Monday, June 10, 2013

Not So Bad

I thought having a pinched Sciatic nerve was bad, but recently I met someone who quickly and easily made me feel my situation wasn't so bad after all. The Sciatic nerve is between the L4 and L5 vertebra in the lower back, which is why a lot of people have problems after 40, it's two of the lowest vertebra which takes a lot of compression and pounding.

The person I met told me thge story he recently had back surgery which essentially rebuilt the L3, L4 and L5 vertebra. They weren't fused or locked as often done with surgery to relieve the pressure and pain of the compression and pinched nerves, but the pieces of the vertebra removed, remixed into a compound and put back in to fuse with the old bone.

The goal is to build new vertebra which doesn't pinch the nerves and won't compress over time. The person said it was the last resort before having the three vertebra fused or locked to relieve the pain. If it doesn't work, then there's nothing left for them except another surgery.

And his specialist told him the same advice mine told me, get out and walk. Get the body moving and the back muscles exercising to build the strength in the lower back. He said that's a dream for a long time as they can barely and very slowly walk more than a few hundred feet with a cane.

So, being able to walk with only occasional mild pain and sore or tired muscles and an occasional sore lower back, I don't feel so bad. I can walk 8 miles now, albeit with some mild problems most days, but still walking is walking.

I just can't convince my feet it's good for them too, but then they remember the 8-12 mile day hikes I did in Mt. Rainier NP years ago, some with 3-4,000 feel elevation gain (and loss coming back) with 25-40 lb backpack.

That's my goal again sometime later this fall, to do a 6-8 mile hike with some elevation gain to return to hiking over the next year-plus. They said it would take 1-2 years minimum. It's been less than a year now, so time is there and I am getting better, albeit I can't carry or lift very much without pain or soreness.

But it beats the alternates I learned recently.

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