Large Herniated disc, DDD, injection

Discussions related to Sciatica and Leg Pain

Large Herniated disc, DDD, injection

Postby Slouching John » Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:40 am

I am getting an injection today, and wondered how I should go about the exercises: I think I should start slow for about three days (the beginning stretching ones) and then just go nuts with the advanced ones as carefully as possible. Obviously, I hope to have no pain, but I will still try to be careful and remember what hurt (shouldn't be hard from my perspective now).

Some questions:
1) Should I limit sitting even if I don't feel pain? In other words, if the cortisone works, should I avoid driving to Florida--10 hrs.) for some time, even if I am pain free?
2) I have an inversion table--should I use it some? I mostly am concerned that it could combine badly with the cortisone--like I could hurt the herniated disc without knowing it.

Also, I think so highly of Dean because he is right, and his book is valuable to me because I found that it is nearly impossible to get a referral for PT. Dean is putting information out there that people need! When I say that Dean is right, I mean that like others have said, it is inspirational, and I honestly think I can rebuild (32 years old, and want to feel my own age). The progression of exercises looks very smart for this condition. I would attempt all this without the injection, but I keep reinjuring my back at work when I have to sit down.

I first hurt my back in late May. I waited over 2 months because I've always had aches and pains heal on their own. I went to the Gen Practicioner and got oral steroroids, which worked great! Then a week later, the pain returned, so I scheduled another appointment. Doc ordered an MRI. Then the first appointement to review MRI was 2 weeks. Doc called me the day before the appointement and told me to schedule with orthopaedic specialist. Did so, but the first appointement was 3 weeks away. Went there and doc told me we have 3 options:
1) do nothing (for the ultra conservative, I suppose)
2) injection
3) surgery

He then told me how great surgery is, how simple, and it is the best back surgery to have. I opted for injection, and got scheduled in just 3 days. I have to do something because I can not sit down at all--it just hurts like crazy. I went on a prescription NSAID a month ago, and quitting it the 3 days before injection has been very, very painful, much more so than before starting them. I know drugs are not the answer, and I hope to get this shot and then rebuild, yoga with wife and take the kids on an after dinner walk.

Did I mention that after the doctor talked about surgery, he just ran out of the room? I didn't even get to ask about physical therapy, inversion table or chiropractic care. I'm taking Dean's advice on the chiropractic, and I'm going to try the inversion a little each day. I disrespect the way our doctors act--I wish we took more time, care, etc. and less procedure.
Slouching John
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:11 am

Can't wait to exercise

Postby Slouching John » Sat Sep 26, 2009 7:02 am

The doctor said I should wait 3 days to start RYB again. I feel some relief in the morning--different from before. I am hopeful that the temporary pain relief will help the overall effort. The follow-up specialist is 1 mos. away, and I might get on the phone to harass them about a PT referral before then--like ASAP--I just want guidance about "neutral spine," etc., because I can't be sure about that stuff--it just seems so strange to try, being so different from my usual slouch. Even after one day, I get out of the car a little more like a 32 year old instead of a much older man. Oh yeah, at the injection place, the nurse pulled back the curtain that surrounds the bed and looked at me and said, "You're young." I wanted to say, "You should see me get out of the car." Oh, yeah, RYB, here I come.[/list]
Slouching John
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:11 am

a little better

Postby Slouching John » Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:30 pm

Doing a little better overall. I can do RYB exercises much better, and was able to start yesterday (I honored the wait 3 days to exercise). I picked up a cough from my daughter--definitely a virus--and it seems to be the only thing messing me up--it sends a SHARP pain down my leg. I wish I had waited for the injection, kinda, because I'd hate to have the medicine in and inflame the nerve with the cough. Oh, well, hope it goes away soon (and takes sciatica with it).
Slouching John
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:11 am

exercise schedule

Postby Slouching John » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:58 pm

My PT is the Dean method right now:

7:10am After walk down the street (daughter bus stop, 2 min. walk, stand around, 2 min. walk), cobra progressions, two other of the pain reduction exercises, followed by hang on inversion table (12 minutes total)

1:00 In my classroom at school (locked, fortunately, to avoid a collegue or kid coming in and seeing me standing there like Ms. Lippy in Billy Madison): standing backbends, two other pain reduction exercises (all standing, 10 min, proab. less in practice)

4:30 pm At home, Cobra, most of the pain-reduction exercises (10 min). Ice, or ice an hour later due to my schedule.

