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Five months ago I prolapsed a disc at L5/S1, causing "partial compression of exiting right L5 root and compression of right S1 root causing radiculopathy". I received this official diagnosis from an orthopaedic consultant on 24 April as a result of an MRI scan I had on 30 March.
From my first ever appointment for this condition with a physiotherapist (which was late January this year) I had dutifully been carrying out my McKenzie back extensions as instructed by the physio, plus other pilates exercises as and when I felt able to do them.
However a few weeks ago I had a horrible, incredibly painful muscle spasm in my lower back which resulted in my taking a week off work and being unable to walk more than a few steps without significant pain. Now I feel like I'm back at square one - trouble getting comfortable sleeping again, can't walk more than about 100m without bad pain in my thigh and calf, can't bend to do shoes/socks/tights and so on, can't get out of bed without having to do some kind of sideways roll and hoping for the best! These are all the things I've seen a reduction in over the last few months and I was so hoping I was getting better.
Slightly worryingly, I've just over the last two weeks started to get numbness and pins and needles in my foot, along the outer side and in my three smallest toes. That's a first.
I'm on the waiting list for a cortisone injection (which might not be until August apparently) , but I want to keep up my stretching and exercises in the meantime. Question is, what do I do? McKenzie back extensions cause way too much pain as I can barely lie on my front without extreme pain in my buttock and back of thigh right now. All the research I'm doing is suggesting some kind of back extension and I just cant do it right now - I've considered loading up on the co-codamol & pushing through the pain but it just feels wrong in my gut, like my body is telling me not to.
This post has become much longer than I intended! I'm awaiting a call from my physio to get his opinion and hopefully an appointment but my PCT has a pretty poor physio department in my opinion, it'll be a month before I see anyone!
Any help or suggestions anyone can give would be so appreciated...I want so badly to get better and do all I can to heal, just not at the snail's pace the NHS seems to operate at!
With huge and sincere thanks in advance,
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