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I'm so jealous of jellyfish..

SarahMoon89SSarahMoon89 Posts: 1
edited 10/21/2014 - 6:43 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi everyone,
I'm Sarah, I'm 24 (almost 25) and I've been experiencing back pain for about 8 years on and off. I was diagnosed with a bulging disc when I was about 16 that would become inflamed from time to time causing me pain in my lower back that would calm down with time, rest, and treatment from my tens unit. That was bearable with it being every month or so, and I was able to live my life for the most part like everyone else. Then... it got alot worse...
The beginning of July I had extreme pain in my lower back that was keeping me from doing my job and even being on my feet more then 5 or 10 minutes. I went to my primary care doctor. She put me on pain meds and in physical therapy which did nothing. Where after a few weeks of trying her treatment. I ended up going to my orthopedic doctor, who tried cortisone shots, more medications and then told me to see a pain management Dr and if that didn't work for me to see a spinal surgeon. So I went to see the pain management Dr, he preformed an epidural injection, and a facet joint block, which I got no relief from either. From there he recommended me to see a spinal surgeon.
The first spinal surgeon opinion I got the man was totally useless. He spent a whopping 10 minutes with me at the most, looked at my Mri results, told me I have a bulging disc, disc degeneration and I'm to young for surgery. Don't take the pain medications the previous doctors prescribed and that it should heal itself in 18 months.
With no relief or real guidance... I went back to my pain management doctor hoping for some sort of light. He sent me to another pain management doctor who stated I may be able to have a biaculoplasty done for the degenerative disc but he's not sure if it would work or if my insurance would cover it. From there feeling lost and hopeless I asked my coworker with back issues who he sees. He referred me to his spinal surgeon who was very informative in explaining my degeneration and who states I should NOT go for this disc burning procedure but attempt to heal with with time and a back brace.
He said he'd consider doing surgery in a year or two if the problem doesn't fix itself. My problem is... how am I supposed to continue with my life in this constant pain? As of late I've felt very discouraged, depressed and extremely anxious over everything. (I suffer from major depression and anxiety disorder which was a problem before the back issues) I'm trying not to give up hope but I'm so scared that I will have to live with this pain the rest of my life.
It's been preventing me from working because my job requires constant movement, heavy lifting, and standing. The doctor says I may be able to go back if I use my brace, but just standing or trying to walk for 5 minutes hurts ridiculously. I don't really know where else to turn... so please... if anyone can give me advice. It will be extremely appreciated.


  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 10/21/2014 - 6:42 AM
    A bulging disc is simply a disc that is outpouched a little bit over a broad base...if you picture a disc as an oval shape, one side of the disc is a bit wider than it is on the other side.
    It can be positional and should resolve on it's own over some time as has been explained to you.
    The flare ups of pain can usually be managed by strengthening your core muscles, which help to protect your spine and reduce wear and tear, and stretching, the use of over the counter anti inflammatory medications also may provide relief on those days when the pain flares up.
    The back brace may help but you need to be selective about using it too often or relying on it too much, as the use of them can weaken already weakened muscles.
    As far as your job goes, if it involves lifting, bending and twisting, standing, there are other jobs out there that you can find that don't involve those activities and it would be worthwhile finding one.
    I would also encourage you to get back into physical therapy and do the excercises and strengthening every day.....work to stretch your muscles and walk , as much as possible.......Inactivity only serves to worsen pain and our perception of it.....and weakens muscles more. Swimming or aqua therapy helps to lessen gravity's effects and most people with back pain find it quite helpful in dealing with pain .
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