Last early fall, I suffered a herniated disc at L5-S1. I had horrible acute buttock and radiating leg pain, with semi-disability for about 7 weeks. After that, things improved slowly but steadily. (Without surgery).
I'm about 9 months out now, and have almost no pain. But I do have one very bothersome symptom that persists. I am getting extremely frequent charley horses (muscle spasms) in the calf of the affected leg. In the past, I've had charley horses, once or twice a year. But since a couple months after the herniated disc episode, they are coming more frequently, now about 3-4 times a week. Granted, these spasms are not debilitating. Although excruciating, they last an average of 10-12 seconds, and there is very little lingering soreness from them. It's always in the same place (back of calf, right leg), and always when I'm at rest, usually in the early morning in bed or lying on a couch.
Muscle spasms are often caused by nerve irritation, and since the charley horse is always in the leg that was affected by the herniated disc/sciatica, I'm sure it's connected to that.
But I don't know why the charley horses are getting worse, even though my sciatica has gotten dramatically better. Does anyone else have any experience with something like this or any ideas about how to deal with it? (Note: I'm a runner and I do gentle yoga, and I'm pretty good about stretching out my muscles regularly.)