Thursday, August 16, 2007

The demons in my leg

I had my first physical therapy session for the sciatica yesterday. I've never had PT before and it was interesting, if not very fun. First, the therapist had to do an evaluation, which was the unfun part of it. I could not help unvoluntarily yelping several times as he pushed on parts of my back and made me do things like bend sideways, touch my toes, etc. The diagnosis from the doctor I went to see last week for X-rays is a herniated spinal disc. Sciatica is merely (if one could call it that!) a symptom of other conditions.

But after the pain came the good part: he put electrodes on parts on my back to deliver a mild shock over a period of ten minutes. While I was getting this done, he showed me some exercises to do. He warned me that the exercises take 20 minutes and must be done every day, but I assured him that it wouldn't be a problem for me to do that since I'm usually awake all night fighting with the pain. He also did a weird pulling-on-my-legs thing that really helped, too.

But the pain is never very bad (in comparison, anyway) during the day as during the night when I would pretty much do anything including selling my soul to make it stop! In fact after wrestling with pain for every night but one for over a month now, I see the pain as a demon torturing my leg! Which is why that astrology reading was so funny to me when it talked about "demons"!

Anyway, I left the PT office pain-free and highly hopeful, even though I had to make appointments for twice a week for quite a few weeks. The initial hope faded somewhat when the therapist's recommended sleeping position didn't work and the pain was so bad I could barely get up out of bed again to make it stop. So I tried sleeping on my stomach and still my leg was getting what I call "the tingles" which proceeds a full-blown pain attack. So I got up and sat on a chair for the rest of the night. It was OK, I got some but not a lot of sleep.

My leg is bothering me right now but I suppose that's why they have you go back so many times. Have you ever gone to a physical therapist? Did you have good results?

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Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I have been to physio for back problems (and other things). I have a bulging L4-5 disc. It was awful when it happened but has been under some control for many years now. Either time or physio did help me a lot after the attack which laid me flat for several months. I find the cobra stretch most helpful. I really let the abdomen sink down when I do ti.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

I never had to go (knock wood) but The Pk has (before AND after his rotator cuff surgery). The before wasn't so good...because they made him work that rotator cuff and it was so badly torn...but the PT after his surgery was amazing. It took a while but he says now his shoulder is better than BEFORE he even tore the cuff in the first place!

Good luck! :)

8:45 AM  
Blogger BikerCandy said...

I went to PT after my shoulder surgey also (like PK.) I actually enjoyed it and went as long as I could. I LOVED the electric therapy. It was by far my favorite part. It is actually a mild pain reliever and they said it relieves the pain for up to 4 hours after treatment. I just wish my insurance would have paid for water therapy or massages...alas it did not so I just had the exercises and the electric therapy. I personally think PT is a very worthwhile service!

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My hubby is dealing with the same issue...and has had pt before and if he is diligent it works. Hope you get great results.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Gypsy said...

Sorry to hear you are in so much pain. That sounds like pure hell and getting no sleep must be making you feel miserable.

I've had some physio before with a guy who does reiki as well (though he won't actually say that's what he's doing). He hardly touches you and you feel this amazing heat coming out of his hands (no I haven't been drinking). I wish I could afford to go there everyday. I practically float out of his office when I leave.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Dusty said...

I have 3 blown discs and much sciatic nerve damage. I have one of those portable machines at home that provide the same level of comfort as the electrodes you describe.

If its a symptom, I want them to fix the friggin problem..thats what I tell them anyway :P

6:11 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

My mother just srtaed therapy for her sciatica.lower back leg..The exercises she was given have help about 80%....She does then twice a day.

Goodluck I hope your situation improves.

6:36 PM  
Blogger deni said...

I have had sciatica since I was a kid, and always went to a chiropractor for it. The worse time was when I was pregnant with Boo, I hurt every day. When she was born, by c-section, I ended up with severe nerve damage, which affected my right leg, I am fortunate I wasn't crippled, but 17 years later, it still bothers me, and added to the sciatica it's like a double whammy. Night time is always the worse, along with rain or cold.

The chiro told me to sleep on my left side, with a pillow between my legs, I can't sleep on my left side though, but I do use a small travel size pillow and it does help some.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Walker said...

Back pain is hard to deal witrh sometimes, I know because its one of my main problems.
Give it time and I am sure it will slowly get better.

Have a nice weekend

10:59 AM  
Blogger Dale said...

Yup. Spent many an hour in the company of a very attractive therapist after the cast came off my broken leg. As for the sciatica, you have my deepest sympathies. I suffered a few times with it, until finally, the pain came and WOULD NOT go away. It was dreadful, although I had no pain at all while laying down. So that's what I did - for seven miserable summertime weeks - before the dr. prescribed surgery. It was dangerous surgery, but the result was amazing. Poof! Pain gone. Condition corrected. It was like a miracle!

1:15 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

I have sciatica too. It runs down my left butt cheek into my left leg and across the bottom of my foot!

The pain used to be so terrible that I could barely work. I went to see a physical therapist, an acupuncturist, a homeopathic doctor and a chiropractor. Nothing helped. Finally, I went to a pain management specialist and he prescribed a pain patch. This worked and has worked for the last three years.

My sciatica was caused by three herniated discs that were inoperable.

I still have very painful days but they come and go and are never one day after the other the way they used to be.

I hope you feel better soon. I KNOW how badly this hurts. Really.

4:09 PM  
Blogger magicfingers said...

Sorry to hear about your sciatica. I hear that can be very painful. I have been to therapy and I walked out. It was just an issue of my own. I have low, low tolerance with Dr's and red tape and *^#^***#
So I left.
But I am soon to be having a total knee replacement. So I have to get my nerve and tolerance level up and pay attention. I hear the pain is pretty rough after surgery.
I hope you feel better soon.

9:05 PM  
Blogger dan said...

i've been having physio on an off for four years, for various hip complaints, mostly caused by old sporting injuries - and I'm only 33 - and find that the benefits are usually short term.

having said that, i've known loads of people with sciaitica and they've all benefited from physio.

3:04 AM  
Blogger sumo said...

Sympathies coming your way!

1:18 AM  

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