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i cant stay sitting down

Started by beachbum on 01/12/2011 1:02am

I had a fusion surgery at L-4/L-5 to relive nerve impingement in 2007 or so. This was a second surgery in the same place. I am having ongoing problems as to be expected. One thing that I can’t take much longer is the problem I have staying in a seated position. When I sit down my tail bone starts to heart right away. If I get right up the pain goes away but if I set to long it won’t. It’s feels like a sore, bruised tail bone (with a little throbbing) and it won’t go away. I don’t know what to do.
I read a few self-help books a few years ago and the one thing they all had in come was to exercise. When I first read them I was pissed. I should also say that I have never exercised on any regular basses before. Although for the past 3 years I’ve been going to the gym to swim as much as I can and do some stretching at home. I push myself as hard as I can and I’m proud to say I swim 60 minutes 4 to 5 days a week doing 50 to 60 laps straight every time. I’m in the best shape of my live but this pain won’t stop.
I’m looking for something I can do to fix this.

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First off, your first mistake was having any fusion at all. Artificial Discs are known to work in 95% of the population. I have one at C4/5, L4/5 & L5/S1. I can do anything I wish, including horseback riding, sand dune riding/bashing, golf, tennis, etc.
My lumbar surgery was 7 weeks ago.
I don't think that any doctor is going to be able to "fix this". It's just not that easy. There are other sites on the web that might be able to answer your questions.
Exercise will help, but there is obviously some impingement when you sit down. That needs to be address by your doctor, or maybe another doctor.
I can recommend a few websites that you might try to post on, and possibly someone will have an answer for you. nervemed.com is a really good site. I believe Dr. Aaron Filler monitors that site. He is a very experienced surgeon in the USA. If you are on facebook (FB), you can look for a group called Artificial Disc Replacement (ADR). There are many Surgeons from around the globe that monitor that site. Also, you can look on FB for Willem Zeegers. He has done ADRs for over 20 years in Germany. His FB page has a wealth of knowledge. Send him a private message and ask him about your problem.
You will more than likely have other spine problems in the future because of your fusion. Start doing research now.
Good Luck!
Pam

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Sorry to hear of your sitting problem. I am way too familiar with it. I herniated L5 S1 in 2009. My doctor and physical therapist both explained to me the pain was because the herniated disc is pushing on the nerves. When we sit it compresses the disc even more and pushes it harder on the nerve. So when we stand up the disc moves back and the pain goes away.

Have you seen your doctor lately? Unfortunately is sounds like you have herniated another disc. I'm sure you don't want to hear this but it would probably be a good idea to get an MRI to verify that this is what is causing the pain. I have a wonderful physiatrist who helps me so much. When I get flares I get lumbar epidurals and steroid injections into the muscles surrounding the affected area to start getting the inflamation under control. I still take 2400 milligrams of ibuprofen daily and when times are real bad a narcotic pain pill. I don't like to exercise either but I have to to keep my core muscles in shape. I hardly do any land exercises except walking. My physical therapist set me up doing simple pool exercises and they are the best. It sounds like you enjoy the water so I would look around to see if there are any therapy groups that have a pool. It doesn't take long to learn the exercises and then you can do them independently. Something you can start right away is traction. You just get a noodle. Put it behind your back with it underneath your arms. Then go deep enough in the pool so you can't touch and just hang there. It may put enough space in your disc space that the disc can start going back where it should. But if you experience any increase in pain STOP. That's exactly how my PT said it to me, lol. Anything that causes an increase in pain is bad and you need to give the disc more time to heal. After I got to where I could hang 5 minutes with no pain then I got to do 3 exercises on the noodle. 5 minutes bicycling my legs, 5 minutes moving my legs back and front like a scissor kick and 5 minutes spreading them to the sides and then bringing them back together. In 6 weeks of doing this 3 times a week I had lost 4 inches from my middle and my pain was a lot less. My doctor agreed that pool exercise is the best exercise that back pain sufferers can do.

