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Bulging Disc: Surgery or not?
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Bulging Disc: Surgery or not?

About 2 years ago, I started feeling classical symptoms of sciatica - pain radiating down my right leg, all the way to the knee, mostly on the side of the leg. This happened right after I made about 10 consecutive jumps. A year later after that episode, I had MRI done. It showed that I had 2 bulging/herniated discs and 1 herniated disc. The bulging/herniated discs are at L1-L2 and L2-L3 position. The mildly herniated disc was at L5-S1 position. My leg pain is always there, however, its severity is on and off. It's never extreme, such as inability to get out of bed or not go to work. However, at times it's distressing resulting in inability to exercise at gym or do various physical activities fully.

I am 25 years old and sports has always been a somewhat large part of my life. I have a gym membership for 10 years, I play basketball, tennis, soccer and other sports recreationally. This pain has inhibited some of those activities and I had to cut out many of the exercises that I used to do in the gym (squats, back rows, military press and etc.)

Recently I had 2 epidural injections done, about 3 weeks apart. The first one helped for about 10 days and the 2nd one I had done less than a week ago and the pain has already come back almost fully.

I have seen 2 surgeons and both recommended surgeries after first trying more conservative treatment. I have been prescribed by one surgeon to undergo a PT course for 6 weeks. While I didn't start it yet, it's unlikely to help in my view.
The first surgeon recommended a laminectomy and the 2nd one microdiscectomy.

Is it worth going through one of these surgeries given my age and somewhat nagging pain, should PT fail (as I predict it will)? If so, how successful are these surgeries in terms of pain relief? Will I ever be able to go back to gym again at at least 80% of how I used to? In other words, do the benefits outweigh the costs of recovery, pain and some risk?
Is PT any help in situations like these where the pain is chronic and according to MRI and X-Ray, I have some bone spurs and somewhat degenerated discs?
Thank You for your time and attention,
- Igor
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Avatar_n_tn
My mother had the same problem bulging/herniated disks a few years ago.   She is in her 50's and very active.   WOrks out with a trainer 5 times a week.   Her doctor reccommended PT too and her pain persisted because she ended up shattering her disk.   SHe had the surgery and is back in the gym, skies, plays golf, you name it.   If you have to choose between the 2 surgeries the microdiscectomy is a smaller incision and quicker recovery but make sure you have  an neurosurgeon who is well versed in this surgery.   Good luck.
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That's interesting because I hear mixed results from different people and even doctors. My primary physician recommended me a good surgeon, who did a surgery for one of her patients and she said the patient has not complained of pain and is the 70's and doing much better. Yet she would rather me avoid the surgery given my age.
Other people say that surgery is extensive and is very long to recover from and has some risks.

What surgery did your mom have and how quickly was she able to recover? Walking? Workout? And etc.?

I will probably start PT next week, but honestly, I don't hope for nor expect any improvement.
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My sister had a blown lumbar disc that disabled her, the surgery really helped. She's not into sports but does vigorous work. I think you may find alot of variation in results, maybe each person is different. I know one who had a fusion and has never been right since. Something I thought of reading this is an injection therapy called prolotherapy or something like that, think it is hyaluronic acid, not sure I recall the details exactly. I remember a holistic MD who did that and saw an article by the previous surgeon general Everett Koop advocating it. Just a thought as you sound like you are not eager for surgery yet. I have read things that imply not much difference for herniated discs whether you have surgery or not, maybe you could get some objective stats on that. It sounds like your quality of life is not affected alot as you are very active so it may be worth waiting or trying alternatives for awhile longer. Maybe acupuncture would help with the pain?
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I had disc surgery on C-6 and C-7. All the radiating pain is GONE!!! It was the worse pain ever. The worse part of the surgery was the morphine. I had the surgery and was discharged the next day by noon and was at my friends for dinner that night. Of course PT followed and is very important. I recommend the surgery.
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My quality of life is somewhat affected, just not to a very high degree. Some days it's worse than others. But you are right, Billsdaughter, I am not lying in bed nor struggling through each day. I have been recommended to do PT for 6 weeks by the surgeon and I will probably start this week and see how it goes. But given that I have at least 2 moderately bulging and herniated discs, I doubt it would help very much. I do think that at the end, I will likely go with the surgery. I guess my biggest question is how long does the recovery take, for me to be active, and will the surgery renew me to the degree that I would be able to go to gym and play sports normally again, without severely restricting myself?
But thanks for input guys!
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Hi, how are you doing? are you trying the PT and is it helping? I'll bet a sports med doctor could answer those questions for you. I hear there is a good spine clinic in the San Francisco area who has worked on well known football players.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am in the same boat.  I am 31 and I have three bulging discs.  My left leg is always numb, my buttocks aches, and my back throbs.  I hurt my back running.  My weekly mileage was @70, with a lot of speed work.  My doctor says I can never race again, or even run.  

I have had three epidurals, all with no effect.  My L5 is crushing my S1 and the only option is to have surgery.  My L3 and L4 are also bulging. So much for staying in shape.

I do not want to be on NORCO pills my whole life. I think if you have an injury especially in your 20's to 30's and all options have been exhausted then surgery needs to be done.  I cannot live with this pain for the next 40 years only for it to get worse every year.   They say that these bulging discs heal in 5 years with no intervention, yeah right.  Mine will heal then I will lean down to tie my shoe and blow my disc again. At least if the surgery is done I can possibly mtn bike again, or continue rafting.  

I do not know much about the surgery but I am at the point where I have no other option.  I cannot take the pain any more.
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I know excatly what you are going through my husbnd has a buldging disc ,
  he has been in hospital for 1 week so far after suffering at home for 5 weeks he is now at the stage that he cant stand or sit and has to lie down constantly,his whole left leg is completely numb and has tingling in his arms and leg and foot.
   he is in agony and has become very down, because he cant support me and our three children , he just wants the pain to stop and to get his life back .
    He had a spinal block injection last week but has had no effect, the doctors are just talking about pain management through pills and have said that it is not yet bad enough for surgery how bad does it have to be to get a operation?
  He has already had a operation on the same disc 10 years ago.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey run no more.  I am somewhat in the same boat.  i was a jogger ( only about 15 miles a week) and I have been playing rugby for the last 10 years, I"m 29.  I have been diagnosed with S1/L5 and L5/L4 disk bulges/herniations.  I just receieved my first opinion and it was to have surgery.  Have you had any surgery since January?  Where are you at now?
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I'm in the same boat here too. I'm 44 and since May I've been having excruciating pain that runs from the side of my left hip down the front of my leg to my knee or below.
Often, I have complete muscle weakness in both legs. I've not been able to walk (usually 4 to 5 miles a day), sit on the floor with my kindergarten students, or sleep for that matter!
My dr had me go for an xray and then an MRI in Aug and I have bulging disks on my L2 and L4. An old sacral bone fracture has not fully healed correctly which is also causing issue.
I'm in PT right now but find the day after, I'm in more pain due to aggrivating the issues with the exercises.... anyone know if the PT is supposed to make it worse before it gets better?
I feel like I don't want to go through all the PT in order to hear time for cortizone shots in your spine.....been there done that with tendonitis in my elbow and ended up with surgery after a year of PT and shots!
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My mother is currently going through the same thing & what really annoys me is the way that her doctors are educating her.  I do not believe that they are NOT knowledgeable, but they are incapable of thinking outside of their own box... and often times, there are alternatives out there!
I work for a leading national health insurance company and have had first hand experience as to what type of "inabilities" that doctors have when offering and referring care.  Generally speaking, a medical doctor (primary care, specialist, etc) is trying to make a buck and only trained to do one of four things: diagnose to the best of their ability, medicate, refer out to a specialist, or cut.  There are other non-surgical options that are available that your doctor is NOT telling you about.  Often times when your have a bulging/herniated disc, there are other problems that lye within your spine that your doctors are not addressing.  My mother's one vertebra is completely misplaced, which caused her disc to slip to begin with.  Her doctor and surgeon want to go in and fix the disc; not address the misplaced vertebra - because that is outside of their realm of expertise.  The end result may not even fix my mother's issue and her pain may persist; especially if they are fusing things together to correct the disc surgically.  Fixing the symptom does not fix the problem, it may create more stress on other discs, other areas of your back may start hurting because they are compensating for the problem that still persists, and your surgeries will become cyclical.
My thought... try everything first.  Back surgery (or any surgery) is a serious, serious thing.  I understand that PT can be painful and cause further problems, but I urge you to see a back doctor - not a primary care physician, an orthopaedic surgeon, voo doo, or witch doctor... see a chiropractor and ask about DTS before getting cut.  For many people this could be an option and will allow your body (with a little help) a chance to do what it does best - and heal itself.  Most health plans offer 20 visits per calander year and more if medically necessary.  I urge you - get a referral and go.  

I found one link that I thought was good:
http://www.ewerspecific.com/DTStherapy.aspx

google it, use your resources, talk to a chiropractor and see if this could be an option.  
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Thank you for ur prospective on this issue which I agree is a biggy...especially since I will most likely be facing that option.....however, a chiropracter is not always a safe choice...it depends on what other "things" r going on in ur spine....such as chiari malformation, which manipulation would not be a wise choice......but there r other non surgical ways to reduce pain.....

Again thanks for ur insight.

Godspeed
"selma"
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you think you have it bad, I have buldging disc's in my NECK.  Yep, from gardening last summer.....it started with a pinched nerve then I found out it was 3 buldging disc's in my neck.  They are the "C" disc's.  It is now winter here in Chicago and I'm not able to help my husband shovel the sidewalk....and that brings me to you.....I'm looking for answer's and hope from someone that surgery for buldging disc's works!!
I am 56, love to work out and be outside.   Any neck movement aggravates it.  Even something as simple as driving and looking both directions for traffic (pretty soon, I'll have to turn right only) or shopping aggravates it to,  (to much neck movement).....I'm hoping to find answers for help so I can get my life back to normal.  It's embarrassing and I feel like I'm handicapped.    I'm ready to undergo the knife to get my life back.

Anyone had neck surgery for buldging disc's?  In Chicago?
Thanks,
jz723
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I just found out I have bulging/ruptured discs in L3&4, L4&5, L5&S1.  I've been refered to a surgeon who specializes in cervical/lumber spine surgery...but I am afraid.  I am only 29 and have lived a very active lifestyle up until now.  I am in extreme pain but have only been given Lortab (which has not helped at all with the pain) and 800mg motrin.  Anyone out there with positive stories about surgery or other options? Pain relief?  Thank you for your time.....

--In Pain in Sioux City
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I came across an interesting website by a PT who advises not just PT exercises but understanding how what you do and how you position yourself might be affecting/reinjuring your disks. Interesting info and seems to have helped a lot of people with disc pain to avoid surgery and feel better. The site is: www.drbookspan.com/ May be worth a look.
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L1 -2 = medium sized disc protrusion centrally extending to the right side which is markedly extruded superiorly producing encroachment upon the thecal sac and RT. neural foramen.... Thats what they are telling me, it hurts like hell but not sure what it means
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Hello all. I’m 33 and I had a discectomy w/ laminectomy surgery to repair my L5-S1 disc about a year ago. It was the WORST mistake I have ever made in my life. I would not recommend back surgery to anyone, ever, unless you are facing possible paralysis and surgery is your last resort. I started out with getting cortisone injections and nerve blocks and when that did not have any long term benefit I opted to have a relatively minor outpatient surgery (microdiscectomy) and things just got worse from there.  This was all in an effort to get back to “normal”. It’s really hard to know what to do when the doctors that you trust are recommending this procedure and that procedure, but don’t forget…they make the most money on surgeries…of course they are going to recommend them. If you opt to have all the tests, scans, procedures and surgeries and they FAIL, the most any doctor or surgeon or specialist can offer is a 5 minute pity consultation and a prescription for pain killers. I wish so much that I would have tried adjusting to my limitations instead of jumping into invasive medical procedures on my SPINE.
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I would like to know if anyone else out there has a central disc bulge/ herniation.  that is when the disc is bulging in the central area of the spine causeing pain on both legs and at different times. while also pinching off nerves and compressing the spinal cord.  that is what is happening to me right now and i am in quite abit of pain and cannot bend that well at all.  My Pt has sent me home cause after seeing my MRI was fearfull that any excercises will make matters worse and he did not want to take that chance.  In 30 years this is his worse case ever.  I have tried everything including the spinal decommpression, im lost and have no idea what to do next.  Is Surgery my last resort and if so what am i too expect,  I m in a very physical profession and i need to hear that im going to be able to continue working.  Can someone please give me some advice?

