'Out of all' the slipped disc symptoms that you can suffer with, there is 'none more frustrating' than that of pinched nerves! As in my third bout of slipped discs (two herniated discs lower back, one herniated disc upper neck) I have suffered with 'more pinched nerves' than I can remember having - in either of my two previous slipped disc bouts ... Whilst you can experience pinched nerves within 'any stage of recovery' - you may not realise 'that that's what your feeling'. Because I have found, in the earlier stages of recovery, that pinched nerves are usually masquerading 'behind a wall of pain' - and you won't notice them as much. But in the later stages of recovery, all you can feel 'are those nerves':
What is a pinched nerve? Your spine has countless nerves both in and around it - such as your spinal cord and 'nerve connections' to various organs, arms, legs, etc. When your spine's discs are 'functioning normally' then those nerves 'have plenty of room' to route 'both in and around' your spine's vertebra (i.e. your spine's bones). But when you have a slipped disc, then those nerves can be 'pressed upon' by either the disc (if it's 'moved out of place') or the disc's fluid (if the disc's 'surrounding membrane' has actually ruptured). Added to this, is the fact that the muscles surrounding your spine could also be 'as tight as concrete' (just like mine were!). All of this means, that the nerves both in and around your spine 'no longer have plenty of room' to route to their various connections - and you quite simply 'feel the nerve'.
To say that pinched nerves 'can be off putting' is an understatement! As when they have happened to me (for 'months at a time') I have felt: like not doing much, not wanting to go out, not wanting to spend time with family, not wanting to sit down (even 'when I could' sit down!), whilst becoming frustrated and wondering - am I ever going to heal? That last question was 'particularly prevalent' in my third bout, as those two slipped discs lower back, and one slipped disc upper neck - had pinched 'my entire spinal cord' from the base of my spine, to the top of my neck! Fortunately, after around twenty-one months (or so) the pinched nerves 'that I feel now' are usually located at either end of my spine (i.e. just at the base of my spine, or at the top of my neck - not 'both ends at once', although on 'some days' there are exceptions!).
For I am afraid that pinched nerves are subject to (what I call) the 'yo yo effect'. You might be feeling ok, but the next moment you have 'pinched nerves from hell', then the next day 'pinched nerves from hell', then you start to feel ok again, then you do something (such as 'putting your shoe on'), then 'pinched nerves from hell', then you're feeling ok, then for no apparent reason 'pinched nerves from hell' ... I have found that you can't really predict this sequence, other than (for the most part) if you have 'done something', then expect some variety of 'pinched nerves soon'. There are 'all sorts' of activities and tasks that can give you pinched nerves (again), with some 'prominent ones' for me being:
- August 2018. I helped my Dad replace his car battery - as his 'old one' was completely flat. Being sensible, I left Dad to 'lift the battery' and I just 'loosened and tightened' the various nuts. Not 'too much' I thought. I was wrong! That evening I was sitting 'in a restaurant' and all I could feel was my spinal cord (from the base of my spine, to the top of my neck). Whilst I had 'great fun smiling' - my smile was more of a 'death's head grin'.
- For most of 2018 and (so far) 2019. I attend my Mother's dance class every weekend. Up to around fourteen months of recovery, I was 'very inflexible' (just keeping to basic dance steps). Around twenty-one months of recovery, my flexibility 'started to return' (so I started to do 'turning steps' again). But in both cases, the dancing would aggravate the nerves in my spine, but 'you have to persist' (as it's the only way 'to get your fitness back'). Although for me, I am still not doing 'jumping steps' (as you have to be 'somewhat sensible' as well!). I tend to feel the nerves 'just at the base of my spine' - because the dance steps 'give my legs - a really good workout'.
- March 2019. My computer's Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) needed to be serviced (i.e. hoover all the dust out of it). It's really heavy, so I decided to 'work on it' under my desk - thereby avoiding 'lifting it'. Whilst my back and neck allowed me 'to do the work' - for the next week 'my reward' was: feeling my spinal cord from the base of my spine to the top of my neck! After a while, 'I got used to this one' (as you can 'get used to anything').
- For most of 2018. Whilst driving my car 'gradually became less painful' - there were two manoeuvres, which always resulted in pinched nerves (especially 'the next day'). These manoeuvres were: looking 'hard right' (e.g. when at junctions) and looking 'back over my shoulder' (e.g. when filtering in). Again, I would feel these pinched nerves - right at the base of my spine, and at the top of my neck (i.e. no change to usual then!).
If you have pinched nerves 'right now' - then a 'repeating question' that you will 'continually ask yourself' is:
How long will these pinched nerves keep occurring for?
I'm afraid 'I have no specific answer' to this question! Although I will say: I have now returned to being able to sleep normally. And I can't remember the exact date when that happened. From my two previous bouts (of slipped discs) - there shall 'come a time' when you no longer seem to be feeling pinched nerves, and you will forget that date as well!
Although when I felt my pinched nerves 'really badly' - there is 'one thought' that I found would help me:
Picturing myself as the Tyrannosaurus Rex, in the closing scene of Jurassic World - ROAR!!!
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