Back in 1993 I suffered from a collapsed disc in my lower spine, which caused me no end of difficulty. However, I focused on managing it, because having an operation wasn't a good idea; too much could go wrong. Massage has been a central method of management, relieving pain and muscle tension which results from the muscles compensating for the weakened spine.
For about a year now, I've noticed that when I stand or walk for longer than about 10 minutes, my left leg starts going numb. I didn't take much notice of it for a while, just figuring it was related to my collapsed disc in my spine (which I got back in 1993), where the disc was pressing against the sciatic nerve and causing this issue. And whenever I sat down, the numbness instantly went away.
I've been seeing a chiropractor for a while, because the last time I had a numb leg was because of my pelvis being out in 1999, causing nerve compression that resulted in a numb leg. Back then she fixed it pretty quickly, but this time around, there's been no change.
Some x-rays have shown that the area around the collapsed disc has been deteriorating, and there is a reduction in the spinal column, which can cause compression of the nerve. This was what it was, I thought, and continued trying to maintain a pain-free lifestyle with stretches and massage.
And then one day a month or so ago, I woke up with the numb leg. I hadn't been walking or standing, and so I was immediately concerned. I did some research into my condition and current symptoms, and found that I likely have something called lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS).
Signs of LSS include neurogenic intermittent claudication that causes leg pain, weakness, tingling and loss of deep tendon reflexes. Many of these leg symptoms are referred to as sciatica. Low back pain may or may not be present. With lumbar spinal stenosis, the patient's pain usually is worse while walking and will feel better after sitting down. The patient is usually more comfortable while leaning forward, such as walking while leaning on a shopping cart. On the other hand, pain is worse with extension of the back at the hips, which is why patients prefer to lean forward or to sit down, as these actions flex the body at the hip.
I'm thinking I might have to get a walking cane in the near future to lean on and help relieve the symptoms. So I'm doing lumbar exercises, and investigating other holistic options. I had my friend Alex recommend Craniosacral Therapy, and when I get some money coming in from a new contract, I'll look into it. I've had one session already, and it seems exactly like the kind of thing that will do well for me, so we'll see what happens.
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