It's been just under 3 months now since I found out about my ruptured disc. L5/S1. I had an entire month of nightmarish hip/leg pain and no sleep, etc, etc... After spending a day in the ER on morphine I started to get better, maybe because the drugs helped me to sleep. I don't know... but in any case, I have no more hip or leg pain and am able to get out of the house again.
What I DO have now though is foot pain. The pain is always on the outer side of my foot and it feels like I have a tensor bandage wrapped very tightly around the middle of my foot. Also I've been numb in that foot and the outer side of my calf since this started. Sometimes I get shooting pains in my "outer" ankle and in the arch of my foot. Sometimes the pain extends to my little toes. I also feel sometimes like my foot is wet. It's like I'm wearing a very wet sock. It's very strange. Have any of you had anything like this? Walking is difficult. Every day. I find myself rationing milk so as to avoid having to walk to the dairy case at the back of the grocery store. I'm only in my 30's and getting worried. I can't do 3/4 of what I used to do before this started. How long am I going to be like this?
What you are experiencing is nerve pain. Awful isn't is? You need to ask your doctor to prescribe one of the meds that are designed to treat nerve pain. They were designed for other types of pain, such as seizures, but the very good side effect is that they treat nerve pain quite well. Neurontin, Topomax, Lyrica. THese are three of the ones that are on the market today. The first two are older meds. Lyrica is a newer one and often will need pre-approval by your insurance. More expensive also. They all have their varying side effects. You can do a search and see many threads about them here.
Ask you doc for a script. Normal pain meds won't touch the pain that is caused my nerves as we will all attest to. Good luck and keep us posted...
Wow! Seems similar to what I have except that I have it in both feet. My feet will feel hot, sometimes feel wet when they aren't, my toes feel like they are on fire. They feel tight, tingly pretty much all of the time and also numb from the balls of my feet to the toes. My arch is extremely tight feeling and I swell up something fierce in my ankles and feet when I sit for too long a period of time. I try to stretch my toes but they don't stretch too well anymore. This has been going on now for the past 4 or 5 years and its driving me crazy.
Last edited by BrandyBobs Lady; 08-24-2007 at 01:29 PM.
This is one of the pains i have experience the whole time since surgery. "wet sock, wet foot, thight sock feeling, pain in a foot and leg..." - this all nerve related. I have a permanent nerve damage and that is why i have those symptoms; i also got same foot dropp syndrome.
So sorry you have to go through this...
Oh yes very familiar, at one point last year I just wanted to chop my feet off, and I would have vaginal pains at the same time..all related to the L5S1. If you check out dermatones you'll get a better understanding of it all.
Hi, i had the same thing and mine was coming from L5. Sometimes the pain would be down my entire outer leg, sometimes just in my ankle, sometimes just in my foot or toes. And my whole ankle, outer foot and most toes were numb for about 6 weeks. That nerve pain can be maddening and I really do sympathize for you.
Thanks so much for all your replies. I guess this is fairly normal then. I'm so scared that this is going to be permanent. Would surgery possibly do some good at this point? (once again, I'm at the 3 month mark since this started). Maybe all I can do is wait it out and hope for the best. There hasn't been one day since this started that I could even stand for more than 3 or 4 minutes without extreme discomfort, if not outright agonizing pain. I don't know if I should stay off my feet and let this heal (I'm not working right now and have no children, so I can do that if it would help) or should I be trying to exercise as much as possible? I want the best possible outcome of course, but not sure how to get that. Any suggestions? Even though I feel like being off my feet all the time, I'm feeling very out of shape and lacking muscle tone after 3 months of such drastically reduced activity, and am wondering if that's hurting my situation even more. I guess we all wish there were more clear cut answers.
I just wanted to tell you that what is happening to you is really similar to what happened to me. Mine was actually worse. I had severe pain for 10 weeks before it stopped. I too went to the ER after 8 weeks of severe pain and was prescribed vicodin. I also had foot pain and weird nerve sensations like you describe, including numbness.
The fact that the pain started to go away is really good news. It sounds like you're on the way to recovery at this point. It's an exremely slow healing process with herniated discs. I'm in my thirties too, and had never experienced anything like it. Before that I had always healed from injuries in a week or two.
All of the pain and numbness, and other weird nerve sensations eventually went away. It wasn't until four months from the start of the injury that I was able to walk at a normal pace again without limping or pain. It was six months before I felt nearly back to normal. Numbness went away during the fourth month.
When this first happened, my doctor told me it would be up to three months before the pain stopped, and six months to heal fully. I couldn't believe it - MONTHS, not WEEKS??? Turns out he was very accurate in his predictions.
You're on the upswing now...just hang in there. It'll continue to improve, sloooowly.
also, to answer your questions, here's what i learned from my experience.
doctors kept telling me to exercise, but it was impossible during the painful period. I tried, hard, but eventually gave up and was basically bedridden.
You do lose muscle tone, but if you're young and otherwise healthy, it comes back quickly once you are better and able to move normally again.
Once the acute pain phase ends, it's very important to start a regular core strengthening and stretching routine, and to do it for the rest of your life. Also to keep the weight down.
A lot of the pain from a herniated disc comes from the gel stuff touching the nerve. Not only does it compress the nerve, but the chemicals irritate and inflames the nerve, which hurts like crazy. Eventually the body's immune system absorbs the irritating chemicals. It takes a while.
If its any consolation, my foot was numb for about 6 weeks, then it started waxing and waning, as did the pins & needles, and nerve pain. So I still had it but not constantly. Now that I think of it, this all went on for 3 months, not 2....started in early March and I finally had the nerve block done in early June, which is 3 months, right? Good grief, I have such brain fog right now LOL. But anyway, after my nerve block all my pain, numbness, pins & needles disappeared and I have full function of my left foot. Luckily I did not have any permanent nerve damage. That is not to say it couldnt happn, though.
I have been going to PT since March of '06 and have been strengthening my core since then, but I still keep herniating. When the pain was so intense, I really couldnt do much of any exercise either. My PT said if it was that painful, I should take it easy for a little while. I didnt do any for about a week and 1/2. BUt then I forced myself to do a little that I could. It still didnt help me, though. However, god knows what condition I might be in if I wasnt doing PT all this time.
And during the worst of it, when I could barely hobble 10 yards with a cane, several moms confided in me that they had had sciatica at one point, and that the pain from a herniated disc was WORSE than childbirth...LOL
Thank you so much for all your encouraging words. I feel much more positive now that I WILL eventually get better!
Cythren,... that's interesting you should mention that about some mothers saying the pain was worse than childbirth, because when I was going through the worst of it, I told my husband that I didn't feel there was any possible way giving birth could be as painful.