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Q: Right Leg Pain Due to Herniated Discs - Will Your Book Help?

caspir
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12/25/2009 - 11:14am
Q: Right Leg Pain Due to Herniated Discs - Will Your Book Help?
Hi, Esther,

I watched your [email protected] video the other day and have a couple questions.  I'd like to buy your book and I'm hoping it's right for me.

My history:  I'm 30 years old and in mid-November, I herniated discs in my back while bending over to pick up free weights during a workout.  The day I did it, I had low back pain, but by the next morning, I was having pain shooting down my rear right leg from my upper right buttock to my toes.  My right buttock had pain, my rear central and outer thigh felt as if I was being stabbed repeatedly, my calf felt as if I had a permanent Charlie Horse, and my right foot was tingling on the outer side and felt as if I had a blunt instrument being pressed into the center of my foot.  I went to the ER that night where I was diagnosed with Sciatica, given a shot (that didn't work), and three prescriptions.  I currently have 10 pill bottles in my house, but I'm only taking Advil and Vicodin or Darvocet as needed.  I don't like taking medication AT ALL.

The following week, I saw my primary care doctor who ordered an MRI.  The results are:

"L5/S1:  There is a central and right paracentral disc herniation with inferior migration of disc material into the right lateral recess. There is moderate central canal stenosis. Disc material contacts the traversing right S1 nerve root.

L4/5:  There is a posterior annular tear. There is a shallow central disc herniation causing mild central canal stenosis. The neural foramina are patent.

L3/4:  There is a shallow central disc herniation causing mild central canal stenosis. The neural foramina are patent.

Impression:
1.  Disc herniations at the L5/S1, L4/5, and L3/4 levels as described above."

Since then, I've had two pain block shots from my Pain Management specialist.  The first one on November 24th worked a little bit, enough that I wasn't constantly limping or in constant pain.  The pain came back and I had my second shot on 12/11.  I scheduled the third shot at that time for December 30th.  The pain subsided and I was left with a slight tingling in my right foot.  I even had a completely pain free day on Sunday, December 20th!  On Monday, December 21st, at my physical therapy session, I was allowed to ride the bike for seven minutes without resistance, to do leg presses without resistance, and do a sitting exercise.  I was so happy because I was finally ACTIVE again (before the injury, I rode my bike in the house three times a week and weight trained three times a week).  When I got home on December 21st, I did laundry in the basement of our apartment building.  By the time laundry was done, I was in excruciating pain once again.  The pain has been increasingly worse.  I can barely sit, stand, walk, or lay down comfortably anymore.  This has been a very hard adjustment since I was so active before this injury.

I had a consultation with a neurosurgeon who told me I was going to have this pain forever and if I can learn to live with it, I won't need surgery.  He forbade me from ever using weights again, said ab crunches were no longer wise, and said the only exercises I should do are ride my bike and walk.  I REFUSE to accept this.  I'm 30 years old, was in remarkable shape, and loved exercising.  I'm a stage actor so my "look" is very important as well as my ability to move.  I've already had to pull out of one play scheduled for January and don't want to pull out of the other scheduled for March.  Everything I read says I have to keep my core in shape, but how can I do that if I've been told I can't exercise?  The physical therapy exercises I was given haven't been much of a help.  I'm losing muscle tone because the only thing I'm told to do is sit in bed. 

I want to get your book so I'm wondering if your book has been successful in cases like mine.  I apologize for the length of the post but wanted to give you as much info as possible.

Thank you,
Ray
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09/10/2008 - 8:36pm
Get the book, call the office for a Skype consultation, continue your PT, listen to the advice to not do weights for now, and don't listen to anyone who thinks they have a crystal ball. Also, explore all your options (why would you not want to get my book?) while things are relatively good rather than waiting till you are in dire straits and are tempted by extreme measures like surgery (which should always be a last resort, in my opinion.)
caspir
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12/25/2009 - 11:14am
Thank you for the quick response, Esther!  Two reasons I was hesitating:  I was afraid to do anything that may aggravate my situation and I'm currently unemployed, so every penny counts.  I'll get the book and call about a consultation. 
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