Last Resort
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Hello out there
My recent MRI shows a large bulged disc in my lower back.  Can anyone recommend pain relief (this issue is killing me and I am now off work) that does not increase chances of constipation?  I have had 2 surgeries for anal fissures and cannot risk getting constipated.  I have been on morphine pills for 1 week and it is not taking the edge off and it is slowing my whole system down.  
Thanks for any suggestions.
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I'm 26.  Very active, used to be a body builder.   Suffered a bulging disc at L4-L5 when I was 25 and deadlifting at the gym.  Hurt BADDD!

I refuse to have surgery and get cut open unless I have to.

There are numerous supplements that DO WORK that I have tried/am on right now.

For the pain, look into this
-----Curamin
Their main website is "http://www.curamin.com/"

To help restore joint/disc health look into this
----Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM supplement (24 hour release is best)
Here's the one I took  "http://www.iherb.com/Now-Foods-Glucosamine-Chondroitin-240-Capsules/568?utm_source=gb&utm_medium=f3&at=0"


To help restore fluid within the discs and also help with inflammation, look into this.
----Hyaluronic Acid.
I'm taking one called "Baxil" but I can't find the link on the web.  Regardless, look into it b/c the discs in your back are made up of this acid.

Most of all, Stretches.
http://www.spineuniverse.com/article/back-pain-exercises-4413.html

I do the "pelvic tilt" and the "knees to chest" stretches morning and night, and they really seem to help and it feels good.

Good luck to everyone.

--J


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ok i am 18 years old. i was in a severe car accident when i was 17 and a fourwheeler accident when i was 14. may 09 i was moving furniture for my mother and the next day i was in so much pain i could not even walk. i went to my family physician and he told me all i have is a sore muscle, so he gave me a narcotic pain killer and a muscle relaxer. after a week my pain still persisted so i went back to him, same thing over again. my pain never gave up. finally he sent me to a neurologist, he sent me to 5 weeks of physical therapy, he said he did not want to order me a MRI because he didn't want to flag me at such a young age. Therpy did nothing but make it worse. he prescribed me some more narcotic pain killers. i had the MRI and found that i have a severe budging disk. my dr said he would not like to do sugery once agian my age. he ordered me a epidural, which did nothing. i went back to him and he said we will do one more, well i had the last one 2 days ago and i still feel no relief. now i know i am young but i dont think i can handle this severe pain, i cant do anything with my friends, the only thing my back will allow me to do is lay in bed, everything is way to painful to live with? should i have sugery? anyone have any ideas for me?????  
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I have stumbled upon this forum and very interesting. I'am 31 have 3 children and my career is a firefighter/emt I hurt my back in june and at first it was tollerable. I took off wrok for about 2 weeks and then went back only to work only for it to get worse. My job fianlly put me out on medical comp and now trying to get it taken care of. Last diagnosis was a bulging disk. Well I for one don't want to be on meds for any length of time and realy can't given my career. I'am going to go to doctor today to find out what my options are. I now have alot of insight from this forum to bring with me! Thankyou all and good luck to all. Back pain ***** and can stay with you for EVER!!
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I have a buldging l4/l5 disc with a tear.  This dosnt stop me working, when i hurt it i get inner thigh pain, leg pain, lower back pain and stomach pain.  its not to bad, its just uncomfortable and constant.  i hurt myself and am in pain for a month, then i get better for a couple of weeks and do it again, it seems impossible to avoid hurting it.  I have been re hurting it for about a year now.  seeing a nuro specialist on Thursday and getting some advice on what to do.  I am scared to have an operation, i dont get a lot of back pain, just pretty much every where else, i am scared the operation will give me back pain.  every time i left something and reach i seem to do the injury, i think it might be the buldge getting squished and iritated. I feel like i shouldnt get surgery because i am not stuck in a bed, but i swim 1k everyday, walk an hour everyday and still have pain and sciatic to my foot, i feel like my right leg is getting weaker and i have had to stop doing alot of things because it causes pain.  I have been wanting to have a baby soon with my husband also but have been putting it off due to this back issue.  i am only 25 and it seems very unfair, but thats life i guess.
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Wow, reading this forum is so interesting.  I don’t usually write anything, but this time I feel I have some ANSWERS to offer.  I worked at a certain package moving facility (which I am not at liberty to disclose the name of due to the terms of my $5.32 settlement to help pay my insurance costs) Anyway, I was 21 and I started having pain in my leg.  Doctor, specialist, MRI, … herniated disc in my L4,L5 and a bulging disc in L3,L4 I think.  The pain was bad enough that I couldn’t sit for long periods, I couldn’t run, I couldn’t sleep very well.  My MRI showed a large herniated/ruptured portion pinching my sciatic nerve going down my left leg and my specialist didn’t think conservative measures would work.  I’m not a very patient person sometimes so, I opted for the surgery.   I’m not afraid of surgery… I guess it’s my mechanic mentality… Just fix it!
The pain was GONE! I followed all my doctors’ instructions and it was 2 months before I was myself again!  

In order to understand your best option though you really have to know how the disk works.  Educate yourself online if you have to, but treat it all skeptically and check multiple sources.  There is a tough cartilage outer shell to the disc called the annulus I believe.  This is the outer shell of your disc.  The inside is a softer jellylike material that has a lot to do with absorbing shock.  For me, I have degenerative disc disease in my family which makes me prone to this type of “jelly coming out of the donut” thing.  What my surgeon did was go in and trim the jelly off and set the outer shell back together.  Now THIS IS IMPORTANT, they can’t “fix” the shell, it just heals back together on its own. So I was on a five pound weight restriction for six weeks while that disk shell the annulus was healing back together.  YOU FEEL BETTER right after surgery, but you MUST let that disk heal, or you’ll just blow it again!  No mowing your lawn a week later!  The other thing is that the disk will never be the same again, and it will be easier to damage because you’ve compromised the integrity of that outer shell.  Now, …. Stupid is as stupid does… I’m now 26 and decided to pick 130 pounds tool box out of my trunk several times on a row…  I hurt my back a little, then I hurt it again, then I fishtailed on my motorcycle by accident and finished it off I think.  I’m going in for an MRI in January because I have crippling pain down my left leg again.  I’m lying in bed writing this right now.  I’m waiting until January because I have a 2grand deductible.  I’ll be very interested in seeing if it is the problem is with the “fixed’ disc or the bulging one that he didn’t do anything with.  I’m on Vicodin on the mean time.

I here lots of people going with conservative treatments and them not working, and then finally getting surgery and ending up with nerve damage because of how long the stuck it out.  On the other hand people would tell me once you start surgery you end up having more and more, which I thought I could avoid, but hear I am again.  Still, I don’t see the point in being miserable for 20 years and destroying your body with pain meds until you’re “old enough” to justify surgery.  If it’s broken you should do something to actually address the problem, not just mask the symptoms.  People need to have kids, their legs need to work.  Why postpone the inevitable?

I’ve never heard of anyone having success with a fusion… I watched one on youtube and I would never let them do that if I were …. Me I guess.  I would go with a disc replacement before I would let them fuse anything.  Your insurance may not cover that yet though. This just puts more pressure on the other discs anyways.  And it’s so invasive; people are never right after it.  If you have surgery…,.. be smart and give up the dead lifts, squats, and have a friend help lift your GD toolbox out of your trunk!!!!  It’s a good option if you’re willing to live a more thoughtful life….. at least you can think without all that pain.

One more thought.  Check out the website www.regenexx.com I found that today and what they do is take stem cells from your bone marrow and grow them in a lab and inject them into the disc wall.  Then the cells rebuild your disc wall and make it strong again.  It’s your own cells so there’s no risk of some funky rejection thing happening.  It’s too new to be covered by insurance and it costs like 7 grand, BUT it’s the rest of your life.  I think this is the future.   I’m seriously looking into this while I’m waiting for my MRI.  I have no idea how I would pay for it though… life of crime I guess  : )

Sorry, I’m long winded, hope it gives you something to think about.  

Remember, a good surgeon is harder to find than a good mechanic, so take your time and get second opinions and don’t worry about hurting their feelings…. They get to walk home at the end of the day.  
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Hi people:) I'm 15 and I have a buldge between the 5th and 6th disc. I hurt my back skiiing about a year ago and ever since then It has gotten worse.I can't play my sports anymore because it's to painful... I'm going to see a specialist soon to see what the want to do about my back. I'm just nervous because I am very young with a bad back already. Like sometimes I'll just be walking and get a shooting pain that makes me fall and I always have pain in my back and in my butt or buttocks whatever you call it. I've already been through the chiropracter and had several xrays and MRI's.. So if anyone has any adice I would realllllllllly like to hear it !  Thank you(((:
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Uggjbmb27, Good luck sweetie.
Floppydiskdude, thank you, the information you gave was very interesting/informative and helpful
I am 50 years old, back in August I was sitting up in bed, reading and got a stabbing pain in my back.  I got into my doctor a couple of days later, got pain meds, muscle relaxers and a list of exercises to do.  Two weeks later I was back at the doctor, no improvement, different pain meds and muscle relaxers and added steriods to the mix, but to add to it, I was experiencing pain in my knee.  

Doctor's diagnosis I was favoring my back and tore/pulled the cartilidge in my knee.  More pain meds, a cortisone shot in the knee and a back x-ray (NOT an MRI).

I have had two therapy appointments - the first one he had me doing extension exercises and after that first one I told the therapist I wanted to hunt him down - I was in more pain.  The second therapy was on Friday and he changed the exercises and tried some light traction.  I am still experiencing more pain, and tonight I was driving home, a dog ran out in front of me and when I hit the brakes (didn't hit the dog - which is good), I started having the stabbing pains again.  Came home, took another Percocet and hit the bed for the evening.

