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Walking to cure herniated l4l5 disk with sciatic nerve PAIN

Hi. I'm a 40 year old cdl truck driver.  I've had back problems for about 10 years. Been a cdl driver for 2 years and with my current employer for about 8 months.  My current job requires more hours in the drivers seat than any other jobs I've had.  The symptoms of sciatica started about 5 months ago.  Didn't think much of it at first but soon got to a point where I decided to enquire medical attention.  I first went to see a orthopedic specialist who didn't spend more than 5 minutes with me and told me that it looks like I have sciatica.  My chiropractor friend told me to stretch and exercise my leg and buttock every chance I get and I did.  The pain grew little by little and one day it so suddenly got so bad that I couldn't finish my work day.  Sitting is torture on my left leg from buttock, thigh, and calf and I've experienced pain in my life (3rd degree burns in both forearms, broken collard bone, etc).  The only time that it doesn't hurt is when I'm lying down.  I'm in hell right now as it has been 3 weeks since I've been to work due to pain and I'm not sure if my employer is obligated to  keep me around even though I gave them the doctors note.  No income, piling medical expenses, possible lose of job / medical insurance.... Not looking so bright.

So far my physician prescribed me some stuff and none of them seem to work. Currently I'm taking 300mg gabapentine and 5mg hydrocodone w Tylenol.  Got the mri done last Monday and it was determined that I have the herniated disk at l4l5 which is pinching my sciatic nerve.  Then went couple of days later to get the corticosteroid injection.  Really hoping that would make pain go away but didn't do much if any. I'm going in for a second shot next week and if that don't work, then I plan on going in for surgery as I feel like I can't waste too much down time from work.  I've heard many horror and success stories about surgeries but I feel like I don't have much of a choice but  to take the chance before I lose my house.  

WALKING- I've heard from different sources that walking does wonders for sciatica from herniated disk at the l4l5.  Some have said that WALKING as a routine exercise  along with certain stretching has CURED their herniated disk without surgery.  So I've been trying to walk for an hour, 3 times a day (morning, afternoon, evening).  At first it hurts like hell, especially in the mornings but after about 30-40 minutes of walking, the pain starts to go away.  Every time I walk, it's the same cycle.  Hurts at first then it starts feeling better.  Has anyone tried this method before?
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1

Comments

  • Trucker
    Did you ride around with the seat to the floor?
    Also, since your in a limited range of motion job, do or did you give yourself breaks every once in a while?
    Its not an easy job nor easy life..climbing up n down, slipping and jarring your back..climbing squatting etc.
    Ide ask the doc or a physio therapist for some,advice.
    2.
    Then pain killers are a no go in any otr or local runs.
    Not your fault..narcotics are a pee test nightmare that will get you shut down anywhere they decide.
    Good thing in a way you been off while on them.
    DOT will have a field day with the company if testing dirty.
    When my back stung down low, i had to get out and stretch and walk a little bit..good excuse for a coffie break.
    I used my hourly tire checks to do it on bad days..



    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod
    erator

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • Hi Trucker88  so sorry you are experiencing this level of pain.  I can directly relate to it and would liken it to early labour pains!  good luck with your second injection.  I didn't have any success with them unfortunately and had to go down the surgery route as the nerve entrapment was so bad.  I had severe herniation at L5/S1 so one level lower.

    I am amazed you are able to walk that far and a little worried all at the same time.  Is your physio aware you are doing this and advised it?  Unfortunately while the nerve is trapped, certain things will cause extra damage and compression so make sure this is advised.  I have been left with numbness in half of my foot, toes and under heel included, in calf and areas of my thigh.  I used to drive ambulances but no longer able to do that job due to lifting etc.  I can still drive my car, but if I had any further numbness of the ball of my foot or other toes I may have to assess that again.  It may be good practice to research your nerve pathways and work out which areas you could cause numbness to, for further thoughts on driving in the future.

    Life is a nightmare when experiencing such pain, especially when finance is causing you pressure as well.  Try to get all the information you can for help and assistance and allow your disc and nerve the time for investigation, treatment and repair.  It really will assist in the future.

    I would advise core strength exercises set by your physio to strengthen muscles.  By building mine earlier in my life to a level most men would have been jealous of, I protected my damaged back for years before I went down the surgery route.  Get exercises set though, NOT sit ups!! :-)

    Good luck and healing thoughts coming your way
    AJ 
    AJGormit

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    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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  • Thanks for the helpful comments!
    William, I do not ride with the seat to the floor as I can see how damaging that can be to the spine.  Fortunately, I have not had to do any over-the-road jobs. Currently I'm a fuel delivery driver and my trips are typically 1 to 2 hours and I get out of the truck at the gas stations or at the terminal.  Before that I delivered beer in a semi and a hand truck.
    Thanks for the heads up on the pain killers showing up in the drug test, lately I've been taking them sparingly.  I'll have to ask my boss and my doctor about that. 

