New and Giving it a Try.

Discussions related to Sciatica and Leg Pain

New and Giving it a Try.

Postby docjon777 » Fri Feb 16, 2007 2:10 pm

Hey guys and gals,

I'm new to the site and have been researching it for the past week. I have been a victom of sciatica for 14 months now following my idiot idea to move our 400lb sleigh bed all by myself because it wasn't lined up perfectly with the wall. I know, that was just the incident that broke the camels back. And during that spell of insanity, I could hear my dad's voice in my head going "Don't lift heavy things by yourself! You'll permantly hurt your back!". Oh well, anyways, the pain was really bad for about three months. I then went to see a chiropractor and I thought that he may have helped me because the pain went way for a few months but then came back with a vengence about nines months after the original flare up. After seeing the chiropractor for ten months, getting 17 sessions of decompression therapy, I am no better. I will still have aweful flareups for three days followed by about 5-7 days of mild zaps here and there. Now I am seeing an Orthopedic surgeon. My MRI results were not visually bad showing a slightly dried out and slighly bulging disc at L4-L5. But trust me, the constant, never know when it's gonna hit you 200 volt zap sucks big time. It's like some little goblin following me around all day with a tazer gun ready to hit my right leg at a moments notice with no warning.

Ok, enough of that. I have started the basic low back excercises for 4 days now and I can say that my lower back feels a little better but it has inflamed my sciatica up a little bit in my right leg. What worries me most though is that now since starting the excercises I am feeling pain (not major zapping) but a dull sciatic ache in the back of my LEFT leg as well. I have only felt pain in the right leg before starting this program. Has anyone ever experienced anything like this before?? I am definitely NOT going to stop excercising because I strongly agree with Deans philosophy. I don't believe going under the knife will help. I can definitely say that my back is out of shape because I sit all day at my job. How long did it take most of you guys to really start getting some relief from this program. My Doctor has set up for me to get my first epidural cortisone injections in 14 days. ( Could have been sooner but I deliberately set it back so that I could give this excercise program a chance first.)

Ok, this turned out to be WAY longer than I intended it to be. Wish me luck. Here's to Natural Healing!! Man, I hope it works! :^)

Been there too.....

Postby krd » Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:31 pm

Hey docjon777

I too had struggled with sciatica. Had it in 2005 for the first time, and it lasted for about 3 months. Thought I had beat it and then it came back again in May of 2006, with a huge flare up in July. I couldn't get out of bed for about 7 weeks. My MRI showed a large herniation at L5 which was "banging" on the nerve root.

I finally opted for the epidurals. Had 2, 3 weeks apart in September of 2006. The results were amazing for me. They reduced most of the pain and allowed me to agressively pursue PT. The PT was tough in the beginning, sometimes even increasing the pain, however, the long term results have been amazing. My PT lasted 8 weeks, 3 sessions per week. I now continue to do my core exercises almost everyday and I have been pain free since November 2006.

I now workout (strength exercises) 3 days a week, and I am able to walk as far as I would like. I know that epidurals are not for everyone, but they sure have worked for me. I am hoping that with all of the core exercises that I am doing that I will never have to experience that pain again.

Do what feels right for you. It took me a long time to finally give in to the epidurals, but I was tired of not being a part of my family. It worked for me, but I know that it does not work for everyone. If you need to talk about this, I can give you my cell phone number or my email address. Let me know. Hang in there!

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Postby randolph » Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:30 am

Hi Docjon777

Wish I had info on the new pain in the previously unaffected leg. Hope someone chimes in on that one. Would be nice to know if this is normal and relatively benign, or an indication of a worsening disc or something else that needs to be concerned about.

But one question I can comment on: how long doing the RYB program before getting benefit.

I received slow and steady improvement from day one. There were occassional days of relapse, but week-to-week I always saw improvement, with lessening pain, lessening need for pain meds, and increased flexibility. A year and a half after initial injury I'm back to previous "normal". Just two weeks ago unloaded a trailer filled with 50 heavy sofas with a 2wheeled hand dolly, with no problem, and I'm building up my running endurance steadily after the many months without sufficient aerobic activity.