PT is doing nothing for me except causing me more pain.  I am calling to try to get an appointment with an ortho doctor asap.  My family doctor is not doing anything for me except keeping me supplied with pain meds and I really want the pain to go away.  
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I have had a herniated disk for 3 years now (L5). It started with severe pain in the left leg all the way from lower back to the toe!  Tried PT,  medications and even micro surgery. Nothing has helped. Docs not suggest a disk replacement! My pain is manageable but i am concered about the long term consequences. I am also noticing my left leg is thinning.  Any idea why? What are the long term consequences of this. I am 43.
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Avatar_m_tn
am 22 years old and i had the herniated disc problem for 8 month now, my MRI said am in a desperate need for a surgery, which i had 2 weeks ago on the hands of 3 of the best German doctors around, they had used a new type of surgery , which they explained as removing my herniated disc and replacing it with with a one peace artificial disc, they did this surgery on many others before me, most of them are athletes, which gave me confidence to do the surgery, they say the surgery was successful and i have to wear a back brace for a month which i dont really mind as long as i get better, the pain in my leg before the surgery was leading to a disabled right leg which i dont want to, now my back is fine, my leg is fine but i have a new problem, my right foot is in unbearable pain .  it started it with a weak numbness just like anyone would feel on their lips after having their teeth drilled at the dentist (my English isn't so good so i dont know how to describe it better than that). now just 3 days ago, the numbness is gone but i have this terrible pain which is as if i ran on broken glass in a snowy  day n kept running till my feet got infected and i can no longer stand, the only different is that my foot look perfectly fine, blood going throw it n all, but the pain just wont let me sleep, anyone please help me with your knowledge

thank you for your time
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i posted a comment in aug. well after the post things for me got way worse. i had been to two orthopedic surgeons, both telling me you are to young for surgery. i had been taking alot of pain meds to help with the pain and nothing was working. i was so worried about getting hooked on the meds. one of the orthopedic surgeons sent me to a pain management specialist. my pain doctor was the best and nicest dr i have ever met. he tried several methods of pain treatment with me, 4 epidural injections, did not work. so then he started me on some other narco pain meds. by the time i got to him i had a very high tolerance for the drugs so it was hard for him to find me something for the pain. well i got really tired of being in pain and taking drugs, so my family physician sent me to a neuro surgeon. well he wanted too do a bunch of test very painful test, a disco gram, and several spinal taps and nerve taps. don't be afraid to ask the Dr doing the precidure  for medicine to put you out, i was and i will never do it again. well the neuro said the same old thing i don't want to cut on your back. that is how i make my money and put food on the table for my family. not good news. well the first week in oct i was working doing some heavy moving and lifting on my property, i heard a loud pop and a fell to the ground my leg went numb. the next day i could not walk. so i went to see my pain management Dr who i had become friends with. he was very confused. day after day the pain became more and more worse, down in both of my legs arms and back and neck. i went to my neuro again so he could clearly see that i was in a ton of pain. he told me i was a drug addicted and to leave his practice. i went back to my pain Dr and he said the same thing and he called several rehab programs. i knew i was addicted but the pain i was in was not from addiction. i laid in bed for 5 weeks not being able to move. i was in so much pain i could not urinate. well i called my pain Dr everyday and then he told me to come in because he has been studying my folder and xrays and MRI. he ordered a MRI for me, which they are not supposed to do. he stayed in his office for me until he got the results for the MRI which was at 1 in the morning, well i woke up the next morning to my mom in my room packing a bag and getting stuff together. i had completely blew my l5 disc out and it was sitting on top of 4 nerves on top of another disc. he sent me to the hospital and met me there and told me i need surgery. he said i have called the best back surgeon in ga which come to find out was the first Dr i went to about my back. well i got good news and bad news that day. the surgeon was out of town for a week, so i laid in the hospital for a week getting shot up full of dilaudid every hour and a half and some other pain drugs. yet i was still in pain. i had my surgery 3 days before thanksgiving. i was in surgeon for 8 hours, the Dr said he had never seen anything like it before. it was so inflamed and my nerves had cuts and tears all over them, along with the disc jelly that when it exploded it shot it up wear my skull connects to my spine. pretty nasty. i went home the next day after sug. today im still in some pain but not alot. i am no longer taking narcotic pain drugs. i am taking a drug called suboxone, it is wonderful. i was very depend it on the oxycodine and i had no withdraws because of the suboxone. before you have sugeroy educate your self and make sure you need it. me being so young and it being my senior year i had to. good luck to everyone!
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Avatar_n_tn
have had bulging disc l5-s1 for the last 3 years,have had all the injections and treatments and still no difference.im considering back surgery,doctor say there shouldnt be a problem with playing sports after as long as i follow the p.t instructions and rehab correctly.please god this works cant take this anymore im only 24 and its killing me not to be active and play the sports i love...
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm a 54 year old, very active guy, who has had lower back problems for about 25 years.  In Nov. 2008 I herniated L4-L5 and went through the usual stuff like muscle-relaxers, physical therapy, then steroids.  MRI in 1st week of January 2009.  Spine
DR. said try to live with it and see what happens.  By July of 2009, the back pain and
left side sciatica were horrible so my Chiropractor set me up with an Orthopedic surgeon, who was a friend of his, to consult.  He looked at the MRI and recommended
a Lamenectomy  ( I think ).  I had the surgery on September 1, 2009 and immediately felt better.  I took it very easy for the last 5 months and continue to do just fine except
that I still can't lift anything over 30 pounds without noticing back pain.  As for getting
rid of the constant agonizing pain, I still recommend the surgery.  I'd like to hear from people that have had surgery and regained most or all there strength.  Especially interested in how long the process has taken them.  Good Luck.
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Hi,

I am 47 and almost 6 years ago I had L5-S1 laminectomy and diskectomy.  I also made the mistake of getting a neural stimulator implanted with a rechargeable battery from Medtronics.  (that is another story) anyway before the surgery, I was extremely active and had a standup jet ski, rode motorcycles, camped and hiked.  After my injury  I had left back and leg pain that traveled below my knee and into the side of my foot and toes.  Following surgery,  I had good relief for about 2-3 months.  I did have residual nerve damage and as they all say "Nerves heal slow"  and that is true.  It took years and a lot of water therapy and such to get back what I have and correct the atrophy I had in my left leg.  I found out afterwards that since I was so active and had a physical job, I should have had my L5-S1 fused to protect the discs above and handle the activity I was used to.  Did they fuse your L5-S1? if they did, you may have limited motion, but you will have a better chance of not herniating others.  Unfortunately I later made the decision to have a medtronics neuro stimulator implanted in hopes of eliminating the need for pain medication.  That failed and set me back, but time definitely helps the nerve pain.  Unfortunately, you will be more likely to have future back problems.  The best thing you can do is exercise but exercising safely.
My PT's rule of thumb for me was - do any exercise you want as long as you can do it while lying on your back, lots of walking and lots of swimming.  I hope you do well, with some adjustments, I find I can do most of what I want to do.  But, have been told that approximately 5 years of the first surgery, many reinjure (because they feel better and start not protecting it as much)  I made it past that, take little pain medication now. Unfortunately I also have Sjogrens and Lupus or MS (still getting diagnosed).  

Take care and good luck!

Carly
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Avatar_m_tn
I have a two bulging discs L4/L5 and was recommended to a neurosurgeon following MRI. He highly recommends surgery.  However in the interim I have been doing traction.  I must say do not have surgery until you have given traction a try.  I feel 90% better can walk normal and sit/stand without discomfort.  This is the first week without any traction following a full month going 3 times weekly and I still feel great.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am 34 and started having back issues in 2000. In 2006 I had a microdiscectomy, less than 8 weeks later I reruptured the same disc (L5-S1) on the right instead of the left side. The surgeon again recommended microdiscectomy. I refused and saw a pain specialist. I went through PT, decompression, steriod injections, nerve blocks, and ended up taking Morphine and Norco for almost 3 years. When I couldn't take it anymore I went to another surgeon who did a battery of testing and found that the rupture had reabsorbed and offered exploratory surgery to try to find something that would give me relief. I was told that the nerves were damaged, but there was no way to tell if it was permanent or how long it would last. I stopped taking pain killers a year ago, but 6 months after I stopped I ruptured my L4 and my L5 is bulging. Another surgeon has recommended microdiscectomy. I've been unable to have the surgery, although I think I'm going to try because for 6 months I've been unable to function. My pain is severe, I have tried not to take pain killers because they are horrible, but I'm about to go out of my mind.

I wish I could offer a good answer, but there hasn't been one for me. I'm too young, as are you, to be going through all of this. I hate doctors and surgeons. I went to an emergency room today to ask for pain relief temporarily because I've just moved to a new state and don't have insurance or a doctor and was treated like a drug addict. They wouldn't help me, wrote me a prescription for naproxen and flexeril...neither of which works. I take handfulls of ibuprofen and naproxen daily, my stomach is a mess and I'm miserable.

I sincerely hope you're among those who find answers....good luck to you.
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I am surprise that nobody has tried a inversion table, they are quite inexpensive these days, this is the only and affordable way for the disk to heal, at list give it a try. I myself just purchased one of those, have not tried it yet (still in process of shipping), but heard a lot of positive result from them.
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I am a 40yr young lady and I have had the unpleasant opportunity of having a ruptured disk 4yrs ago. Before an MRI was did, my PCP placed me on meds for a "possible" pinch nerve. Later while at work I answered the phone and the disk ruptured. Everyone in the room heard it POP,,,the relief at the time felt wonderful,,all the pain was gone and it felt like cold water running down my neck. OHHHHH but 12hrs later, I could not move. The pain was sooo bad I was throwing up. After having to wait 5 weeks before the surgery ( neuro surgeons are the most booked up dr's I have ever came across ) I was sooo depressed. I choose to use a piece of my hip bone to do the fusion on 6/7.The neck incision wasn't painful at alll, it was the burden of wearing the steady neck brace for 7 weeks and the hip pain. Now 4yrs later I have been getting nerve blocks, therapy and meds for pain. The surgeon stated that after cleaning up the ruptured disk he noticed a small bulging disk behind it. He choose to watch it over the years and now my bones are degenerating and 3 disk need to be worked on using screws this time for the fusion. If you know anyone who has neck,shoulder,arm,numbness of finger and leg pains. Plz have them see a doctor and request an mri to get to the root. You will save soooo much time and pain.
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Hey I am 19 years old and have 4 bulged discs and also broke my c1 twice. My neck is also curved the opposite direction than a normal neck and not to mention my bones slip off of each other. I have gone through physical therapy for two years and gone to chiropractors. I have also been to two surgeons and they haven't done anything. I have constant  pains radiating down my arms and sometimes down my legs and also headaches none stop. So I know what You guys are going through I've been dealing with this for almost 5 years and nothing has helped. I'm going to a new surgeon on Tuesday so hopefully something can actually be done.
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I have three bulging disks that I was just recently diagnosed with.  I have had excruciating pain for about 4yrs in my right calf.  When I would walk, if I walked too long or too much my calf to my foot and toes go numb.  It is getting even worse as the weeks pass.  Now I walk for maybe 5mins or even just simply vacuum and I have terrible pain.  Just recently, my left calf, with bending, etc feels as if someone is poking the muscle with a pin.  I see a Neurologist today.  I want to know what is the best treatment.  I do not want surgery, as I heard that will put me out for months. I do not want wasted treatments wasting my time.  I want the pain gone.  I used to hike and walk, I cannot do that anymore.  I want to do that again.
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I have bulging discs (L4 & L5) and have had them since 2003.. During the last 7 years, I have had minor to major episodes of not beging able to walk, sit, stand, twist or bend. I have had physical therapy for weeks that did not help. I am very actjive and have worked out at the gym all my life. I was just getting back to running agin when the pain worsened. After each workout, I was in pain and last month the pain that radiates down my buttocks to my leg caused my leg to give. I fell 3 times. I have had 3 bilateral lumbar facets and an injection directly into the disc; none have worked. Is surgery my only hope?
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I have degernerated disc disease, disc protusion, diffuse bulging disc & many more things going on. Im 49 always been into sports & active. After reading the many comments I am so afraid of surgery. I been on pain pills for 7 years. I been through all the injections, steriods for pinched nerves and they didnt help. Therapy didnt help. Now they want to put me on morphine pills. The doctor says surgery is needed im at the end I guess I can just pray that surgery would go well. I never knew how many people suffered with these problems both young and old. And it seems that nobody understands your real pain sometimes. Just happy I can vent to others who are going through the same thing. Best wishes to all.
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I'm 43 an have recently had a microdiscectomy to rectify a disc bulge in L4/5 that was pressing on the sciatic nerve. I had a smaller bulge in L5/S1 that was not impinging.

I may have ruptured the disc a long time ago, from a very heavy fall on my backside. At least once a year I would have a bad back and it incapacitate me for a few days. I've always been fairly fit and enjoy martial arts, triathlons, gym, hiking etc, so my back was strong and protected the damaged area.

Whilst on a back-packing trip overseas, with a heavy rucksack, I had an episode. This time it was so bad and I had violent pain in my left buttock, thigh, calf and foot that incapacitated me. No matter what I did, the pain would not abate and I was a zombie from all the pain killing drugs.

