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Can I walk even though it really hurts?
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Can I walk even though it really hurts?

Hi!  I have had an mri scan and I have two slipped discs S1 and L5, L5 is pressing on the nerve which is shooting pain down my leg. When I sit I'm ok. When I walk or stand I'm in alot of pain.  The doctor said I need surgery cause I have had it such a long time, It seems to be getting worse.
What I want to know, someone said I should walk more even if it hurts, is this right?  and would it make my back and leg worse, or should I try to walk as much as poss.
I going on hol next week with my three children and family, we have hired a wheelchair.
Thanks.
Tags: Exercise, Pain
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13 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
It sounds silly to walk if it is bringing you intense pain. That old saying: "no pain, no gain" does not apply when your talking about your discs. If it hurts, DON'T DO IT! You can be causing addition damage to what you already have.
I am surprised that you get relief from sitting, I have herniations at the same levels as you, and sitting in the worse for me. Funny how the back/nerves/muscles can cause so many symptoms and different areas of pain. I heard if you have stenosis that relief comes when you sit and is much worse when you walk or stand - is that what you have?
Hope you can enjoy your vacation!
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Avatar_n_tn
Your post sounds as if you could be talking about me.  I started having back pain a year and a half ago.  It got progressively worse.  Now I don't go anywhere expect Wal-Mart and that is only because I know exactly where I can sit and rest throughout the store.  What once took me a hour to shop now takes me almost 3.  My husband says just use a wheelchair.  I can't bring myself to do so yet plus it would be really hard with 3 small children and no where to put my items.  Anyways my back will cause me intense pain when I walk and if I go to far it actually gets really hard for me to walk meaning just bringing my legs forward.  It is like the muscles just can't go through the motion.  I to get relieve when sitting expect if I overdo it when this happens when I sit I will have intense pain and it will feel as if my spine is being pushed outwards.  After about 5-10 minutes it goes away.

Do you have the burning pain in your thigh muscles.  Sometimes this is so intense it is unbelievalbe.  When this first started my toes tingled all the time now my feet are numb all the time and sometimes they just hurt from the pins and needles.
Our dog like to lick our feet (I know yuck)and my husband will say doesn't that bother you and I say no because I can't feel it.  I am not diabetic as this is what my dr thought was going on at first.  My 3 month sugar level was 5.2.

Since I don't have insurance I pretty much have been past over.  My Dr now thinks that I might have a herinated disc and thinks that I need a MRI.  I got him to get me a prescribtion for one but am still waiting to have this done.  He didn't explain to me at all what could be done if this is the case or what I should be doing in the meantime but he did but me on Neurotion which does help a little.  It just takes the edge off.  Actually when I take it I think what good is this med doing but when I stopped taking I thought OMG I need that med.

Are you on any treatment now?
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi!  Thank you for replying.  My husbands dad had two discs bulging and he couldn't sit down either.  Yes your right why should I put myself in so much pain.  It must be horrible not to be able to sit.  I do try a ice pack, I feel a bag of water and put it in freezer and put that on my back it only numbs it.
Have you had surgery?
claire.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Claire,

No, I haven't had surgery yet.  I have been in physical therapy for 6 months, it has helped with muscular issues, etc. but it makes my nerve pain worse.  My doctor suggested steroid injections, but after reading on this forum and my own apprehension, I decided not to get them. I didn't want to have an additional problem on my hand if they didn't work.
I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon to see what he says. I am not sure how long one must suffer before having anything done to relieve the pain.  My doctor refilled my painkillers for another 6 months which made me very scared into thinking I may have to continue on this path. My numbness and tingling is getting worse.
I know it's hard for everyone with these issues,, my best advice to anyone is to stay positive even though it seems like it's never going to end. We all just want our normal lives back.

Cheers!
Elaina
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Avatar_f_tn
Blimey it does sound just like me.  I do get the thigh pain and it locks sometimes and I can't walk at all, and if I over do the walking and then I try to sit down I feel the pain and it feels like it locks. The burning pain yes I get that.  Do you know what it feels like to me when you come in from the cold and you warm your hands up on the coal fire and you get that pain, thats what it feels like to me or flu when it aches and pains.  I also get ankle pain.

I think you do have slipped/bludging discs.  I was surprised to get an mri on nhs so quick, I was ringing around to have a private scan, cause I just needed to know.

