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Bulging Disc, 20years old, referred for Epidural

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Lower Back Pain
About a year or so ago I hurt my back initially doing deadlifts. It was my fault thinking I could do more then I could. Did a large amount and put it up w/ relative ease and was inspired to do more and more until whoops too much.

Anyways I've had on and off backpain until about 3 months ago when I did legs real hard one day, ever since then I have had chronic lower back pain and radiating pain down my right leg. I go to the dr do PT for a month, do deep tissue massage for a couple weeks. nothing is fixing this. So I get referred for a Xray and MRI. My xray comes back normal and clean.

My MRI results with me having a Bulging disc, narrowing of the spine and narrowing of the space between my disc.

So I go to a spine specialist today and he basically told me I will have to stop working out. He said to take a vacation from working out and just do water aerobics and things like that. From what he was saying it seemed that he meant permanently. He said overtime I will just have to adjust to doing different kinds of workouts. He said absolutely no deadlifts or squats or things that will put pressure on my lower back.

I will be going in to get a epidural in about 2 weeks. From what I have been reading on these forums, they are filled with people who got no relief from the epidurals, had a terrible experience because of the pain, and people actually experiencing worse pain.

Should I be doing this? At the moment the pain is not that bad. It only hurts when I try to bend over at the waist and then I get the shooting pains. It seems a bit better from when I hurt it the first time. Those first days were terrible I could not put on my socks or shoes without laying on my bed and bringing my legs back.

From reading these forums I have decided maybe I should just take a complete break from any lifting or exercise and just do light swims every couple days. I am only 20years old and dont want to have this injury for the rest of my life.

Any advice on workouts I can do or options I have at this point besides doing a epidural? Do you think a epidural is a good idea for me? I'm a 20yr old male, in great physical shape. My life revolves around sports and physical things, I am so scared to lose those. Even being off weights and basketball for a few days now is killing me and wanting me to go fight through the pain.


  • If your doctor said to stop lifting,you should listen to him....
  • bigcat90 said:
    If your doctor said to stop lifting,you should listen to him....
    See he didnt tell me to stop lifting. He basically just said stop doing lifts that would aggrovate it, such as Deadlifts, Squats, and lifts that put pressure on your back.

    That's why im curious if I should stop all together or continue to try and lift in different ways.
  • I posted my experience on an epidural, (you can probably read it by searching (my first epidural injection)
    Epidural Experience) for me it hasnt helped me at all but everyone responds differently, Many say it has helped them alot. I just didn't like the whole experience. Just remember it may or may not help. It's a decision you'll hafto make on your own.
    Your body probably needs to rest right now, Listen to your Dr! It seems like you over did it, Eventually and very slowly you can probably do other types of exercises that won't aggrevate or hurt your Back. It's good to strengthen the back with Physical Therapy but not to lift any heavy weights right because you can add more strain to it. Listen to your Body, Do not Overdue anything even if it seems ok for the moment, sometimes we pay afterwards ,, I hope you feel better Soon,
  • I have had about 3 epidurals at different facilities and I can only tell you from experience that it gave me more pain for about a week afterwards and then did not help at all.