I wish I had better news about the sitting but I don't. The professionals told me if it hurts to stand up or lay down. To be brutally honest it was 6 months before I could sit longer than 15 minutes. I got mad, depressed, tearful about the slow progress. But if I tried to push myself and do more exercises, force myself to sit longer, do certain types of housework or carry things heavier than advised all I did was set back my progress. I just want to share that you are not alone and to hang tough emotionally, it will eventually get better if you get the right medical treatment for it. One more thing I use that almost always kicks the pains behind is a TENS unit. My physiatrist gave me one and it is like a dream come true. Especially for long sitting periods. It took forever for my insurance to pay for it but fighting with them about it was worth it.

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Tugboat, I read your post with real interest....I too have intense pain when I sit, so much so that I have to stand at my computer at work. Getting in and out of my vehicle is more painful than childbirth and driving, especially taking those corners, is excruciating. I herniated a disc in my lumbar region 10 days ago when I was shoveling and also have DDD. Over the last 10 days I have seen my chiro 6 timws with only very limited relief. I am going on vacay next month and am worried that I will not be able to tolerate the pain from sitting on a plane for 5 hours. I am very interested in the swimming therapy. I am going to go use the pool at my local YMCA next week, thanks so much for writing about this! Best of luck to you and I wish youcontinued success with your back issues and pain management.

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Hi Peach Blossom,

Sorry about your herniation. I'm replying because I'm concerned about the chiro visits. When I first herniated my doctors were really adamant about no adjustments or massages until they got it under control with an epidural and steroid injections into the area surrounding the herniation. I think chiro's are great but they explained to me the pressure can make the herniation tear more and increase the bleeding and swelling. It was about 6 months before I could get my back and hips adjusted or get massages from massage therapists. As far as flying I had a horrible experience with it. I initially herniated in March 2009. Things got a lot better gradually. Then in May 2010 we went on a cruise and I lost my footing stepping off a really high doorstep and fell on my heinie and re herniated it. We were in the Carribean and had to fly back to the west coast 3 days after the fall. My back had been sore but I was walking and swimming so much it was OK. But when we had to fly for 5 hours I knew I had reinjured it. I was in tears after about an hour sitting. I've learned to try to get seats in the very back of planes so I can stand up and walk around as much as I can. I also carry a lot of instant ice packs so I can ice it a lot. If your not opposed to medication something that helps is I go to my doctor before a trip and get a few muscle relaxers and low dose narcotics to endure the sitting. Again, the best thing I've ever had is a Tens unit. It sends a signal that confuses the nerve pathway so you don't feel the pain so acutely. I have a small portable one and putting it on is no more trouble than putting on bandaids. A lot of medical supply companies leave them at doctors offices and the doc can give it to you and the supplier gets info from the doc and will bill your insurance. Most of them let you have them free for 90 days and if your insurance doesn't pay they just have you mail it back and don't charge you anything. Hope this helps and enjoy your vacation.

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I might just do that, go see my doc and get a narcotic for the pain....I don`t want to take a tens unit on the plane, I`ll have enough stuff to deal with. I also am experimenting with an inflatable donut ring pillow...the kind that actually support your neck while you sleep when travelling, etc. This will hopefully help me sit more comfortable, I`m putting the open end of the ring at the back, so that my tailbone area isn`t in contact with anything. I`ve been trying this for the last hour or so,on and off and so far, so good. I am going to bring an icepack and have the flight attendant keep it in the freezer for me, so that should help too. Thanks also for the advice on the chiro. I am trying to steer clear of my doctor, the last time I hurt my back (about 15 months ago, my sacarilliac), he was absolutely no help at all so I went to the chiro and she was like a magician...she healed me in about 3 weeks! She also told me she was help me with my elbow pain, do some work with soft tissue,etc. My physician did nothing to help me with that, he just prescribed an anti-inflammatory which made me sick to my stomach,then injected it with cortisone which helped for about 10 days. I`ll keep you posted, thanks again :-)

