L5/S1 Microdiscectomy Success - Week 3

Discussion in 'Back Problems' started by microsuccess, Jul 12, 2012.

  1. microsuccess

    microsuccess
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    Week 14

    Sorry, I posted my 12/13 and then somehow deleted it:)

    Ok so I'm 3 1/2 months since the surgery and the difference in the last 3 weeks has been huge. I am now off all medication completely and haven't even needed an ibuprofen for 2 and a bit weeks. The difference has mainly been down to I believe my routine of exercises, swimming, stretching and jogging.

    The jogging is my major worry as I fear the hours on the road may re-injure me but for some reason I'm just getting further every time I go out. Weeks 12-13 were 4 miles every morning after my stretching and heart rate wise I was through the roof and tired. However the jogging in the last week has stepped up without me even realising and thursday I ran approx 400-500m and it was amazing. My jogging usually is fairly fast put since I started again its slow, and I mean like just over a fast walk. Pain wise only downhill effects me and I pretty much walk all downhills as the pain it brings on is in the ankle at about 2-3/10. Its not up there with the 'fear' pain I had in the early weeks (week 2-8) but it puts me off doing it for now.

    Pain: To clarify if I haven't made myself fully clear before, I get the buttock tight/bruised sensation still when I walk but the more I walk above 8 miles it drops off (weird). I take no meds and after jogging, swmming etc I haven't used ice in week 12-13 BUT this week after a hectic day involving a lot of sitting I used ice for 1 hour. I think it just settles my nerves a bit. Laid flat I have zero pain, sleeping well where to start AMAZING, I get so annoyed at times I didn't have surgery sooner after the pain pre-op BUT I'm glad I exhausted all other options before the Op as I have no 'what if I had held off' feelings.

    Sitting: My major niggle. I work from home so can stand up when ever I wish. I found in week 4-10 sitting slouched brought on minimal pain but I know that posture isn't good so after 10-15mins would stand up. At present I max out at 40mins before its uncomfortable, it is pain+worry that gets me up out of my chair. I know in my physio some people from week 6 were doing an hour and some 5-10mins so it is a suck it and see. Like me I imagine everyone gets infuriated with sitting as its something we do to drive, bus, cinema, work. So what I would say is listern to your body over what a physio says. If at week 6 someone had said sit 40mins to me I would of been at 5-8/10. Also my sitting is 40mins stand, walk around and after 3-5mins resume sitting. I find I drink A LOT more tea now:) It just breaks the sitting up and you don't feel like your doing it for the injury but more 'a break'.

    Mobility: Hamstrings and calfs people!!! I couldn't believe how much muscle wastage has occured in my left leg over my right. The result is I spend a lot of my evening stretching then doing insane amounts of one leg squats and calf raises. It is soooo boring but its all a means to an end and I fully feel now im 60% back to normal. I find bending is now done as it should be, at the knees and now hip but this hasn't effected what I can lift too much. At the gym I pickup 2 x 20kg dumbells do do bicep training and lunges. I don't do heavy weights at present (previous squats 180kg normal weight) but give it time and I fully intend to work my way up.

    Core: We aren't allowed to do situps. The physio just has us doing crunches. I wish I'd had this physio 20yrs ago because I seriously have a six pack for the 1st time ever!!! Also dorsal flexions to stabalise the back. Now these still make the lower spine feel bruised but I'm told its fine to do. One thing on your core. I initially laid face down weeks 0-9 because I thought thats the position i was in for surgery and it would help the healing, and maybe it did but now when I lay on my stomach and stand up Im very stiff? Yet laid on my back I have no problems or stiffness. Im presuming its just part of the healing.

    Life in general: Very good, but cautious. I don't wish to ever ever have this return as it did pre-op. It destroyed my life. I do go out, have meals, go drinking etc but I always take a bit of care that i don't sit too long by setting my stopwatch on count back when I sit. Once the alarm goes if I've had a few beers it just reminds me I'm not 100% fit. I will probably do this for a long while yet.

    Kit I still use: A lumbar support after my working hours when I tend to 'lounge around' and I know i take up bad posture positions. It just keeps me in line. I would invert £10 in one. Mine has magnets and 4 thing rods and works a treat. Ice as I've said I used it twice daily pre-op and occassionally now.

    Any questions from anyone I will try to get back to you and I wish those that have exhausted their options and been told its surgery all the best.
     
