Pain growing the more I try to walk / stretch, does this eventually get better?

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I had a Microdisectomy on my L4 and L5 vertabrae for a Herniated / Bulging disc a few years back for my right side as it was strangling my Sciatic nerve and causing pain from my back down to my foot on my right side, which was immediately alleviated by the surgery.

Every year since my left side Sciatic will act up, but this year it is over the top accute pain, which I finished a 6 pack of Methylpredinosone (Oral Steroids) + CycloeBenzopriane + Tramadol (pain killer) for the immediate shocking pain.

While on the steroids (that my body had terrible reactions to) it did alleviate the tightness, and allowed me to begin stretching and alleviate pain enough to work sitting down, however I have been done with those for a week and now trying to progress to walking a block or two a day.

I've done physical therapy for this left side last year so I know the drill of stretches and walking to improve the issue, but I for some reason do not recall it being this severely painful after a walk around the block, for example yesterday I did two laps around my block (maybe a quarter to 1/3rd a mile) and today my back has been so stiff I can barely lay down to do stretches and can barely extend my left leg as I can feel it yanking right on that lower spine pain area (it eventually slightly loosens as I stretch).

I do start Physical Therapy again this week, but I am wondering if I am unable to hardly move at all, if PT is really the next most appropriate step, as the same PT regiment that worked relatively quickly last year seems to just be making the pain worse this year?

I am running out of pain meds for the extreme pain that makes me literally almost unable to walk, and I'm scared I might be unable to work or hardly move when I run out, as my back is not getting better with light stretching and short walks while the meds are active and loosen me up enough to move around.

Any input is appreciated, I am starting to panic that beyond my leg not feeling as numb / tingly, the pain is not getting better in this first two weeks 😦

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Same thing about 7 years ago. I've had a lot of sciatica over the years ALWAYS fixed by chiropractic...until this one time. Chiro to PT to orthopedist to pain injections...nothing worked. Neurosurgeon went in and found a bone spur literally crushing my sciatic nerve. Decompressive laminectomy L4 - S1...worked great.

    Had two more sciatica events since then, both fixed by chiropractic. climb the ladder of care that ends at the neurosurgeon's office. I would suggest a CT/Myelogram with standard spine test. That's how they diagnosed my stenosis at L2/L3 (think sciatica down both legs...). Surgery is ALWAYS the last option but the test will give your docs and PT a source point to go after.

    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply, was their a specific cause you had narrowed down of the bone spur? I am curious because this pain came on from bending with my back to pick up / break down cardboard boxes, then the next day I had some pretty bad pain so I tried to "walk it off" and walked a few laps around my block through the pain which made it gets 10x worse when I woke up the next day.

      I believe the origin of the issue was just stopping going to the gym and sitting down for work and study way too long at a time, I knew there was slight back pain there, but didn't really pay it any attention until it just about crippled me almost 2 weeks ago now.

      Today I could almost not get out of bed, not sure if the muscles are just sore from increase in use, or if its getting worse and the fact its just getting worse is making me kind of panic a bit.

    • Posted

      After going through all the other modalities (climbing "The Ladder of Care"...), my neuro did an MRI which hinted at something at L4/L5 but it wasn't distinct enough to give me a definitive he went in, looked, saw the cause and fixed it.

      I'm 71 now and played hockey for 45 years. That REALLY beat up my body. Lots of sciatica events. When they came on suddenly, I knew I twisted something, hence my first stop is always chiropractic. Except for the bone spur incident where the sciatica came on gradually, the other times were caused by trauma (falling and twisting off my skate edges), the symptoms came on within 18-24 hours and were easily fixed by a spine and/or hip realignment. Sciatica can also be caused by locked SI joints so chiro fixes those too.

      In trauma-related cases, the chiro fix brought instant relief via a special "pretzel twist" they do. In other cases, the pain built gradually. I was 5 weeks post-op from a knee replacement when the symptoms started...grew to full blown sciatica in a week. Again, fixed by chiropractic but it would take a few sessions a week over the course of 3-4 weeks to correct the alignment and have it remain in place.

      The bone spur incident followed years later by the stenosis were the only times my sciatica required a surgical fix. That's why I always start with chiro and work my way up the "ladder". This patient, methodological approach enables you and your team to rule out other causes, pinpoint the true source of your pain and fix it. Pain shots don't really work on me and drugs only mask the symptoms and trick you into thinking you're cured when you really aren't.

      This is NOT easy. Gotta be patient and determined to try each step on the "ladder" to find the true cause. A lot of times, chiro fixed it immediately or within a few weeks. When chiro fails, I take the next step.'s the "scientific method" where you're the lab rat experiment and you only change one variable at a time to get to the truth. So the key is to find that single source of pain and fix it permanently. That's why I have a metal knee, a metal hip and two metal fusions in my back. Hasn't been fun but at least modern medicine can find the source and fix it. Thank you, 21st century...

      PS: There are also a lot of other things I try like acupuncture, dry needling, etc. as I climb the "ladder". Gotta explore all your options and some may be eastern and not western-based. Open mind, healthy body. It takes time, work and patience...

    • Posted

      My fear with a chiropractor and just about anything right now is my back became so tight over the weekend of short walks and stretching is that one wrong twist during a session feels like it could paralyze me. Is that being overly paranoid or a genuine concern when you are barely able to get out of bed / walk / stand up straight?

      The pain went from my lower back down into my leg and is now primarily in my lower back again, thank you for any advice I greatly appreciate it!

    • Posted

      I would suggest a nice, warm bath before bed every night to loosen that up. Also, try a gentle massage for your back before a chiro visit. With 4 1/2 pounds of metal in me, it took me a while to find an chiro experienced with people who look like The Terminator inside. Mine is very careful because of my metal hip and two spine fusions. She knows exactly what to do. Interview a few before deciding on one.'re in charge of your own health!!!

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