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Hello, my sympathies to all, herniated disk L3/L4

Hello,

I'm 59 (ugh) but in generally decent shape and fairly active. Was diagnosed with a herniated L3/L4 disk a couple of weeks ago after having moderate butt/upper leg pain for about 6 weeks. There were also a couple of other things noticed in general in other back areas (arthritis, some stenosis) but those aren't what's causing the problem. From what I can tell in talking to others, my pain wasn't too terrible (worst twinges were around 5 or 6 on the 10 point scale and not bothersome if I sit or lie down). I started PT about 2 weeks ago and am hoping that plus constant exercise will get things back to normal, more or less. Haven't needed any kind of pain medication so far; not even bothering to take over the counter stuff.

Main question is about how long does it take (on average) to start noticing a significant difference? I had already been doing slightly better (from the maximum pain period) by the time I went to the doctor. Since PT maybe another small difference in pain level, not so much in the types of situations where it hurts. I definitely know 2 weeks isn't very long; orthopod said a month should make a big difference but not sure I believed that in the first place. If I knew that in, say, 6 months I'd be OK I'd be perfectly happy with that. Thanks,

Larry
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Comments

  • Neck is main problem now, but since my mid 40's I have dealt with moderately severe DDD and mild herniations in the lumbar zone. I remained very active until 61 when cervical problems took over my life. Major lumbar flair ups usually took 30 to 60 days to work it out. I saw a chiropractor back then who was more of a personal trainer. Targeted exercise and vigorous deep tissue massage, along with both ice and heat, plus NSAIDs more for inflammation than pain was my normal recovery routine.
    C3-C7
    Severe DDD, Severe neural foraminal stenosis at 2 levels, moderate canal stenosis at 2 levels, significantly impaired left shoulder & arm function. Chronic moderate compression fracture at C6.
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