Neurology Expert Forum
Degenerative lumbar disc, pain and snow shovelling
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions and support regarding neurology issues such as: Alzheimer's Disease, ALS, Autism, Brain Cancer, Cerebral Palsy, Chronic Pain, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, Headaches, MS, Neuralgia, Neuropathy, Parkinson's Disease, RSD, Sleep Disorders, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Degenerative lumbar disc, pain and snow shovelling

I've been diagnosed with degenerative disc is L3-4-5-6 area and the C3-4-5 with varying degrees of pain depending on the day.  I take celebrex when needed and tylenol1's everyday to control pain but this year while still being physically fit shovelling snow has become very hard for me.  I am very active physically and in great health otherwise but whenever I shovel snow I'm hurting for a day or so afterward in the lower back.  I'm seeing a neurosurgeon in Feb, 2006 but I was wondering if it's time to get a snowblower to relieve the pain associated with shoveling.
Related Discussions
Avatar_n_tn
I agree, also see if there is a snowplower contracting in your area
6 Comments
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
looks that way
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Definitely buy a snowblower.  I too have DDD in my lumbar spine, I have also had two back surgeries.  Recently I found out that my back is fusing on its own due to the build up and calcification of scar tissue.  I always had the motto of I need to do what I can now besides the damage is already done.  Well come to find out the more I aggrevate my back the more the scar tissue will build up, and the worse my symptoms will be.  My suggestion is to take what ever steps necessary to make any physical labor that you do easier, it will pay off in the long run.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi everybody!

I am having low back problems for a few years.
It all started 4 years ago when I tried to lift some heavy skid.
In november I had CT Scan of my lumbar spine and here it is report:


CT of the lumbar spine was performed at three lowest disc space levels.
Examination at L3-L4 demonstrates no significant abnormality.
Examination at L4-L5 demonstrates evidence of degenerative disc disease with moderate diffuse disc bulging impressing upon the thecal sac anteriorly, slightly more prominent on the left. There is also associated neural foraminal narrowing. Early facet degenerative change on the right. Left facet is maintained.
Examination at L5-S1 demonstrates evidence of degenerative disc disease with mild to moder-ate diffuse disc bulging impressing upon the thecal sac anteriorly. Minimal spinal stenosis. Neural foramina are maintained. No significant facet hypertrophy.

Since I have to wait 18 months to see some specialist, is there somebody that can explain it a litle bit what all this means, how serious it is,....
Just to say that pain is here all the time, more or les, and very often goes down to my legs.
Standing or walking causes pain, and just a litle bit bending also.
Thank you so much.
Miroslav, Canada.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
     I don't have all the answers to your problems but I do have a few.  
     This part of your question, Examination at L4-L5 demonstrates evidence of degenerative disc disease with moderate diffuse disc bulging impressing upon the thecal sac anteriorly, slightly more prominent on the left. There is also associated neural foraminal narrowing. Early facet degenerative change on the right. Means your discs are in laymans terms falling apart, basically they are like a filled glaze donut with the hole in the middle and all the donut is disappearing and the filling is going to run out. If you picture it your disc wall is thinner on the front(towards your belly) and to the left so it is bulging on the fluid sac that surrounds the spinal cord.  Foraminal is the opening inside the vertebrae, narrowing is what is called spinal stenosis.  Early facet degenerative change is from the two vertebrae rubbing from the disc not being right.
    Spinal stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal (where the spinal cord goes through).  It is a hereditary disease so you may pass it on to your children (I did).  It usually shows up in people over 50 although I was 24 when I was diagnosed.  Mine affects me from L1 to S1.  I lost the discs between L1-L2 and L3-L4 with the spinal canal being to narrow for the cord and being slightly bent from no discs I put off surgery for 13 years.  Before surgery I did the shoveling thing, played with the kids and pretty much anything else I wanted to except for extremely heaving lifting (over70 lbs).  About 2 years before I had surgery the pain with shoveling started and the pain in the legs (its called sciatica).  Within 18 months I could barely do anything, between the sciatica, the foot drop, numbness in the feet and when the feet were not numb they felt cold and wet all the time, there was constant pain.  In June of 2003 I had surgery to remove the backs of 3 vertebrae on L3,L4,L5 to give the spinal cord more room.  I have 7" Harrington rods, 3 cross plates, 9 screws and some donor bone.  Recovery was HELL!  I needed a walker, could not get up on my own or stand long enough to take a shower.  It was a good 4 months before I could walk 150 feet without help.  I still take oxycodone for pain.

      I don't know if my recovery problems were because I waited so long to get surgery done as I know other people with the same surgery that were fine 3 months later.  I have been advised not to go to any chiropractors or massage therapists as they can do extreme damage because of my problems.

      Having the sciatica in your legs can get alot worse.  It can make your knees buckle so use the railings on stairs.  I found when it was alot of pain I would lay on the floor with my lower legs and feet on the couch and just try and relax, after about 15 minutes the pain would stop.  I also have a body pillow that helps, just lay on your side with one leg on it.

     If your insurance will pay for it I would get a full MRI from top to bottom.  My spinal stenosis is also in the thoracic vertebrae where it is indenting the cord and obliterating the sub-aracnoid space at T7-T8.  Currently I have pins and needles in my right arm with some severe muscle cramps in my upper right arm 24 hours a day for the last 2 months. As usual I will put off surgery until I'm forced to do it.

    If I were you I would try and find an appointment sooner and have your doctor get you in some physical therapy before surgery and some pain killers.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hello,
I am a 37 year old female, 2 1/2 years ago, i injured my back, I have been through physical therapy twice,and steroid injections twice,had work done by a Chiropractor,who had to stop for fear of injuring me worse. I seen a Nurologist who said He had been in this feild for over 50 years,and in all that time had never seen anything quite like it before,(Circular hypodense lesions,on the medial aspect of the psoas muscles). I have NO Idea what this means and He said he was going to follow up with the radiologist for further review of the MRI. None of the tratments my family Dr. has tried have relieved my pain,and now I have severe pain in my knee caps,bladder control issues,and some problems with my eyes! I don't know if any of it is connected,but my health is continueing to decline and I'm not getting any answers!! If anyone has advice,I'd really appreciate it!!!! Thanks so much!! C.C.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
Blank
Request an Appointment
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
This is Driving Your Emotional Eati...
Jul 02 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
5856747_tn?1403352282
Blank
Sleep Apnoea
Jun 28 by Andrew John Rynne, MDBlank