I came back to Australian and, after resting, taking all sorts of pain killers for three months, I had CT and MRI scans done. I had an injection, but it had only a temporary effect.
The spinal surgeon specialist recommended having the operation.

The operation itself was day surgery and very straight forward. I was home the next day, able to walk, sit and stand without pain.

- In the first week after, I had no more leg pain, just a sore back.
- In the second week, some pain came back, but it much less and not in my back.
- In the third week, back is good and pain is fading from my leg. Flexibility is returning and I can drive a car, walk, ride a bike and swim. Just taking a Neurofen in the morning, nothing else.

My GP had advised that post operative swelling and mild nerve damage are responsible for the pain I feel now. It will fade with physio, stretching and exercise. Some stretches trigger the nerve pain and wear a back brace if I have to sit for long periods, but each day is better.

I have my fingers crossed for a full recovery but do not expect to be able to carry 30+ kgs rucksacks anymore or be thrown around the Dojo. I will take the advice of those on this list on what medicines will help the discs become stronger and heal properly.
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Hi there. I understand your concerns in the postoperative recovery phase. There are certain precautions that a patient should take in this critical phase. Earlier mobilization after microdiscectomy helps heal sooner since patients have limited their motion due to significant pain and an early exercise program for stretching, strengthening and conditioning helps deal with secondary soft tissue component of back pain. Immediate postoperative pain can be dealt with NSAIDs. Narcotic medications like vicodin should be used for a short period if prescribed. Ice therapy provides some respite. To minimize postoperative scarring of nerve root, gentle stretching exercises should be done. Avoid stretching too hard and not beyond the point of pain to avoid inflaming the nerve.
You must do about 15 minutes of appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises a day for fist 3 months. You could take the help of a physiotherapist or a weight trainer.  Early mobilization and exercise is another concern and spine surgeons advise return to modified duty 7 to 10 days post operative and to full work after 2 to 3 weeks. Hope this helps. Take care.
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Im 18 and I have a bulging disc. I have no insurance, and the doctors reccomend surgery. I don't know what to do...I don't want to mess up my liver from taking all these tylonols and ibprophen. :(
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I am 26, and I have massive pain on a daily basis. Unlike everyone on here I did not do anything to cause the bulging disc..or not that I can remember? I do not knwo what to do? I am very affraid of surgery and I would like to do anything other then take that route..but the thing is that I have already done it all.. Pt, injections, pills... and today I go to see my doc to see if the surgery will be my next best thing? I just do not have a good feeling in my gut about it at all... and there are so many good stories on here which makes me want to do it and not consider the after effects at all..but then there are those that I wonder if id be the small 5% that ends up getting the crappy end of the stick? And not to mention that after you have the surgery you can not have children except by c-sections or none at all?? is this true? I need encouragement if this is a good idea...I can not feel the bottom of my foot and my toes tinggle all day long. My leg doesnt allow me to walk and there is crazy pain that shoots down my leg even by turning my neck a certain way! its insane and I can tell people how awful and painful this is all day long but no one understands the misury that we are in ALL DAY LONG. I need advise...
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I personally have had the laminectomy to L4 & L5. Recovery was fairly quick ALTHOUGH.... 2 yrs later I had to get a Lumbar Fusion. If its at all possible for you to hold out, I would. I too have degenerative disk. My last surgery (fusion) was in Dec 2009, its now April 2011 and I'm already having more problems.  I done PT and the exercises work to help loosen up my muscles but since I am having more disk problems due to having a fusion and from having degeneration, looks like surgery is my only option again. Good luck!
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injections, should I try it or is it a waste of time, L5,S1 If i sit for 10min and get back up it the pain is so bad, but after i am up it's just a sore back but no bending over to tie my shoes, cant sleep good, just about 50% of what i was 1/2 year ago... i am 37 and feel like 70 and should have a walker... never thought it could alter you life like this...
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Hi
    I have been suffering with back pain for 3 years. It was not so worse and i could carry out with my usual work. Though i did some yoga at my home everyday, the pain was chronic and  constant for 3 years.My recent MRI scans showed that my left nerve is mildly pinched off with the herniated disk.  But i don't feel pain in my leg. After looking at the reports doctor suggested me to lead my normal life and consider for surgery if the pain does not heal.  I attended PT and it helped me to some extent. I would also like to share some past experience related to disc problems which is worth to mention here.
6 years back i had neck pain (cervical disk) and i had excruciating pain radiating to my shoulders. I suffered for 3 years despite doing all neck exercises. But a small suggestion from PT helped me and alleviated my pain drastically within short time. That is to maintain my body posture near shoulders. IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO OBSERVE AND DEVELOP A BODY POSTURE THAN SIMPLY DOING EXERCISES REGULARLY.  Now i remembered the same and practicing for my low back pain. It reallly helped me and showed the difference in a single day. I believe each and every part of the body if is hurt natuarally ,heals naturally. I hope i will try my best to reduce the pain through non surgical treatments and follow the body posture. BTW follow this article: http://www.drbookspan.com/BackPainArticle.html
Thanks @lightsong3
A big thanks to all for your suggestions. After reading couple of positive reviews about surgeries, it gave me some courage to consider that in worst scenarios, though as a final resort.
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I'm almost 40 & have been suffering from back pain all of my life, but the past 4 years, it is disabling at times.

The first few times I experienced the sciatica pain, I went to the chiropractor. That chiropractor tried traction & stimulation & suggested I see a Massage therapist, which I did. Three or Four times a week for about 4 months, I went to the chiropractor & the massage therapist once or twice a week. The chiropractor finally told me she feels she had tried everything she knew to try & that she thought the problem needed to go away on it's own. It was not disabling pain at that time, so I lived with it. From Memorial Day til Christmas Day! I woke up Christmas Day pain free for the first time in months! Try to tell me that wasn't a miracle! :)

The pain has come back several times since & I ended up letting it go away on it's own because it wasn't keeping me from normal activities. But this time is the worst I've ever had. I'm going on 3 months now with this pain & it is most days completely disabling. I can't sit, stand or even lay down now to find relief. Sleep is almost impossible due to the leg pain. I immediately starting seeing my general practioner rather than a chiropractor this time because I knew insurance would only pay if I started with him. He gave me pain pills & muscle relaxers which did nothing at all. I think the 3 Tylenol I was taking every 6 hours was giving me more relief. He told me to try that & PT 3 days a week for a month, so I did. PT & the traction made it feel worse. I didn't know if it was supposed to feel that bad so I didn't say much at first. The day I finally said anything about not doing an exercise because it hurt so bad, I finally got their attention & they recommended that I not do any more PT to the dr.

So I went back to the dr that same day & told him the pills he was giving me weren't working either. So he gave me Celebrex & some Prednisone to take on top of the pain pills & muscle relaxers & said that after my vacation, I would get an MRI. The Celebrex worked well for a while, but after the 20 hour ride in the car for vacation, I was more miserable than I had ever been before & nothing made it feel better. Not even the prednisone on top of the Celebrex, Tramadol & the muscle relaxers. I spent the better part of my first beach vacation, in bed with my ice pack!!

So as soon as I got back from vacation, I went back to my general practitioner & got the MRI & found the bulging disc & referred me to a Neuro Surgeon all in the same day. I go next week & pray that he suggests surgery, because nothing else is working & I feel I've lived with this pain long enough. A few years ago, I would've told you you were crazy if you suggested I'd WANT a surgery so bad, but now, that's all I can think could possibly help! My mom & dad both LIVE with disabling back pain & have almost their whole lives & they are now in their 80's. I absolutely refuse to live with pain like they do.
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I have suffered with 4 bulging discs in my lumber spine for approx 7 years now. It has been a rollercoaster ride from the start. I have pain in my buttocks, hips, stomach, oblique's and the most horrible is pain in my penis like tension, knumbing and throbbing. I have also experienced pain after urinating and in my urithra??

has anybody else experienced any of these symtoms (symptoms) at all??

Originally my GP sent me to a urologist not linking the symtoms (symptoms) with my back and i had a number of horrible test such as a camera down my penis!! I had this twice and it was not nice. It was only after i started reading and inveatigating myself and put two and two together i realised the symptoms started at the same time i had a very bad back injury. I realised that their could be a link and spoke to my GP. He agreed LOL!! Crazy when you have to do your doctors job for him!! 7 years after my original back injury he finally after asking time and time agin sent me for an MRI last year and discovered i had 4 bulging discs in my lumber spine!!!
I feel very very let down by the NHS i should have had an MRI 7 years ago and could have avoided all the tests by the urologist and started to be treated and helped. After all this time it has obviously made my problem worse and possibly caused irreversable nerve damage. I am considering taking further action against the NHS, i am very angry.
I have visited and visited a number of GP's and even attenden hospital during the night in absolute unbelievable pain only to be sent home with no tests . i have begged my doctors for help explaining it is effecting my life considerably and making me depressed.

I am living life in pain constantly and cannot do anything active without making the pain severe. I lost my job as Production Manager after 10 years last year. Now i am looking for a job i can do, but i am scared the pain will effect me at work. It is horrible. The government does not recognise it as a disability which is absolute rediculous. It is without a doubt a huge disability and limits what you can do at home, when out, at work and even in bed trying to sleep. You just cant get away from the pain. I have forgot what it is like to live without pain!! I have had a pedundal nerve block but it hasnt worked, just caused me more sciatic pain!!! Had another MRI scan and waiting for results. have appointment with Neurologist on 14 th September, so lets see what he has to say. Not expecting much though!!

I try to tell my family and friends what it is like, but although they seem sympathetic i can tell they think i am exagerating, or it cant be that bad because i refuse to lay down and still try to exercise and keep up with my house work and garden etc. But every time i do anything i have to prepare myself for bad pain to come. I hate living like this. Its got to the point i that i dont even try to talk to my family or friends about my pain because i think they are bored of hearing it. I know they try to understand your pain and what it is like , but you cannot understand unless you experience it yourself and not just for 1 hour or 1 day but permanently!!

I have always enjoyed keeping fit and going to the gym, i was sooo fit before this, remember i had an awesome 6 pack, and although i till try to exercise and eat well i cant do it the same and i can see myself changing rapidly. again your friends and family say dont worry about that its the least of your worries. But again they dont understand what it is like to still have an active brain that wants to still do all these things but cannot in fear of severe pain. It is sooooo frustrating and is getting me down to be honest. I like to be busy in my house and garden but am afraid to do anything. If this is not a disability then i dont know what is.

Anyway its nice to speak to people who really understand your pain, how you feel and the effect on your life. I cannot believe the Medical World has not done more to help people with this condition. It is clear that thousands of peple are screeming out for help.

Take care
Gary
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After surgery, were you able to go back in playing sports like before or were you advised to tone it down in sports?
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am james.i had a surgery on my thoracic due compressed fatty tissue which left me to paraplegia.since i had surgery i have begining to feel my legs but but my right has improved more than my left leg i now use a walker but difficult to stand in them .do any one experince this before-?do u think i will get better to my stage is been 3moths now since my surgery.
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I'm 24 years old, and I have been having back pain since I was 13.  I have no idea what it is from, or what caused it, but I always knew something was wrong.  For years, no one had any idea, other than just telling me to lose some weight, strengthen my stomach muscles, and stretch.  Those seemed to alleviate some of the pain, but not all of it.

I have had episodes where I feel like my back is having contractions with wave after wave of pain, or having an ice pick stabbed into my spine and left there.  I have gone to chiropractors, massage therapists, and on many occasions the ER simply so they will shoot me up with drugs so that I can sleep and breathe and even lay without feeling the excruciating pain that radiates constantly.

I am currently in an episode that leaves my only comfortable position to be lying, and even while doing that I get shooting pain down my legs and through my hips.  Just this year, I finally had my first MRI while in the ER and found I have a bulging disc at L5 and one between L3 and L4.  