I had a chiropractor he was doing the wrong disc he said he can relieve the promblem for me but will never mend it.

I'm taking tramadol 100mg, co-codamol 30/500mg and diclofenac sodium I don't think the tramadol does anything or diclofenac sodium, I think the co-codamol helps a little.  I'm also on depressents which tramadol sopose to stop them working.  I'm taking so many tablets I sometimes get scared at night that I'm going to die by taking all this tabs.

Thank you for replying it so nice to know your not on your own.
Thanks Claire.
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Avatar_f_tn
I know how long do we have to suffer if my back don't kill me I think these tablets will.  Six months, you don't want to be told that do you?

I don't know whether you get use to the pain or you just get on with it, but its so bloody hard.  I did go through a stage that I thought I couldn't go on like this.  I hope its not forever.

I'm getting worried about op, i've read on here as well that some people have had the op and they are not better.

I was going to try and have the steriod injections, but it cost
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Avatar_n_tn
Hey Claire,

Well, I can lay down on my side in the fetal position w/ pillows under my legs. When it gets really bad, I must curl my legs up into a ball for relief. I can't lay on my back or my stomach yet, but I am hoping to be able to eventually.
Because my positions of comfort are limited, it makes it near impossible to live a normal functioning life. Thank God, it is not always like this though. Some times I will be down for 2 weeks in bed (this is when I have bad episodes that incapacitate me: I can barely make it to the bathroom and back to bed)...when I am through with that "storm" and have recooperated, there are days where I can clean the house and be very mobile with minor discomfort - those are the days I LOVE!
I am reluctant to have surgery because I am afraid the few "good" days a month I have may disappear completely if the surgery does not go well.
The thing is, pain is ALWAYS there, my back always tells me that I better WATCH OUT. I think we get used to living with the pain and what we may have considered a 7 a long time ago, we now rate as a 4-5, you know? (on the pain scale). Even when the pain seems low, the weakness is persistent and if the burning doesn't make me stop, the weakness definitely will.
I absolutely hate the fact that I can't count on myself anymore. I can't commit to anything because I have canceled and canceled and rescheduled and blew off so many social occasions, events, and so on. Another difficult factor is that if people have not experienced this whole thing, they just simply do not understand. It's good that there are forum such as this.
I appreciate your condition and your understanding of mine  : )
You really need to weigh your options before considering surgery, it seems like a 50/50 chance of either getting better or being worse off. I am not willing to take that chance just yet!

Cheers!

Elaina
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Avatar_f_tn
I know what you mean it brought tears to my eyes reading what you said like cancelling stuff and things cause you can never have a proper life, but I can't stand going on like this I'm in pain now.

If the operation works and i'm able to walk again then thats brill, if it doesn't I haven't really much to lose because I'm in pain now and can't walk so what would the difference be.  

I think I would have the operation if it was you, there is alot sucessful outcomes out there but we all tend to read all the bads ones and negatives about the op instead of looking at the positive ones and thats what we must do be positive even though I don't feel it.

Take Care.
claire.

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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Claire,

This may sound funny, but it is nice to talk to someone this way; especially when I am having a terrible day, to know I can come online and talk to someone who can relate makes me feel better.

I know we did not ask for this disability but we still need to deal with it the best we can. I was at the neurologist's office today, there were 2 people there in their wheelchairs and one using a walker, I thought to myself how lucky I am to be able to have what little freedom I have. I actually drove myself there today, which is a big deal, but was poppin the pills as soon as I got home. My legs are typically too weak and painful to be able to drive. Also, it's dangerous with little feeling in my right foot.

In your case, since you are already having a difficult time walking, seems you are right to think surgery would be your best bet. How can things get worse? I can certainly understand your thinking. I am going to have some more tests done to be certain I have the right procedure done on me. Apparently I have a couple nerve impingements and if they can fix that, I would be so grateful!

Please keep in touch, let me know how you are doing. When are you going on holiday? When is your next doctor visit?

Cheers!
Elaina
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Avatar_f_tn
It is nice to talk to someone to.  Today I was lying down on the bed, when I moved I was in so much pain it was unbelivable so I stayed there, I couldn't turn or anything, I put ice on back and eventually I managed to get on my stomach and then my otherside then got up.  Since that I haven't been able to sit down I think i've been cursed! without being in pain my thigh locking.  I've rang the nhs line tonight still haven't heard from them.  I'm sat down now, but frightened to get up and go to bed, frightened that I will get stuck again.  I can't stand that sort of pain.  I wonder what causes that pain, I know theres a nerve rubbing on the bulging disc.