    AJ, I saw my physician the other day and we spoke about my mri results and walking as a part of my daily activity and he didn't object to it.  He also gave me the doctor's letter releasing me to return for duty and told me to take 2-3 tylenols and just deal with the pain.  Evidently the mri shows that my condition isn't as dire as the torturous pain that I constantly feel when I sit.  
    I have not not seen a physiotherapist yet, just been stretching, walking, and some core strengthening exercise based on my own research.  Perhaps I should go see one...  You said that you were left with "numbness" on your foot, calf and thigh, is that after the 2 disectomy you had?  And is it just numbness or is pain associated with the numbness?
    I'm willing to live with numbness.
  • Trucker
    That was a my bad on myself, all the jarring and impact was taking a toll.
    As a hazmat driver, you wil be held to an even higher standard than other truckers.
    Here, 1st offence with a CS will get your licence a 6 month vacation.

    Balancing home issues and work may drive you to take chances..

    I wont judge because i was a treetop flier for many years..
    But falling out or off a truck a couple of times got the Workmens comp on my tail hard.

    Working with painkillers will let you push harder and farther than normal.be carefull
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod
    erator

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • Not sure whether to say tha's brilliant news about release or not. if you are suffering the degree of pain I was and it sounds like it.

    My numbness was caused by the nerve being left trapped too long due to long waiting times on the NHS unfortunately.  It happened before I had my first surgery.   The reason I was suggesting caution was due to causing damage that could affect your driving.  At the moment I have sensation in the area that controls my accelerator pedal and the hypersensitivity caused by numbness is not affected by driving.  That sounds crazy I know as people think numbness means you can't feel anything, but sadly certain levels of touch on the numb areas I have, can send me through the roof.

    Good luck with the exercises and try to research as much as you can about your disc damage, nerve affected and know what you are doing to it when exercising, walking etc.  I wish I had known more about it but I assumed it was just another bad flare up, as I had had many over the years.  If I had realised the true extent of the problem, I would have gone straight to my GP for a referral instead of leaving it to heal and going to the osteopath for a month.  Don't get me wrong, osteopaths have done wonders for me over the years and would go back for other problems.

    I now have to take medication, one of which tricks my mind into a hyper state that makes me think I am capable of doing crazy jobs around the house my back is not able to do. The second stops me sleeping but reduces the pain to an acceptable level.  I can only hope by sharing experiences with others that somebody else maybe able to avoid some of this.

    Please keep us updated on how you progress with exercise and work if that is an option.
    AJ


    AJGormit

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    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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  • Aj.
    Thats where i was
    The meds masked the pain
    So i went further than i should have
    90..100 hr weeks
    Heavy lifts..etc.

    I am living partially with those end results
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod
    erator

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • Sorry to hear that William.  I think we all assume we know better than our body sometimes and don't listen to it.  I never used to take meds in the earlier years as I was worried they would mask the pain.  I suffered greatly but it got me through 25 years+.  They can be the enemy as much as the saviour sometimes I think.

    My surgeon told me to listen to my body, when I asked him about certain exercises and I do ... and when the my gabas as I call them (pregabalin/Lyrica) kick in and I realise what is happening, I have to put my self to bed to prevent any further injury to my nerve.  I am experiencing new left hand side nerve pain so being extra cautious until my consultant appointment.  Not sure what I would do with two numb feet .. hmmm maybe it would level up the balance/stagger issues :-D
    AJ
    AJGormit

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    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
  • Ohh no
    I knew exactly what i was doing.
    A very deliberate act.
    Didnt know how to say when.

    Docs new what i was up to and tried hard to slow my ascent.
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod
    erator

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • I sometimes think that is part of the non acceptance of what is happening, and we gradually adjust and accept. It is all about 'shouting' at our body and proving it wrong - that we can still do it. Your words William, took me back to memories of myself many years ago! I think I either accepted or grew up!!! :smiley:" alt=":smiley:" height="20" />
    AJ
    AJGormit

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    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
  • Well....
    I knew my body was failing
    I just decided to run this end game to what i knew would be the ultimate outcome.

    The scrip were a tool to be used to get from.."here" to there"
    There were days i went without so i could push harder to achieve the end result
    Lead dogs dont stop running
    The meds were a tool to be used
    No,more no less to fight the inconvenience of pain.
    Workmens comp took me out of the game
    I wasnt ready to go down without a fight
    I owned,my pain..it was simply in the way.
    A fact of my existence, an inconvenience.

    Sleep was my issue
    Couldnt and still cant
    I handle deprivation pretty well
    Its just when your weeks in at 2 ,3  hrs a night
    When i got bent.
    Ohh well..its past
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod
    erator

    Welcome to Spine-Health

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