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Bulging Disc L5 / S1 - referred Leg Pain. Sciatic nerve pressure.
I have extreme referred leg Pain - caused by assumed sciatic nerve pressure from bulge from diagnosed minor Bulging L5 / S1 disc. Signs of canal stynosis - as I have pins and needles in my left foot and calf muscle consistantly. I get severe Glutenal cramping from walking so awkwardly to lessen the impact as sitting and walking seems to aggravate sciatic nerve due to added pressure on the disc. Lying down relieves leg pain. Acupuncture and physio can not relieve my pain more than temporaraly. Physio has given me exercises and also tape strapping to keep me standing straight, not crouching. I have had a few spine stretching treatments with a machine - pulling lower back down whilst strapped to a table. Dry needling, Hydro therapy, Massage and looking at remedial massage currently. You name it - I feel like I've done it. I've got no known allergies to any other medications or supplements ever prescribed or suggested.
I took magnesium yesterday as suggested for muscle cramping. This only caused me a massive headache, dizzyness, extreme stomach cramps that then turned to nausea and vomiting. I guess magnesium just didn't agree with me.
Due to having a bulging disc, all the doctors I go to seem to laugh when I say i'll do anything to take the pain away. They tell me to learn to live with it and write me another script for one of many pain killers Endep 25, Indocid 100mg, Tramadol 100mg, valpam 5mg... nothing is effective any more and I can't help but feel so depressed that after 4 months of dealing with this excrusiating pain at 20 years old - the rest of my life is going to be unbearable.
I keep getting told by practically everybody that surgery is not the answer. The hospital has put me on a waiting list for a consultation with an orthapedic surgeon and after all the attempts in the worlds to get an earlier appointment I've only got to wait another month - but after that there will be many more waiting lists to look forward to, who knows... what surgery is considered in these cases.
Can you suggest anything that will take my pain away? I don't want to be addicted to pain killers and I'm scared it's getting worse not better, or even bearable.
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1277982 tn?1273381675
I also have a 2mm disc protrusion with an annular tear  and I have pain that is burning in my left leg and some in my right but alot is in the front of the legs sometimes the back.. it feels like all my nerves are moving around.. there is this "popping" like I am being shocked and weird sensations all over my legs.. it goes into my ankle, the tops of my feet seems to get worse when laying down...  this has been going on for 3 months...  

I was told by two chiropractors that there is no way a 2 mm disc bulge could cause this much pain for me..  I also talked to a PA and he said he didn't think it was the disc either..  so I am just dumb founded..

Anyone else have a 2 mm disc bulge at L5 S1 region having any kind of pain such as this?  please let me know
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I just found this site tonight and am glad theres someone else out there like me. I'm 43, and have been batteling DDD for 10 years now. Over the last 6 monthes, things have gone from bad to worse.The MRI shows the disk pushing into the nerve which, as you all know, feels just lovely. Been going to the "rack" for several weeks now. Getting streached I think is making it worse. I got done with high doses of Gabapentin, waste of time. I just finished a "streroid burst", that too is a joke. The methadone and hydrocodone isn't working anymore. At least in the doses they are giving me. Over the years, I've built up a bunch of pills that I didn't take, lately, they are coming in handy. I need to tell my doc that the meds just aren't cutting it, but don't want to come off like a junkie. My back and left leg seem to do nothing but hurt anymore.
Does anyone have a suggestion on how to increase the strength or a stronger narcotic without the stigma of a druggie?
Thanks,
Fritz
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I have recently had my MRI that revealed A 20mm disc herniation of the L5 S1 area that is putting presser on the spinal nerve root. The doctors tell me that is a very Large herniation, and that it is to big to get put back with chiro... I also have the numb leg and no use of my calf muscle on the right leg... I do not by the way have any pain, Which is weird the docs tell me.  The back is very complex someone with a 2mm bulge may have more pain than someone with a 20mm bulge... In my case it was almost like the excrutiating pain I started with when this first happend was replaced with numbness... I go for my surgical consult in one week... This neurosurgen comes highly recommended, But still nervous!
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1277982 tn?1273381675
I recently found out through my MRI that I have alot more going on than a mere 2mm disc bulge I actually have two 2mm disc bulges.. at L4-5 and L5-S1  yeah and hypertrophy.. I am still dealing with nerve pain I posted in another forum my MRI results.. I wonder if I should just try a chiro again this is just stupid now... I do stretches and exercises for it I even have an inversion table still I have all this tingling, burning stuff going on in my left leg a little in my right.. I am a pretty small gal so I can imagine why I am feeling this is coz I am so compact.. good luck CR8
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HEY TRY TO GET AN EPIDURAL STEROID INJECTION. THOSE WORK WONDERS
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I also have a disc bulge on L4 L5, but they don't think it is a problem.  My Chiro says after I have my surgery we can deal with that... Oh I haven't been on in a while.  Yup!! Going in for a Microendoscopic Discectomy next week!!  This is a very cool procedure! not much cutting they just stretch a hole to work through... All I need is a band aid when it's done, and get to go home the same day!!  I also have an inversion table! How cool are these things?? I love it!!  As far as I can see this is only going to help you and I plan on using mine as part of my daily routine.. If you aren't going to a Chiro now maybe it would help who knows... Couldn't hurt to try!!  Good luck Tiffee
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1351887 tn?1276893282
Hey all...I just had my MRI reveal yesterday that i have a L5 S1 bulging / herniated disc... i also have been down this road... for 10 years...constant nagging backpain, spasms, cramping, sciatia in my right let..sometimes left leg...tingling, numbness....