I thought of you today how you must be feeling.

I can understand why u rather not have surgery.  The only thing i'm scared of with surgery is that it might not work and what if they hit the wrong nerve, and I become paraysled. (can't spell)
Claire.
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow, sounds like you had a horrible day, I am so sorry for you. Have you ever tried the heating pad instead of ice? I find heat to be very very comforting and use it 2-3 times a day every single day. I have gone through heating pads like a box of chocolates! It really is a soothing thing for my back, I also lay it across my thighs and hip as well.

I know those days where you just don't want to move for fear of paralyzing yourself..it is very scary.

I went to get some blood work today and had to wait 50 minutes before they called my name. Because I had to fast before my blood test I wasn't able to take my pain medication. I was in so much pain by the time I was called. It made me scared to think how much I depend on those damn pills to get me through the day. I hope there will be a day when I don't have to pop them in order to feel halfway decent.

I went to graduation today and took 1000mg vicodin so I could sit there. I want to do stuff and not be medicated! Its not like I even feel the effects of the drugs anymore. Most days, however, it doesn't matter how much drugs I take, with the weakness I feel, I am not able to walk or do anything but lay down. I guess I shouldn't complain about being able to go out even if it is with medication.
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149087_tn?1258457420
Wow ladies. Reading each of your posts brought tears to my eyes. You would have thought that you were telling my life story. Talking about the back pain, the burning, and the leg pain and having the weakness and the locking up. You ladies are a bit older than I am though. I am only 28, but I feel 80 90% of the time. I have some other health issues other than the back problems though.

I also suffer from fibromyalgia, cushings disease, bipolar, and arnold chiari malformation. I think thats it. Right now though I am having most trouble with my back and legs. In a typical day my legs feel like lead.

Its like they are so heavy they feel like I am trying to run in water. Like someone is holding me back, then they start to burn so bad that it feels like they are on fire inside. Then they start to twitch, like I am being electrocuted from the inside out. They go numb to where if I touch my skin I can not feel it, but I can feel the pressure if I push hard enough. I am scared to drive anymore for the fact that I can not feel my feet most of the time. Even though my feet and legs feel numb they hurt like hell. Some might wonder how thats possible, and I dont have an explanation, all I can say is trust me it happens....while all this is going on I also have this pain in my feet. Its like when you sit on your feet or crossed legged too long and your legs go to sleep then start to wake up. Ya know the pins and needles feeling. Where it hurts but yet its numb feeling at the same time. Weird I know, but man is it getting old.

The weakness is really getting me down lately with it though. I can hardly get up out of a sitting position or a squatting position. I fall all the time, and have to depend on my children to help me out around the house. This makes me feel so guilty for they are only 11 and 6 years old. They are SO great though. They are my angels.

I have to go to the doc again tomorrow for med refills.  Giveitback in your last post I can relate to you on depending on your pain meds just to get you through some sort of event. I am the same way. I always make sure I have atleast a dose with me anytime I leave the house, just incase I need them. I never know when or if I will need them.

Well this has gotten longer than I intended on so I will let it go at that. I just wanted you ladies to know you are not alone and atleast you got a few more years out of your life without so much pain. I wish I were so lucky...nice to know I am not alone.

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Avatar_n_tn
HI,

I am sorry to hear about your condition, particularly with the young children you have. You have a host of things wrong with you for anyone, much less for only being 28. I don't know much about the diseases you talk about and don't know what treatment is done for them and if there is a cure or not. My problems all came from a car accident - some woman ran a red light long after my light was green. Because she was in a hurry to get to her daughter's dance recital she turned my life and my son's life upside down. I can blame her all I want, although it doesn't help in my recovery.
Pre-accident I had a beautiful, full life and was thankful for every day. Now, I am still thankful, because you may be able to take away my physical abilities, but you can never take away my spirit!
My only advice is to find out all your options: Are your diseases curable? What are your best treatments? How can you live most comfortably?  and so on...as I am sure you have already done.
You seem to have a wonderful bond with your children, and that, more than anything, will help you through.

Cheers!

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