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Severe Sciatic Pain, Standing and Walking.


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Old 11-15-2017, 09:48 AM   #31
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Re: Severe Sciatic Pain, Standing and Walking.

Nerves are notoriously finicky and do not respond well to being compressed. I know from discussing this topic with a number of spine surgeons and neurologists that they have had patients who ran the gambit from a few days to a couple years. Unfortunately there is no way to predict where you will fall in the spectrum.

Again, from my experience on this board, the people who awaken from surgery and are immediately pain-free are small in number. Also, sometimes people wake up to find new pain that was not there previously. This is what I experienced just about six weeks ago. I had a procedure to clear out all the gunk at L2-3, mainly in the central canal. I awoke with incredible nerve pain in the front side of my thighs, and they were numb and felt icy cold. Most surgeons do not say this to their patients, but mine told me he had to "tug" on the spinal nerve to free it...and told me the pain was temporary and would go away "soon." Well, that pain changed over to intense itching and burning after about ten days....It is improving, but I still have it.

Before my L3-S1 fusion I could not stand for more than about a minute and could only walk very short distances before needing to get off my feet. I awoke from that surgery and knew things were better as soon as they got me out of bed.

I know of a person who only had a compressed nerve for two days before she was operated on, and she ended up with some permanent nerve damage. I know of another person who had nerve compression for about two years and had no remaining symptoms post surgery. Who knows what the difference is!

Do you have a date for surgery?

 
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Old 11-15-2017, 10:33 AM   #32
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Re: Severe Sciatic Pain, Standing and Walking.

[QUOTE=teteri66;5472658]Nerves are notoriously finicky and do not respond well to being compressed. I know from discussing this topic with a number of spine surgeons and neurologists that they have had patients who ran the gambit from a few days to a couple years. Unfortunately there is no way to predict where you will fall in the spectrum.

Again, from my experience on this board, the people who awaken from surgery and are immediately pain-free are small in number. Also, sometimes people wake up to find new pain that was not there previously. This is what I experienced just about six weeks ago. I had a procedure to clear out all the gunk at L2-3, mainly in the central canal. I awoke with incredible nerve pain in the front side of my thighs, and they were numb and felt icy cold. Most surgeons do not say this to their patients, but mine told me he had to "tug" on the spinal nerve to free it...and told me the pain was temporary and would go away "soon." Well, that pain changed over to intense itching and burning after about ten days....It is improving, but I still have it.

Before my L3-S1 fusion I could not stand for more than about a minute and could only walk very short distances before needing to get off my feet. I awoke from that surgery and knew things were better as soon as they got me out of bed.

I know of a person who only had a compressed nerve for two days before she was operated on, and she ended up with some permanent nerve damage. I know of another person who had nerve compression for about two years and had no remaining symptoms post surgery. Who knows what the difference is!

Do you have a date for surgery?[/QUOTE]

As always thanks, and yeah my left calf and foot seem very cold all the time, crazy the first 2 doctors acted like no big deal. I could even tell my left ankle/calf was weak and they acted like it wasn't. The NS saw that immediately and I think that's why he said lets do surgery asap. I was wondering about the tugging on the nerves as I have seen some videos that look pretty intense. You have any idea if during the microdiscectomy if the surgeon can see both L4/L5 and L5/S1, someone said he might just peek at the other disc while in there, my thought is he is going in to work on L4/L5 and wont touch L5/S1.

 
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Old 11-15-2017, 06:46 PM   #33
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Re: Severe Sciatic Pain, Standing and Walking.

If they do a L4-5 discectomy, that is the only disc they will be able to see. The incision from a microdiscectomy is small...only big enough to get instruments in to work on the disc. He couldn't see L5 unless he made a separate incision.

 
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Old 11-21-2017, 09:46 AM   #34
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Re: Severe Sciatic Pain, Standing and Walking.

surgery Went well Monday morning, at 645, was home at 1pm, doctor said nerve was very very tight and red and irritated. I took one percocet before leaving the hospital and walked 5 minutes and urinated before I left. I brought a big thing of Gatorade and made sure to drink as much as I could when i could. That helped. Told me to take percocet every 4 hours I backed it up to 6 hours and last night didn't take any and have not had anything today at all for pain. Pain is nothing compared to the extreme sciatic pain I have been living with the last 6 weeks. This feels sore but easy to deal with... Through many sports injuries I always thought I had a high pain tolerence and this is about like a sore back after working out really hard with weights.
I assume the incision and the cutting of some bone the doc said. I am walking every hour 5 minutes hoping to do 12 hours and for a total of 1 hour a day. They did the L4/L5 and I think the neurosurgeon was correct. Still had numbness in my big toes and foot last night but today dont feel any even walking I am not getting any numbness or tingling down the calf butt thigh or ankle. Right now the thing is to try and not over do it or reinjure the disc. I think the best thing I did was not wait a long time to have the surgery and get the disc off thee nerve, I know its early and I dont want to jinx myself but so far so good.

