Post-surgery - sciatica starting to return

by Hazel (31)
(South Oxfordshire, UK)

Hi Sarah, I'm hoping you can help me with a couple of questions.

My history: Developed sciactica age 16 and after various physio/injections, had microdiscectomy age 18 on L5-S1. Pain-free and problem-free til 7 years later (2007) when sciatica started again. Last MRI showed thin and dessicated L5-S1 bulging, but the rest fine. Had various physio/injections etc again, but then just lived with it and got on with life. 2011, pain started getting worse, with some pins and needles/numbness in my calf and foot. It got so bad I was unable to function and had a second microdiscectomy at the L5-S1 level in Feb 2012. This has seemed successful but my recovery has been much slower and harder fought over the last 18 months. I have some slight residual numbness in my calf but that's fine. I don't seem to have pain in any particular level in my back, but I generally feel like I need to stretch more as it feels stiff, even though my physio said my movement was fine and full.

I was mostly doing ok though, doing exercises regularly, until about 6 weeks ago when my work (a desk job) became more stressful and I put in more hours. I soon started feeling pains in my buttock, leg and foot, with some tingling, particularly at the end of a week or during the weekend. I've been doing your 3 step decompression routine since the sensations started, although I'm not really sure which chapter of Back Sufferers Bible I come under now. I'm not sure what else to do, but I really have to get back to how at least I was 2 months ago! I had been planning to see a practitioner of therapeutic bodywork/myofascial release/holistic stuff(!) but not sure if this would be good or bad now.

So my two questions are: should I be following the exercise regime for prolapsed disc?
And do you think it would be helpful for me to see the above pactitioner or is there anyone trained in your methods working in the south of England or should I hold on to try and catch you in the UK sometime? I'd have to save up for a while to get to a 'Back in a week' so I'd prefer to see you first to get your opinion if possible.

Many thanks for any advice!

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Oct 30, 2013
post operative sciatica returning
by: Sarah

Hello Hazel,
You are just in luck!
Just the other day I wrote a new page on sciatica, although I did not specifically go into 'post-operative sciatica'.
I suspect you have old inflammation and then additional adhesion formation from the scar tissue caused by surgery. You may also have some disc thinning here as well, as a result of the surgery.
I suggest you email Vicky Roberts for some treatment to the facet joint here on
I am not over in the UK until February 2014.

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