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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

There are a couple things that could be going on. One is the possibility that the disc has reherniated. Unfortunately, this can happen as the disc is vulnerable for about the first six months.

Hopefully though, you are just going through a fairly normal experience post surgery. When the surgeons are closing, it is common practice to flood the area with steroids and antibiotics to help the patient heal and avoid infection. It has the added benefit of minimizing the pain in the earliest stages.

However, it can have the effect of scaring the patient. They start to feel fairly good right after surgery. For the most part the pain they've been experiencing for weeks or months is gone. As the steroid wears off, the person becomes more aware of the pain...and it seems like it is returning. But usually, it has always been there. It was just being masked by the steroids.

Hopefully this is what you are feeling. If you feel the pain is getting worse you can call your surgeon, but usually they are reluctant to do anything this early in recovery. There is still enough swelling around the surgical area that MRIs aren't really very the doctor tells the patient this is all a normal part of healing and to give it time. You are probably better off waiting until your next appointment...but again, if pain is increasing go ahead and make that call.
Some of these activities may be considered "moderate" under certain circumstances, but not when you are discussing the healing of a disc. Tennis and golf both involve a great deal of torque and twisting. And it is the combination of doing that movement while at the same time exerting physical force (to hit the ball) that causes the issues.

I can think of about ten better physical activities to strengthen lower back muscles than jogging. PTs or spine surgeons will sometimes acquiesce to light running if a patient loves it and fervently wants to continue to run, but I can't imagine someone recommending it over other less harmful options, especially for rehab.

Since you were jogging and since you now have sciatic pain, I would suggest that next time around you wait until you are completely healed before resuming running. I know it can be done. My husband is an avid runner and he hated being sidelined while his ruptured disc healed. He ruptured his disc the day before Christmas, had no surgery, and I think he resumed mild running at some point during the following summer. He did give up playing ice hockey though.

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