Been down the PT road too... chiropractors, physical therapy, i know every freaking stretch in teh book... foam rollers, core stabilzation techniques..etc... back school...it goes on and on...

I prefer not to take pills if i dont have to due to personal beliefs...

its depressing...im only 31 and i feel like an old man... breaks me down to tears at times... i have 3 wonderful, joyfull, energetic girls ages 10, 7, and 4 and boy they love to jump on daddy and it breaks my heart that i have to say "not so hard, dont want to hurt daddy's back...." its terrible i cant play with my own children...

Im not overweight, i practice brazilian jiu jitsu, i play softball... im fit.. .but i just got a bad deal on my back... im keep each and every one of you in my meditation prayers to heal you...

that is my next path... Reiki healing and energetic healing... i think it can help... i think we as humans possess energy that is so inline with our inner cells and DNA that we have the capability to heal eachother...

if anyone feels the need to chat... im a real person just like you looking for support, you can email me just to talk, chat, kick ideas around... whatever...

anthonynoriega [at[ gmail [dot] com

blessings.
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I'm in a similar situation to many of those who've posted here and wish I could tell you that everything related to the lumbar region of the lower back is solvable. After countless opinions, tests and procedures over the last 20 of my 43 years, I can only say that one thing is true - the lower back is still a mystery to even the most trained experts. One of my closest of friends, a heart surgeon, told me a long time ago that treatment of the lower back is an "evolving" science and is one of the most nebulus areas in our body. I sympathize with each and every person who's posted here and wish I could help, it's just not that simple. My latest round of pain has had me on my back for nearly 3 months and the end is not in sight. Regardless of what anyone says, this is a debilitating issue for all of us and we can't expect anyone to even relate to its effect on our lives. There is no roadmap to success here, hence the size of the back pain relief market - it's in the $ billions.Find support in friends and family, stay positive and do the best you can in dealing the resulting pain from a very mysterious part of our anatomy. Listen to whatever advice you're comfortable with (and you'll get it from "everyone") and find something that works for you.
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i really feel for the people on here because i am in the same boat.i had fusion on my back in 2001 i was in agony all the time before i had the op. i was fine after  i just a few pains  and twinges here and there.but in 2005 i started to get pains in my hips back and legs  and butt i had to keep sitting down all the time i went to the doctor who said it was oa and to take painkillers and rest i carried on for another three years of this i could'nt take it any more so he sent me to another specialist and he reffered me to another doc and at the finished  i was reffered back to my surgeon who sent me for a mri and found that i needed decompressive surgery.then in jan this year i was rushed in hospital because i coundnt move i was in that much pain i was sent for another mri scan  which said i had a l5/s1 disc bulge with severe distorshion with perinurul fibropic changes and disc degeneration diease and severe spinal nerve damage iam now in chronin pain   in my back i can hardley sit up or do any thing for my self  i use a wheel chair because i can hardley walk. i keep going  love to u all......
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After reading all the post, I have the same symptoms as alot of you. In 2008, while on duty as a police officer, I got hurt and ended up with lower back pain. After several months of physial therapy (didn't work) I still had severe pain in my lower back and right leg ending at my foot. I had several shots in my back (L-5 S-1) and it worked for a couple months. Ever since this injury, it has changed my life and my career. I have injured it a couple more times since it happend. Just last week, I found myself back in severe pain. I am at that point now, I just want to do the operation on my back. I am 32 years old and just had my first baby boy 3 weeks ago. I dont want to be that father that cant play or provide for my family.

Has anyone regreted having the surgery or was it for the best?
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My back pain began when I was in my mid 30s, and would come and go depending on my activity level until my early 50s, it was mostly muscle pain across my lower back.  At about the age of 58 I began to experience a sharp pain in my lower back on the right side. In a few weeks my right calf muscle had a sharp pain, and soon my right foot had pain and tingling/numbness. After an MRI it was determined I had bulging discs at L5/S1 and the discs were degenerating. I went to a surgeon who recommended fusion. I did not want that so she sent me for physical therapy which did not help, so she recommended shots (but I had heard to many stories of how they did not help) so I did not do that. I continued to live with the pain and take NSAIDS (about 1000 mg a day). Even though I had an office job I did work out frequently (which I believe could have contributed to my back pain, lifting weights can have a negative affect on your back over time).

