My 20 year old son was recently dignosed with a pruding disk in his lower back. After seeing several doctors, one scheduled him for an epidural. It has been 2 weeks and the epidural may have relieved the pain by about 50% (per patient). Now the doctor recommends that he go see a specialist because he is not getting any better! I do not feel that surgery should be an option at this time. However, I am not a doctor and I do want him to be better. My question is: How do we look at the pro's and con's of this situation before making a decesion to have surgery? He still lives a fairly active lifestyle. As mom, I would like to look at everything throughly because I have heard that back surgery does not always work and that it could cause complications as he gets older.
Treatment options are geared toward pain relief. Pain medications such as NSAIDs, corticosteroids orally or injected, anti-spasm drugs, anti-convulsants to help with the burning pain, and in some cases, narcotic pain relievers are given.
He should go in for Physical therapy such as hydrotherapy, massage, and hot/cold therapy.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a treatment in which a painless electrical current is sent to specific nerves through electrode patches that are placed on the skin. The mild electrical current generates heat that serves to relieve stiffness, improve mobility, and relieve pain
Treatment methods should be focused on pain relief and maintaining quality of life.Although slow, usually these conservative treatments relieve pain.Surgery should be the last option as the results are not consistent and is not always successful.
When I was younger (6 years old) I managed to take a good fall which resulted in a bulging disc (L5S1) Since I was so young no one wanted to do surgery. I have found over the years the absolute best thing was the TENS unit and Physical Therapy. When you walk into physical therapy you think, oh these simple stretches wont help, but they work wonders. I have also found that regular walking (3-5 times a week) helps strengthen the lower back muscles. Over the years I have had many cortisone injections but they never worked (I started getting the injections when I was 17, I'm now 23). Each doctor insisted that I just needed another one for it to take effect. Some people they work wonders on and others they dont at work at all. I have never been interested in surgery since a few people I know have had the surgery and are worse of than before, but again its dependent on the person. I truly believe physical therapy is the best thing. I wish him the best of luck, I know how insanely frustrating it can be at times.
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