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Old 02-03-2012, 05:27 PM   #1
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L5/S1 herniation- less pain, more tingle (good or bad)?

Briefly, I had a herniation at l5/s1 in 1999 when I was 25. I did nearly 2yrs worth of therapy, epidurals, etc. to little avail. Finally when I stopped virtually all treatment in 2002, besides doing my own McKenzie exercises, the pain slowly went away.

Now, leading up to September 2011, I had had several bouts of back pain- stiffness to the point of not being able to bend over more than 10degrees. These would come and go and were generally a month or so in duration. Then in September it became full-time stiffness to the extreme. Slowly that morphed into a strong burning pain at the left side of the belt-line and then into pain in the left side of my butt. MRI showed "large left paracentral disc extrusion with mild cephalad and caudad migration... A coexisting disc bulge causes mild bilateral neural foraminal narrowing."

Then in January I started to get what felt like a very, very 'sore' left hamstring and calf. Now the pain in the back, butt and hamstring is virtually all gone but my calf has no strength (can't stand on tip-toes w/left foot at all) and the outside of my foot is tingly 100% of the time.

I guess I am blessed in that I have very little pain compared to what many, many have, but[B] is the tingling calf/foot better than the pain from a recovery standpoint?[/B]

 
Old 02-03-2012, 10:41 PM   #2
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Re: L5/S1 herniation- less pain, more tingle (good or bad)?

Generally speaking, tingling and numbness indicate a greater degree of nerve compression than just experiencing pain. And the fact that you cannot stand on tip-toe indicates that you have neural compromise in the L-5 and/or S1 nerves.

Only your doctor, and I hope you are consulting with an orthopedic spine surgeon or neurosurgeon for diagnosis and plan of treatment, can advise you of your condition and whether it is worsening....While tingling and numbness are easier to cope with than intense nerve pain, my guess is that it indicates a worsening of your issues. It definitely is an indication that there is dysfunction in the nerve.

When a nerve is left in a compressed state, it can eventually cause permanent nerve damage. The problem is that there is no way to accurately predict what the time frame is -- how long is "too" long? No one knows. Also, once compressed, how much of its function will come back? You have a beginning indication of foot drop which is often enough of a reason for a surgeon to recommend a surgery to decompress that nerve.

 
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