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Old 10-25-2004, 01:24 PM   #1
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Anxious Annie HB User
Inflamed disc/pinched nerve, HELP!

Hi there. My PT thinks I may have an inflamed disc (like around L4 or L5) that is "pinching" a smaller nerve that runs to my sciatic nerve. It's gotten to the point where my leg hurts more than my back does.

In PT, she has me doing strengthening excersises and stretching. The stretching feels good, however, one of the exercises she INSISTS I do, which I won't is laying on my stomach, pelvis towards floor and I raise up on my elbows (like the sphynx) and do like 5 reps of this or so. That KILLS whatever the heck is going on. I told her that it hurts and she just says I have to try them and work up to them because that's what will help. I tried them again a day or so ago to no avail.

It feels like my hamstring is bruised or like someone kicked me hard. It doesn't really travel down my leg, but feels like it starts in my gluts on the left side and runs down midway the back of my thigh.

I asked my PT what will make it better and she just looked at me (I don't like her anyway and have subsequently asked to be switched to someone else); I asked her if it will eventually stop hurting and she said, "Yes. Over time it will calm down". Then she made me lay on my stomach and tried to calm the nerve down by applying I guess what you could equate to accupressure on where she thought the injury may be; and let me tell you, it hurts WORSE since she started messing around with it and that was 5 days ago. She also keeps asking me if I have had an MRI or xray and when I tell her no, does she recommend one, she looks at me blankly (gotta love HMOs!!).

I have a doctor's appointment next week, but am wondering how this all sounds to any of you out there.

My mobility is fairly good, although my leg hurts if I walk too much. Getting up and down stairs is getting much easier, even though it feels like the pain has increased? None of it makes sense to me! Help!

Thanks!

Last edited by Anxious Annie; 10-25-2004 at 01:45 PM.

 
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Old 10-25-2004, 06:04 PM   #2
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injured betty HB User
Re: Inflamed disc/pinched nerve, HELP!

Anxious Annie: The stretch sounds like she is trying to address your disc issue. I read that PT should hurt. I am not happy with that, but I do it anyway. That stretch is called the sphinx. I have to get up on my hands. They went past the elbows a few months ago. It hurts. It stretches out your spine. Did she tell you to let your belly hang when you do it? That is the key. You get up there, breath out and then let your belly hang on the floor.

The reason that they want an MRI is that it might not be a disc or the nerve in that area. It may be the SI. Does the pain originate in your spine or to the side of the spine?

PT is good, but to do it w/o a specific diagnoses is kinda pointless on their part.

Your body tries to protect itself and sometimes the muscles go into positions that they shouldn't. If it hurts to do the sphinx, then you have a problem and they are trying to address it.

My Osteopath checks my pelvic alignment by asking me to do that stetch. He said that if you can't do it, you are out of alignment.

You might ask them about this. Ask them to do the leg raise test on the side that you are hurting.


 
Old 10-26-2004, 11:14 AM   #3
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Anxious Annie HB User
Re: Inflamed disc/pinched nerve, HELP!

[QUOTE=injured betty]Anxious Annie: The stretch sounds like she is trying to address your disc issue. I read that PT should hurt. I am not happy with that, but I do it anyway. That stretch is called the sphinx. I have to get up on my hands. They went past the elbows a few months ago. It hurts. It stretches out your spine. Did she tell you to let your belly hang when you do it? That is the key. You get up there, breath out and then let your belly hang on the floor.

The reason that they want an MRI is that it might not be a disc or the nerve in that area. It may be the SI. Does the pain originate in your spine or to the side of the spine?

PT is good, but to do it w/o a specific diagnoses is kinda pointless on their part.

Your body tries to protect itself and sometimes the muscles go into positions that they shouldn't. If it hurts to do the sphinx, then you have a problem and they are trying to address it.

My Osteopath checks my pelvic alignment by asking me to do that stetch. He said that if you can't do it, you are out of alignment.