  2. microsuccess

    microsuccess
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    Week 16

    Week 14-16 have been quite uneventful and I can only see this as a good thing. I've continued with the physio, swimming and walk/jogging and had relatively few niggles. I had only one day I would class as bad and I required an ibuprofen on the evening but I think that was because I moved 250kg of cement for my brother using a spade (Stupid I know!!!).

    So the current regime I have pinned down for 4 days a week is:

    0700hr - 0800hr Stretched using my theraband. Mainly this is for my hamstrings/glutes
    0800hr - 1200hr Work
    01200hr - 1300hr Swim (A proper swim now. 64 lengths)
    1400hr - 1700hr Work
    1800hr - 2000hr Stetches/core strengthening local gym and weights

    I work from home so these 4 days include weekends as physio days change but usually 1/2 days a week.

    I apologise I cannot remmeber his name but I know there was someone pre-surgery that asked me abouts weights at the gym. Now at present I can cross train on interval level 12 (of 16) for an hour. Alternatively I can cycle for an hour at level 5-7. In the last week I've dropped 2 of my days cardio for weights and I think this is what gave me my one bad day. HOWEVER, I've found 2 exercises that seem to have improved me state.

    1) Seated bicep curls for me using 35kg. The issue is getting the weight to the starting position without leaning of the arm rest and trying to bring it up (A definate NO NO). But once its up and I get going (10-20reps x 3) I have have been feeling better. Now I don't know if this is because its pulled slightly at the scar tissue left and helped clear it but I definately have been feeling better.

    2) Using an over head weight where you stand upright and pull the cords (in my gym) down from above your head and doing tricep pushes downwards (for me 65kg). Im sure someone could explain it better sorry. Again it uses the arms but pulls upwards on the lumbar area so again Im presuming this is alleviating any spinal pressure.

    Now as both these don't put weights down through the spine I imagine people that go to the gym more often than me will find more similar exercises where the weight is seated or returns to a position above you. Bench press is a goer aswell but the physio told me the feet must be up on the bench so the soles or your feet, buttocks, shoulders, neck and head must all be in contact with the bench - please take note of this gym goers.

    2 BIG NO's I found at the gym. Were hanging from a bar!!! This was my ibuprofen day! I still dont understand it as like the 2 above exercises my logic was its putting no pressure through the spine but hell no will I do it again! The second and clearly most obvious is squatting with weight. Now I can do 400 squats on each leg at present with no weight but when I used 20kg at the gym it was uncomfortable so I've left this for now until I can rebuild myself better.

    I have swapped road jogging for the gym equipment but stil twice a week push out 2 x 7mile walk/jogs. I would say now at least 6 miles (of 7) is jogged and I find it fine. Just requiring a lay down for 30mins after.

    General pain - Walking 1/10 for the first mile then 0-1/10 after that (weird). Sleeping (painfree). Areas the pain occurs: The left ankle and left buttock.

    Finally and I say this probably more for the men as I don't know implications for women. I started last month taking ProMax protein as the muscle wastage of the 2 years prior to surgery was significant. In the last month i've definately put weight on my legs and at present I can only see this as a positive for a stability point of view. Wouldn't mind hearing from anyone else thats tried this? I wouldn't of started taking it earlier as acitivity was minimal and i was told taking it then would of just made me gain fat - NOT Helpful.

    Sorry I cannot give more info this week but as at the start I seem to have had a slight plateau (which I am not going to complain about).

    Wish people well with their recoveries and injuries.
     
  3. SaliMali

    SaliMali
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    Post op questions

    Hi microsuccess
    I find your post hugely helpful and encouraging. Lots of detail combined with a postive outlook makes me all the more determind to work hard at my recovery post microdiscectomy op. I wondered if I could ask you a few questions? Hope that's ok.
    1) you mention a bandage round the nerve pain leg is this just when doing stretching exercises? Also you mentioned to wrap it round the calf to knee - the residual pain I have is in my thigh so should I wrap the bandage round the thigh do you think or just the calf?
    2) my leg nerve pain has remained about 30% of the pre op pain but I am 10 days post op tomorrow, which feels slow but I wondered when do you think you really 'noticed' no leg pain days/times?
    3) I have only today started a few stretches as my physio told me not to do anything other than walk/move till now, but when I stretch my right leg (sciatica leg) when lying down I can only stretch it about 30 degrees off the floor, which was the sane prior to the op. Did you have this tightness/pain when first stretching? The idea of doing any kinda gym work at the mo seems so far off. The leg doesn't hurt with pain as it did but the pain is 'awakened' if I stretch the leg or walk for too long.
    4) I'm still on ibroprofen and paracetamol and need these. I was on 4 tramadol pre op then post op was in 2x tramadol but since Wednesday just taken one tramadol at night. Worried I'm not coming off painkillers enough at the mo but i still feel I need these. Do you reckon this is ok 10 days after op?
    Sorry for the barrage of questions but so nice to ask someone who's been through it and has a realistic view!
    Thanks, Sali
    Ps. Been doing no baby lifting of my 5month old, which is tough but definitely neccessary!
     
