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Will protrusion get worse. Need help docs dont want to know!!!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
Hi All

Really need some help. In England.

Recieved MRI disc protrusion catching S1 nerve root. Pain is all in buttocks and hamstring. Very little lower leg.

Thought after this I would see a specialist for options or at least discuss further implications etc... conservative treatments.

However the specialist sent a letter to local GP saying wont see me again and nothing they can do!!!. Live with it. Local docs not a specialist so found it very hard to answer my questions.

What i need to know is

Will the protrusion get worse and cause more pain?

worst pain is when walking as buttocks feel like they are ripping but have to walk for job. Finding myself walking funny causing further problems. Any advice here?

Lastly can the protrusion cause a rupture or become herniated which from reading some messages sounds much more painful.

Doc told me to take paracetomol and do everything you would normally do. Is there anything i should try to avoid? Exercise types especially?. Lifting cant be avoided got a little boy who is going through the terrible 2's!!!!

Any help or advice is very welcome



  • Yes, there are things you need to avoid. If your little one is two, you can squat down by him and do things. He can climb into chairs to eat, be changed on a low table (maybe a coffee table)that he can climb up on, hold his hand while he walks next to you, etc. I run daycare and I have little ones as young as one years old. I do not lift them. I put them into a porta crib for nap that they can climb in to. I have a high chair low on the ground that they can sit in themselves, etc. I do everything I can to avoid lifting them. If you need to pull him away from something dangerous, take him by the hand and gently pull him. If he resists, get down by him, but don't lift unless necessary.

    If you absolutely must lift something, always bend at the knees and try to keep you back as straight as possible. Never bend just at the waist or you will push the disc material out more.

    As far as exercises, I've been taught to lay on my stomach and push up with my hands (if it hurts, then stop). You do this while keeping your stomach on the ground. When you push your chest up off the floor, hold for a couple seconds, then go back down. Do about 10 times if you can without pain. My physical therapist said that this helps push the disc back into place. If you've injured your disc, you will always need to do stomach and back strengthening exercises - in order to protect your back from getting re-injured. If you can find a physical therapist that specializes in the back, great! I'm doing "planks" for strengthening right now. But there's a certain way you have to do them, and a physical therapist can tell you the safest way to go.

    Don't go back to doing exactly whatever you were doing before. Obviously, something caused your disc to go. You can go online to find lumbar back exercises in several websites. Just make sure you stop if you think something's aggravating your leg pain.

    Hope this helps some. Let me know how it goes.


  • I second no lifting. I have 2 year old myself. I did not lift him for anything for the last 5 month (I miss it!!!). I push him with my knee (on his butt) while he clims in a car or on to the bed. Or you can use a step stool. Babies are smart. When he is upset and needs a little hug, he just hugs my legs. However if my husband is there, he will ask to be held. My baby just knows that mommy does not lift him, End of story.
  • There are so many things you can do to make sure you don't lift kids. My physical therapist was the one who gave me the idea of changing little ones on a coffee table. That way you are on your knees and your back is straight. I used to change kids on the floor, but I had to bend forward at the waist, which also isn't good when sitting. (Just a little more info.)

  • I think what the specialist was saying is that he will not do anything at this time. He didn't mean that there was nothing that could be done. If your condition becomes much worse, there are procedures that can be done to help you.

    The statistics are interesting comparing how protruded disks are treated in the UK and Europe as compared to the US. Surgery is done much more frequently in the US. Five years out the results are fairly comparable.

    The advice you have received is all very important. Also, it is important to be very aware of your posture and to try to maintain good posture at all times. Try not to sit for long periods as sitting puts 30% more pressure on the disks than standing. Whenever you can, lie down on the floor for 5 -10 minutes. You can bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor, or just lie flat, if it does not hurt. Another position is to lie with your hips pressed up against a couch or chair, arms out to the side, palms up. Bend your legs so that your legs, from the knee to your feet are resting on the seat of the couch/chair. Both these positions allow your disks to unload, and it is a natural form of "traction" that helps to realign the spine and to rest the disks. Try to do one of these positions as often as you can during the day as it really helps.