You might ask them about this. Ask them to do the leg raise test on the side that you are hurting.

[/QUOTE]

Hi Betty!

The pain originates in my left buttocks actually (it doesn't even feel like it's originating in my spine or back at all). I also had torn a ligament in that area a month ago as well.

When I let my belly hang to the floor while doing the sphynx, it actually hurts my SI or whatever it is much worse. When I keep my back in neutral spine, it barely hurts at all.

And you are right; I don't know why they are speculating and not diagnosing. I cancelled my PT appts and made a doc's appt. instead to get to the bottom of it.

When I wake up in the morning, the pain is worse, probably from laying. When I stretch my legs out a lot once I have showered, it hurts, but feels good at the same time, which is weird to me.

Thanks for you input!

 
Old 10-26-2004, 11:25 AM   #4
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injured betty HB User
Re: Inflamed disc/pinched nerve, HELP!

The torn ligament might be your only problem. It takes up to 18 months to heal. Did you tell your PT about the ligament. They are doing an exercise that is used to treat a blown out disc. The ligament stretches are completely different.

Tell them that before you go any further, you want a specific diagnoses. Also, have they had you wear the SI belt? It really works if you are not stetched too far. You have to wear it to heal that ligament properly.


 
Old 10-26-2004, 01:17 PM   #5
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Anxious Annie HB User
Re: Inflamed disc/pinched nerve, HELP!

[QUOTE=injured betty]The torn ligament might be your only problem. It takes up to 18 months to heal. Did you tell your PT about the ligament. They are doing an exercise that is used to treat a blown out disc. The ligament stretches are completely different.

Tell them that before you go any further, you want a specific diagnoses. Also, have they had you wear the SI belt? It really works if you are not stetched too far. You have to wear it to heal that ligament properly.

[/QUOTE]

Thanks, Betty! You are absolutely right! Can a torn ligament cause sciatica or the nerves to bother me in my leg?

Do you know what kind of stretches they would typically give a person with a strained ligament?

How do they go about diagnosing a torn ligament vs. disc damage?

Questions, questions!

 
Old 10-26-2004, 07:51 PM   #6
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injured betty HB User
Re: Inflamed disc/pinched nerve, HELP!

My torn ligament was the result of a twist/push injury. They did an MRI and decided that it was not a disc. I had arthritis in the L4 but it was not related to the pain that I was feeling.

So, the Osteopath ordered another MRI and then tested my ligaments after months of wearing an SI belt. My ligament had healed in a stetched out position. They tested the ligaments by a program of trial and error, ruling things out, finding my pelvis out of alignment all of the time, and pain. Lots of pain.

AA: The best way to explain the nerves is to take a look at them on a model in the doctors office. There are lots of pictures of them on the net, but they are not 3-D. I had to actually see a model to completely understand them. There are nerves that run from the spine through the back, over to the leg. There are a lot of things that can cause pain in that nerve. Have you asked out piniforis (sp?) syndrome? That muscle can cause the problem with the leg. There is also a band that runs around the body that can cause the leg problem. If it is too tight, it can cause sciatica. There is an operation where they go in and cut the band. There are so many factors that can be involved. This is why it is best to show up at a neurologist armed with a whole list of questions. Pain runs from the nerves to the brain. There is something that is causing pain for you. The first thing that they do in diagnosing the disc versus the ligament is the *leg raise* test. They rule out the disc with an MRI or X-Ray. But, you can have both. Because everything is connected, you can have disc damage, which is causing ligament damage, or vice versa.

STRETCHES FOR A TORN LIGAMENT: They had me do a lot of Yoga stretches while wearing an SI belt. The only ones that I could not do were ones where I twisted at the waist or bent over. I did a lot of cat stetches, abs, crunches, prayer position, and the one leg out, opposite arm out, while on your knees. There are a lot of good sites on the net that addresses the ligament and stretches. Hamstrings and loosening them is one of the most important stretches. But, make sure that you do it equally.

 
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