The symptoms of Sciatica are fairly easy to diagnose but the pain can range from mild tingling to extreme burning causing crippling discomfort. Pain radiating down one leg is generally the first sign but others include weakness in the leg or foot (footdrop), and numbness. There’s plenty of exercises on Youtube that show ways to alleviate the symptoms of Sciatica but in extreme cases, when compression of lumbar nerves sends sharp waves of pain down through the calf and ankle, stretching may not help.
Archive - July 2015
In September of 2011 I underwent a Laminectomy for a herniated disc at L5/S1.Â The operation was performed by a Neurosurgeon who advised decompression to alleviate a large herniated disc applying pressure to a nerve root.Â He also performed another procedure unrelated to the L5/S1 disc issue which I won’t discuss at the moment.Â The entire procedure lasted approximately 5 hours and I stayed one night at the hospital.
An actual lumbar microdiscectomy performed by a qualified surgeon.Â Warning:Â video contains blood, tissues, bone etc…not for the squeamish.
Required viewing for those considering this procedure.Â This video provides a clear understanding of how the procedure is performed.
So this recent Amazon purchase falls into the ‘makes my life a little bit easier’ category. I’m referring to home or office gadgets that reduce the pain and strain (on my back) of every day life. Life hacks basically. And to this end, my latest back-easing purchase is the Pwr+ Laptop Desk – a fold-able tray with built in fans to keep a laptop well ventilated. Read More
So here’s a nifty gizmo for all my back pain brethren (and sisteren?). It’s called the Nayoya Acupressure Mat and it’s basically a foam mat with 6210 plastic spikes attached to it to mimic the effect of acupuncture treatment. And here’s the story of how I scoffed, then purchased and now recommend this massage aid as it seems to relieve pressure on my back in the way that traditional acupuncture does. Read More
In 2011, as my neurosurgeon was explaining the results of the Laminectomy, he casually mentioned that I had condition known as Spinal Stenosis, most likely congenital and most likely the cause of my Sciatica. Of course, this was all news to me and I wondered why it hadn’t been noticed on the MRI scan. Regardless, I had a new back ailment to add to the growing list and one that a Laminectomy should partially fix.
Of the more common types of back surgery to relieve disc related pain, Spinal Fusion seems to be the most complex involving implants and bone grafts.Â Here’s how a spinal fusion isÂ performed.
After several lengthy discussions with my Orthopedic surgeon and Neurosurgeon, I’ve been told that a spinal fusion will be a last resort if all other treatment methods fail.Â From my conversations, it seems like surgeons want to avoid this type of surgery as it’s difficult to determine exactly where the pain is coming from.Â As Dr. Peter Ulrich states “spinal fusion surgery only works for specific indications and only can work if we can identify what the specific pain generator for the patient is. Probably 80-90% of the time, the pain generator can’t be identified.”
In September of 2011 I underwent a Laminectomy for a herniated disc at L5/S1.Â The operation was performed by a Neurosurgeon who advised decompression to alleviate a large herniated disc applying pressure to a nerve root.Â He also removed a Schwannoma, unrelated to the L5/S1 disc issue which you can read about here.Â The entire procedure lasted approximately 5 hours and I stayed one night at the hospital.