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My regular doc referred me to an orthopedic clinic. She had given me one set of shots and the nsaids and vico right after I did it, but she is good, if something can be handled better by a specialist she doesn't hesitate to refer. Because I didn't need surgery the ortho clinic had me see a physiatrist. He can run his hands on my back and hips and find sore spots I don't even know are there, lol. Last month he asked me how long my hip had hurt and I never even said anything to him about it. He gave me a hip injection and it was magic. I'm happy you're going to a chiro who works with soft tissue. My brother is a physical therapist and he told me about the different types of methods and said if the chiro doesn't help the probems with the soft tissue the adjustments won't work for any length of time. Sounds like you have an awesome one. Congrats on not going the surgical route right away. So many people do and the scar tissue is worse than the herniation. It takes longer to go thru seeing the doc, doing exercises, learning new body mechanics but it is worth it. I can't see your original post right now but I think you had said getting in the car was agony. Another tip I learned from my PT was sit down but first and then swing your legs in keeping them together. When I drive I still have to keep the seat as close to the steering wheel as I can so I'm not extending my right leg very far and to keep my left leg right up against the seat. If I ever get in a head on I will probably be screwed because I'm literally 2 inches from the steering wheel, LOL.

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I required and got a bilateral diskectomy with foramenectomy @L5-L4 six years ago. Subsequently, I endured excruciating pain for five years. I couldn't sit, and I couldn't lie down. I had to "sleep" in "comfy" chairs for the five years. "Sleep" is in cynical quotations, 'cause I never slept for more than a hour without being awoken by the pain.

As fate would have it, I had minor oral surgery 2010-01-11, and the ENT surgeon sympathized with my 'twitchiness', and did the delicate surgery with me under general anaesthetic. Lying flat on my back. When I awoke on the operating table, the surgeon asked, "How does your mouth feel?"

I rolled my tongue around my mouth and said, "Mouth great, back bad." I had no sooner said that then I fell into convulsions. Now, THAT'S an experience everyone should have on their operating table! Five alarms went off at once and someone (I presume was the anaesthetist) shouted "I can't give him any more morphene!"

I thought to tell them I was fine, which I was, because the pain went away with the convulsions, and after five years of quiet agony that was a joyous event. However, I wasn't having much luck at all controlling my body, so all I could get out to assist them was, "Morphine useless." The same voice said, "What works, then?" I said "Marijuana". She said, "Where can we get that?"

If I hadn't been bouncing all over the table I would have fallen over, to hear that! "Pants... pocket... keychain", I got out in three gasps. More to my amazement, a nurse showed up in seconds with the three capsules I carry for emergencies. "How many?" she asked. "One... takes... hour", I replied, as she gave me one and a paper cup of water.

Well, of course, pardon me if I had forgotten my GI tract was empty, though it's customary for general anaesthetic not to eat for 12 hrs prior. Ten minutes later my body relaxed, and I was good to go. Except they kept me over for 24 hours, I think to see if I could do any more tricks like that.

That marijuana is not quite your street variety, True, it looks like ordinary ground herb, but I'm told it is "Decarboxylated", meaning that with mild heat and pressure they can knock off a Carbon and an Oxygen atom from the THC molecules that put the stone in the herb. Thus the THC molecule becomes a perfect fit for the human pain receptors in the brain. (So they say, what do I know?)

I don't advise anyone, who hasn't already done so, to take marijuana. In Canada, there is a Federal "Medical Marijuana Act", which makes consumption legal for people who have any of ten medical conditions. I have the first two on the Feds list: spinal cord damage, and arthritis.

http://greencrossofbc.org/

is my "supplier" of medical mj. They are a society of disabled people, who do their best impression of "compassion", and they have been very kind to me.

However! As long as one is GRINDING on a spinal cord nerve root, it is going to be KILLING one. There can be no drug that will stop the problem, and opiods will do NOTHING but stupefy you. Mj (as stipulated above) is just the best choice (in my wide experience) for pain relief.

But wait! This story gets BETTER! 2010-01-15, just three days after I got sprung from St. Joseph's Hospital, I has a long since scheduled procedure at the Surrey Pain Clinic.

This was casually referred to as an "X-ray Caudal" injection, wherein some kind of "X-ray" TV guides the Doctor to inject some kind of steroid (Depomedrol?) into your tailbone. (Next time your plumber comes over to fix your kitchen sink, you'll be able to see such a tailbone, just above his pants belt, and somewhat into his butt crack.)