At the age of 60 I had a major back attack and could only limp around using my left leg.
After another MRI I went to a surgeon that does microscopic back surgery and went through with the procedure (basically he trimmed away some of the disc that was pressing against the sciatic nerve). It relieved all my pain for about 9 months and then it came back just like before. He told me at that time the only next step was disc fusion. The radiologist that read my MRI told me if I did a fusion I would be back in 2 to 3 years needing another one because of the pressure it would put on the other degenerating discs.

So I am now 65 years old and using whatever means I can to deal with my back pain.
I have learned what I can do and can't do and how to pace my activities. I take Lyrica,
Tizanidine, and NSAIDS everyday. I also take Xanax XR which helps me with the anxiety the pain can cause. I have a zero gravity chair that relieves the pressure on my lower back by elevating my feet ( I would highly recommend this to anyone with lower back pain), or at least get a recliner that elevates your feet to about a 45 degree angle).

I  try to keep my weight down.  I lightly stretch my hamstrings everyday for a few minutes, it seems to help relieve some of the pressure on my lower back. I also do some light core strengthening activities everyday.

I sleep well at night on each side turning from side to side as I become uncomfortable.
I always make sure to sit in my chair for a while before going to bed.

I hope this information is helpful to someone.

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I had my second baby in Nov 2008 thru a normal delivery in Seattle, right after it I felt my right leg was numb, after 2 days I had  excruciating pain running from my lower back down to my ankle and then that pain stayed for the whole next 1 1/2 year. I saw physiotherapist for 3-4 months, but no relief, then got busy with my baby. In Nov 2009 I got MRI done for my lower back, which showed I had a slip disc in my L5-S1 region which might be pressing the sciatica nerve. Then I consulted a chiropractor, he suggested massage along with the stretches. After 2-3 massages, my pain in leg came up from ankle to knee, then after 6-7 sittings of massage, it came to hip, which tells that my muscles around the low back might be tight which is setting the whole nasty cycle. But then the pain from the hip was not going, and then I took an appointment with another physiotherapist, Martina, god...I wished I would have met her 19 months back, she told me one stretch, in which I had to lean my waist in the opposite direction of the bulge, 10 times every hour of the day, and in the next 25 days, I got the painless life back. I have come to this forum earlier, and cried when I read how about peopl's experience , it looked I have to live with this pain forever. After having my normal life back, I just want to reach to everyone out there having this problem, to let them know that this can be cured, visit Martina, if you want further details write to me.
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I'm 37 and was very much in the same position as you...although I'm not an athlete I lead a very active life. I battled wit the sciatica on and off for 5 yrs and then last May I ended up in excruciating pain. I was completely incapacitated. I ended up in the hospital because I was in sooo much pain. My physician got me in to see a neuro-surgeon very quickly and he recommended a micro laminectomy and discotomy. I have no regrets about the surgery but the recovery has been slow and steady. I actually felt better after the surgery than I had for weeks prior to it. I've read that it can take as long as a year to fully recover. Be patient you will get better.
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I have had pain for 12 years I am now told I have several tears in my L4 as well as its thin, herniated and bulging. I get pain in my hips sciatica buttocks my feet feel bruised when I walk and I constantly get cramps from toes up to well I wont say but it is excruciating and lasts for hours. I cant find a dr to help me with the pain I dont know if they will keep me on pain meds or not. It is affecting my nerves there is no response to that test for reflexes on my right side. I am not candidate for surgery it wont help me and my insurance dont cover much else. I am allergic to steroids and this has gone for 12 years. It has not healed. would love to know what I can do or what can be done because I am still young and want to live my life.
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I too like everyone on this board have had issues with disc herniations.  I have an extruding disc on L5/S1 and a very large protrusion on L4/L5.  With each of these discs come dessication as well (drying out of the disc).  It has been so bad that the top of my foot has been numb for months now.  I had surgery back in 1995, only to have the problem return.  Alot of it has to do with our habits I believe.  In my case, I did not drink enough water every day (did not drink much at all) and proper posture when twisting, turning, sitting, etc.  Anyway, as time has gone on, the episodes get shorter in duration and more painful.  Last week I finally bottomed out to where I can not stand for more than 1 minute at a time due to pain the calf and hamstring on the left side, not to mention the numb foot.  Did not want to do surgery as I feel it is a short term fix, but not longer term.  I decided to go with decompression.  Yes, it is costly, but only after a few treatments, my big toe numbess is already gone and the pain is starting to subside down the leg.  This has a more promising long term prognosis, imo as it aims at actually healing the discs and rehydrating them to a degree.  I have had a few friends go through it as well and they claim it gave them their life back.  I am optimistic that it is going to do the same for me.