  4. Chrissie B

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    I'm into week 3

    Crickey Microsuccess, that is so impressive! Well done you! :dance:

    Sali- I'm so glad to hear you are on the mend. I had about 30 degrees of lift in my sciatic leg, post op. I held a scarf around my foot and pulled my leg straight. I made a note how far I could get it (without discomfort but with a bit of stretch) and gradually over the days I can get my leg near vertical. I’m sure it will come, there’s probably a lot of muscle wastage/damage to build back up.

    It's all going well here except for some mighty eye-watering nerve twinges in left hip & leg when I moved in bed or when lying on the sofa. I thought I had dislocated my hip. II had a follow-up physio appointment and came away with stomach muscle tightening exercises and advised to stand a lot on my still numb foot (like a stork) to re-educate my damaged nerves. Last night I was still in constant agony from the twanging nerve so moved into the spare bed in desperation. Instant relief! Friend kindly swapped my older mattress for the new firmer spare one and I have just had a super night's sleep.

    I have been walking lots; I need to get in shape to exercise the hound. However my legs are very tired. I can walk 100 paces then have to have a little rest. I can do a fair distance, over a mile, like this but I have quite a way to go to get back to normal. I want to shout at my legs to ‘Keep up!’ They just want to dawdle.

    I'm allowed to sit this week but after 15 minutes my back starts to sag so I lie down for a while.

    I’m off Paracetamol now, just a bit of Voltarol cream on my numb foot at night as it gets a bit tingly.

    I’m about to contact local surgery to get some physio arranged and then it’s the long slow road back to work. I am self employed so can decide when but as I had quite a bit of surgery, I think it will be 8-10 weeks from the operation date.
     
  5. microsuccess

    microsuccess
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    Salimali reply

    Hi, always happy to help

    1) Bandage: I was told the S1 nerve in the left leg descends as far as the ankle. The bandage is to kind of muffle the nerve signal. In week 1-6 I had the bandage on whenever I was static really, so bed (but not sleeping), sitting etc. Week 6-12 it was more a comfort thing so if the nerve started getting over excited I would put it on. So Im clear the bandage is standard 4inch across flexible bandage like they'd put on a sprain. I don't wrap the foot. It starts on the ankle bone and wraps round until the top of the calf but as long as it cover approx 10-12inchs it seemed to do the trick. If your pains in the thigh I'm not sure, I would try one or the other or both, annoyingly this injuries hit and miss on techniques that help hence some need 8 tramadol and some 1. A positive for you though is our physio rule of thumb for us is the further up the leg the pain is the better the less damage has occured to the nerve, and in her experience the quicker the recovery. I understand her logical as my ankle pain by far and away is the worst for me and the further up the leg the less the pain and the more 'annoying/tight' the symptoms. Im 4+month and i do get random ankle pain but mainly buttock pain now so her logic seems to fit as those with higher up pain seem to have out shone me in recovery sessions.

    2) Pain: 30% sounds exactly like myself and I don't want to scare you but week 6-8 for me it spiked up to 60-70% on some days and I just wanted to die. BUT its all part of the nerve carrying out its diagnostics up and down its length. It is very slow, but dont panic it will come, just give it time. I would say in my rehab group people in week 10-16 have few complaints. As for when no leg pain thats tough, I stopped taking drugs weeks ago when sleeping, standing (1hour) became none-painful but 'pains' still continue, its just well under 10% so i just see it as something thats going to take a bit longer. Remember the actual full recover is estimated 6-12 months so you are still in the infancy of recovery. Just keep reminding yourself that so you dont over work yourself.

