Does anyone else find that walking makes their herniated disc pain worse? For months, I haven't been able to make it 1/4 mile without increased pain, yet many who post on these boards say they can walk.
If you have pain walking, have you been successful in pushing yourself to be able to tolerate more? Or is that adding to the injury?
For me personally, I sometimes hurt so bad that walking bothers me..other days I could walk around have some pain then when I settle down..I am in a lot of pain. Are you going to PT? Have you talked to your doctor or physical therapist about this?
When i first had my herniated disc back in 2005 i had 6 months of being only able to walk across the lounge.
Sometimes especially in a morning it still takes a while to get moving an still have days where i carnt walk very far.
But after being in chronic pain for so long i have become quite hardened an i do push myself more than i should.
I had a friend with only a herniated disc (an acute problem, no other abnormalities) who was advised as part of her physio treatment to walk for 30mins a day. She said it was often a bit painful but needless to say, she didn't end up having surgery and the disc regressed naturally.
i, on the other hand, have stenosis, exacerbated (I think, I still have two different specialist opinions) by a small disc herniation. The leg pain I get with walking (and standing) is very different from the sciatica, and it is impossible for me to walk for more than 10-15mins. I was told not to walk any further than when the pain starts up. Bear in mind that on a (very) good day I could probably (obviously I haven't tried!) get my legs over my shoulders. I'm pretty flexible if I'm not on my feet.
So, I believe it really depends on the cause and is different for everyone. If it muscular pain I imagine its important to push through and stretch and strengthen those muscles...within reason.
Bottom line: Speak to your specialist.
Hope you'll be tramping round the hills before too long without any pain.
Thanks for the input. Yes, I've told EVERYONE about my walking troubles from the very beginning - when I went to PT for 6 weeks they would put me on the treadmill once my pain was lessened and let me walk until the pain started - 6-8 minutes max. Never got any better. They used to try to get me on the bike too, which I have pain just thinking about. ARE YOU KIDDING?!
What's frustrating is that, in post-op after my ESI, I asked how soon until I could walk. I was told "oh, you can go walking today!" I tried to be clear that walking is what makes my problem worse. Suffice it to say it's been impossible to walk since the ESI, and the person who told me I could hasn't a clue. I had to go to Walmart one day and thought I was going to die.
I was in the same boat you were. I had problems walking for quite a while. I couldn't get more than about 500 feet before I started sweating from the pain. I'd sit down for a few minutes, and get up and continue.
I went to PT, and worked in the pool for 6 weeks. My PT watched me walk around a room after that, and in tears said there was nothing that she could do to help me. She asked if I would like for her to order me a foot brace for my right foot, since my toes would drag every few steps.
I went to see my physiatrist, and he OKed an ESI. For the first time in 5 years, I was not in pain and could walk. It lasted for 2 days, and the pain was back. My herniation was rubbing against my L3/4 nerve and I had no chance of ever getting better without surgery.
In my case, I had a L3/4 laminectomy without fusion, and it was a complete sucess. I was helped up 2 hours after I woke up from the surgery, and I walked farther around the floor than I had during the previous month. The nurses had to physically force me back to my bed, where I spent a single night.
No one can tell how a surgery will work out, but I went from not being able to walk to going back into physical therapy and then joining a gym.
I hope you have a good neurosurgeon and can do what is right for you.
WhackedBack, your post encouraged me more than anything I've read so far. Thank you so very much. When I hear of people walking after surgery, it really gets my hopes up. You said it was a laminectomy - was it a discectomy too?
My plan is to start considering neurosurgeons this week. And pray harder for wisdom. DietDrPepper is right; you sure have a lot to praise God for.
I have to use a cane and cannot walk without it. This is a permanent problem with me and there is no solution. I have to sit down after walking with cane short distances and my doctor thinks I should have a walker to sit down on when I get tired. At least the walker would give me a certain amount of freedom that I don't have now.
I went out the other day with my cane to Sear's and found myself with severe pain down my legs. I had to find somewhere to sit down and found a cardboard box for the purpose. My fusion is 25 years old and I have problems above and below the original surgical site. Lyrica is my wonder drug and makes my days and nights more bearable.
Both of my lumbar surgeries were listed as laminectomies. I don't know if any of the disc itself was removed, just the expelled material. I'm one of the lucky ones that has had 2 levels done (L3/4 and L4/5) and since my spine was stable, did not need to be fused.
Try and look for a NS that would do a surgery with an endoscope. It cuts a couple of weeks off your recovery time.
One thing to point out. I think that the 6 weeks of physical therapy in the pool before the surgery did me a lot of good. My lumbar muscles were the strongest they had been in years. That's important for recovery.
I had my surgery done at a teaching hospital. My NS was the head of Neuroscience for the local VA.
Hi I had a Laminectomy and fusion done . I can't walk very far due to pain. My Dr. keeps telling me walking is good and it will hurt less and less, but It's hurting more and more as I walk. Just wanted to you know your not alone.