8:30 pm long, slow-breathing pain-reduction yoga (20 min), followed by hanging on the inversion table(2 min). Ice.

As I move, I try to do as randolph says and use my core muscles, and other Dr. Bookspan ideas like putting a sweater (my idea, don't want to walk around with a little pillow or orthapaedic device) behind my lumbar area when I sit down in my gov't issued hard plastic chair. Since the injection and renewed attention to RYB for me, sitting is something I relish doing for ten minutes, twice a day at work. Mostly I still stand to use the computer--both in class and in my planning time.

I try to walk like randolph says in the forum and follow Dr. Bookspan and Dean's sitting advice. I had pain several times today and mild soreness/inflammation after sitting for about 15 minutes, which I did twice today at work and 4 times today driving. I want to increase my sitting as I get better, because I know something unavoidable is coming up.

Yes, I've skipped meetings because I don't want to sit. I teach special education, so I'll have to sit for meetings all the time in the next month or so, and that'll increase a lot until around mid-April. I can't keep this schedule every day for sure, but my goal is most.

With the onset of Fall, a sad sociological fact is that backs are getting twinged all around the country right now. Let mine get more healthy, and I wish the best for yours as well, my fellows! At the slightest sign of regression (maybe if I think I can't reverse in the next 3 weeks beforee I see the specialist again), I'll harass them for a PT referral, which is a Dean reccommendation BTW. To healthy backs!

Oh, yeah! Gonna buy 2 pair of Rockports or something this weekend. I'm retiring the 6 yr. old Timberland dressy brown shoes and the 4 year-old cheap (but lazy teacher/slouchy comfortable synthetic tops, skid-free) black shoes. My MRI costed more, BTW.
Slouching John
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:11 am

Week 3 or 4 since injection

Postby Slouching John » Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:02 pm

I've improved, being able to sit for 30 minutes instead of just 10 minutes or so. I've been able to do the cobra stretch more deeply, but the pain has changed. Before the injection, I felt pain, after, I'll feel it in the morning but after warming everything it is muted and more tingling in the foot. I hope it is a good sign, it certainly is more tolerable. When active (like at work when I don't sit, which is possible except when I have meetings), I don't feel anything at all. I did clean and vaccuum on Monday and had to stop after working for an hour or so because I my back hurt from moving (I think it was from pulling something heavy at a bad angle with the vaccuum cleaner in the other hand). Since then, I've felt it more, had more difficulty sitting, but i'm trying to keep exercising. Also, before and after that, I've probably used an elliptical machine six or seven times.

I have read the chiropractor posts, but am tempted after talking to a guy at work who "swears by" his chiropractor, saying he healed one of his pinched nerves just by 3 weeks of adjustments, 10 or so. He's gone every week since then, several years, which I will not do.

I'm tempted, thinking it could be the final thing to really help exercise and turn the corner for good.
Slouching John
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:11 am

Herniated Disc

Postby WendyT » Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:29 pm

Hi John: How has your progress been? I have a large herniation at L5. I have had two epidurals (the first one was by a quack and second one was thorough). I saw a surgeon today and I had the same experience you did. He scheduled me for surgery and ran out of the room! No questions allowed. I am interested in what you have decided to do. Thanks.
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:26 pm

Hey WendyT

Postby Slouching John » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:14 pm

I had the 2nd injection a couple weeks ago, and I've had good progress. I think the 2nd works so much better because the inflamation is down from the 1st, and it really gets to working. The doc suggested they'd likely reccommend a 3rd, and I'll oblige if it happens in December.

I can exercise a lot better, and I'm taking the prescription NSAID (Voltarin) only on days when I know I'll have to sit down at work for meetings and stuff. I'm optomistic, exercising on an elliptical followed by deep stretching, and my only fear is that I'm not healing quickly enough and the injections will stop and I'll regress to where I was before. I definitely feel the pain more in my hip than down the leg, even when coughing and or sneezing, which is the most painful thing I can do to get a sharp pain(as opposed to the gnawing feeling from long sitting). I do have tingling down my leg and in my foot (occasionally, usually after sitting or doing a cobra stretch), but I think it can be part of my healing process. Has that happened to you, the tingling after the injection?

How are you doing? Can you exercise better? I agree with Dean that surgery is the last resort. Let me know , and good luck!
Slouching John
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:11 am

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