I have taken vicoden, percoset, had steroid shots, and taken anti inflammatories.  I have been soaking in hottubs, icing, and using an inversion table, and all of these seem to do nothing for me.  I am scared to try PT for the simple fact that trying to touch my toes leaves me feeling like my back is about to seize at any moment, and won't let go.

I am so close to simply going for it and trying laser surgery to have the inner jelly cut off, the disc closed back up, and praying it brings me the relief I have been pleading for day in and day out for the last 11 years.  I don't know what else to do!  

If you have any suggestions about what else I should try, or if I should go for the surgery, please give me your opinion!!!
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Hi everyone...I just read all the posts and it feels good to know that I am not alone with my back pain.  I am 31 and have been dealing with back pain for about 3 years now.  I have a bad herniated disc (L5 S1) and have tried chiropractic, physical therapy, and cortizone/steroidal injections, so many different pills that I lost count...and here I am not able to sit or walk, laying in bed trying to figure out what to do.  

5 days ago I bent over to pick something up and fell to my knees because of sharp pain in my lower back.  I laid on the floor unable to sit, stand, or walk.  My husband took me to the ER.  He carried me and put me in the bed of his truck because the only position that was somewhat livable was lying down.  The ER gave me pain meds through an IV which did nothing.  I had yet another MRI a few days ago which showed that the bulging disc has gotten worse.  We discussed options and are seriously thinking about surgery (discectomy) to remove the bulge from the disc.

I am really nervous about surgery and have been doing alot of research on the pros, cons, risks, ect.  I would love to hear more from people about this surgery, the recovery time, ect. to help me and my husband decide what to do.  In the meantime, I am really sick of not being able to work, spending all day in bed or on the couch, not being able to sit, walk, drive.......

Please help!!!
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Have you checked with the Laser Spine Institute?

www.laserspineinstitute.com

They specialize in endoscopic surgeries vs the fusions.

I filled out their online form today and received a phone call within an hour.

They will call you and ask you questions to see if you are a candidate.  

Here is the email I received...

Thank you for contacting Laser Spine Institute.  My name is Michael Hardy and it will be my pleasure to help you as you pursue relief from your painful and debilitating symptoms. Please feel free to call directly at 1-866-362-7574, extension 349. I’m here to help.

Laser Spine Institute’s minimally invasive procedures are the safe and effective alternative to open back or neck surgery.  The benefits of our proven approach include:

• No lengthy recovery
• No fusions or hardware
• 93.8% patient satisfaction
• Less than 1-inch incision
• Outpatient procedure

To determine if you are a candidate, we are happy to offer a complimentary review of your most recent MRI or CT scan.  I can obtain the results of the scan if you provide the following information:

a. The name and phone number of the hospital or imaging center where the MRI was taken.
b. Your date of birth.
c. Is this a lumbar MRI, a cervical MRI, or both?
d. The approximate date of the MRI.
e. Optional: I have attached an MRI authorization for you to print, sign and return if possible. Only a fraction of MRI facilities require this form, so we can still work to obtain your results if you are not able to complete this step.

However, if you have the results and would like to send them in now, you may:

1) Fax the written report to 1-813-418-4349, Attn: Michael Hardy.
2) Email by replying to this message and attach your MRI report.

Please call or email me when you have sent the information and I will confirm that I have received it.

Within just a few short days, we will contact you with the results of our evaluation and let you know if you are a candidate for our proven outpatient surgery.

Attached you will find the Guide to Endoscopic Spine Surgery.  This resource will walk you through our streamlined patient experience and introduce you to our advanced procedures.  Please contact me by phone or email with any questions you may have.

Regards,

Michael



Michael Hardy   Patient Coordinator
3001 N. Rocky Point Drive E. | Tampa, FL 33607
Tel:866-362-7574 Ext. 349 | Fax: 813-418-4349
www.LaserSpineInstitute.com
Surgery centers: Oklahoma City, OK | Philadelphia, PA | Scottsdale, AZ | Tampa, FL
Medical consultation centers: Ft. Lauderdale, FL | San Diego, CA | The Villages, FL


I'm still researching this but thought you might have time to check into this since you are in dire need right now.


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Please continue to let us know how you are.
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Iggy82, did you end up getting the surgery? I am a 21 year old college basketball player with a herniated disc in my l4/l4. it is pushing on my siactic nerve and causing radiating pain down my whole left leg if i am not on my medication. I got an epidural 2 weeks ago and the pain haw gotten worse since then. I am getting another one today and im praying that it works. I am a type of person who after basketball is over wants to run marathons and stay active in softball and basketball leagues. I have been doing rehab for the past 8 weeks and the pain has gotten better and then goes back to being bad.
If i get the surgery my school will have to pay for it, if i wait and the pain doesnt go away i will be graduating in the spring and there will be nothing they can do.
What happened with you? is the pain gone? have u returned to your active lifestyle?
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Thank you for taking a time to share your knowelege and experience it opened my eyes on what I have to look for ;)
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Gary, thank you so much for your testomony. I am in the same boat and I am so agree with all you say. My friends and even boss from work told me before that I am exaggerating and it's only made me even more mad.
Just hang in there. I hope that something will come up better to reduce this pain so we can enjoy our last years of life.
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I know exactly what you saying about the pain I have that too. I used to be on ice for up to 5 hours a day  for two weeks before I could walk without holding a furniture. Fortunately, it will get better but it will never be the same it's takes long time to heal it took me about 6 month to stop feeling even small pain but  as soon I start work out and do more  so I can go back to my previouse life I start to experience the same hell again. I am on L&I and they kicking me out to any minimum wage job without retraining and those jobs are physical with lifting up to 50lbs and I am only 5'0 96 lbs. Sometimes, I wish I could be dead. I have no idea how live my life with this pain and be all the time afraid to do something which can cause me more pain.I seen surgeon today and he said that my  back is not complitely distroyed  to have a surgery and that I have to live with this and take steroid shots like steroid shot answer. And I am also, agree with other people who had a surgery that it can bring a lot of complication. Just keep doing research, you are in right place. Don't afraid to look for other options overseas, they have way more treatment for this problem  then US can offer. I always think of India for example, they have huge spinal insitute with amazing doctors who see people from around the world.
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I have a buldging disk with three disk protrusions, arthritis in my lower back and degenerative disk disease. I started having problems at age 25, I'm 33 now. Pain meds are to drive me crazy. I recently had a MVA (motor vehicle accident) and I can't sit for very long, and my pain has gotten worst with some loss of bladder control. I'm getting referred to a pains specialist, and I'm considering surgery if they offer it to me. I just want the pain to go away. I'm checking into the statistics of surgery being successful that's what I recomend you do. Research all of your angles on your condition and see which one works for you. We are all different in some ways so what works for you may not work for someone else. I on the other hand don't just believe what people tell me so I research things myself...don't give up I refuse to even though I had to take a leave from college...I know I will return. JJ
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I've been in pain for the past 2 months although I've had this pain for years in my right buttock and side of my calf, it got really bad while doing squats at the gym. Since 2009 I've been to pyshio's, chiro's, osteopath's, massage therapist's and now trying a homeopath and acupuncturist . My MRI results show a buldge in my L4/5 disc. I think surgery is my only option now as I've exhausted all avenues
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I have just spent the last 8 MONTHS! being told by GP's that I had syatic (sciatic) - after insisting on an MRI scan I have been told I have a buldging disc.  I now have to wait another 4 weeks to see the specialist.

I am on Tramadol, Naproxin, Codine and like you - it does very little.

I feel for you - and others here, bottom line - If you dont insist on action - no-one is going to do it for you!  I wish I had taken charge of my care MUCH sooner - dont end up like me spending 7 - 8 months being feed crap.
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I was recently diagnosed witha bulging dis at C4 in my neck and failed several neurological tests. Along with excrutiating back pain radiating into my shoulder, right bicep and tingling, selling and numbness in right arm and hand, I have severe headaches now. is this familiar to anyone? I have beem told to wear a neck brace, quit my coaching job, not drive, and wait until anti inflamitoresand a course of steroids help reduce swelling before taking the next step. I have rad a great deal and gathered information about traction, ,limmiting activity, and basically not doing much of anything while I wait for improvement. I see a neurologist who may prescribe injections but I am not too hopeful given the degree of pain and that i have heard most results are temporary. I was a very active coach of young gymnasts and a single mother of two teens and I am very independent. Now I am "couched!"..and not happy at all. I do not "want" surgery, however if anyone can tell me that it is an option which will eventually get me my life back, i will take the recovery pain and the hardship rather than 12 or so other routes which will take equally as long and keep me deom my kids for just as long and possibly not end up with a positive result anyway. Any ideas and as always good luck and positive thoughts to all thse out there suffering in the same way I am or worse. thanks ahead of time for any suggestions.
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I was recently diagnosed witha bulging dis at C4 in my neck and failed several neurological tests. Along with excrutiating back pain radiating into my shoulder, right bicep and tingling, selling and numbness in right arm and hand, I have severe headaches now. is this familiar to anyone? I have beem told to wear a neck brace, quit my coaching job, not drive, and wait until anti inflamitoresand a course of steroids help reduce swelling before taking the next step. I have rad a great deal and gathered information about traction, ,limmiting activity, and basically not doing much of anything while I wait for improvement. I see a neurologist who may prescribe injections but I am not too hopeful given the degree of pain and that i have heard most results are temporary. I was a very active coach of young gymnasts and a single mother of two teens and I am very independent. Now I am "couched!"..and not happy at all. I do not "want" surgery, however if anyone can tell me that it is an option which will eventually get me my life back, i will take the recovery pain and the hardship rather than 12 or so other routes which will take equally as long and keep me deom my kids for just as long and possibly not end up with a positive result anyway. Any ideas and as always good luck and positive thoughts to all thse out there suffering in the same way I am or worse. thanks ahead of time for any suggestions.
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Ok well don't have that much hope for PT.  Honestly it's just ice and heat and a few simple exercises.  Try finding a massage therapist who does deep tissue massage.

I would recommend you do not get back surgery.  You're problem is liveable and you don't want to take the risk of surgery unless you are facing paralysis.  Honestly the nerve irritation from herniated discs does resolve on it's own (fluid stops leaking out on to the nerve).  Live with this problem for a few years and see if it gets better on it's own by giving it time.  You are 25 and have a good change, other people who are older have recovered too.  
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Im 21 about to be 22 and i have a 3mm bulge in my L5-S1 that is pushing right into the nerve. some days i cant even walk. I was in PT once a week for 2 months and it never helped. My doctor is referring me to a surgeon. I visited with my family chiropractor who said that I would be a candidate for surgery because it is directly on the nerve. My doctor also said that epidurals were and option for the pain but i havnt tried one yet because of all of the comments about them not working. Has anyone tried acupuncture? I was given neurontin which helped the pain but made me severely depressed, then I was put on two different muscle relaxers that do not work at all. None of my doctors want to put me on narcotic pain killers because I am so young so I am really considering the surgery .
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I have a completely degenerated disc at L5-S1 and two bulging discs in my neck.  I've been to four neurosurgeons, two neurologists and two pain specialists....It's been a long time since I've felt very good.

For degenerative issues I was told by Vaughan Allen with the Howell Allen Clinic that surgery would make things worse.  

The pain specialist I'm seeing recommends facet blocks and then radiofrequency ablation.  I will get my second set of 10 shots next week then a few weeks later hope to get the radiofrequency ablation.