    3) Tightness: YES YES YES and I still have it now. Don't fret, I could put the backs of my hands on the floor pre-op and now im 1 1/2 foot off the floor when I bend forward. Don't worry about this, the scar tissue, muscle wastage, muscle tightness, nerve itself all factor in here. As a test if you touch the surgical area in a week or so you will feel a lump under the skin, THAT is the scar tissue you feel and there will be more inside you can't feel. At week 8-10 that will had gone considerably so just remember its a fressh wound, they've taken a piece out of you and your body wants to heal it before it lets it function again fully. e.g. you don't break your leg and 2 weeks later get up and do a dance on it! Thats why the stretches should be light and should be only 30 degrees off the floor. DONT push that really really let your body recovery and guide you that awakening pain should be your signal to let off a bit maybe. I know thats an annoying saying but really treat it like a broken leg.

    4) Drugs: WOW thats brilliant if your coming off the tramadol like that but just be aware you may get a bit sickly feeling and the pain may ramp up espically as the tramadol mimicks the nerve signals to try to get you back on them. Sali seriously at 10 days out on 1 tramadol a day that it amazing!!! I was not doing that for maybe a month and I HATE drugs and was desperate to get off them. YOU SHOULD need these (my surgeons comments) for up to 6 weeks like you did prior surgery!!! so don't do yourself down you sound like your doing fanatastic - I can only say that based on where i was and I'd say your 10day point is like my 4-5 week point!

    Ok so remember YOU HAVE HAD MAJOR SURGERY which doesn't heal in a few weeks:D You need to watch you dont go totally cold turkey on your pills as the nerves undergone a long period of suffering and needs helps 'calming down' so think of the nerve like a weightlifter does his muscles: He eats well, he looks after the muscle and after strenuous exercise (your surgery eqivilent) he needs to let it rest and take his protein shakes (your drugs) to let it rebuild so the muscle memory remember how to function again with ever increasing weight. I probably didnt explain it well but just know your doing great:)
     
  6. SaliMali

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    Thanks microsuccess for your once again, reassuring and encouraging reply!
    I have started with trying the bandage today on my calf, so I'll see how that goes! I also started stretching leg with a theraband, though very gently and not pushing anything too much. What you said about the painkillers is good too, for some reason reading lots of post on this forum I felt like I should be off them more quickly as very dependent on paracetamol and ibroprofen throughout the day and one tramadol at night, but from what you mention I thought how 3 weeks ago paracetamol didn't make the blind bit of difference to the pain, whereas it does now, so that has to be progress!!
    Your group physio session sounds great! It must help to chat to others in similar situations!
    Keep up your good recovery!
     
  7. Chrissie B

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    I too have had lots of tingling but in my lower leg and ankle where the sciatic nerve had been so compressed. I wear a decompression stocking on that foot most of the day and night when it is worse as I can't bear the sheets touching it. The stocking stays on very well. They were issued in the hospital.

    I tried this following Micosucess's tip re. bandaging.
     
  8. SaliMali

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    Another question - sorry!!

    Hi
    So sorry for asking yet another question - but more help asking here than calling the doctor is seems! Basically, I've been making improvement during the day but recently the nights have become painful and I keep walking with pain pretty much like before the op (tho day much better). I'm taking one tramadol before bed but wonder if I should go back to taking amitriptaline at night and stop the bedtime tramadol. If its the nights that are causing the most problem would amitriptaline be better. Also, any idea why the nights are worse post op? It used to be the other way round before surgery and I'd long for bedtime but at the minute I really don't like the nights.....an I doing too much in the day? So many questions......it all feels so lonely recovering from this, we're every change in pain makes me panic!!!! Thanks for any advice! sali
     
  9. microsuccess

    microsuccess
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    Hi,

    Sleep: Yep I got the same and its a bumpy road up until 4-8weeks. Randomly pre-op I could lay on my left but not my right and post-op it switched sides. I would suggest a neoprene lumbar brace, they are £8-10 off ebay. If you put it on at night it keeps the core in line and should give some relief. I was told its to do with the muscles when you sleep relaxing, so because of the surgery the area they operated on gets pulled and dragged out of the allignment it would prefer to stay in while healing. If you dont want a lumbar belt then try sleeping on the opposite side to the surgery - so i had L5/S1 Left side and find sleeping on my right best. I initially placed a pillow behind my back to stop me rolling during the night.

    The trick is doing the core exercises during the day and only putting the brace on at night so you muscles take the strain during the day and build up.

