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Recovering from a herniated L5/S1 disc

Tips, tricks, workouts, injury advice.

Re: Recovering from a herniated L5/S1 disc

Postby Kerstin » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:32 am

serenebean, I got your e mail message about disc herniations. I'm unable to reply as it seems you are no longer on summitpost (at least I can't find you by that name). The email reply address is a no-reply address here on summitpost. It bounced back to my e mail.
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Re: Recovering from a herniated L5/S1 disc

Postby Ulu » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:45 pm

I too have a bulging L5, and I have been dealing with this for about 5 years. I went to an Ortho and got an epidural and rested it for 3 weeks. I then got a killer PT who gave me a regimen of back exercises (planks, crunches, etc.), and was told it would get better after "time." 6-8 months later, I couldn't tell much difference. 10-12 months later I had the problem controlled and am still relatively pain free. The doctor said I have to do these exercises every day forever and no problem with the back, and if I quit the problem will come right back and require surgery. I stick with the program and I maintain my active lifestyle, although standing still hurts it more than anything. I do Whitney in a day-no problem with my back. I stand still for 20 minutes at a meeting and I have pain (which exercises then alleviates). Also, I have not thrown my back out since.

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Re: Recovering from a herniated L5/S1 disc

Postby silversummit » Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:12 am

Just found this thread tonight; I can relate to your pain! Different part of my spine (C4 - C5) which virtually out of nowhere herniated Christmas Day 2011. I have hiked on a broken ankle down a mountain and I have had excruciating migraines but this herniation was unbearable. I couldn't sit up, sit down, stand or sleep without massive painkillers. Eventually, doctors on vacation came back from holiday vacations and I was properly diagnosed and started PT. PT didn't cure but helped me postpone surgery until I was sure that I had to have it.

Long story short, I opted for a spinal disk replacement in May 2012 and it has helped my neck and back forever. Most people go for the traditional disk fusion but my surgeon is one of a small number who does the disk replacement which has been common in Europe for years.

Look into this surgery if necessary; no bone grafting, quick in/out hospital time and far fewer risks.

Hope you get some permanent relief!
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Re: Recovering from a herniated L5/S1 disc

Postby Kerstin » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:54 pm

Thank you, Ulu and silversummit for posting your stories. I'm glad you are both doing well.
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Re: Recovering from a herniated L5/S1 disc

Postby Sunny Buns » Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:38 am


Not sure why this thread appeared on the front page 3 years after the last post, but here goes:

Hope your back is better. I suffered with nasty sciatica pain and numbness in left leg from my left buttock down to my toes for several months. Took all kinds of pain pills like candy: Vicodin, Percocet, Gabapentin, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and more. None of them did much. Physical therapy only made my wallet thinner. BUT if your doctor recommends PT, I'd give it a chance for a few weeks to see if it helps.

I thought it was Piriformis Syndrome. Doctor gave me a cortisone shot in the piriformis area. That worked for a few days, then gradually the pain & numbness returned. Finally an MRI showed a very large disc bulge at L5/S1. Doctor prescribed Meloxicam 15mg/day. In a few weeks the pain was gone but I still have numbness/tingling in the left leg and foot, but I can live with that. I've been on Meloxicam going on 2 years now. Symptoms are the same - just numbness that I can live with. I may get the disc surgery eventually. I thought I'd try not getting it but I can see that the bulge is not going to fix itself. All the people I know who have had the surgery say it made them feel great immediately.

I do some exercises to strengthen the back/core areas. And I do not lift much with my upper body because that makes the numbness worse when the disc is squashed due to the weight load. I can carry a pack as long as the weight is on the hip belt, but I try to go lighter than before.

There are many horror stories on the internet about piriformis syndrome and sciatica - it is awful stuff. Meloxicam saved me from hell. :D

It's all described in the Bible at Deuteronomy 28, starting at verse 15. :evil:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s ... ersion=KJV
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Re: Recovering from a herniated L5/S1 disc

Postby Imdavid » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:03 am

I realize that latest posts on this forum are from 2012 and earliest from 2006.

After reading some of the posts and replies, I want to tell everyone who contributed to this thread: There is a very important book by Stuart McGill called Back Mechanic .

Based on what I've seen written here, many of you will have multiple 'eye openers' from this book. I suffered from Back Pain in 2017 all summer. I studied everything I could find. After reading McGill's book it became clear that a lot of what I read and a lot of what the 6 different clinicians I visited told me or did or prescribed was not necessary. The therapies were not addressing the problem and one doctor was loading my spine under flexion as part of his 'diagnostic tests'. I kept wondering why I was in more pain when I left his office!

Now I know why. McGill's book is a game changer for me and I'm pretty sure it will help a lot of people who contributed to this thread. I hope it helps you all.

There is a lot of confusing and even incorrect information out there about these lumbar spine problems. I was surprised when I realized the lack of knowledge on the part of so many clinicians. I hope this post will help others.

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