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to my earlier post, I meant shorter in duration between episodes.  The duration of the eposide is longer each time and more painful.  I believe that symptoms in the past may have subsided, but that doesnt mean the disc has healed.  The herniation can still be there without symptoms, only to wait for the next time.  Best to heal it completely!
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I, too, dealt with lower back pain for many years only to be told I had DDD and would have to learn to live with it.  Then, in 2004, I had an attack that put me down for 4 weeks.  Was unable to stand or sit and spent that 4 weeks sleeping and lying on the floor 24 hours a day.  Had to crawl back and forth to the bathroom and cried just sitting on the toilet.  After 4 weeks of twice a day chiropractic treatments, it started to resolve and after 3 weeks on a walker, was able to pretty much resume my usual activity with the prior level of pain which I had been told by a neurosurgeon was sacroiliac joint pain.  Then it happened again in November, 2008.  I was able to walk from house to car, from car to office but was then in an electric wheelchair for locomotion as I could not walk any further.   By January, it had, again, resolved.  WHAM, it struck again, April 2009.  For 1 month back in wheelchair to work.  On May 1, I had an MRI which did me in.  By Monday, I was unable to stand.  Had an appointment with a neurosurgeon but not for three weeks.  On the day of the appointment, I received steroid injection in back which lasted about 10 days, then another which didn't help at all.  Finally, surgery on June 23, 2009.  I knew when I awoke it had been a success.  The morning after my surgery, my doctor told me it was one of the worst cases he had seen of a herniated disc pinching a nerve.  I still have DDD, leg cramps and restless leg (left leg only) and a weak back (especially when I first get up in the morning) but THE EXCRUTIATING PAIN IS GONE.I would recommend the laminectomy to any one who is in that kind of pain.  I have not been sorry one day.  I still take Arthritis Strength Tylenol and the occasional Lortab or Flexeril but I am functional.  Hope all of you are able to reach some sort of resolution.  I would suggest that you find a good Neurosurgeon.
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Hi everyone, God its great to think I'm not the only one in pain :-(
My pain in my lower back first started in march of 2010 with a twinge which got worse at end of april.  Wasn't able to stand for long periods of walk far. Finally in June i got MRI which showed bulging disc hitting off a nerve.  At last an answer to my agony.  Had 2 epidurals and was great after second one until I slipped in shower a few days later.  A while later muscle pain started from my head to my ankle (neck, shoulders, lower back - buttock and ankle) all on the left side.  Even getting migraines now.  Have been doing 5 weeks of physio, stretchin with a couple of weeks and short slow walks but still in alot of pain.  Driven demented now with all the pain and putting on weight again which isn't good for the back either.  Back to work in an office now in last few days and all the sitting down is killing me.  Has anyone experienced this muscle pain after a disc? Worried now that is maybe something else.
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1277982 tn?1273381675
well going on my 7th month of nerve parathesia in my left leg a little on my right..  and still no answers at all just meds..I went to a neurologist and she said I had permanent nerve damage..  I am like what??  what the heck did I do to cause that they don't even know what the cause of this is..??  my friend still thinks I have a pinched nerve somewhere..I listed my mri results this just doesnt' make any sense I am sorry that everyone is in so much pain
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I have had lower back pain for the last ten years or maybe longer.  I am 31 years old and my weigh fluctuates. I do know when I lose weight the pain is less. I have been in pain management for the last four years and sometimes the meds. work and there are other times it doesn't even touch the pain. I had a MRI about two years ago and the Dr. tells me I have good news and I have bad news! I said ok Dr. give it to me strait; he tells me " well the MRI shows nothing is wrong with your back that's the good news, the bad news is its all in your head." I felt like going home and dieing. Then  one night the pain pills where not helping so I went to North Florida and told them I feel off a ladder onto a concrete slab at my parents house. North Florida gave me a CT and a X-ray. They came in an hour later and told me I had to herniated disc impinging on my sciatic nerve. Since they thought I had recently fell they told me to get plenty of bed rest and gave me some muscle relaxers. They then referred me to Dr. Stevenson at the Orthopedic Institute on Newberry road. I have an apt. on Wend. the 25th. My father has been through three back surgeries and still isn't any better. A friend of mine has had one and his back feels worse than it did before the surgery. I keep hearing these horror stories and I am really scared. I know I am happy that it's not in my head like the one Dr. told me, but I want to be able to fix it so I can get off the pain meds. and live my life normal again. Dose anyone have any suggestions or advice?
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st. louis, MO