    Drugs: I was on the tramadol for up to consistently post op up to week 4 but found in week 5 amitriptyline much better because: its the only nerve pain specific medication, its drowsy and helps you sleep, it doesn't attach to the nerve receptors so has limited side effects. My most effective use of drugs (on a rough day) was at 9pm taking an ibuprofen and 1 amitriptyline so it countered in internal inflamation and the nerve pain.

    Like you said you can certainly over do it in the early days and the lumbar muscles will fatigue easily because while the incision of the op is same you must remember they've cut through hardened muscle thats taken you a life time to build up. The body will heal but needs time.

    Hope this helps in some way
     
  10. microsuccess

    microsuccess
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    Week 18

    Another 2 weeks down and a big smiles been creeping across my face.

    I've had 5 days in the last 2 weeks when I've had 0-1/10 for 50-70% of my days. In the mornings I've been less stiff and found 2 more exercises that seem to be helping my recovery:)

    Firstly the dorsal raise. You lay stomach down on the floor and raise the upper body a few inches off the floor (keeping the hips on the floor). Initially I was doing these infrequently as the area around the incision became slightly tender and felt bruised. The last 2 weeks I've been placing a 2.5-10kg weight around the should area of my back when doing these. I noticed after a week I was much less stiff when standing. The physio believes its just an indicator there's still scar tissue to be worked off internally.

    The side plank. Now prior to hospital I could only lay on one side and if I rolled onto the other in the night it was agony. Post -Op I can lay on both but I favour one side as it brings on nearly zero pain. This last 2 weeks I been using the plank exercise on the sides to try strengthen them up. 1min on 4mins off, 1min on. I do this 3 times per day. 2 weeks on and last night I actually went to sleep on my other side! and when I awoke I had zero pain.

    I cannot state these exercises are the cause as I still do all my exercises. What I am starting to feel like now at 2 1/2yrs is Im recovering. As in the sciatic pain is getting better and I can actually feel week on week clear differences in my ability to sit, walk, jog, do weights etc.

    One thing that really brightened my day was seeing and old work colleague. He was hurt in a car accident 9 months ago (I didn't know). He was given emergency surgery 5 days after the crash on his L5/S1 left-right. I never would have known unless he showed me his scar. He said 8 months was his zero pain barrier!!!! I'm so excited, only because I'm the old man of my rehab group and hes 4 years older than me.... So there's hope for the mid forties plus group:D

    Hope everyone is doing well
     
  11. CarolineN

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    That is excellent news. I hope it all continues well for you - and thank you for keeping us up to date. Even for thos of us who have not been through what you have done it is good to hear of success stories.

    Well done
     
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  12. Channii70

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    Week 11 up and down

    Hi guys
    It's really good to read micro success updates. I'm now in week 11 and was feeling great at week 9 and was due to come off pregabalin tablets. Pain in leg was around 10%. I then went for a power walk including x2 60 second jogs on physio advice and put myself back. I've been having terrible sciatic pain again in my right ankle and calf about 60% and am still on the tablets plus ibuprofen and ice. Was up to 7hrs a day at work but down to 4 again now.
    I get so frustrated and want my active life back but only seem to manage 20 lengths swimming at present. I started acupuncture yesterday so will see how that goes. Also going to try and find out if there's any group Physio in the derby area I could go to as think it sounds really good.
    Thanks for the updates it really raises my spirits on a bad day!!
    Chantelle
     
  13. Chrissie B

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    Week 4 for me

    Great news - Consultant said it's OK to drive so I feel 'normal' again!

    No pain at all though so I am very grateful for that but I still have huge difficulty walking on an incline, lots of stops after a few steps because I have no energy but on the flat I am fine. My dead nerve in left calf and foot is still making walking a slower process than I would like.

    I'm thinking of buying a cheap exercise bike on Ebay to get the leg moving - is this a good idea? I'm walking a good 1 mile plus a day but I could do odd bits of exercise during the day/evening in front of the TV..

    Indigestion/reflux still bothers me at night after weeks of laying flat but Gaviscon tablets work the best.
     
