Just had 2nd visit of physio today - explained all the ongoing pains appearing/disappearing. (I thinks she must think I am quiet mad !).
Just wondering does anyone out there have hamstring problems, mine are so tight I cannot raise my leg out in front of me, and also lying down with one leg bent up I cannot raise the other leg of the bed !! she was totally taken back, my leg just felt like a concrete block it just would not move. It was actually very scarey I had no control, my mind was saying lift but the leg would not move, not an inch. She said I really had to work hard on this area as I needed this to support me, and for when I will be bending. I have found that the exercises for this plays my knees up big time?
See if this sounds like what you have: if I'm lying down, I can have my legs straight with no problem. But if I'm sitting, I can't straighten my legs straight out in front of me.
If that's it, it isn't tight hamstrings. Both my doctor and my therapist decribed that same thing to me, separately from each other, so I believe them. They said it's a nerve problem. It's not exactly nerve damage, although that's what I tell people if they want to hear about it because it's just easier. It's actually that the nerves are getting kind of hung up, they don't glide through the channel they're supposed to go through like they should. This sometimes happens with lumbar surgery.
My therapist had me doing "nerve glides" to help correct it. She said she'd expect that after a year, I'd have about 80% back. When I started with her, I could only lift my foot (either one) about 3 inches from the floor. I can now lift them about 8-10 inches, so I've definitely improved, but I'm not where I hope to be.
If you want to do these nerve glides, I'll describe them, but I'll also caution you to not overdo them. I was told to do them 5 times with each leg only 1 time per day. More is not better. It's very simple: sit someplace so your feet are resting comfortably on the floor. Straighten one knee as far as you can until it reaches it's own stopping point. DON'T PUSH IT ANY FURTHER! Lower your foot back to the floor. Repeat for a total of 5 on each side. If you feel any increased pain or burning in your feet, decrease to 5 times every other day, or think about whether you're pushing it too much. You just want to reach the stopping point, not try to stretch things. This will seem like you're doing nothing, basically, but if you stick with it consistently, you should see slow progress with time. Don't give up. It took me a couple of months to be able to tell any difference.
If this doesn't sound like what you've got, please disregard all the above, and I hope you figure it out.
Thanks for replying, That sounds very like it to me, I can't squat down on my legs but couldnt do that before surgery either. This problem got worse after IDET treatment 3 years ago. It was just with the new physio going through stuff with her and she was trying to get my muscles going again was really taken back. So was I as I knew about not been able to sit and put them out, or getting down on the ground, but lying on the bed and not able to raise your leg, I thought I could do that. Thanks for the exercises I'd say it will be years for me, but once I get more mobile that is all that matters.
How are you doing? it sounds like the exercises have worked for you after you put in alot of time into it. Let me know how you are doing and thanks again.
I'm doing pretty well, really. I still do those nerve glides regularly in the hope that I'll see more improvement. I did all my exercises at least 6 days a week for months. Sometimes I'd do them 7 days, but I did let myself have one "day of rest." Now I continue to do them about 3 times a week. I've never been an exercise fiend, but I have to say, because I lost so much strength after surgery and also had new limitations, I saw very dramatically how much a difference it makes to exercise. I was amazed how much improvement I had and how quickly by just being dedicated to doing what the therapist taught me.
Now my two teenage boys have decided they want to join a gym. Since they were already going to pay up for it, we decided to all join and I pay the difference for the family rate. It's less for the month than my ridiculous co-pay for PT was for one visit, plus I've used up all my PT allowance for the year anyway, so this is good. I have to be careful not to use machines that make my spine bear weight, but there are lots of machines that don't. I feel healthy! I still have pain, and I always will, but overall, I feel so much better than a year ago. I have much, much less pain, and I'm much stronger.
I still find it hard to squat. My knees don't bend quite right. It's hard to describe. You probably know what I mean. It's like, you get to a certain point, and the knees just feel full, like they're swollen except they're not. Then once I get down there, I can't get back up without pulling myself up by the counter or a piece of furniture. This was not how I was before surgery. For years, I've squated to get things because it was easier on my back. I never had any problem with it. This is just weird. I figure it's the same nerve glide thing as going the other direction with my knees. I'm just going to keep working at it. I feel stupid at the gym using those machines where you straighten your legs with a weight. I'm sure people are looking and thinking "look at that weakling. She's not even doing it right." Oh well. I can't let that stop me from making myself stronger and healthier.
This was probably more than you wanted to know. But here's the summary: keep exercising regularly and don't ever give up. You'll see results, even if they're slow in coming.
No Emily not to long at all, delighted to hear you are doing so well, bet if someone told you a year ago that this time next year you will be going to a gym you would have laughed.
I must get focused on the exercises, I really did'nt do many after the 1st visit to physio as it played my knees up big time. I was there yesterday again and I am abit sore today, but I need to work thru it, and need to have a set time to do the exercises as I do forget about them.
I have the same trouble getting down so i have to go two knees to the ground and make sure there is something there to put my hand on to pull myself up.