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Old 12-19-2010, 01:19 AM   #1
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Herniated disk and severe sciatica w/thigh weakness

I've had back problems for the last year on and off. I had an episode where i couldn't get out of bed for a week. Then in July, when I was driving on a long road trip, I started to get bad pains in my legs and now there is bad back pain and intense sciatica (sometimes the sciatica is worse than the back pain).

I know I'm overweight - 5'6 and 180. I have done low-carb before (a long while back) but I'm wondering if this will help the sciatica? I can't sit for more than 20 minutes or the back pain is intense.

My problem is that I drink alot of iced tea with sweet n low and I can't find anything else to drink that I like. I want to do low carb, but I'm wondering if it will really help my back. I know losing weight will reduce the amount of fat on my stomach - ergo helping my back, but I'm wondering if the low-carb will help with the pain.

Maybe I should do a self study LOL..

Thanks..
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Old 12-19-2010, 07:13 AM   #2
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Hmmm..I had a herniated disc and the only thing that helped me was surgery. Have you gone to a good doctor?

Losing weight is always helpful, but it won't cure a herniated disc.
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:35 AM   #3
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are you diabetic? sometimes the sciatica is caused or made much worse by diabetic neuropathy. in that case, alpha lipoic acid and vitamin B1 can be helpful.

good luck with this!

ps--I don't think the iced tea/sweet n low would be a low carb stumbling block. just use the liquid sweet n low. as far as I know that's zero carb. it's not the ideal sweetener, but we all just do what we can, right?
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:23 PM   #4
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Back pain and low carb?

I actually switched my doctor last May to a DO because of my thyroid problems. She's done a couple of manipulations, but finally decided to send me to a specialist. However, due to protocol, I had to get x-rays first (why waste the money - a good MRI will tell you more than an X-ray). We haven't gotten those back yet, but when we do, then we can proceed with the specialist. I already have a herniated disk right above my tailbone but I'm sure it's gotten worse.

I am not diabetic - actually, I'm more hypoglycemic lol. I'll try the liquid sweet and low and see if that helps. I prefer iced tea over soda, but I put alot of sweet n low in. If I get a large one from a fast food place, I usually put in about 5.

I thought that maybe low carb would be more a anti-inflammation diet which would help with the pain. I'm sure cutting out bad carbs would be better for my body, which would help with the pain.
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolynF View Post
Hmmm..I had a herniated disc and the only thing that helped me was surgery. Have you gone to a good doctor?

Losing weight is always helpful, but it won't cure a herniated disc.

The doctor brought up surgery as a last resort, but said that it doesn't always work. Can you tell me a little about yours? I'm seriously starting to think that it might be the only way because I don't want to live the rest of my life like this. I have things to do and people to see, and I won't be able to do that if I'm always in pain :-(
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Old 12-20-2010, 12:44 PM   #6
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Well, this happened about 26 years ago, when we were moving..I herniated #4 or #5, extreme pain, etc..I toughed it out until we got settled in Des Moines. Then I had an injection of papaya (they don't do this anymore). It really helped as it ate away at the bulging part. I go to a chiro once a month and haven't had any major problems since.

I have had many friends who have had back surgery on their discs and been great. Unfortunately, discs don't usually go back in or they will bug you later in life.

I would go to a doctor who does this allllll the time. It all depends on what your problem is whether or not it will work. Back surgery has improved immensely in the last 10 years..It's not perfect, but when it works, it is great.

Pain is not good..
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:02 PM   #7
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You need a back roll for your car seat and for whatever chair you sit in all day (at work or at home on the computer.)

I did physical therapy for three bulging discs in my neck and as long as I use my back rolls and keep good posture (don't just my head forward or slouch) I don't have pain. They also taught me some exercises to do with my neck.

The back rolls are key. I keep mine in my car for driving and when I am a passenger I use it too.

McKenzie Super Back Roll: Amazon.com: The Original McKenzie Super Roll Lumbar Roll:...Amazon.com: The Original McKenzie Super Roll Lumbar Roll:...
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Old 12-20-2010, 05:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Beezer Louisiana View Post
You need a back roll for your car seat and for whatever chair you sit in all day (at work or at home on the computer.)

I did physical therapy for three bulging discs in my neck and as long as I use my back rolls and keep good posture (don't just my head forward or slouch) I don't have pain. They also taught me some exercises to do with my neck.

The back rolls are key. I keep mine in my car for driving and when I am a passenger I use it too.