    Oh and you should stop lifting, it was pretty much the cause of your pain. Your pain will only increase from lifting.
  • Im 20 and have the same condition from straight leg deadlift i had 2 epidurals that has worsen me and will be going soon to see a surgeon in philly
  • Im 20 and have the same condition from straight leg deadlift i had 2 epidurals that has worsen me and will be going soon to see a surgeon in philly
  • In 2004, my problem with a bulging disc began with pain on the outside of my left leg. Overtime, I would occasionally find myself stuck in a bending position...sneezing would require me to squat. Anyway, fast forward to April, 2009. I decided to get an MRI thus, the bulging disc diagnosis. I was referred to a Pain Management Physician who started me out with a TENS unit and physical therapy including isolated massages. One week into this, my pain is gone and I decided to include Pilates in my therapy. It is now 7 weeks and I have pain maybe 5% of the time. My PM Dr. ok'd me to stopped physical therapy since my pain is under control as well as continue my Pilates. I feel that Pilates alone has and will continue to help my situation. I take private classes 3x a week, which is well worth the money, my sanity, and comfort and health. I work on the machines on various stretches/exercises and I feel great. I highly recommend people to try this. I am also an active taekwondo martial artist and refuse to give up on it. Pilates will help me continue. It's given me more core strength and flexibility.
  • yes, epidural helps, but not for long. im trying to find out what else to do? pelates helps to but do you have to do it fot the rest of your life?
  • I'm 22, female, and I've had back problems since I was 15, and TRUST ME, you do not want to end up like me. My first experience with back pain was a year after I had knee surgery (maybe knee surgery should have been my sign to slow down, haha), I bent over and couldn't stand back up with shooting pain down my entire right leg. I toughed it out for the next 4 years although I couldn't do sports anymore due to my knee... I was still doing things like dance that were bad for my back. BIG MISTAKE ON MY PART. I'm now only able to work part-time, less than I did when I was 15, going to school is a struggle. Heck, everything is a struggle. I was very active in sports, mainly gymnastics and tae kwon do, but did other things like wrestling, track, swimming, and dance. I thought my pain would go away completely or I could work through it, since my first episode was only 3 days, then completely normal, then another episode for 3 days and so on. It went like this for 2 years, then became constant with back pain too. Finally, after 4 years, I saw a doctor. I had an MRI, which showed a bulging disc and nerve compression. I still didn't slow down unless the pain made me. Now, 7 years into my back problems, my disc is herniated and everything in my life is a struggle. I've made it through the identity crisis of not being an athlete (except in my heart!). I thought I was going to go to college on a gymnastics scholarship. Ha. I can't do any type of physical activity except for light stretches, can only walk for about 15 minutes until I feel nauseous from bad pain, and can only stand for about 10 minutes. Please do not end up like me. Do what your doc says. I've had three epidurals, none of them hurt, none of them made me worse. Since I waited too long, they didn't help, but they might help you so it is worth a try. Changing your lifestyle now will prevent greater pain and heartache in the future. I know, I soooooooo know what you are feeling right now regarding sports. That feeling is still with me and I suspect it always be. We are athletes; being an athlete is in your heart more than it is in your body. But at the same time, if I had known and felt what I do now, I would have stopped long before I did or just laid out by the pool getting manicures or something. :D My life is hard now. I'm very limited in everything physical I do. Please don't end up like me. I'd love to talk more if you need someone who understands and has been through this. Oh man, I completely know what you're feeling right now. I wish you all the luck in the world!

    Much love and understanding,
  • Hey there!

    It's nice to hear from another basketball player. Im also a 20 year old college basketball female who has a bulging disc and a pars fracture on my L4/L5. I was diagnosed my sophomore year in high school but was able to fight through the pain, missing maybe only one game. I have sitting on the bench since january 2nd now tho because the pain was just too much.I think I made it worse doing lifts as well, specifically RDLS because of poor form :(
    I don't like to bear bad news but i had an epidural in february and it didn't take. I had another one 5 days ago directly injected into both my fracture sites and still have yet to feel any relief. I will say tho,the pain doesnt travel all the way to my foot anymore, just to about my thigh. It should help with the leg pain. I have also heard stories where people were completely pain-free so get the shot and hope it works for you.

    I've been told by one doctor I should stop playing and another saying I could if I could handle the pain. Back pain is a tricky injury and I wish you the best of luck
  • I was told not to do ANYTHING the day after an epidural to give the steriods and medicines a chance to distribute themselves. If you have access to a theraputic ultrasound, you could get it the day after the epidural over the injection site, it helps to distribute the shot around to the right places. Good luck!
  • I have had 4 epidurals for my back. They have helped me some, but not a ton. But, I would suggest you go and have them. While everybody's experience is different, I have not had much pain during the procedure or after. I always had the procedures with local only and felt pretty good afterwards. The next few days I would be pretty active, since my pain level would be reduced. But, you should not have any fear about the procedure, for me they have all been pretty easy.

    good luck.
  • last june they found i have bulging at L5-S1, L4-L5 and L3-L4 (as mentioned in a thread elsewhere, i've added L2-L3 to the collection). after my injury i had extreme pain in my right leg, making walking very difficult. my first injection made a world of difference. second didn't do much, third was another big improvement. i didn't experience any pain caused specifically by the injections.

    i ended up in surgery when i re-injured myself in oct and was in worse shape than after my initial injury.
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