seconds 100m dash but i can walk without a problem. Take care of my family and enjoy their company. Whereas the poor 6 yr old girl Randolph met would not be able to enjoy most of the things in life we take for granted.

It has been 2 months since I found that i have a broad based herniation at l5-s1 but i have been steadily getting better. I hope in another six months i would be in shape to resume my neurological development program.I just Thank the lord for whatever I have.

Ken we are in this with you are not alone.

Best Wishes,

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 6:24 pm
by randolph
When I was seriously considering having a microdiscectomy operation to "clean up" the ruptured disc material irritating my sciatic nerve back in April, I found lots of conflicting info on the success rate for the operation. As you might expect, the highest success rate figures (80-90%) come from the doctors/commercial sites promoting the operation. Anecdotal evidence from my conversations with dozens of medical workers and those operated on, put it lower, maybe 50-50.

What really convinced me to cancel my appointment for surgery, and give PT my best try was research (in one of Dean's resource sites) that showed results were very similar for either approach. 4 years after onset of sciatica symptoms, folks using PT exclusively versus those getting the operation should equal results of recovery. Seemed a no-brainer.

Injury to nerves takes longer to heal than muscles, even bones and ligaments and tendons. And I think (haven't seen research on this and only have limited anecdotal evidence of my case and a few others) limiting the movement of other tissues around the affected nerve helps promote healing, somewhat similar to why we immobilize a bone to promote healing if the bone is broken. So the trade-off seems to be to stay active enough to not have significant muscle atrophy and keep flexible, but not do so much as to re-injure the nerve. Learning that fine line has been quite a personal and satisfying struggle. My improvement the last month has been very steady, even if slow.

Glad to hear of your good progress, Rupert!!



PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:24 pm
by krd
Hey Randolf and Rupert

Thanks for the words and the encouragement. I am in miserable discomfort. I am OK when lying on my side, but when I get up to walk, after only a few minutes, my left calf is tight and tingling. I too have researched the benefits/downside of surgery and it is going to be the last option that I consider.

Randolf, how big is your herniated disk? Could you see it pressing on the nerve easily? I am no radiologist, but I could see my herniation right away when looking at my MRI. I tell you what, this sciatica will test your faith.

Thank God for this laptop. It helps me to communicate with the outside world. I will keep you all posted on this bout and hopefully you are all getting better everyday. Hey Rupert are you from PA??? I am a NJ guy.


Re: UIpdate....

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:32 pm
by Rupert
Ken and Randolph,
i have a big herniation i could see it in my mri. But at that time i was not able to straighten my right leg at all so i am not sure how big it is now. With time it will go down in size. For me it is close to 3 months now but i have seen considerable improvement. I am counting on eventual complete recovery however long it may take say a year or two.
I am becoming more aware of my body. I am not doing any forward bend exercises like toe touch, i do not care what anybody says i know that is a perfect recipe for disaster. If the disk is not healed yet and i forward bend and put weight on it it gets injured again and further weaken. Maybe i will try forward bend in a year. Ken you should be fine. It takes time to heal. Just chill...take it easy for a while.

Yes Ken, I am in lower bucks in PA.


Hanging in there...

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 2:28 pm
by krd
Hey Rupert

I am definitely hanging in there. It is frustrating having been through this last April and again the May. The re-injury is more painful than this last episode. I am getting old I guess (51). Anyway thanks for the words of eincouragement, they are always appreciated. I am glad to hear that you are doing better.

Last year took me 3 months till I was healthy again. I than started to play golf 3 to 4 times a week and played through the entire winter and into the early spring when this happened. I hope that I don't have to give up golf, but if this is going to happen again if I play, then I will give it up. Anybody up for poker.