Back and Neck Injury/L4/l5 discectomy


Dear Sir,

Please I urgently need your help. I had a laminectomy and l4/l5 discectomy about 2 weeks ago.

My MRI showed that I I had a spinal canal stenosis on the left at L4/l5 thereby feeling the pain more in the left leg for about 5 years. About a couple if months Before the surgery I started feeling the pain on my right leg and it was becoming unbearable so I decided  together with my doctor to have the surgery.
Now after the surgery part if my right leg is numb from the buttocks down to the foot. I can't step with my foot. The sole and heel of the foot feels swollen but it does not look it. I started Physio a week ago. Doctors say it will clear with time, but I am a bit confuse as to why my right leg should be affected when the canal stenosis was on the left with the pain more in the left for a very long time.

Please help me. Am at home and can't go anywhere. The only good thing is that I can feel my leg when it's touched.

Also I am scared to try to bend at this stage since I don't know the consequence it will have at my back.


Hi, Hope.

Most cases, discectomy is needed when the disc has been under compression for so long that it breaks down.  The compression comes from tight back muscles shortening the spine along its length.  Surgery does nothing to correct that problem.

In many cases, spinal stenosis, even if found, is not the cause of the pain.  The cause is as noted above, which can also compress nerves, which sounds like your situation.

Surgeries always cause muscles to contract in the reflexive, self-protection reflex action known as Trauma Reflex.  You can read about Trauma Reflex in Thomas Hanna's book, Somatics | ReAwakening the Mind's Control of Movement, Flexibility, and Health.  That reflexive action is likely behind the numbness appearing in your right leg.

Please read this article for more:
and this page, about disc problems

In many cases, tight hamstrings are part of the condition, as they are part of a reflexive action pattern that tightens the back.  Please see this article. | This article contains a movement pattern that frees hamstrings, but you need to be capable of bending to do it, or even to test whether your hamstrings are contracting short.

Now, for practical action, start decompressing your spine with the following, gentle exercise. It will take a number of full practice sessions before you notice results.  We want you to be able to free your hamstrings, which requires bending, so that exercise is necessary preparation.

You may need more to free your back.  In that case, one of the programs on the following page will take you far:  For low back trouble, The Cat Stretch Exercises are usually necessary. Without my being able to do an evaluation in person, I can't be confident which of the two full programs on that page you need.

The three steps to getting out of trouble are:
1. Recognize your tension pattern.
2. Release the contractions.
3. Renew your life.

For practical action, please se

Now for practical action.  

Back and Neck Injury

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Lawrence Gold


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In practice since 1990. Two years on staff at a hospital Wellness and Rehabilitation Center. Success rate: approx. 95%+

Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, American Journal of Pain Management, Somatics: Magazine-Journal of the Mind-Body Arts and Sciences.

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Certifications (partial list): Hanna Somatic Education Dr. Ida P. Rolf method of Structural Integration

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