Two of the neurosurgeons said surgery would NOT help me.  Two recommended surgery :(  I certainly do NOT want to be worse than I am.  I continue to get worse and am having trouble walking and standing for more than an hour or so.
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hi these comments are all very interesting i have currently been in pain with a bulging disc since november 2011 at first i just thought it was sciatica but when the pain just got worse i persisted in visits to the doctors till eventually they sent me for a scan which showed the disc bulge!  im currently waiting to see the consultant but good old nhs gave a very long waiting list!  ive been signed off work for 8 weeks now and have been signed off for another 2 1/2 months.  im so fed up of the pain only position i can get comfy in is lying on my side! the tingles go right down to my toes from my hip.  i just want this pain to go away.  i am considering the surgery option as so far anyone i have spoken to who has had this op has been successful for them and they have all gone back to leading a normal life! i am so fed up of being at home and doped up to the eyballs on pain relief! will be nice to lead a normal life again where i can drive to see my friends and even looking forward to getting back to work!
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im in the same boat im a boxer and also was very active running least 50 miles a week and trained 6 days aweekd.  iv 4 buldging discs in the lower back and it has stopped me from training all together. im on tablets all the time and im unfit and thinking of having the op but wud i be able to train after it ?????? im hoping i can as trained since i was 9 yrs old and now 30 just need to no if the op is worth it
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Hello, I have also disk problem in L4 area, its herniated badly. one of my relative homeopatic doc ask me to go to him, its can be heal by homeopatic medicine. any one try it before?
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I know what you are going through,I myself have the same symptoms and now for the last 4 years. I am now 37.

I can not sit for longer then 5 min without haveing to adjust my back and legs,I have constand low back pressue.  I am now unable to walk even a few houses away withou my legs going num tingle and cold,then there is no feeling. My legs then give out. I have had siatica three times now,which has left me in bed for a month or two at a time.

I have not been able to sleep in my bed for the last three years do to leg spasams,I now fall alseep sitting up leaning agains the back of my couch.

Today My Dr. Told me I had to see a sugen ASAP.

Have you had any surgeries yet
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I had neck surgery for a c 4-5 ruptured disc over a year ago. It has helped me dramatically! I had mine at BayState in Massachusetts.
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I'm 34 y, 105 kg and 177cm hieght. i used to be aactive regardless that im overweight ,played many sports and goes to the gym regularly. i had a health problem last year rested at home for about 7 months,and as a result i gained 10 kg going from 95 kg to my current weight, again i started to go to the gym with all my power to loss extra weight, used spinning pikes and orbitracks, after 3 classes of spinning,i had a backache which begun to increase and lastly get worse radiating to my left buttocks and leg laterally, first i handelled the matter by myself taking oral analgesics which became useless after 10 days, then i went to ortho. doctor advised by bed rest and muscle relaxants and analgesic,also was no pain releif, so, i started to take IM voltaren, then went to make MRI that showed mild S3-S4 , S4-S5 disc , and sever disc herniation S5-L1 with a slight normal space between vertebrae. then lastly i started PT the second session was 2 days ago, here i would like to ask,if it will be normal one month ago to go to the gym? if swimming is ok ?  , is steps excercise and trademills and bikes is contra-indicated in my case? N.B. I know that i must loose weight but i don't eat much and i loose weight only when exercising. pleasr, advice me.
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Great... I was looking for positive advice or hopeful posts.... I'm 24... Heavy construction... Snowboard...surf...rock climb... Just started golfing.... Found out my back injury from a truck accident is now a bulged disc... Depressing day
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I started noticed shooting pain down my leg when I was 14, after PT treatments and a few pills nothing really helped, I got an MRI and and have a herniated disc in my L4 L5, the medication didn't really do anything so I started going to the chiropractor which started helping a bit. The pain occured a little less often and I could bend a little farther down. I am now 20 and the pain has just gotten worse over time and now my left foot and back of my leg goes numb a few time daily when I'm walking or just standing. Everytime I go in to the doctor they just tell me the same thing, that I'm too young for surgery and to just wait it out. It's been 6 years of pain and I am slowly unable to do more and more things and it's getting really frustrating. I don't know what to do anymore and I just want to be able to put on my shoes or get dressed or sit pain free.
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I know how you feel, I have had a bulging disc in my lower back since January of 2012.  It started out as  mild pain, i went to the chiropractor, pt and did some stretching and it has only gotten worse. I just got an MRI and waiting on the doctor for my next option.  My husband had surgery (microdisectomy sp?) and he has fully recovered and can exercise like before (no heavy lifting of course) but he hasn't felt pain in years.  At this point I am ready for the surgery.I can only walk about 15 feet and then I have to stop because of the numbness or pain and can't sit or stand for a long time, usually just laying in an awkward position on my side helps the most.
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My husband had partial disc removal when he was 31 due to a herniated disc.  he is now 47 and has had zero back pain since the surgery.  I also have a herniated disc for the past 6 months severe pain and numbness and am going to likely have surgery with the same doc.  I hope it helps, this pain is unbearable at times....:(.  Tried PT and chiropractor with no luck.  
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I has a bulging disk.. Dr said it was a huge bulging disk. L5-S1. I had surgery APRIL 17,2012
AND its now June 6. 2012; but I Still have major pain that goes from my buttock down thigh..my ankle and big toe...and I fee like I'm stepping in water when I walk. Sick of the pain!

  
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Hi, Can you tell me who did your husbands surgery and what state/area?
I am desperate for relief.  I am resloved to knowing that there will be things that I should/can no longer do even if I have successful surgery, but to know I can do day to day things without pain sounds wonderful.  I know someone from church who had back surgery and did wonderful (I believe it was many, many years ago, he is now in his 70's and is doing great).  I also have a cousin who had a herniated disc and had surgery and is doing good as well, though she only had hers about 2 years ago.

Thanks,
Marsha
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Hi everyone my names Rob and I am going through all this pain just like the rest of you!

I am currently 22 years old and my back went whilst playing in a football (or soccer as some of you like to call it) tournament. The next day I could not move! When I got into hospital I stayed there for a week in pain and on all sorts of medication (tramadol, pregabolin, diclonfenic, paracetamol). After the week I was discharged and since I've been in crippling pain! The specialist who is supposed to be dealing with my case has put my appointment back a further month which has both annoyed me and put me down, as I set my mind to coping with the pain until that date. Like most of you I have a bulging disk or herniated disk as some of you call it, on the lower part of my back. The pain goes from my back all the way down to my left foot where I get excruciating pins and needles and numbness. It was only yesterday I walked to the corner shop and I nearly collapsed on the way back, just pure agony and its great to know that other people can sympathise with this pain. After reading these numerous comments I think it's inevitable that my doctor will prescribe physiotherapy and personal training, then injections, but from the sounds of things none of these help! It sounds like they are just prolonging surgery, don't get me wrong these may help but from what people have commented on here who are going or have gone through the exact pain these wont do any help. Sports and fitness is a massive part of my life! Every day of the week I am doing one sport or another. I do boxing, swimming, running, weight training all different sports to help me improve the way I play my beloved football (which I am hoping to go to the states next year to play). Like some I have educated myself with the spine watching youtube videos and reading numerous different articles. And if I am completely honest I am no further forward! Some people say have surgery and some people suggest not for different reasons. I guess at the end of the day we are all different, what works for some doesn't work for others as our bodies are different in a way that they react to treatment. The only thing that I guess we all have in common is patience (perhaps unecessary) and whilst we await diagnosis we all have to go through similar pain who we wouldn't wish on anybody!

All I would say is be positive, every day you wake up tell yourself it is going to be a good day and keep battling on as it sounds like this is a long process for us all! Listen to your specialist and rest when told to do so that is probably the best advice I could give!

All the best people

Much love Rob!
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i really would love if there was a solution but since im only 20 the doctors say they are unsure of how the surgery would affect me, but ive already had pain for 6 years and nothing has helped. Sitting or standing for too long sends pain down my leg and then starts to go numb. i have trouble putting on shoes and socks and pants. I've been told not to run, running hurts anyways, but I feel like i can't do anything. I'm never not in pain, the severity of it differs but its always there. I also don't think my family or friends understand how painful and annoying it is. I walk strangely now, my gate is short, i obviously can't stretch my leg, i can sit up straight, and im only comfortable laying down. I've just gotten so used to changing my habits and the way I move and have just stopped complaining, so I don't think other people think of it and that its actually awful and something needs to happen. the doctors only gave me some muscle relaxants and anti inflammatory pills, the chiro worked for a bit and got me a little more flexible but after a while my leg and foot started to go numb so i stopped going. The doctors said the injections probably won't help and that since im so young not to try it. I'm getting sick of waiting til im older to get some solution but after 6 years of this im fed up and want some change. the pain just gets worse so by the time i could get it fixed itll be horrible. this is so frustrating.
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also, i still don't now how i herniated my disc, the only thing i can remember is sitting up in bed one day and pain shoots down my leg... so yea. Before that happened i used to swim and do a bit in gymnastics but just for fun in highschool. it was my first year so nothing too crazy. the only thing else that i can think of it being from was when i slipped off the beam and separated my ribs from the cartiledge, but im pretty sure that happened after. anyway i used to be active, but ever since my sciatica pain started ive been told to do less activities like run or im just not capable of doing things, the only thing that doesn't hurt to do is swim, so thats pretty much the only exercise i get
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I am in construction and was having the exact symptoms, I had the cervical  fusion done and I had my right arm back instantaneous. It was amazing I had it done on a Wednesday and went back to work the following Monday. The doctor said a 3 month recovery but in my case the recovery time was minimal. It took a little getting used to, because you are scared your going to break something but 2 years have gone by and no problems.  
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Make sure you try any non invasive suggestions (and definitely get more than one medical opinnion) your doc thinks would help. Make sure you listen to all possible things that COULD happen relating to having surgery. Ive had 2 failed fusions, lots of nerve damage, and when they put in a spinal cord stimulator (and i told the surgeon something was wrong when i woke up from surgery, which only made him mad) a week later my back burst open where he had put the battery pack. I ended up 3 mths in the hosp having 4 emergency surgeries and paralysed. Do lots of research on your doctors and any procedures they want to do!
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Hi have been reading all the comments left by everyone and I can relate,I am 43 and I have been injured for 12 years. I was injured working for a company that made customized men's shirts and one day I could not walk so I went to the er  and found out i had 2 torn disks L4/L5 and 1 bulging disk. I went to the insurance company and they refused to repair the disks and the years went by until I had to find my own doctor and after 2 to 3 years my orthopedic doctor could not do anything else for me because the disks had become so damaged they could not be seen on a MRI so it was left up to me to have surgery to remove them so the other disks would not detiriorate . I was at the point were I could barely sit,stand,walk,sleep,clean,sit on the floor,dance exercise,pick up mu son,cannot lift anything over three pounds my back is completely shot.I have had all the epidural injections all the physical therapy all the medications tens units,hospital beds walkers canes and I am still no better off due to those first few years of the insurance company putting off and leaving my disks to damage to no repair even after having a Laminectomy  with a decompression and becoming totally disabeled. I do not recommend surgery  because the pain is no better after than it was before the surgery.
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All pain med clinics are a whack!! They just want your insurance money, they are NOT interested in fixing the cause of your pain.  Get a referral to a neurologist and have all your MRI, Xray, and CT records with you when you go to the appointment.  Insist to them you do NOT want to live on medication the rest of your life.......IF NASA CAN SEND A MAN TO THE MOON, THEY CAN FIX YOUR BACK!!!!!
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Hi there.  I'm in pretty much the same boat with you.  I will be 40 next month but was in an auto accident last year which earned me two herniated disks in the C6 and C7 area.  To make matters worse, I already suffered from optical migraines and degenerating disks in three sections of my back... guess what the combination of budging disks in the neck and migraines do?  They make the debilitating migraines occur three to four times a week lasting anywhere from 12-48 hours each time.  Sometimes it seems one solid migraine for weeks... I've even lost a lot of weight because I can't keep food down with these migraines!

So far I've had two epidurals and one RFTC   I can say, while it lasted, the RFTC was awesome.  The only draw back is that the nerves do grow back.  They say this generally takes  anywhere fom 6-12 months.  My pain started coming back gradually after only five months which was the beginning of this month.  At this point, I am having major diffculty sleeping again, pain every day- all day, and have started back to all the pain meds and patches to cope.

