Good morning..i am a 43 year old male who recently had an MRI to confirm that i have a moderate bulging disc at l2/l3 and it is pushing on my nerve which needless to say is painful especially in the morning when i straighten up. I get pain on my thighs and hips and it gradually subsides ;within an hour of getting up but throughout the day it becomes prominent again. My injury happened at the end of September 2011. I have no back pain where the disci s bulging but it is the nerve being pushed that is causing me massive grief. Are there other similar stories out there? What did you do and how long did it last. Aside from the odd ibuprofen and tylenol...i take nothing. I am very active (or at least was until this happened!) and try to maintain a healthy walk all the time etc. I have been in physio for over a month but have seen zero improvement in getting up in the morning especially. This seems to be my healing guage!
Thanks for reading.
I know how painful bulging discs can be when they impinge themselves upon nearby nerve roots. I also have a couple bulging discs in my lumbar spine too that are pressing themselves upon nerves. L4/L5 and L5/S1 to be exact. The first disc has ruptured and its inner goo is spilling out and indenting the spinal cord (thecal sac). The second disc is bulging and pushing on the S1 nerve root. Both discs cause all sorts of radiating pain that climbs upward along the side of my low back and downward into my buttocks and down my thighs.
For me, I am not ready for surgery. Currently, I have been able to manage with medications, epidural steroid injections, and stretching w/ self accupressure. Epidural steroid injections typically don't help with the low back pain I experience but it tends to help a lot with the radiating pain from sciatic nerve displacement. Since you are having similar pain issues, these injections may be advantageous to you. The drawbacks are the injections are temporary and lasts only 4 to 6 weeks and over time they weaken the bone around the injection site so they are not a long term solution. But they give me the extra "break" that I need from the pain.
I read that you are taking OTC tylenol and ibuprofen. Instead of ibuprofen, you may want to try Alleve (naproxen) instead. When the steroid injections where off, I begin to take a low dose of Alleve each day along with my other medications and I have found that works much better than Advil or Motrin.
Neurontin or Lyrica are anti-convulsant medications that have strong efficacy at relieving nerve pain. I take the generic prescription of Neurontin, called Gabapentin and it is helped relieve many aspects of my pain tremendously.
There are many other medications that I take such as an anti-depressant. Anti-depressants help change the perception the brain has of the pain. Cymbalta has been recently FDA approved for low back pain. Muscle relaxants, and a long acting opioid (one pill provides pain relief for 8 hours) and a short acting opioid (lasts 4 to 6 hours and is used when pain occurs above what the long acting opioid has covered, typically happens when I increase my activity but also it can occur without warning with no apparent reason at all).
So I know there is a lot to think about in terms of how you would like to manage your pain given the options provided. And of course, there is always the option of surgery where they can extract all or just the portion of the disc that is causing you problems. These types of surgeries are now minimally evasive as they make what they call a "micro incision" and work within that small area which reduces the amount of scar tissue that can add additional chronic pain down the road.
Also a change in diet can help. There are foods that are inflammatory and foods that are anti-inflammatory. Cherries are a good food that has anti-inflammatory properties. When discs push upon nerves, the nerves become inflammed and irritated. Eating inflammatory foods can make the pain worse. If you google inflammatory foods and anti-inflammatory foods, websites with a detailed listing of the foods that fall within those categories should pop up.
I hope I provided some good approaches or tools that you could use to reduce your pain. Good luck to you and I hope you feel better soon. Take care.
I will tell you that I have exactly the same situation you do. It is painful, and it interferes with my life, constantly.....but not near as much as have to get clean from oxycodone did. It got to the point that I was depressed from the nagging, burning, constant pain. It ate away at me until, I finally got into a reputable pain management doctor associated with the hospital and found relief. All went well for a few months, then one night I just felt like I needed a little "pick-me-up," so I snorted a line......Zooooooommm ! ......
Wasn't the first time, but that was the beginning, and end of my normal life. Once you start to increase dose or abuse the drug, you are hooked. Dont believe for a second that you are different than anyone else, or that withdrawals couldn't be that bad..........They are. I have gone through it a few times now and today is day 7 off of 60mg oxycodone daily. I am still not quite normal, but the fog is gone. The stuff will rob you of your joy if you let it. I admit, i enjoy the way they made me feel, so, I wanted them. I did not really need them. I made out like I needed them, and eventually you will. It will take your energy, your passion, and forget about waking up before 11 AM because it ain't gonna happen. Sound like fun ? I will now take the advice of wiser posters such as femmy (above) and try every alternative possible for managing severe pain. It hurts, yes, but it is much more manageable than a full blown Roxi addiction and a God Forsaken, torturous, hopeless, horrifying, excruciating, maddening week of withdrawals.
Along with the PT, I suggest you contact an Orthospinologist Chiropractor. This is not the regular 'jerk and twist' type chiropractor, but one who will help realign your spine with very little pain. You can look up Orthospinology online to find an Orthospinologist near you.
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