Hey everyone I've been a member of this board for years......since 2003. At that time I had 3 herniated discs and was in massive pain and a lot of you out there helped me through things. I got better and never posted but unfortunately things came back. I have herniated a disc again (a total of 5 but only one is touching the nerver) and I've had 4 laminectomies/discectomies, 12 epidurals, and a lot of other non-invasive procedures. I'm freaking out but I continue to do my excersises continuously that I learned at pt. My questions are should I keep on stretching my hamstrings even though it's painful to bend down and stretch. Sometimes it feels like I'm making it worse but if I don't do it I hurt for 24 hours a day. I have pain that shots down my left leg but this gives me relief for about 3-4 hours but when I stand up after stretching I get a massive pain in my hip and groin. I don't know whether to continue to stretch?!?! I know if I don't stretch my hamstrings will get so tight that it will cause muscle spasms. Also has anyone ever used the anti-TNF or etancerpet (embrel) to get rid of their pain? If so, how successful was it?
I don't feel comfortable making too many comments since I don't know what is going on with you specifically...so maybe read them as general comments and apply what you can use.
First of all, with any sort of bulging or herniated disc, you want to avoid bending or twisting at the waist as much as possible. You should figure out some stretches for the hamstrings that do not involve bending.
The sciatic-type pain is a sign that a nerve is irritated or compressed, probably a result of the disc herniations.
Also, when the lamina is removed from two or more adjoining areas, (such as I imagine was done during your laminectomies) the patient runs the risk of developing instability in the spine. If a nerve gets caught up in this instability, it can be a major source of nerve pain.
I don't believe a drug like embrel would be appropriate for you, if indeed your pain is coming from a mechanical spine problem that is compressing a nerve.
Sounds like it is time to consult with a fellowship-trained spine surgeon and get an accurate diagnosis and plan for treatment.
Just one comment... you should NOT stretch your hamstrings by standing and bending over. Lie on your back. Bend one leg at the knee with the foot on the floor. Bend the other leg at the knee, bring the leg up and then straighten the knee so the leg is close to perpendicular to your body. Hold the leg with both hands, on the back of the thigh just above the knee. Pull gently.
My left hamstring and hip are unbelievably tight and the psoas muscle obviously is tight too.
Some how I got my disc to retract last year at this time after it was going down my leg. I can lift my leg the same height as my right leg. I don't have a pelvic tilt but there's a ton of weakness in my left leg. I am working on strengthening it but not one dr. has come up with a conclusion on why I'm herniating disc after disc. It's always........time for surgery. I can't afford surgery and miss out on a great job. I'll probably become disabled because my psoas muscle will be just as tight when I come out of surgery and herniate again. All my discs herniate to the left. I had an EMG and obvioiusly the outcome showed it's not the muscles causing the pain. So your idea of the lamina causing problems is probably true but I think it's more of my L4-L5 causing pain because of where the pain is coming from. Any other ideas of how to fix this without going to another spine specialist that wants to perform surgery? I already go to a pain specialist and have an epidural scheduled for tomorrow. So temporary relief in the meantime.....hopefully something will happen.