 
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Old 11-21-2017, 03:50 PM   #35
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Re: Severe Sciatic Pain, Standing and Walking.

Excellent news and excellent outcome, so far! Now, take your own advice. Do not sit more than 15-20 minutes at a time...then get up and walk a little, change position, recline. Sitting puts 30%+ more pressure on the discs than any other position!

No bending or twisting at the waist. Do not lift anything over a gallon of milk. When you start going to the store, ask that groceries be packed lightly! Also learn to move your body to something rather than leaning to grab it.

Do not be surprised if you develop some pain in the next day or two. That is perfectly normal.

Be sure to drink lots of fluids and rest! It takes energy to heal!

How long was your surgery?

 
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Old 11-22-2017, 08:05 AM   #36
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Re: Severe Sciatic Pain, Standing and Walking.

More great advice, Thanks! Last night I ended up taking 2 Tylenol, incision pain hurt some from laying back on it, I have not sat at all except on the Toilet this morning for about 5 minutes. Mostly reclining in bed, last night I slept on my left side some and right side and back, tough part is just sitting in bed so much. I stayed out of bed this morning about 20 minutes just moving around brushing teeth walking down the stairs and back up one step at a time. Trying to really remind myself not to bend or twist and trying not to lift anything if I can help it. My pain is better this morning but last night hips were very sore for some reason and felt a little numbness return in my left foot but nothing like before and no pain down the sciatic nerve at this time, keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks again for all the advice.

Last edited by Administrator; 11-22-2017 at 09:40 AM.

 
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Old 11-22-2017, 09:36 AM   #37
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Re: Severe Sciatic Pain, Standing and Walking.

The surgery was a little over an hour

 
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Old 11-22-2017, 11:10 AM   #38
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Re: Severe Sciatic Pain, Standing and Walking.

Be sure to get up every hour or a bit longer, and walk a bit. This is very important so you donít develop scar tissue attaching to a nerve. This is not the scar on the surface but where you are healing insid, just to clarify!

 
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Old 11-27-2017, 06:54 AM   #39
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Re: Severe Sciatic Pain, Standing and Walking.

They told me to start walking I went out this weekend to a track and walked very slowly around.
I think I did half a mile one day maybe a little less. Next day body was sore from back to feet which I hope is normal. Walked again the next day 20 minutes a little further, hips were not as sore, iced when I got home and the ice felt good. Going to try and increase again today but man I feel like an old 70 year old walking, I am scared I am going to over do it and set myself back so wondering how you know when to keep going and when to stop? I know they say listen to your pain or body, but I have been off pain meds since the first night, and have always thought I had a high tolerance for pain so that scares me some. Not feeling any sciatic pain and although I still have some numbness in my left foot feel like my calf strength is coming back some. I just want to make sure I don't re injure the disc walking from the natural twisting your body does when you walk. Any thoughts? When lying down or at night my legs feel like they need to be massaged not sure if its circulation or what, just feels a little strange.

 
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Old 11-27-2017, 08:43 AM   #40
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Re: Severe Sciatic Pain, Standing and Walking.

Personally I think you are overdoing it. How much were you walking prior to surgery?

I am just heading out the door for my first session of PT since my surgery...will write more when I get back.

The leg thing at night is most likely nerve pain from the surgery. It will go away.

 
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Old 11-27-2017, 09:00 AM   #41
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Re: Severe Sciatic Pain, Standing and Walking.

Pre surgery I could not walk more than 20 steps without excruciating pain or stand longer than 30 seconds.
They told me to walk 20 to 40 minutes a day if possible. So its been a week exactly and I figure 20 minutes is good, and have done that the last 3 days? At first they had me walk 5 minutes about 2 hours after surgery.
Then next day I walked 5 minutes every hour for 8 hours which was about 40 minutes. Did that 2nd day after surgery too.. next day I walked in the backyard for about 15 minutes. Sometimes at night I get out of bed and walk maybe 2 minutes... seems to feel better just moving some. I swear their instructions say and I just picked them up again... Day 3 to 6 weeks Increase walking up to 20-40 minutes at a time once or twice daily?
I have my post op on the 11th of December which will be 3 weeks exactly from surgery date..
They say try not to sit for longer than 20-30 minutes at one time for more than 3-4 times per day. I am working from home lying on bed at 45 degree angle with laptop. I have been icing when I get home from the walking 20 minutes and not going very fast walking... only going about 1/2 mile... was hoping to get to a mile this week?

