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L5/S1 Disc herniation compressing S1 Nerve.

Hi I'm new to this sight. I'v had lower back pain and left leg sciatica since mid february. I kept working with pain relief  (not much help) for about 10 days as was worried about going off sick (wish I'd gone off sick earlier now :-( ), I'm a surgical nurse so not really a back friendly job. 

Due to excruciating sciatic pain I've been off work since 22 Feb - I'm still off :-(. I have constant pain! Even with 150mg Pregabalin  twice a day, Naproxen 500mg twice a day, co-codamol 8/500 three times a day (trying to cut down as get bad constipation with them). I don't feel like I'm improving at all. Was seeing physio but everytime he'd tell me to do more e.g. he said to go swimming - made it worse was laid up in bed for 4 days with excruciating pain- even with pain relief. Next physio session ( they were fortnightly) he said to start walking my dog again, took her for a walk on 3 occasions and ended laid up in bed again for about 6 days! All the bones in my sacrum & coccyx felt bruised too.  Went back to physio and explained when seem to do more activities other than minimal around the house I'm set back for days, so he said there's nothing more he can do for me! Some days i can't even put leggings on. I can't even dry my legs below my knees because of the pain. I can only lie on my right side - now giving me pain in my right hip & shoulder. I can't sit due to the sciatica. If drive sometimes have to pull over because of the pain. Getting out the car is horrendous as the sciatica prevents me from walking for a minute or so. It's embarrassing.  I cant even walk for long as the pain returns. I'm at my wits end.  Feeling depressed and frustrated and cry mosy days with pain and fear of the future.

I thought I'd be better now.  I used to work full time, be a single mum to 2 teenagers and go the gym 3-4 times a week and or swim. Now I'm a recluse in constant pain and have gained over a stone in weight (now on pregabalin- side effect is weight gain! So will probably gain more :-( ) I've been referred to a Neurosurgeon for their opinion. I don't want surgery if can help it, but i can't live like this any longer either. 

Anyone experience similar and get better without surgery?? I just want to wake up one morning - after being able to actually sleep pain free!- and it be gone! Like it never happened. 



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  • hi helent26

    welcome to spine-health

    long term extreme pain like this is very hard to deal with physically and mentally and you have my sympathy.  i struggled for many many months with an extreme herniation, but thought i could deal with it via rest, followed by osteopath and was then hoping to get back into exercise as i had done everytime it had happened before.  once i had an mri is was very obvious that the timespan from herniation and how bad the disc was, my usual route was going to work this time.

    i developed numbness, foot drop and no reduction in pain, so i had to make the decision that surgery had to happen this time.  sometimes it can be avoided, but i was told that if there is no improvement within 6 weeks, my body would not be able to deal with it on it's own.

    please get further medical advice and an mri is you haven't had one to move this forward as this is long time to cope with extreme pain.

    please update us on your progress with this.

    i have added two links below to help new members with information and these also contain the forum rules.  there is lots of material to research on spine-health that will give you the power of knowledge.

    welcome to spine health




    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
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