Even while the doctor was pumping the Depomedrol into my spinal cord via my tailbone, I knew this was the treatment I had been needing for the five years.

Since then, I had two more injections in the following five months, and 3x/week to the gym. Never do the gym thing without it's equipped with a powerful whirlpool, very hot sauna, kiddie pool to float in, and swimming pool to swim in.

This was and is still torture for me, but I actually am getting better. I now usually get a full night's sleep, on my back or foetal, and I can sit in my kneeling chair for as much as 12 hours without suffering any the worse for it. I continue to push my luck at the gym, with progressively higher weights for 'squat' - type exercises, and all the more repetitions for "core" (i.e. the muscles around the waist and back) muscle exercises. 2 hours in the gym, 1-2hrs with the heat and water dedicated to my internal conversations with my body, mOstly repeating the word, "RELAX!"

Thus, after six years of hellish torture, I actually think I'm getting better. Still suffering, but NOWHERE near as much as fourteen months ago! Maybe might work for others, too.

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I required and got a bilateral diskectomy with foramenectomy @L5-L4 six years ago. Subsequently, I endured excruciating pain for five years. I couldn't sit, and I couldn't lie down. I had to "sleep" in "comfy" chairs for the five years. "Sleep" is in cynical quotations, 'cause I never slept for more than a hour without being awoken by the pain.

As fate would have it, I had minor oral surgery 2010-01-11, and the ENT surgeon sympathized with my 'twitchiness', and did the delicate surgery with me under general anaesthetic. Lying flat on my back. When I awoke on the operating table, the surgeon asked, "How does your mouth feel?"

I rolled my tongue around my mouth and said, "Mouth great, back bad." I had no sooner said that then I fell into convulsions. Now, THAT'S an experience everyone should have on their operating table! Five alarms went off at once and someone (I presume was the anaesthetist) shouted "I can't give him any more morphene!"

I thought to tell them I was fine, which I was, because the pain went away with the convulsions, and after five years of quiet agony that was a joyous event. However, I wasn't having much luck at all controlling my body, so all I could get out to assist them was, "Morphine useless." The same voice said, "What works, then?" I said "Marijuana". She said, "Where can we get that?"

If I hadn't been bouncing all over the table I would have fallen over, to hear that! "Pants... pocket... keychain", I got out in three gasps. More to my amazement, a nurse showed up in seconds with the three capsules I carry for emergencies. "How many?" she asked. "One... takes... hour", I replied, as she gave me one and a paper cup of water.

Well, of course, pardon me if I had forgotten my GI tract was empty, though it's customary for general anaesthetic not to eat for 12 hrs prior. Ten minutes later my body relaxed, and I was good to go. Except they kept me over for 24 hours, I think to see if I could do any more tricks like that.

That marijuana is not quite your street variety, True, it looks like ordinary ground herb, but I'm told it is "Decarboxylated", meaning that with mild heat and pressure they can knock off a Carbon and an Oxygen atom from the THC molecules that put the stone in the herb. Thus the THC molecule becomes a perfect fit for the human pain receptors in the brain. (So they say, what do I know?)

I don't advise anyone, who hasn't already done so, to take marijuana. In Canada, there is a Federal "Medical Marijuana Act", which makes consumption legal for people who have any of ten medical conditions. I have the first two on the Feds list: spinal cord damage, and arthritis.

http://greencrossofbc.org/

is my "supplier" of medical mj. They are a society of disabled people, who do their best impression of "compassion", and they have been very kind to me.

However! As long as one is GRINDING on a spinal cord nerve root, it is going to be KILLING one. There can be no drug that will stop the problem, and opiods will do NOTHING but stupefy you. Mj (as stipulated above) is just the best choice (in my wide experience) for pain relief.

But wait! This story gets BETTER! 2010-01-15, just three days after I got sprung from St. Joseph's Hospital, I has a long since scheduled procedure at the Surrey Pain Clinic.