McKenzie Super Back Roll: Amazon.com: The Original McKenzie Super Roll Lumbar Roll: Baby
Good info, Beeze!!! Would you be willing to share the neck exercises you do? I blew my L4-L5, had surgery and learned back exercises and they have been instrumental in keeping my core strong and healthy every since.

But I also have a herniated C6-C7 and would LOVE to learn some neck exercises that actually work. !!!
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:26 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Lisa46 View Post
Good info, Beeze!!! Would you be willing to share the neck exercises you do? I blew my L4-L5, had surgery and learned back exercises and they have been instrumental in keeping my core strong and healthy every since.

But I also have a herniated C6-C7 and would LOVE to learn some neck exercises that actually work. !!!
I couldn't find any description of the McKenzie Retraction Exercise in print, but I found this on YouTube:
When I am in bad pain I need to lie down and do them (I never did the 'hanging off the side of the bed' one where you bend your head backwards.) Sometimes while laying down I do the retraction and take my hand a press on my lower jaw to get MORE of a retraction. (Think, stretching out the back of your neck flat.) It works for me, but if you get pain going FURTHER down your arms from this exercise, don't do it. Your pain should come UP to the spine and continue to recede toward the spine until it finally goes away.

Also, my McKenzie back roll is harder and shaped different than the one he shows. That one looks too soft for me.

It's all about getting your back in proper lordosis, so your in alignment. When you head if jutting forward it weight MUCH more on your spine than when it is properly aligned.

The retractions were a miracle cure for me. I had bulges in C3,4, and 5. I had tingling up the sides of my face to my temples and pain running down the sides of my neck, down my shoulders and to my elbows. I am fine now and it's been several years.

The retractions work for me. I hope they help you.

There is a book, "Treat Your Own Neck" by McKenzie. It's on Amazon.

Last edited by Beezer Louisiana; 12-21-2010 at 09:31 AM..
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:38 PM   #10
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Back Pain

Thanks for the roll info - I'm hoping that will help.

The doc got back my xrays today and said that besides the bulging in my L5, there is degeneration there. Time to go to the ortho!!

My back hurts, but I think its the sciatica that really gets me. Its just so uncomfortable to sit etc.
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:07 PM   #11
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this is so interesting. the only time I have ever had neck pain is when I've done this exact motion as part of some exercise or yoga routine! NOTHING makes my neck as unhappy as this retraction.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:57 AM   #12
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Hope this helps

First of all have you gotten any xrays, cat scans or MRI`s taken? You need to do this, especially an MRI. I was recently diagnosed with spinal stenosis/degeneration of my L4, L5 lumbar discs when i tell you how intense the pain was in my lower back, hip, butt, groin and down my leg my shin was numb, the worst pain i ever experienced. My xray and cat scan showed nothing, it was the MRI that showed the problem. In any event I could not stand for more then a minute without extreme pain and having to go back to sitting.
I found the best position for me was sitting with my back against something and my legs straight out, like you are sitting in an L position, maybe that will work for you?
After i was diagnosed I went to a Chiropractor he had a DRX decompression machine (check it out on the net). The machine stretches the lumbar discs in question. It is not surgery so i already liked it. Since i have been on the machine, I have stopped taking my pain meds for the most part, now i can get by with naproxin or ibeprofin and sometimes i don't even need them. I am not 100 percent by any stretch of the imagination but, i am able to stand, walk, and best of all, go back to the gym where i am stretching and strengthening my core and lower back muscles.
Now that brings me to my next point, were you active before your back problems, did you exercise? If you did not and if you have no plans on doing so your low carb diet may not help you lose the weight. Losing weight has to do with burning off more carbs then you take in this way there is not an excess of carbs left in the body to turn into sugar and then fat. offSo once you start feeling better (back pain wise) do some sort of exercise to burn off those excess carbs you may be taking in. Another thing how much iced tea do you drink in a day? Iced tea is a dieretic, which if you don't know expels water from your system. Do you get any muscle cramping? Maybe part your problem is you are drinking to much iced tea, and those sweeteners are crap. So how much of that are you taking in as well? Maybe you need to start drinking more water or plain seltzer water with some lemon or lime squeezed in for flavor.
As i have said before I am still not 100 percent and (unfortunately) may never be but, the DRX decompression machine really helped get me back on my feet. The pain is manageable to the point where I was able to get back to the gym and start working my back and core muscles. Hope this info helps please write back and let me know.
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