Trouble standing for >5 minutes

Hi - new to the forum. Starting 7 months ago, I had lower back pain with sciatica down the left glute, with the symptom of not being able to stand for more than a few minutes. I was a very active 30yo (sports/weightlifting) but had to cut back for pain control. 

Doctor diagnosed through MRI an L5/S1 disc herniation. After 2 sessions of ESI in October, the sciatica is gone. However, the lower back pain from standing it as bad as ever. If I stand idle for more than 5 minutes (e.g. shower), my lower back gets incredibly stiff/painful and I can't bend enough to get socks on or carry enough weight to pick-up my toddler. That said, sitting relieves the pain in very short order, and symptoms do get better throughout the day, so it has been somewhat manageable. I've even been able to walk for an hour or longer without issue, it's only when standing idle that I experience the pain. 

I've been doing PT but it hasn't been improving - although movement does seem to help alleviate the brutal morning pain. Ibuprofen/Tylenol doesn't help. 

My symptoms are very similar to eDNA in the closed post here:, but the responses weren't particularly satisfying and I'm concerned this is going to turn into a life long issue.

Anyone else here experience those symptoms? Do you have a L5/S1 disc issue? Anything help long-term?



  • My lower back pain started the very same way.  At first It was standing in line which hurt my back.  Then after a few years it hurt sitting also.  It also became hard to garden or do yardwork or housework.  As the disc herniated more the pain became greater. 

    Being an athlete is great and exercise is great but don't overdo it.  Weightlifting is hard on the spine. 

    You are young so please adjust your lifestyle now.  Be happy the sciatica is gone for now.  Take care of you back as the pain only gets worse with age.

    God bless


  • Thanks. I've stopped weightlifting heavy post-injury in fear of reinjury. 

    I've scanned through your history - I'm sorry you've had to deal with the chronic pain but appreciate your outlook on life. Is there something you would have done different or been more proactive about at my stage? 

    My doctor said spinal disc herniations are typically absorbed by the body after ~1 year in his experience, so I was hopeful that that would be the "end" of the pain-- clearly, (based on what I've read here) it's not always that simple.

  • advertisement
  • Welcome allewel2 we’re glad you’re here!

    Standing still is one thing I can't do, I have to keep moving, even if it's just shifting my weight from one side to the other, I have had physical therapy in the past, and it did help.

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    Have you visited the Herniated Disc Health Center on Spine-health? It has a number of comprehensive articles and videos that you might find helpful, including common causes of a herniated disc, symptoms, and treatment options. I hope you find this information helpful.

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.


    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • Joel1QJoel1Q Posts: 374
    edited 01/15/2020 - 3:06 AM

    How to pass on knowledge...

    Everything you’re told usually is a good place to start....

    Listen to your body and don’t ignore signs.  Eat Healthy don’t smoke drink little, maintain proper weight, practice proprioception, exercise regularly mixing cardio heavy with lighter weight lifting than you probably are used to (think less impacting activities, more swimming less jogging), or exercise it ways that dint hurt but benefit as in your core standing male kegels, no one will know; regular adequate sleep is critical. Stay spiritually positive no matter what.  Don’t try to be superheroman by doing too much too soon, going too fast during recovery; lifting your friends couch when he needs help moving, every year...or lifting anything too heavy or  incorrectly- maintain good posture (don’t get text neck).   When it comes to drs, I’ve not heard that spinal disc herniations are absorbed after a year. I dealt with one for 7 years thinking it got better but I didn’t do what I just described so maybe it would have.   get second third and fourth opinions if you don’t feel comfortable , arm yourself with knowledge, You must develop specialists you trust but someone needs an over arching view of your entire diagnosis’s from a medical perspective to help you form your coordinated attack on pain. .never give up -persevere 

  • Allewel2, I'm sending you positive, healing thoughts.  I was also told in the beginning that the bulge in my disc would be absorbed and the pain would stop.  It's been over a year and I'm still in pain and now they talk more about stenosis and arthritis (but I'm much older than you!).  Please keep us posted on your progress.  

    Joel1Q - I'm so glad I read your post here.  I needed to 'hear' all of this advice today.  Thank you!  

  • advertisement
  • Update from the doc:

    I have pretty severe DDD. I wish he would’ve told me that earlier along with the diagnosis of the bulged disc, but he said they go together (DDD leads to more herniated discs). 

    I’m going to get a facet steroid injection, this time in the direct center of the disc, to help with the pain while standing. Hoping it’ll work! He said the last injection targeted the sciatica and that really did help. Thanks for all the kinds words

Sign In or Join Us to comment.