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Half way through PT and 50% improved. Mornings are still the worst. My concern is the last 50%.

Here are the PT exercises I have done. This might be helpful for others not able to get to PT. Of course my situation is not necessarily your situation. All "poses" are held for 30 seconds at least.

1. Lie on back and raise knee of affected side to chest and pull it into chest or as far as it will go without pain.

2. Make a 4 with knee of affected side, which is my right side. Lie on back. Raise left knee, left foot in floor. Put ankle of right leg on left knee so that right knee points right. This looks like the # 4. This can also be done sitting so that you cross your right leg over your left in a very "manly" way, again right ankle to left knee.

3. Sit on edge of chair. Extend right leg (right side is affected). Keep leg straight. Heel on ground. Flex to point toes toward you. If you can, repeat while leaning forward with straight back. Keep hips forward, don't turn hips.

Then this was added to 1, 2, 3 a week later.

4. Lie on back. Rest back of calves on couch or therapy ball. Heels are not touching the couch or ball. Keep legs straight. Flex toes forward and back slowly.

5. Because I had tightness, tingling, pain in my right groin, this was added. Stand straight. Legs 2 feet apart, toes pointing straight. Lean to the left, stretching the right groin (affected side). So left leg is bent and right is straight. Back is straight.

Then this was added and subtracted after the next session. The purpose is to focus on helping the bulging/herniated disc.

1, 2 were halted. I am going to see if they can be put back in because they feel good and are stretches I have done in the past routinely.

6. Lie on back. Bend both knees, feet on floor. Do slight pelvic tilts. Hold, back down. Like wimpy situps. Not full situps. Upper body stays flat on floor.

7. Lie on stomach and put pillow under chest for 10-15 minutes. You can read, watch TV. Recommended as first position in going to sleep.

8. Lie on stomach. Raise chest off ground slightly, pushing with forearms that are flat on floor, then raise to cobra position, pushing with forearms that remain flat on floor.

9. Lie on stomach. Right arm raised at 45 degree angle (maybe less) in front of head, straight. Then left arm. Both sides. Result: you are one long line from either left or right raised hand and arm tip to toes, which are flat on the floor.

It was suggested I sleep on my stomach if I can. Next best is on back with pillow under back of knees.
To answer the question I posed:

From Apr 12-May 27 I have improved 85% - 90% from 9 PT sessions, but I also have been taking 75 mg 2x per day of Diclofenic. On other health sites I have read how people consider this to be a miracle drug. I'm not sure it has done that much for me, but I'll continue to take it for the 90 days prescribed. (60 pills @ 2/day and 2 refills) It is for anti-inflam and some pain reduction.

Those dates are just about the 6 weeks to recovery mentioned by teteri66. That time frame even includes about 10 days of severe setback while on a driving trip. Must mention that what helped the most during the driving torture was doing the PT exercises at rest areas.

The condition began on March 15 and between March 15 and April 12 there was little or no improvement. Not sure it would have gotten better on its own in 6 weeks wo/PT intervention.

Additional PT exercises that have been added, that I stated I would include:

Lay on back. 2 feet out straight. Tilt pelvis slightly (I bend knees a little to enable tilt). With both legs out straight on floor, lift one leg up a few inches, keeping core tight. March it by bending knee just a little toward chest. Keep core activated. Leg back out straight again. Lower to flow. Repeat with other leg. 10 times each side. 2 sets.

Stand. One leg up, like a marching step. Both arms move at chest height to the side of lifted leg. Do this slowly so core remains engaged. Lower leg and drop arms slowly. Repeat on other side. 10 times each side. 2 sets.

On all 4s, like a table. Knees are bent, along the ground. (Not downward dog with straight legs).
First: extend one arm out straight in front of you, core engaged. Now 3 legs of the table are on the ground. Arm back in, resuming position of 4th table leg. Repeat with other arm. Go slow to maintain tight core throughout.

Second: extend one leg out straight behind you. Now 3 legs of the table are on the ground. Leg back down, resuming position of 4th table leg. Repeat with other leg. Go slow to maintain tight core throughout.

When these table exercises become easy, then join them. Extend the right arm and left leg together, leaving 2 legs of the table on the ground. Replace the right arm and left leg. Then exchange to extend left arm and right leg. Harder to balance so core does more work.

Of course, what has been prescribed for my sciatica problem may not be best for yours.

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