I go back next month to the orthopedic surgeon to see what his recommendation is- I'll let you know.  I don' want surgery, but if it allows me to function at least halfway normally, I'll do it.
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I had a laminectomy in 2000 for l5 s1.. it takes some time for the nerves to calm down. give yourself time and don't be discouraged.I have been very lucky, and would do it again in a heart beat. I could not walk, my left leg would drag, and then I started to lose control of my bladder. Be patient. I am now facin g surgery for c5-6. good luck.



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You may already doing this but just in case. Do you take stool sofeners and or laxatives, I try to take a Senokt every day that I use the narcotic pain meds, if it progresses to diahreha, I stop for a day or so untill that has gone away. If you take Metamucle (sorry about my spelling) anyway if you take any bulk type laxitive you need to drink lots of fliuds, but you still should be drinking lots of fluids anyway, to keep your stool soft so you won't have to strain. If you can walk try doing that as much as you can, to stimulate the bowels to keep moving. Good Luck.
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You may already doing this but just in case. Do you take stool sofeners and or laxatives, I try to take a Senokt every day that I use the narcotic pain meds, if it progresses to diahreha, I stop for a day or so untill that has gone away. If you take Metamucle (sorry about my spelling) anyway if you take any bulk type laxitive you need to drink lots of fliuds, but you still should be drinking lots of fluids anyway, to keep your stool soft so you won't have to strain. If you can walk try doing that as much as you can, to stimulate the bowels to keep moving. Good Luck.
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OMG I am a nurse and hurt my back at work 4 months ago....Occupational Health has treated me terrible.  At first, diagnosed me w/Lumbar Strain and gave me pain med, sent me back to work.  The next week, I had to start PT.  I made another appt and told them pain worse (severe low R back pain) and pain now shooting down my legs to my toes (with tingling/numbness).  Told the PA is was worried I may have herniated disc going on w/these symptoms.  He looked me sqare in the face and told me he had no reason to believe I had anything but lumbar sprain.  Kept going to PT as told, which only caused me more pain.  Went back to Occ Health told them nothing getting better, only worse.  Also, told him that I had been severely constipated since back injury, which was not due to narcotics, as I only took them the first 4 days and no more as I did not want to have bowel issues.  He told me to go see my regular MD about that....even though I am an RN and know what MD will say regarding constipation, as I was taught in school what you need to do, and even how to bowel train a patient.  I just absolutely don't have a sensation to have a bowel movement anymore.  Occ Health has continued to ignore my concerns on this.  They did not allow me to have an MRI for 10 weeks, which showed bulging discs at L4-L5 L5-S1.  Occ Health MD told me it was normal for my age (33)!!  He then proceeded to tell me I should get off workman's comp and go see my own MD!!!!!!   It has been a very sad and crooked situation, all the meanwhile dealing w/severe pain, leg tingling, and numbness.  They finally referred me to Ortho MD, who recommended Epidural Steroid Injections, which I am very  much against for several reasons, one being it is a temporary fix for a lifetime issue.  So now I have to go see a spine specialist that is 2 hrs away..... I am scared but hopeful that this will be fixed.  I am very willing to have surgery if it will alleviate the pain and lifetime issues associated.  Has anyone had to deal w/Workmans Comp/Occ Health through their own employer and been treated this way?  It is very upsetting and everyone keeps telling me to get a lawyer.....which is also scary...Suggestions...Comments?!    
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Hi.
I am 33yrs old and hurt my back 5 months ago lifting a vacuum cleaner (I knew house cleaning was bad for your health). Took a week off work and it seemed to be fine.8 weeks ago I started getting pain down the back of my left leg and into my ankle, side of foot numb and 3 end toes, no strength in leg to push off with. Went to see physio, then a CT scan. Have a L5/S1 disc protrusion,with a 5.5mm protrusion. Refuse to take narcotics because my sister got addicted to them after her surgery. I am taking panadeine forte at nights to get me through. During the day I am taking a over the counter pill with codeine in it.
Saw neurosurgeon today and having a nerve sleeve injection next week then a MRI a week later.
Surgeon has recommended surgery but is letting me try the nerve root injection but I don't think he is holding much hope for it.

Sister had microdiscectomy surgery a year to two ago and a fussion. And has had no relief. I also account her problem to being heavily overweight and not really helping herself to get better.

I am only able to lay on my stomach or back. Can not sit more than 5 mins. If I have to stand I sway from foot to foot. Can not stand still. Meals are eaten laying down. I lay my seat down in the car if I have to go anywhere and my husband drives.

So yeah that's me so far. Just waiting to see how the sleeve injection goes but I am looking into surgery and getting my head around everything.
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Howdy, My name is Curtis, and Im suffering from a bulging herniated disk at the L2-L3 area. It began Aug.29. I work the Nightshift, and how this began, was as simple as putting my 5 1/2 month old boy down on a his changing table to change his diaper before heading off to work. I felt my lower back pinch, but felt that pain b4 many times, and just thought of it as another pinch that'll go away. So, i get to work, and through the hours of work, i began feeling this tingle going down one leg, then the other. It got worse thru the night, and by the next day of waking up, i could not get up out of bed. Painful, any movement hurt everywhere. I stayed out of work for almost a week, then returned. I shouldnt have because my legs couldnt hold me up if i had the slightest bend in my knees. I soon found out this was very scary, considering i work for a welding machine shop and handle parts that range from 5lbs to 30000lbs, and having to be preheated to 400-600 degrees b4 welding. So Falling down in a bad spot could have been a life or death situation. I was stubborn, tried to work and tough it out and acted as though it wasnt that big of an issue, but after falling a few times, luckily out of the way of parts, i saw my doc... he highly recommended an MRI. I did so, and sure enough, there was the problem. A Disk bulged at L2-L3. I saw the first Doc, he recommended an ESI right away. In the mean time, I saw another Doc for the second op, and he got into alot more detail of my situation and what he thought i should do. Both said surgery. Both said an ESI would be my first Option, but both said because of the Bulge, Surgery will inevitably be my next stop. I had the ESI today, actually this morning at the Texas Orthopedics Hospital. Once the numbness was gone in the legs, i do notice better movement in my thighs, which was the biggest issue i had, since this ordeal began. Sore, a bit, but then again, its my first day of some relief and we shall see where it goes from here. Doctors do not feel like it will last long for my situation, but again miracles do exist, and you never know. :) Ill come back to update Laters.
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4169199_tn?1351022187
Howdy, My name is Curtis, and Im suffering from a bulging herniated disk at the L2-L3 area. It began Aug.29. I work the Nightshift, and how this began, was as simple as putting my 5 1/2 month old boy down on a his changing table to change his diaper before heading off to work. I felt my lower back pinch, but felt that pain b4 many times, and just thought of it as another pinch that'll go away. So, i get to work, and through the hours of work, i began feeling this tingle going down one leg, then the other. It got worse thru the night, and by the next day of waking up, i could not get up out of bed. Painful, any movement hurt everywhere. I stayed out of work for almost a week, then returned. I shouldnt have because my legs couldnt hold me up if i had the slightest bend in my knees. I soon found out this was very scary, considering i work for a welding machine shop and handle parts that range from 5lbs to 30000lbs, and having to be preheated to 400-600 degrees b4 welding. So Falling down in a bad spot could have been a life or death situation. I was stubborn, tried to work and tough it out and acted as though it wasnt that big of an issue, but after falling a few times, luckily out of the way of parts, i saw my doc... he highly recommended an MRI. I did so, and sure enough, there was the problem. A Disk bulged at L2-L3. I saw the first Doc, he recommended an ESI right away. In the mean time, I saw another Doc for the second op, and he got into alot more detail of my situation and what he thought i should do. Both said surgery. Both said an ESI would be my first Option, but both said because of the Bulge, Surgery will inevitably be my next stop. I had the ESI today, actually this morning at the Texas Orthopedics Hospital. Once the numbness was gone in the legs, i do notice better movement in my thighs, which was the biggest issue i had, since this ordeal began. Sore, a bit, but then again, its my first day of some relief and we shall see where it goes from here. Doctors do not feel like it will last long for my situation, but again miracles do exist, and you never know. :) Ill come back to update Laters.
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Avatar_f_tn
My 161/2 yr old athletic son has a protrusion at L5 that's causing him to experience excruciating pain. It's been nearly a year and he has tried pt, anti-inflammatories, and nothing seems to help. Now they think its effecting the nerve since his pain is radiating into his legs. He is a college boy d baseball player( soyrhpaw pitcher, and hits as well).  I am a single mom with kaiser who doesn't seem to take this situation as seriously as is necessary. Any guidance would be sincerely appreciated.  He has been through 3 unrelated surgeries in his life and watching him suffer life this is unimaginable.  All he sees is his precious jr year passing by as well as his college baseball scholarship opportunities.   All I want is fir him to be able to sit through an entire school day without coming home in this pain.  
Thank you in advance for your time.
Jodi
Aka concerned mom
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Avatar_m_tn
To who it may help:
I had buldging discs about fifteen years ago, ended up in the hospital on morphine for a week.  Had three epidural injections which helped a little.  Pain was still terrible, suffered in this condition for three months, worse at night when the pills wore off.   Tried sleeping in a recliner, pain greatly improved in less then a week.  I was instructed by my doctor not to have surgery as they have found that the scar tissue can make things much worse in the future.  I walked two miles daily for a year not other PT.  The only bad effect I suffered was drop foot, it is not painfull by causes me to stumble and requires that I concuously lift my foot when walking.  I go to the gym and use the weight machines and do a hundred cruches whch now makes my back feel great, don't bend and lift heavy weights  Many doctors tell back pain sufferers try and find what works for you.  Hope my experience helps someone.
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5427312_tn?1367810946
I had the same problem few months back and I opted for Ayurvedic-Panchakarma and Yoga for the same, as per my Ayurvedic Physician this is all mechanical and alignment problem so he just did some wonderful procedures on my spine and right now I dont have any pain, yes I do some yoga for daily. Wish you better luck
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Avatar_m_tn
hi could you please provide me your contact number at ***@****. i have same disc problem, so tell me from where u get the treatment .
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Avatar_f_tn
Prolotherapy has multiple injection sites and a dextrose solution is used to
"re-injury" the site bringing fresh blood flow to the area thru re-inflamming the old injury in hopes of having the new blood flow flush out the "toxins" of the old injury.  The hope is then thru PT to have this new injury heal correctly.
The procedure is done weekly over a period of 6 to 8 weeks and at the end you start the PT.
That being said I found the treatments excruciating and the first time I couldn't even pick up a gallon of milk.  I was a painting contractor who was used to picking up 5 gallon cans of paint, climbing up and down ladders, and working all day & sometimes nights too.
Towards the end of that treatment though the treatments became less painful, more tolerable, and my strength returned.  
I had torn ligaments around the tail bone area due to a 5 car pile up.
Fast forward 30 years to now, with a fall accident at work I now have 3 bulging disk giving me grief.  I have leg numbness, muscle spasms in both legs, and pain radiating down to my feet.  I can no longer go for long periods of time with out relieving myself because a full bladder now causes me a great deal of leg pain.
Now I can't work and have no insurance.  So if you have insurance get the surgeries done.  You might try however, DMSO once or twice per day on the area.  I myself can't stand the odor or the taste of DMSO or I would of kept using it because it was helping.  I got my DMSO from Valley Vet Supply in the roll on applicator for horses.  So if you don't mind tasting a metallic clam like taste in your mouth and smelling like oysters for a while it just may help with the pain.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had severe pain right from L3-L4 to hip and left foot. It lasted 6 months, I was barely able to move few feet. Could not squat or sleep well. Than miracle happened when I went to pool to swim, I did one hour breast stroke. When I came out of pool pain was gone. Only slight pain in lower back. Later it came on and off but only when I do some weight lifting/shifting or squat. Its two years now, I regularly swim for 5 months, 2-2.5 KM per day breaststroke in summer and weight training with dumbbell in winter.

