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Herniated Disk L5/S1 with Consitant Calf Cramps
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Herniated Disk L5/S1 with Consitant Calf Cramps

I have been fighting with a herniated disk since 2009 and still have to live a limited life style.  I am still unable to do anything remotely physical or active.  I had an MRI done which showed I herniated my L5/S1 disk.  When this first happened I was hardly able to walk.  The pain was so bad I could only stand or sit for about 15 minutes.  This whole ordeal has been life changing since I am only 24 now.

I saw my doctor right away and he recommended epidurals.  I received a series of 4 throughout a span of 3 months.  After these shots I was able to walk around and sit for a longer period of time.  But after these shots I started getting calf cramps.  My original doctor had no idea what would have been causing these cramps so I decided to see a new one.

My new doctor recommended for more epidurals down the road but just gave me medicine for now because they would only do 4 epidurals in a year.  While waiting for the year to pass I’ve seen a physical therapist, chiropractor, disk compression specialist and a surgeon.  

The physical therapist and chiropractor both recommended me to get an updated MRI and to see a surgeon.  I got the MRI done and there was improvement but the herniation is still there.  After consulting with the surgeon he didn’t even know if he could help me.  He didn’t want to take the risk of the surgery not helping or getting worse.  He told me that he would do surgery in the future but the question is when?  He left the “when” up to me.  He recommended I hold of as long as possible.

So for a solid year I’ve been stretching, take vitamin-c, muscle relaxant, and magnesium every day.  Most of the pain is in my calf.  My calf will constantly twitch all day no matter what position I’m in.   I am wondering if anyone else has gone through this and have the same symptoms?  Or if anyone has any recommendations on how to stop the calf cramping?
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1613542_tn?1366472143
I herniated S1-L3 when I was 21. The disk sat on my nerves for too long and I now have nerve damage, but that happened before surgery. I had the disk trimmed off but two year late 2 of them re-herniated. I wish now I had gone with a spinal fusion as the damage to my back now is too bad for surgery to fix so if I were you and your doctor wants to wait I would listen and see what else you can do to help. I take pain pills when I can't handle the pain but otherwise try to grin and bear it. As to the twitching calf cramping I have that also. I was on several different meds for it but the best thing that I have found is Valium. It works as a muscle relaxant also so you may be able to drop that. I have previously been on Gabitril for the spasms but it is a anti-seizure medication and I am not sure if your doctor would prescribe it for just the calf. I had uncontrollable spasms cramps and my whole leg would jerk but it did stop the spasms and leg cramping. It would just be up to you and your doctor to see which would be best for you. There is a chart of the spinal nerves on my profile that may be helpful to you if you want to have a look. Also if you have any more questions just send me a message I will tell you what has and hasn't worked for me over the years.

Best wishes, Sissie
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Avatar_f_tn
My calf cramps on the outside which is sciatica from L5 and S1; however, it's more like someone is taking a crowbar againt my leg.   I am opting for surgery to fuse the two discs.  I am scared as hell but I can't live with this pain in my leg anymore.  Medication does not ease the pain and if I opt for the pain clinic, I still risk further nerve damage even though the pain will not be felt.  Caught between a rock and a hard place.  :(
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Avatar_f_tn
awoody. have you seen a nuerologist? you have to be carefull cause if you wait to long and a nerve is envolved you can have perminite damage..I understand believe me I have it..also it has cause atrophy(muscel wasting) in my calf..if you havent seen a neurologist do so.also I know they have a new treatment(dont remeber the name) its a kind of decompression where you lay on a machine and it slightly pulls you..

treemarks..
when you are in chronic pain anything that gives you a chance to be free of it is tempting..if you have nerve compression and have no way for relief I understand having the fusion you dont want permenit damage
I had a fusion l4 l5 it didnt help the nerve pain it nw is worse..but there are people out there that due well..it is a hard surgery and takes awhile to heal,also can take up to a year for the nerves to become okay again if its not perminite
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Avatar_m_tn
I am myself dealing with a twitching calf that been bothersome for over 6 months, so I feel your pain quite literally.  I herniated my L5/S1 and the herniation was large and impinging on a nerve root..the pain was unbearable but my work health care provider kept under diagnosing my symptoms and sending back to work in which it would continue to get worse. Now I have a life long issue and my calf won't stop twitching..I have had 3 epidural and still 6 months later my calf is still twitching...Do I have permanent nerve damage?  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,

This is Nishant Shah from India. Even I have developed a mild bulge in my L4-L5 and L5-S1 and it compresses my Sciatic nerves.

I am grateful, that in my case it got detected very early, as I had been taking pain killers, but the pain my right leg was persistent. So immediately thought of visiting a orthopedic and now its detected that mild bulge is compressing my sciatic nerves

Doctor has recommended me to do some stretching exercises and strengthen my core muscles of back and abdomen. And Even I have started practicing few of the postures of yoga and mediation and walking for half an hour every day. All these things are helping me to alleviate pain

But some days there is no pain in my legs or back, but some days my calf muscles get severe cramps or some days there are nerve convulsions in both my legs.... But the frequency of cramps and nerve convulsions are more in one week , while in second week it reduces

Can anyone guide me , as I in the state of recovering or anyone is going through the same type of problems

Regards

Nishant Shah
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Avatar_n_tn
I have similar problem in my right , wants to jerk while trying to sleep,
the calf cramps from a nerve around the L4-L5 and possibly S1 as well, spinal compression, a good mussel relaxant could help, soma, Lycia small amounts of pain medication can help from as well, these are short term remedy and should not be used to mask the real issue, it can progress to a point when sitting and sleeping really on a certain side, some people just can't sleep on there backs,, you can try chiropractic care, even though walking can flare up the cramping take shorter walks and try to reverse leg lifts on all four , with neck forward kick leg back lift opposite arm straight with neck straight, I also recommend an ointment called topricin sold every where, it really works for short term relief, take it slow, and check out laser sugary possibility's, if your over weight don't despair fruits and super green foods fish oils and good unprocessed supplement's, this can lead to a wide problem pick a good team of dr
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Avatar_m_tn
I've had a bulging disk and a herniated S1L5 for about 2 years now, the pain was excruciating at the beginning, I guess because of the inflammation... it lasted for about 2 months, then little by little started to subside thank God..... after that I returned to my ordinary routine ... I have good and not so good days, you kinda get used to it, the doctor told me to try to avoid surgery as long as possible unless it gets really bad.... I work out, jog once I awhile and do a lot of stretching, I guess that's the best treatment to follow ;)
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