This was casually referred to as an "X-ray Caudal" injection, wherein some kind of "X-ray" TV guides the Doctor to inject some kind of steroid (Depomedrol?) into your tailbone. (Next time your plumber comes over to fix your kitchen sink, you'll be able to see such a tailbone, just above his pants belt, and somewhat into his butt crack.)

Even while the doctor was pumping the Depomedrol into my spinal cord via my tailbone, I knew this was the treatment I had been needing for the five years.

Since then, I had two more injections in the following five months, and 3x/week to the gym. Never do the gym thing without it's equipped with a powerful whirlpool, very hot sauna, kiddie pool to float in, and swimming pool to swim in.

This was and is still torture for me, but I actually am getting better. I now usually get a full night's sleep, on my back or foetal, and I can sit in my kneeling chair for as much as 12 hours without suffering any the worse for it. I continue to push my luck at the gym, with progressively higher weights for 'squat' - type exercises, and all the more repetitions for "core" (i.e. the muscles around the waist and back) muscle exercises. 2 hours in the gym, 1-2hrs with the heat and water dedicated to my internal conversations with my body, mOstly repeating the word, "RELAX!"

Thus, after six years of hellish torture, I actually think I'm getting better. Still suffering, but NOWHERE near as much as fourteen months ago! Maybe might work for others, too.

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First, sorry to hear of your pain. I had the same operation, plus a little more; however not for the same reason. My operation (actually it was operation #2) was done Sept. 30th, 2010. Since day one of that operation I have had the same problem and additionally it feels as if there is pressure on the prostate, and another problem has been the extreme constipation, due to meds, one of which is 150 mcg of Fentanyl every 72 hrs...patch. Forgive my graphic here, it’s as if you lying face down and someone were going to pick you up and toss you, they grab your hair on the back of your head with one hand and the second one (this is where the problem is correct?) the second hand palm centered on your tailbone area covering that area and the rest of the hand spread across the buttocks, and their middle finger and as if their middle finger were checking your prostate, that whole area that the hand would be covering if placed as described, is where you are in reference too, correct?

I saw an excellent pain psychologist today. I was very impressed with this guy. I thought I was having to see him to tell how the accident has affected my psychological life, I was wrong, this guy has studied and specializes in how accidents (Pain type) effect your life and what you can expect to go through, etc…. he has been the most help since my accident June 30th. 2008, I got more from this guy in one mtg than everyone else, so far. I was amazed, it was almost as if he knew all the crap I went and go through due to the limitations created by the accident and surgeries. He is not just talking to you but does classes in rehab etc.... he covers how to get effective sleep, all of those living with pain issues. (Read the rules here where you are not to post the persons name) . Anyway, the reason I created this account was to be able to respond to your post.

I mentioned to him about the constant saddle bone pain and that the pain essentially covers the complete saddle bone and prostate etc…He was familiar with this and (if I recall correctly) it is not that uncommon, which Wow! I was glad to hear. Finding out you’re not the only one is comforting in itself. Additionally it is not Cauda Equina Syndrome, all of which I was glad to hear. One thing I did learn from a nurse a few months ago is that there also is (and I hadn’t given it due consideration prior to her telling me about it) the force of gravity pulling or pushing down on you 24/7, additionally (for me anyway) the pain condition gets understandably worse as the day wears on. When we stand up our own weight is pushing down or wanting to go down, it is our body’s skeletal system and assisting muscles etc… that keep us standing, so when you think about that, the body is doing work, even if all it is doing is standing all day, so body weight alone is taxing your skeletal system. This puts wear on it and even lying down the gravity force is still pushing down; otherwise we would float away.

I will seek more information from him regarding the tailbone pressure when I see him again in a few weeks, at that time I will post what he says exactly. You may wish to look at a web sitewww.mypainrelief.com) for some good books. The info regarding gravity was from a nurse to me, not him to me, His input was that yes it is not that uncommon. That’s what I wanted to pass along. I hope your hearing that and that others also have this, is comforting and when I get exact info I will post it. Now I have to go and read the rules closely, to see if I broke any. I hope not. Dear Moderator, I will study them closely before next post.
Cheers,
BK

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