Can't walk

Everything seemed normal except occasional back pain unitill one day i woke and couldn't even stand up. Have been trying my best to walk but can't walk after sometime. MRI showed lumber disc heritation on L4/5 and was prescribed medication and rest. But its been nearly 1 mth and no progress. And yesterday i tried acupunture and hoping for the best. Moreover he told me that the pain wasn't due to bulging disc. Can anyone please help me who has unluckily suffered the same problem.

21 Replies

  • If you are having real difficulty walking, then its time to get back to your doctor quickly and tell them what is going on. If you have any problems at all with passing urine or bowel motions, then treat it as an emergency and get to the emergency department straight away, as that could indicate your spinal cord is being compressed.

  • I have spinal stenosis L4L5 L5S1 compressing my spinal chord.

    I don't understand the physio of course the pain is coming from there. V

  • Jen, the way I understand there is inflammation of the nerve roots that come off the spinal cord, not the actual spinal cord itself.... spinal stenosis the way I see it is the little holes the nerve root runs through is irritating because the nerve roots are swollen from inflammation possible due to irritation...the best thing would be to take an anti-inflammatory to get the swelling down... the strongest I would think is a steroid like prednisone or over the counter antiinflammatories like ibuprofen or anti inflammatory supplements or in the food we eat... that's just my take on inflammation the real cause of pain and disease....

  • Hi I think your reply is meant for NVNC. Good reply though 👍🏻


    Ps I take anti inflammatory tablets for my pain and I have the Butrans patch.

    Well controlled pain.

  • Thanks a lot and just wanted to ask if its just a temporary solution or ??

  • Hi nurse

    My understanding stenosis = narrowing, spinal = spinal cavity / canal.

    The nerve roots being compressed where they exit the vertebrae (which no longer have a gap due to missing disc material) is where sciatic / neuropathic pain largely comes from, when these nerve roots get irritated it refers the pain down the route of that specific nerve.

    When individual nerves are compromised it can lead to specific motor problems like foot drop, or an inability to engage specific muscles or muscle groups.

    IME when you literally can't walk (i.e. both legs essentially paralysed) it implicates spinal cord involvement.

    I've seen the MRI scans of my L4/5 and C3/4 (maybe - can't remember specifically) and there was a clear bulge that was pressing right into the spinal cord and as it has nowhere to go it gets compressed and you can't move your legs. That's what happened to me anyway.


  • Who gave you the acupuncture ? If he said the pain wasn't coming from the disc was there mention of where it might be coming from ?

    Inflamation from disc herniation can take a long time to calm down but I'd certainly go back to your GP to see if there can be medication offered to help in the mean time


  • Actually i did see the doctor, but i dont really understand their. More overe i tried both in government and private sector. Prescribed some pain killers and makes me easy for sometime but the next morning it becomes more difficult

  • Nvnc- the pain medication will only work for a certain period of time say 4-6 hours then you will have to take more to have the same effect. I wake up in the morning and know from experience that I will need my medication straightaway as it can take up to an hour to reach full effect. What pills did the doctor give you ? If you are hurting again in the morning take not her dose and so on . The pills will not cure the problem only help you to not feel it so much.

    It will take time for things to settle. What did your GP say about that ?


  • Hi

    I woke up one morning and couldn't walk. Very long story short - I had a 'massive disc herniation' at L4/5 pressing into the spinal cord. I had an emergency laminectomy and the surgeon that did it was furious with my GP for allowing me to leave the GPs surgery on crutches and not in an ambulance. Said I should have gone straight to A&E and that they would have rushed me in for surgery.

    I had a good recovery from that surgery although the same thing happened again a few weeks later, it turns out I have degenerative disc disease.

    Hopefully yours is a one off, but I agree with earthwitch, if it were me knowing what I know now, I'd go to A&E and take a hospital bag with me.

    I'm still recovering from the whole thing a year later, I've pushed 7 discs out now and my balance is only just returning to anything like normal and that's after 4 months of intensive (supervised by a specialist) gym work, stretching, myofascial massage and lots of pain.

    Not sure what the acupuncturist was talking about, there was a heck of a lot of pain for me, although lots of it turns out to be muscular.

    Before the surgery (twice) and nerve ganglion root block epidurals (5 in total) I was stuck on crutches and in far too much pain to contemplate the gym. But without it I would still be on crutches.

    The longer you are unable to walk the more muscle wastage will occur, and trust me it's not easy to get it all back.

    Good luck.


    Edit: I have been told it will take 2 years before I know how much recovery I will make, not trying to worry you just let you know how it's been for me

  • Sounds like a possible muscle control problem. Suggest McTimony chiropractor and Alexander Teacher. Seeing an experienced yoga teacher would also hopefully help.

    Not knowing if your muscles have gone into spasm or not it is difficult to make suggestions. You need to investigate this possibility of muscle spasm.

    Hope this helps.

  • Have you been taking an anti inflammatory just incase you have some swelling of the nerve roots?

  • Yes i did take some and and with many other pain killers. It made me fell good as i could with less pain. But the day after its more difficult. And thanks a lot for ur concern

  • Thanks everyone for ur concern, and just wanted to know if my pain is due to the bulging disc, is it possible not to have any pain in the area when pressed?(ie L4/5)

  • Where is the pain?

    I don't really remember how tender the actual area was as the paralysis was my main concern, but as you can't actually press into your spinal canal (unless you have real problems 😳) I don't think that's necessarily how it works.

    I still get referred pain for example (sciatica) but the areas where the nerve roots exit the spine aren't tender to physical pressure.

  • Absolutely... just like my back is all screwed up but I have never had "Back Pain" my pain was in my left leg only with the pain, numbing, burning tingling... never pain in my back

  • I hear you Ade, so with that swelling and rubbing don't you think by taking a strong Anti- inflammatory' to take that swelling down would almost solve the pain problem? ...just saying

  • Well I was on diclofenac for 16 years due to RA (stopped it about 6 weeks ago as no longer want to be on NSAID / PPIs) and it made very little difference to neuropathic pain.

    My hands and wrists have been painful again since stopping them (due to RA) but it's made zero difference to sciatic pain.

    Not sure NSAIDs are effective or specifically targeted enough to reduce nerve pain that much, but maybe it depends on the cause...

    But obviously we're all different.


  • An idea to check out your vitamin B12 levels ?

    B12 deficiency can be linked to spinal degeneration problems too.

  • Thanks and can u plz tell me how to check it

  • Ask your Doctor for a vitamin B12 blood test

    Or you can do a private vitamin B12 blood test from Blue Horizon either at a private surgery/hospital or I believe BH might do a finger prick test kit to do at home. We have done the BH iron panel finger prick blood test at home and were pleased we did.

    Simple to do if you follow all instructions in order, you then get your printout of your blood/s and ranges back quite quickly by email.

    Remember to ask your Doctor or receptionist for a printout of your Vitamin B12 blood and it's range.

    You normally have treatment if your B12 blood is 'under range' with B12 shots, but if your B12 bloods are just LOW in range you can still have B12 problems which can be over looked. Many patients with B12 bloods in the lower part of the range are reporting they are over looked.

    If your B12 bloods are showing 'low in range,' or under 400 I would be concerned. In japan they keep their people over 500, but the PAS Pernicious Anemia say for patients, best to keep your B12 up nearer 1000.

    Once you have your blood level result you can post it up on the PAS Pernicious Anemia Society (also for B12 deficiency patients too.)

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