  14. SaliMali

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    Week 4 concerns

    Hi there
    Great posts from microsuccess and good to hear your progression, plus Chrissie you sound like you're doing amazingly! Well done on the no pain and no more paracetamol, hope your strength gains improvement too.
    I'm 4 weeks post op tomorrow and not doing as well as I'd hope. I know why this is. I went on holiday with my husband and 5month old on a holiday that had been booked prior to all my pain nightmare. We went to Lanzarote which was a 4hour flight. I was very uneasy about going but after surgeon and physio saying I was ok to go and huge (but unintentional ) pressure from my family (my parents and in-laws saying it was just what the 3of us needed!) I decided to go. I know it wasn't wise and I took it very easy once there but the flight was awful. I stood most of the time but the standing for so long brought on pain and was in agony by the time I got home last night. I've got upset at the fact I tried to behave like all was ok for everyone else but very worried I've set myself back.
    I don't think I've done further long term damage as pain not like pre op and does improve after lying down which it didnt pre-op. painkiller wise still on 6paracetamol and 2 ibroprofen a day and 1 amitriptaline at night but concerned still on this much at 4weeks. Plus my leg lift is no better and still can only raise it 30%. I feel so anxious that I've been stupid going on holiday. I think my family now think I'm fussing and don't get how the pain is like this still they keep saying 'well is it as bad as before the operation?!' When I say no they tell me not to worry and I need to get on with things. I desperately want to and feel upset that trying to by going on holiday for a week has set my back.
    I'm sorry for going on but I guess I'm wondering if after a few days if taking it easy may help get over that horrid journey. I realise this operation was no quick fix and need to work hard at getting rid of this damn nerve pain. I see the physio on wed for the first time since the op so hopefully she can help somewhat! (Just spoke to her on the phone 2wks ago). Thanks for listening so my stresses!!!
     
  15. microsuccess

    microsuccess
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    Week 21

    I've hit 5months and 1 week and 1 day:)

    Well I've been super busy with work the last 6 days and done very little physio, stretches, swimming, jogging or infact anything. Usually I would be annoyed with myself and Im suprised I didn't do something about it but literally none stop work work work.

    Anyway Im not quite understanding it but I've had zero pain sat, zero pain walking and zero pain driving. I spoke with the physio this morning and she said its probably the rest actually doing me good. I have until now been doing 3-4-5 days physio a week none stop for over 4 months.

    I only put this on here as an inidication that sometimes less is more with this injury. I will be going back to my regime from sunday and will assess the difference, but for now im happy that maybe this is nearly it. Although I am more resigned to this being a peak and I will be soon feeling a tiny bit of pain in return for my week reprieve:)
     
  16. SaliMali

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    Great news microsuccess. It must be amazing to feel you are getting there now! although, Ill miss your posts and progress updates! nerve pain is so odd, the fact you have done less may have done you good for a bit . The break of exercise must have done you good, after doing so much physio for months! It's all such a fine balance isn't it. I woke up this morning with less nerve pain than normal (not zero pain but less!!) - so I'm learning to embrace the small successes before the next dip comes along!
    Take care and do let us know how you get on! :)
     
  17. microsuccess

    microsuccess
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    Week 23

    Ok, so Im nearing the half way point of the 1 year myself and the physio set out as the time period for a substancial recovery:)

    I just thought I'd chip in a glimmer of hope to those sports persons out there that think post surgery that is the end of their active lifestyle.

    Swimming - I never was a great swimmer but posted a 38min swim for 64 lengths (25m pool) 9 days ago. Considering that was 1hr = 24 lengths (broken into 4's) at week 14 I'm a happy man. I've found no downside to swimming. The only caution I would add is pushing off from the wall in the early days as all the pressure goes through the spine. Tumble turns aren't something I do so I can't comment there.

    Running - I have had to take this very slowly. Walk - Walk/Jog - Jog - Run. I am now confident jogging out 10km (on a daily basis over 5 days max so far) in 1hr 15min. I know that probably isn't quick to some people but my comparisons are only to myself who posted a 50min 10km time in 2009, so nearly 6 months post Op Im happy, and I've got more in the tank (Im just not pushing it, it'll come im sure)

    Gym - Hit and miss. Cross trainer is a negative for me. Static upright cycle 30-90mins, seated cycle 30-90mins. In both cycling cases as its indoor the boredom got the better of me. BUT i was feeling slightly uncomfortable at the hour mark, that maybe because I have never really cycled till now and it may be just the muscles not being used to it. Weights wise I am repeatedly told not to exceed 25kg directly through the spine, so I go up to 25kg but dont exceed it. The simple workaround is not to do squats, I can do everything else, bench press, preacher curl, leg raises, hamstring raises etc. One word of warning, and I have put it down before...NO PULL UPS!!! The physio explained it ages ago and the upshot is while the body is stretched the muscles tighten and put pressure on the spine, even more so than just standing upright.

