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Foot numb since slipped disc

(10 Posts)
FleurTing Sun 04-Sep-11 20:11:58

I was wondering if anyone has experienced the same problem as me. Two years ago exactly I suffered a severe slipped disc confirmed by a scan. I was in absolute agony for 10 days and bedridden for over a month. I was treated by an orthopaedic specialist who decided not to operate, and prescribed physiotherapy after 2 months. This helped me a lot, as I had become very stiff.
When I went for a check-up about 4 months after the initial problem I told the specialist that my foot was still numb, but he didn`t seem worried about it. I had also mentioned it to the physio, who said it often takes 6 months for normal feeling to return.
Two years on, I still have numbness along the outer edge of my foot and a strange feeling below my toes as though I have cardboard stuck to my foot when I walk. The numbness is more pronounced when I lie on my left side (the side that the disc herniated).
I still get occasional backpain and sciatica, and x-rays showed I have a pinched disc. I don`t want to have it operated on (I know someone whose operation went horribly wrong) and I take anti-inflammatory tablets from time to time. Any suggestions please?

Fiolondon Sun 04-Sep-11 22:32:47

Have you seen whether an osteopath could help? Esp a cranial one for gentle treatment?

FleurTing Sun 04-Sep-11 23:29:54

I`ve always been nervous about that sort of thing, to be honest. The thought of anyone pulling me about makes me cringe! I`m not sure how cranial osteopathy would help when the problem stems from my lower back. Have you tried it?

Fiolondon Mon 05-Sep-11 07:45:20

I know what you mean. I'm not keen on being mauled about! But I've found it worth it and the cranial stuff is gentle to the point that you think nothing's happening st the time, but later things have moved and sore bits better. All types of osteopathy treat the body as a whole system so the cranial techniques include touching the head, but also other parts of the body. It's not like physio where they only treat the affected part. Osteopathy has helped me with a number of different things when the nhs gave up! The main issue was my knees. I was in my late 20s and I couldn't get up/down stairs. Total nightmare. I thought that I would need a walking stick for life. 3 sessions of osteopathy and it was substantially improved. It stemmed from a twisted pelvis. I'm a structural engineer and osteopathic theory has a lot of similarities to my work. I was so impressed I ended up marrying the osteopath! For more info on it check out the GOSC site and the sutherland cranial college. They are very heavily regulated and have to be good at screening patients for problems that make them unsuitable for treatment as they tend to be private practitioners working on their own so cant/won't take risks. My husband has spotted disc problems and other serious problems that the patients' doctors and consultants have missed. In those cases he advises people to go back to the relevant person armed with info on what they need.
Hope you get the help you need. It's not fun having to live with malfunctioning bits.
Good luck

Fiolondon Mon 05-Sep-11 09:13:32

Hi. Just asked dh. The 6 month recovery is right if the pressure has been relieved off the nerve. But it sounds like you still have some pressure if the numbness is there still. While osteopathy might help, you may well need quite a ling course of treatment because the problem is so longstanding. F

FleurTing Mon 05-Sep-11 18:29:16

Thanks very much Fiolondon, I found your viewpoint interesting and encouraging. I know it seems a bit silly when some people have much more serious problems than mine to contend with, but it has been getting me down. I feel more reassured now, thank you. As I have other structural issues (slight scoliosis, osteoarthritis of the spine) maybe I should have married an osteopath too!

PS Does he maul you around???

mouldyironingboard Mon 05-Sep-11 18:58:25

I have similar but different problems to you Fleur. Did the physio give you exercises and have you continued to do them? Also, were you given advice about footwear? I've found that it's important to wear comfortable, flat shoes that have thick soles (they're not pretty!). Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time if possible and use a wedge cushion in the car. Try to sit on comfortable, supportive chairs

The recovery is slow but it does happen eventually. Even when the numbness improves you will still have a weakness and need to take care of your back.

FleurTing Mon 05-Sep-11 21:36:04

The physio gave me a whole programme of exercises to do in order to strengthen my abdominal muscles, but I (blush) don`t often always do them. But when I remember to, I still can, thank God - when I began physio I could barely raise my legs at all!
I never wear high heels (arthritic bunions, I`m afraid - not much going for me really LOL) and am careful about supporting my back when sitting etc. I`m now tackling my weight (I`m not fat, but starting to look a teeny bit matronly as my mother would say) and am intending to go for regular long walks as soon as the weather cools down a bit (I live 200metres from the Med so it`s still very hot here ;) )

Fiolondon Mon 05-Sep-11 22:15:27

"PS Does he maul you around???"
LOL - i'll stick to the osteopathic theme! ;)
He knows I prefer cranial treatment so tends to do that unless he thinks some joint "cracking" would be best. Some people really like the "cracking" and massage/soft tissue work - strange people! I am happy to put up with it tho as it works for me.

mouldyironingboard Tue 06-Sep-11 13:36:32

Fleur, before you get treated by an osteopath it might be worth asking a doctor if it's the right treatment as you also have arthritis. I know that some types of spinal arthritis can't have any types of manipulation or massage treatments as they risk causing further damage or fractures.

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