Following the RYB recommendations helped me thru the acute stages of my recovery. Until a few months ago, there was still some chronic pain and partial disability, and utilizing some of Dr. John Sarno's recommendations for recovery from TMS (see wikipedia for tension myositis syndrome), I've recovered full function. My rebuilding process was probably slower than most (I made some mistakes), but the process isn't brain science once you internalize some of the counter-intuitive recommendations for rebuilding and recovery.

Your "can-do", hopeful attitude is going to be a great help for you. (I'm convinced that cultivating hope based on realistic expectations of recovery are a great help in the rebuilding process.) That's the upside of your spirit of indominatible independence that had you foolishly wrestling with that monster bed in the first place :D

It also seems important to get the pain down so you can do the exercises. Some of us need more than OTC NSAIDs (like the epidurals that Ken mentioned above).

Whatever you decide to do, please keep us posted on your progress.

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Follow-up recovery with questions.

Postby docjon777 » Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:22 am

Hey Everyone,

Just a follow-up letter to my earlier post. I decided to go ahead and get the Epidural shots. So far I have recieved my first shot on Feb 27th followed up by a second shot two weeks later. I have to say that was the BEST decision I have made so far concerning my sciatic issues. I still feel mild pain in the back of both legs daily but nothing to draw any attention to myself or distract me from what I"m doing at the time. No more 200 volts jolts down my right leg.

So here's where stand. After I received my second shot I was surprised my doctoer didn't say anything about physical therapy. So I asked, and all they did was give me a little ten page brochure on some back exercises I could do. They said if I don't feel 100% better in two weeks then come in and get the third and last cortizone shot. I read some of your alls other posts and someone said their doc said no excercise intil 10 days after the shots so I have held off for now. I'm still debating going in this coming tuesday for the third shot. I'm not 100% for sure but more like 85-90% I can definitely live fine the way I feel now and I almost want to save the third shot for maybe a bad relapse in the future this year. What do you guys think I should do? Get the shot or not? Feedback from anyone with past history of shots would be greatly appreciated. I want to start my excercise program back in the next few days for sure. The only thing I'm concerned about is last time ( week before receiving my first shot) when I did any forward bending things or even the knee pull (pulling your knees up to your chest on at a time) I had a horrible flare up for 24 hrs that had my being pulsated zapped with leg pain every 30 seconds! I mentioned that to my doc after the last shot and he just said "hmm...that excercise is usally one of the good ones..."

So anyways, thats where I stand for now. Just thought I update my results.


Postby krd » Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:44 pm

Hey Docjon777

Been there done that. Listen, you have to go to physical therapy. I too had 2 epidurals in September of last year, 3 weeks apart. I agree with you that the 3rd is not necessary at this time. If you have had significant pain relief from the first 2 hold off on the 3rd one.

I sought agressive PT 10 days after my 2nd epidural. One thing I know for sure is that you should not bend forward or pull your knees to your chest. Believe it or not, you have to bend backwards (cobra) as often as every 2 hours throughout the day. This too will bother you, but it will help you in the long run.

I have been completely pain free now since October and I am actually golfing again and exercising daily. Good luck and I will be checking in on your progress.

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Postby kshum88 » Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:47 am


I noted your post and I have a question. How is bending forward and pulling your knees up to the chest do more harm than good? Isn't that in contradiction than what is in Dean's book as a few exercises are just like that?

I am just wondering as I don't understand the rationale behind this.

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Bending forward

Postby krd » Mon Mar 26, 2007 2:21 pm

Hey Kevin

All I know is that when the pain is intense, you should not bend forward or pull your knees to your chest until the pain subsides. My PT would only allow me to bend backwards. My bending forward exercises didn't start until week 6 and then he would have me put 1 leg on a chair and reach down to the elevated leg. Little by little I gained flexibility going forward. Now I am able to do the knees to the chest and the forward bend. If you have a herniated disc, bending forward creates more pressure on the disc. Bending backwards actually puts less pressure on the disc.

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