 
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Old 11-27-2017, 12:13 PM   #42
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Re: Severe Sciatic Pain, Standing and Walking.

Iím back. If you were that sore, you are doing too much! Younger people think they need to break through the pain barrier, or ďno pain, no gain.Ē When it comes to spine surgery, that is absolutely wrong. You are probably not even working the right muscles that need to be recruited after surgery!

You should only be increasing the amount you walk by 10%...so if you walk a half hour, you would increase by 3 minutes...in other words, not much. When you can handle that without feeling worse, then you make the increase.

20 minutes is OK if it isnít causing you pain. In my recovery from my previous surgery (which was a L3-S1 fusion) I needed to take care to do NOTHING to cause sciatic nerve flare. The second I felt I was on the verge of it developing, I backed off, or didnít do that exercise. This conservative method of PT is perhaps not widely practiced. I know from having gone to other therapists in the past that they would have given me the standardized back and core exercises. I would have struggled with them and I would have come home in more pain! But I have learned through experience and by finally being treated by a therapist who has only worked with back and neck patients, with my spine surgeon, for probably 25 years, that the way that causes no nerve flare is the best way to proceed.

Once you have had nerve compression, that nerve is overly sensitized. If you perform exercises or activity that continues to irritate the nerve, you can end up with chronic nerve pain. It is important at this point in recovery to take short, frequent walks to stretch out the spinal nerves. As I think I mentioned earlier, this is the best way to keep scar tissue from attaching to a nerve as it forms and fills in post surgery.

If I were you, I would take one longer walk each day, 20-30 minutes...whatever you can handle...and then about every two hours, walk for several minutes up to five minutes. If you wake up in the night, take a stroll around the house for a couple minutes. Donít be in a rush to push yourself. You will get to the same point ó it may just take a little longer...but hopefully without any nerve flares.

Donít worry about increasing your pace...speed is not important. Walk at a pace that is comfortable. Walk on a level surface too. Otherwise, it sounds like you are doing everything correctly! Remember to drink lots of water and fluids! And, be positive! Attitude matters when it comes to healing.

 
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Old 11-27-2017, 01:01 PM   #43
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Re: Severe Sciatic Pain, Standing and Walking.

That makes perfect sense. Today I just got back from walking. I had my wife video tape me from the back and the front to see if I was walking pretty normal. I felt better today than yesterday and walked maybe a minute longer. So far so good on sciatic pain but that does make sense if I feel any i am going to back off for a day or so and so does the walking 5 minutes every couple of hours. I have been icing immediately when I get home, I assume that is ok. When is heat ok to apply to your back? I agree with you on your PT theory mine is similar although I don't have the experience with back issues, but a PT person does not know what you are going through and everyone is different so I believe each persons PT is different or should be and even without PT other than walking I think all injuries will start to heal themselves just from doing the day to day things. Sometimes doing more than needed can make injuries worse or healing slow down. Its like all the videos I see where people talk about curing Sciatic pain with Yoga or Stretches or Chiropractor adjustments or massage. Someone in severe sciatic pain can not be fixed 99% of the time with those "natural" methods and to people that really suffer it is a slap in the face. Anyway got off on a rant again thanks for the advice and I am going to listen and follow your recommendations. Thanks

 
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Old 11-27-2017, 09:32 PM   #44
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Re: Severe Sciatic Pain, Standing and Walking.

Icing is good because it helps to keep swelling down. I would think at this point you could also use heat...whichever feels best. Some people alternate between the two.

 
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:42 AM   #45
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Re: Severe Sciatic Pain, Standing and Walking.

2 Weeks since surgery. No real changes still numbness in big toe area of foot. I am up to walking a mile or a little more a day but better each time out I think. Left hip gets really tight after about 200 yards and my left calf and foot I can tell gets very weak after about 50 steps, so still working through the nerve damage I am sure. Back pain dull ache but nothing compared to sciatic pain before surgery so still off all pain meds since day of surgery. Taking it super easy went back to work, trying to move every 30 minutes get up and walk some. Can't complain. Next Monday go for 3 week follow up visit. Can't wait to hear what the Surgeon says about what he saw in there, he told me right after surgery but I was still loopy after so can't remember what he said other than the nerve was super tight and super irritated I want to say he said it was actually red but I might have dreamed that. Wondering if my right hip (oppo side of sciatica) tightness while walking
is because that leg has been compensating for my left. I do have good flexibility in that hip when putting on shoes but man my left hip has no flexibility now, can't even put on my sock or shoe, I used to be able to put either foot behind my head but that was 4 years ago before I injured the disc the first time and let it go until the severe sciatic pain forced surgery.

 
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