    Use good body mechanics. Avoid any exercise that involves bending, twisting or reaching, especially overhead. Try to avoid lifting anything heavier than a gallon of milk. So many daily activities are bad for your situation. Things like vacuuming, sweeping, raking leaves are really deadly! It is bad for your disk to try to push anything heavy. You may find it painful to ride or drive in a car very far.

    Drink lots of water as you want to keep the disks well hydrated. And even though you'll want to come home and sink down in a chair and relax, walking is very important in the healing process. It stretches the spinal nerves and provides fresh, oxygenated blood to the area. There is a product available online called a "sacroiliac belt" that you might want to try. It is a band that is about 5" wide that wraps around your lower hips and attaches with velcro. It provides a little bit of support to that whole area as you walk or are on your feet for an extended period of time.

    It is possible that your disk will get worse. It can rupture. Then you run the risk of the disk extruding out into the central canal or the foraminal opening. This causes pressure on the spinal nerve...in your case the nerve that runs across the buttock, down the back of the thigh, calf and even into the foot and toes. If this should happen, it is not considered a medical emergency UNLESS bladder or bowel control are affected. Then you would need to seek medical attention immediately as you don't want to run the risk of permanent nerve damage.

    Please keep posting with your questions and comments. There are tons of us that have already been down this path!!
  • I also want to share how I play with my 2 years old. I have a yoga mat in my living room and every time the little one wants to do puzze, car, read etc I just lay on my tummy leaning on elbows (kind of in extention) and the little one is next to me. You get a 'free' disk exercise and the kid will get a play time. Only after a very short time he used to it - if he wants to play - he wants me to lay down on mat.
    I change baby on my bed since I can not lift him to changing table.
    I do not sit with the baby on my lap :(. I miss it terribly but baby needs a mom who can function and I need to protect myself to be there for him.
  • I also have an S1 nerve impingement. When I asked the doc that conducted the EMG's HOW I could un-impinge it she just laughed and said "keep doing what you're doing". Which was PT. Three months of it until they kicked me out because I had exhausted my PT benefits AND wasn't showing much improvement.

    Anyway, from what I've experienced none of the non surgical docs would give me a straight answer as to whether my condition would worsen, stay the same, or get better.

    I FINALLY got a straight answer, without even having to ask, when I saw a neurosurgeon. He said..."no lifting or pulling. You might blow that disc out." UGH! As a nurse that's part of my job!

    A few years ago I had the kind of pain that you describe. Pain in the buttock, hip, and the back of my upper thigh. I now have the back pain at the SI joint, numbness in my small toes, and my lower thigh and calf is on fire! My ankle and the lateral side of my foot is also burning up! All of the worsening symptoms prompted my recent consult with the neurosurgeon.

    Everyone is different, but it's certainly possible that your symptoms could worsen.

    And since you're asking, let me tell you about an incident that I had last year when I finally developed the back pain. I bent down to get something out of a lower cupboard and couldn't get up! I couldn't bend back up. I was lucky to have the counter top within reach and used my upper body strength to pull myself up. OMG! It felt like an ice pick was being stabbed and twisted into my lower back.

    You might want to reconsider your ideas on lifting being unavoidable. There may come a time when you bend down to lift the little one and can't get up!

    The types of exercises that my therapist taught me consisted of core strengthing and pilates. I was also told to "engage the core" at all times. Which is basically sucking in your gut at all times.

    Do a search on pelvic clock exercises and other core strengthing. There's a lot on the net. Many have diagrams with descriptions. I've printed many and have others I've snipped from magazines that I keep in a three ring folder. I guess you could say I've put together a book of core exercises!

    Plan on building abs of steel and staying that way for life. :O

    Good Luck!

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