    Contact sports - Sadly a no go at present. I could envisage football not being a massive drama in a 5 aside indoor setup, just because tackling is minimal reducing your fall rate. Kicking the ball is a cautious activity and I have tried post Op, maybe a few months away yet for me. Rugby - Doubtful at present due to the tackling = 80kg+ smashing through my spine, but again I know people return to contact sports including rugby so its certainly not a no go I assume. I think the trick here will be get to a point you can sprint (I can now for 80metres) and factor in how you feel, im guessing until sprinting without pain occurs then don't rush back to contact sports.

    Non-Contact - I tried badminton last week, I probably missed 60% of what I would usually reach but I was cautious so I didnt mind. I was stiff after it but a 10min lay down squared me away. I tried squash alone just to test my movement about a month ago, as its a sport dependent on making the other person sprint, twist and bend to aukward return shots Im going to avoid it for the forseeable. I only tried this for fun but crown green bowling with my dad, randomly because you walk often, bend in the correct manner and handle only slight weight I found it quite nice. I know people will laugh but it got me outside for 2hrs and I didn't think about the pain/it didn't get above 1/10.

    Anyway I hope someone gets something out of this. I will endeavour to keep up my ramblings:)
     
  18. microsuccess

    microsuccess
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    Week 25

    Hello people,

    Well 2 weeks before Christmas and I don't have a great deal of issues.

    As an example I sat on the train from Edinburgh to London at the weekend, before then going for a meal and a night out. I then returned home the next day. NO PAIN. I cannot tell you the difference I've had since month 4 but I'm not going to get lazy. I have dropped off doing as much exercise only because of physio orders but come the new year I will be right back in the thick of it.

    Its the season to be coughy!!! I watch people sneezing and coughing constantly and know all to well that prior surgery and in week 0-now I still get caught out with sneezes that cause pain. So there's 2 ways for you to get round this:

    1) If laid down roll onto your comfortable side (for me my right as had surgery left side). Bring your knees slightly up into a loose fetal position. When the sneezes comes its 80% less pain for me.

    2) If standing bend the knees and lean forward slightly. Its the same position as laying down but standing.

    My second bit of advice is for those in the early stages post recovery week 1-12. DON'T get dragged into going out drinking all over christmas. Try and let people know what you have gone through and lower their expectations of what you are capable of. I know friends/family will be asking you to go out or visit for meals etc. Thats great from a social point and for getting you back to normal but just recognise the difference between being mobile (walking, stretching etc) and just going out. Without doubt sitting takes the longest to achieve and after that standing still for prolonged periods. Just be cautious that you dont have a few to many and end up sitting for 2-3hrs in the same spot...I did it once and regretted it for 2 weeks!!!

    GET SOME GRIP ON YOUR SHOES!!!. Its icey where I am and I know if it had been like this in week 1-8 post-op I wouldn't of been out walking nearly as much. You will want to stay active but its all for nothing if you take a fall so I suggest getting some shoe tracks (metal chains) or proper walking shoes. For me I've taken to a stick for now. I may well be feeling a lot better but Im not taking anything for granted.

    Christmas is when people tend to be more cheerful and I would say enter into that mentality. Keep positive people:)
     
  19. CarolineN

    CarolineN
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    Microsuccess I really like your attitude and advice. Thank you for posting all this on behalf of all the back sufferers (which doesn't include me by the way - I just an interested spectator!) who visit this site. Back problems present huge difficulties for the sufferers and I'm sure your advice will help.

    Go carefully and safely - and have a wonderful Christmas season.

    Love and Light
     
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  20. microsuccess

    microsuccess
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    Helpful Product

    Hi, Just while Im sat here on it.

    I was given an early christmas present from my brother today which is a coccyx seat wedge. Im now thinking I've been missing out in the post surgery recovery.

    All it is is a wedged shaped piece of foam which tilts your hips forward to the 'neutral' position which the physio went on about religiously during my sessions. It says its 8 degree angle restores the natural 's' of the spine and relieves pressure on the base of the spine.

    I've googled tonight and they aren't cheap, around £20-40 but I can hand on heart say while it feels odd like I want to slide forward off my chair, it feels quite nice. I tried it on the sofa and it fails to do anything but at the breakfast table (hard seat) I can feel a difference. 3 months ago when hard seats just felt brutal I wish I had had this.

    Im not advertising you go out and get this hence no use of product names but It maybe worth for those with a physio nearby to ask if they have one you could try?
     

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