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Q. My sciatica is heavy after a minor herniated disc L4 or L5. Why?

Answered by
Jay Indravadan Patel
and medically reviewed by Dr.Nithila A
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 02, 2019 and last reviewed on: Jun 05, 2019

Hello,

I had a minor herniated disc L4 or L5 last year. (MRI confirmed nerve pinch, but no broken disc or liquid leaks) With heavy pain, I was hospitalized, but recovered within two weeks. With Ibuprofen and muscle relaxants, I was able to walk and function pretty normally. Sciatica (leg nerve pain) came and go during the time now and when I was in the hospital last year.

Right now, I am experiencing almost no back pain, but the sciatica is heavy. Mostly on the back of my left upper leg, down till the end of the knee. I am doing stretching exercises, belly position, upper body up, or on the back, leg stretches towards the torso, plank training, etc. But I still have to sit a lot due to my job. I tried a standing desk, which resulted in feet pain and also more sciatia.

Though I am sitting straight, the fascinating thing is that heat and cold are influencing sciatica. As long as I apply heat to the leg (not the lower back), the pain disappears instantly to an almost level of no pain. A bit of cold and the pain becomes very heavy immediately as well. Can there be an underlining other issue causing it?

#

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

As it is a year old injury now I will suggest doing some physical test like McKenzie maneuver to see if the radiating symptoms stops and the pain gets centralize to the lower back. The McKenzie maneuver is simple, and you can read about it and practice it. Now I think there is still a muscle weakness which is leading to nerve root entrapment like the lateral spinal muscles, paraspinal muscles, hip muscles, etc.

I advice to not use cold therapy as it is aggravating the pain symptoms. Do proper exercise which will regain the strength in the muscles and avoid nerve root entrapment. In most cases, the pain is caused due to more of the muscle weakness, and it is common in most cases to have received the symptoms back. Doing proper exercise with proper guidance can resolve the matter.


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