Hope this help some one.

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5938685_tn?1377032151
Hello, I was reading down through all these comments looking for some opinions or other options myself for my neck injury, when I came upon the post from inseriouspain.  I couldn't let this one go, this is my same story to the T only with C5-6 bulge, protrusion, herniation, call it what you will its all in the radiologists terminology.  As for my personal experience with what I'm going through now I can surly attest that you do NEED the advice of legal council.  These WC issues can be very tricky. It is very unfortunate that companies really don't care about the health or care of their employees, it all comes down to the bottom line.(If you get injured your are now labeled as a liability)  Yes there sure are those who do nothing but abuse the system, but when you have someone who shows up to work on time, is never late, doesn't take off, has a good work ethic and just plainly bends over backwards to do their job you also get the same treatment as those who abuse the system.  
   On July of 2012 I was at work and got injured by someone else's total incompetence. ( my super.)  Anyway the IRC's or Express Care centers that you have to go to for your initial eval. are bias.  Your employer is in cahoots with these selected establishments in order to get you back to work asap with the least amount of cost possible.  Where I live this state is one of the worst in the country to try and get anything solved through WC.  
   In my personal experience the rules are: you must first report the injury with in a timely manor (there is a numerical time limit) and you are sup post to get a list of  Dr.'s that you have to chose from to go see from your employer.  Then with in 90 days if your not better or satisfied with your outcome you have the legal right to go see a Dr. of your choice.  But this is where things get tricky.
   Take it from me that if you do not take care of this issue and be true to yourself this will end up causing you extra stress and much un-needed pain.
   So in dealing with the WC(Workers Comp) Dr. who wasn't listening to me in the first place I went the way of the std. procedure. For the first 90 days follow everything by the book, you don't have a choice.  I told the Doc. my pain level, what was hurting and how, she wrote the initial injury up as a cervical strain, gave me 5 X-rays, Vicodin and PT.  As the PT went on and me saying this isn't working its making things worse nothing you are doing is working the Dr. finally sent me for an MRI, two months later.  
   I received the MRI results and was told to go see the Orthopedic Spine Dr. Well the results are: disc hern. at C2-3,5-6. NO KIDDING that is what all the pain is from. Mean while I'm still working full boar, still following their rules word for word. More pills, don't do this or that, use this traction device, set you up for epidurals, uuggghhh.  After 8 months of this, 3 injections and no real positive results just loads of pain pills( I call them band-aids,and refuse to take much of them). I was truly getting discouraged and felt like no one was taking me seriously, through all this treatment things were not getting any better.    Then one day before heading into work(2nd) I opened the mail and there was a letter that my employer wanted me to have an IME.(Independent Medical Evaluation)  I thought ok what is this and what is going on?  
   That is what prompted me to seek legal council, when the Dr.'s won't listen to you and your employer sends you for an IME its time.  Not sure if you know what an IME is so I'll clue you in a little.   An Independent Medical Eval is exactly that, an evaluation by a Dr. chosen and paid by your employer's third party administrator.  These Dr.'s drive around in my case from a different state and go to a set Family Practice to evaluate you.  Their job is to complete a physical analysis of you and type up a report then submit that to your employer, and their insurance company.  You can refuse to go but if you refuse now your employer doesn't have to keep you on WC.( Double edged ).  Also in going to an IME you have to answer all the personal questions on the questionnaire plus the evaluating Dr.'s inquiries.  I know right this seems to be against the Hippa policy since now your work is going to know more about you than what you want them to know.
   Going down this WC road for someone legit it does seem to drag you through the mud a little.   Oh did I mention the above IME Dr. at least the one my work used received $4000 for a one hour physical and a report.( per my legal council).  These Dr.s are paid to give an ay ok eval. your fine go back to work report.  Fine I'd be glad to but I'm still in pain you say, at this point you don't have a leg to stand on without legal representation.  So hopefully you seek legal help before you get to this point.  I know many people whom have injured themselves or have been injured and were afraid of their employers because the fear of loosing their job and that's just not right.  Well those people are wishing they would have done things in a different manor.
     Something I'll never understand, most times an employer would rather spend way more money and waste resources trying to get out of a claim than it would have cost to help fix their employee.  Every case is different though and has its own specific parameters.   You have got to be prepared today and be one step ahead at all times, because most employers know that you won't be prepared to go down the road I was forced down.  In the end it ended up costing my company.                                                                                                                          
  So during my many Dr.'s appts., going to work everyday living my life with this pain I learned one very valuable key element to this whole WC deal.  If your WC Dr. that you have to go see per rules doesn't diagnose you correctly the first time, in the state were I reside the employer has the right to deny your claim, therefor making it very difficult to change the Notice of Compensation Payable to what is really causing you the pain.  The employer says,"Well we already paid for the cervical strain," true, but that was included in with my bad discs, which was a miss diagnosis.  So yes it is a very tough road, most cases usually last 12-15 months to get things resolved, but with having the correct legal council there to help guide you and take care of the tremendous amounts of paper work, it should work out.  You can take what I have said to the bank, because I am still currently going through this long, arduous process.      Hope some of this helps to ease some tension and maybe answered some questions for you, but it is unfortunate the way these things go.    
   I'd be glad to help answer some questions if any, specially because its still very fresh in my mind.
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6213501_tn?1379612561
Great post. I just turned 61 and had my first back surgery 2 years ago. I am w/ you, dude-- even tho I am NOT mechanically minded, am a 61 year old woman (ex-hippie-- does that figure in anywhere?) my attidue is, "if it's broken-- JUST FIX IT! I had very close :friends:-- docs themselves who warned me off the back surgery -- but life on Vicodin and I pain didn't set right w/ me. I spent two years on the "slow boat to China;" Chiropractic, acupuncture, nerve blocks, cortisone, and PT-- to which the sum total was diddly-- or temporary relief. I found a great surgeon @ Cedars...felt great for 7 months after one year of healing-- then wham! Not pain-- ache-- and the same annoying signs I had while healing-- stiffness in my back, muscle stiffness that traveled all the way and ended for me in migraines. When I returned to my "great" surgeon-- I got a handful of pills-- Norco and steroids (oral) and to my question of "If I don't feel better should I call for a follow up," the reply: "You know where we are. The appointment w/ the GREAT one cost me $175 bucks b/c the GREAT no longer takes BLUE CROSS. The cost of the MRI? Close to 6 grand. My portion was "only 300. I found another doc thru my Neurologist/Migraine doc whom I love-- and tho I did wait nearly 90 minutes to see him- he gave me a wide range of options. However, no more slow boats for me. I have read that after 10 years both surgery and non surgery disc bulge patients report equal satisfaction and non-return of pain. Guess what? I could be dead by then. I don't feel good. I don't have horrific pain. But I do have constant continuous ache that leaves me exhausted and often blooms into migraine. I am a writer and sitting is the absolute worst position. Sitting activates the ache/pain. I would recommend thorough research on your surgeon. Tho my first surgeon let me down this time-- his first surgery was fabulous. My new doc seconded the opinion. He also explained thoroughly my back and how and why this is happening to me--- tho I do have these disc problems-- my spine itself is in great shape. If you do have spinal issues and are considering surgery -- don't ask your friends-- ask someone who's been thru it. Then research the surgeon and research the facility. Do your due diligence. Some people will still opt out of surgery. Not me. I want it over yesterday.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello harryh9,

Found your post very useful. Why did you try to sleep in a recliner and how, do you think, it improved your condition?

Thanks
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6627699_tn?1383139124
I am 58 years old and never suffered any lower back lumbar spine problems or injuries. From January 2013 to March 2013 I bought and used the Abdoer Twist exercise machine. I went overseas for a holiday and 4 days after stopping to use it I started to notice sciattica symptoms in my right leg. After I got back and within a month my sciattica had developed into heavy legs syndrome in both legs. I had CT guided left and right facet joint injections of cortisone and the heavy leg syndrome lifted. I was left with excruciating pain in my lumbar spine, pelvis, both hips, buttocks and both legs. Plus extreme weakness in both legs. Suspected of Multiple Sclerosis which was ruled out by an MRI. Doctors changed my pain meds to Oxynorm from Endone. A total of 9 CT guided facet joint injections of the S1, L5, L4 plus physio exercises 2-3 times a day plus 2-3 times a day hanging in an inversion table have not improved the pain and symptoms. I have been diagnosed with bulging discs at L5/S1, L4/L5 AND L3/L4 and spondylolisthesis of L5/S1 and L3/L4. Now considering surgery options of Microdiscectomy laminectomy for up to 3 discs L5/S1, L4/L5 AND L3/L4 and to a lesser extent because I am very concerned at the potential ramifications of a Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion for spondylolisthesis L3/L4 & L5/S1. I was as strong as an ox before I used the Abdoer Twist and had no lower back pain or injuries. And the machine is sold with promises that it cannot injure you! This is false misleading and untrue claims which I have completely debunked and shown why at a blog I have written at http://abdoertwistreview.org
Do NOT buy this equipment and use it in the method taught by John Abdo
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,
I'm 38 years old now and been having back pain since 1999.
In 1995, I jumped from around 12 feet high wall and my left knee didn't bend and I felt a shock in my back.
It didn't hurt that time but in 1999, when I was playing with friends, it started hurting real bad and I knew it was the exact same spot that I felt shock in 1995.
The doctor suggested either pain killers or surgery in 1999 after x-ray but without MRI.
I opted for pain killers.
The pain went down after few weeks but I always felt it's there.
I constantly had numbness in that area and had to constantly adjust my left leg bones to feel comfortable.
In 2009, I had MRI and it showed L4, L5 bulging disc and that's not pinching but compressing sciatica nerve on the left side.
L3 also may have slight buzz. I lost my MRI disc so don't remember.
I had steriod injection that time.  It really helped for a week or so.

Since then, it was same pain, uneasyness and numbness until last week.
I was in the bed trying to wake up and had a big sneeze that moved my left leg really high close to my chest.
I can bring my knee to my chest all the time but that sneeze did it I don't know in what way that my pain suddenly went up 10 times and I could not even put any pressure on my left leg.
After resting 3 days and stretching, I can at least walk and work but I have to limp as it still hurts on left side if I put my weight on it.

I'm seeing chiropractor this weekend to see if that helps.
Otherwise, will go for surgery as the pain is too much now compared to before.
It's been almost 15 years so I know it's not going anywhere on its own.
:'-(
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Avatar_f_tn
i had an op in 2000 on l5s1,part of the disc was removed... before that i had pain 24/7 in my back and leg and nothing helped...and i mean NOTHING.....now 14 years later its back again...the same disc has apparent central disc protrusion, displacing the thecal sac?....I also have some disc degeneration.....I was into running and mountain biking also...now I work, however on light duties and feeling rather useless and lay in bed when Im not at work...I cant do anything, not even walking as exercise.Ive had a CT which showed the above described and am seeing a specialist n the 15th january........Ive heard mixed results from surgery and Im hoping I dont have to go down that path but cant see how I can avoid it when I currently have no life due to the pain and discomfort and its interfering with work also...Im scared sh!tless!!!!....and very depressed.
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Avatar_m_tn
I hear you.
It's horrible.
Looks like your case is even worse due to the fact that part of the disc was removed and now it's degenerating.
I've heard that they can remove disc and fuse vertebrae if that's one option.
It'll limit some flexibility but should be pain free.

BTW, I bought an inversion table and it's been more than a month and pain has reduced quite a bit.
I'm not sure if it's due to the inversion table or it just got healed in a month but it does relieve pressure on the back.
I went to chiropractor few times and quit as they said, we will put you on a plan and hopefully the bulging disc goes back in.
I can stay home and hope without paying them.

Best of luck on your treatment!
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Avatar_f_tn
Everyone here seems to be mentioning PT - but what is PT please?
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