I have begun physical therapy which includes massaging the sciatic nerve and strengthening my core. I would recommend getting a good physical therapist; you are not supposed to do the hamstring stretching on that side because it agitates the sciatic nerve and cool packs on the lower back are things that I was told and taught.
I understand the pain in the buttock - I have been told that scarring buildup can cause the same sensation or it could just be healing because of the damage to the nerve that was done. Like I said above - nothing beats a good PT.
Also, I know what it is like to have a (literal) pain in the ass for a very long time and it has thrown me in a depressed mental state. I would say to take a look at the medications you are on to see what the side effects are and if one is depression to see if you can switch... also you should try to get out as much as possible if you can and get to as many normal activities as you can even if it is just minimal....
Finally... it can take a very long time for the nerve to heal - they say roughly 1mm per day (around an inch per month is also what I have been told) - it is not pleasant and I have been told months as well. I have also been told that the taller you are the longer the recovery - which I guess makes sense - but I am almost 6' tall ...
I hope that you are doing well - I do understand your pain to some degree and truly emphasize.
Best Wishes and speedy recovery
To all you troubled people, I would like to tell you what your surgeon has failed to tell you.
A disc surgery is mostly a preventive surgery, as it prevents further damage to the nerves.
Depending on the time between symptoms and surgery, the pressure of the bulged disc
causes injury to the nerves. So a surgery cannot heal that injury instantly, rather it prevents
additional injury to the nerves.
The injured nerves will take around 6 weeks to 6 months to recover from the initial trauma and
the trauma caused by the operation.
However, since disc surgeries are quite complicated. Sometimes an inadvertent injury to the nerves
is also possible which may leave a person with additional disability !
I hope this clears your doubts !
Also some neurovitamins can help speedy recovery of the nerves ... consult your physician for the
local brands of these medicines.
It's disheartening for me to read a few of these "don't have surgery" posts, that seem obviously borne out of fear and a bit of ignorance of how non-invasive modern-day spinal surgery is. Don't think that a herniated disc is going to be solved by injections, acupuncture, physical therapy or a chiropractor. Do your homework and look for a PROVEN, GOOD, CONSERVATIVE (medically, that is) surgeon. Life is too short to just accept intolerable pain .. especially when there really is an alternative.
My current MRI results are:
L4-L5 - Moderate dehydration and narrowing of the disc space (has anyone had this??)
L4-L5 - Annular tear with a broad based right central and paracentral disc protrusion impinging onto right L5 nerve root
L5-S1 - Mild broad based disc bulge
Would love to hear if anyone else has had similar issues and gone through surgery.
I have a bulged disc, i believe L2 or L3? and a degenerative disc.
The reason why my disc wont heal is because there is no where for it to go because my spine is so narrow. Its pressing on all my main nerves making my hips ROCK hard.
I have incredible pain in my hips, lower back, and moderate pain in my mid to upper back that even reaches my neck. Many months ago before PT and chiropractor's i had pain going all the way to my toes.
I have never had pain like this in my life and i have been seeing several different chiropractors for several years, best nuerolgist in the northeast, PT for 4 months, many medications (btw screw medications 100%).
I bought a machine called back to life (useless) i have an inverison table that i stretch on every other day (helps actually). but i'm just scared to get surgery, yes scared because i have had many surgerys that freaked me out. Appendix burst, 30 min away from dieing etc. etc. hernia's bla bla
I was very very fit in college, lifting 5 days a week, always had perfect form, just have no idea how i did this.
I dont even know what kind of surgery i would get because the Nuerogist says he would carve out the inside diameter of my spine (what!)
Any advice and/or help would be amazing. If anyone has symtoms like mine and has any answers, please email me.
I should probably give you a little background. I am 33, a police officer, and avid weightlifter, a wrestling coach, and was two weeks from training to start MMA. The surgeon later told me I was probably an eyelash or less away from paralysis and that I was damn lucky to be in such good shape. I am now 6 weeks post surgery where I am at.
For those who are thinking about the surgery, get it. I was scared too, as I have never had surgery in my life prior to this. But do your research. Get the best surgeon you can find. Research doctors in the area, especially online, as you can find out a lot with little effort. I got very lucky in that the surgeon I had was listed as the best guy in the state. This is the most important decision you may ever make, so do the work, you will not regret it!!
Secondly, LISTEN to your discharge notices. I cannot stress this enough. Don't be a hero here. Go home and rest. Then walk. You are going to be doing a lot of this. Have someone around that can help you, they are going to be invaluable. But do your walking.
Lastly, get a great PT. Also very important. Don't just go with the first guy. Again, research them. Talk to them before going all in. Because trust me, at this point, you will be all in with them. Make sure they understand the job you will be returning to, and what your expectations are for your post recovery life. If they know you are an athlete or do a physical job, your therapy will be different then someone who sits at a desk for 8 hours.
As I said before, i am 6 weeks post-op. I still have the pain through my hips and legs. This is normal from what I have been told and may take up to a year to subside. Sleeping sucks a lot of the time. But it will get better. I am back to doing a modified variation of P90X exercises, with PT 2x a week for an hour and a half. Your PT will give you exercises to do at home (bridges, leg swings,resistance walking with bands, etc.). DO THEM! They will hurt at times (you will be muscularly sore, just don't hurt in your back or STOP!!), but push through, you will be glad you did. I still have about a month before I will return to work, but I am keeping on fighting the good fight.
P.S. Once you are able to do so, check out myofacial release massage therapy. Some hate, but some it works really well for. Maybe it will work for you....I love it so far!
P.P.S. Look into vitamins to help with your recovery. Especially glucosamine/chondroitin. I have been using it for a while now and I believe it really helps out.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I don't know it all, but I can tell you what I went/am still going through.
Thanks for your post. I am a 37 yr old Police Officer and about 2 weeks ago was getting my son dressed and dropped to the floor. Previous to that I had some minor probably a bulged disk in January from shoveling, went to a chiro and did not get good results but enough to return to work. Anyways, called my husband home from work and a 6 hour ER visit followed. I had an MRI which showed a herniated L5/ S1 with a small annular tear. I had a steroid nerve root injection 1 week ago which apparently didn't work. I have sciatic pain into my left buttock about to mid thigh. I've been in PT and they are unable to get the sciatic released for any length of time....like not more than a few hours. I see the neurosurgeon on the 20th. I am scared to death....
First the pain isn't going away down the leg and secondly the pain is increasing at the actual disk location. (my pt said that is normal). What are the chances I can put a belt back on my waist and do my job? And how long will this take.
I'd appreciated any feedback!