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lower back issues and pregnancy

fedup100ffedup100 Posts: 46
edited 12/28/2014 - 10:52 AM in Lower Back Pain
I currently have multiple bulging discs with l5s1 being the worst (told a moderate broad based bulge) to be honest I'm not totally sure what this means. I have been told my a specialist dr not a spinal dr tho that I probably don't need surgery atm but spinal injections may help.

I have other issues with my si joints and scoliosis. Also I have spondylosis on my spine.

To be honest i don't know if I should be very concerned or not cause they said I don't need an operation.

My symptoms are back ache. I have problems sitting at all it feels like someone is crushing my spine. I have sciatica with numb toes at times it does srttle at periods. I have pain down my leg and where my si joints are.

Simple tasks are a lot harder now cause it hurts to bend. I am flexible at moving and was told I'm hypermobile. Walking is easy enough for me as long as my sciatica isn't very bad.

I have tried lots of treatments they are ice pack, using heat, traction ( which made my sciatica way way worse), tens machine, exercises from physio and acupuncture (this is the only thing that helped). Oh swimming helps with the pain at times as well.

I have had a local steroid injection which eased the pain for 3 weeks and then it just went back to normal.

I really want to have another baby. So anyone's experience of being pregnant with this problem would be greatly appreciated. I'm only 29 and to be honest I think pregnancy started all these problems but I love kids.

Any tips? Or even just your own experience? Has anyone recovered from bulging discs to the point they are in little pain or even none at all? I'm trying to be patient and hopeful.
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Comments

  • Have you spoken to your Dr about this? Even though the injection only helped for 3 weeks, was a second one recommended? Some Dr's believe that if the first one helps, the second and possibly third will be even more effective. Are you sure the sciatica is related to your SI joints? Did the Dr say if your disc bulge was pushing on any nerves? If your Dr's say it's okay to have another baby, then that's a personal decision. Have any advised against it? It will put more pressure on your back. I've been told that it could potentially cause worsening symptoms and you'll be limited to what you can take for pain. The thing I would be worried about personally, is the fact that you're symptomatic. I would discuss this with your Dr. I carried twins with back problems, but I wasn't having your symptoms at the time. My symptoms did worsen after the pregnancy, but that doesn't mean that having another baby is out of the question. Personally, I would want to get my symptoms under control first. Every case is different so I would see what your Dr recommends first then go from there. If you decide to go forward with having a baby, there are good Physical Therapists out there that specialize in situations like yours. With your Dr's approval there are ways of getting through a pregnancy with back issues. If a spinal surgeon hasn't viewed your films, I would want the opinion of a surgeon as well.

    I hope all goes well.
    LC
    Progressive DDD
    Osteoarthritis
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • I am waiting on an appointment with an ortho surgeon but I was told by the specialist who referred me that I was only being sent for pain management. I have been told that the waiting time for an appointment is 5 months which I feel is a long time.

    My gp and the specialist dr both z that they felt I would be able to have another child.one said naturally and the other said I would have to get a section which is conflicting already.

    I never went back to my gp as I was bring referred to the ortho surgeon.I never realised you could get another local steroid injection so quickly its been roughly 8 weeks since I got it. It really messed up my menstral cycle and I feel gave me more backache because of this.though sciatica was away for them 3 weeks.

    I am not sure where my sciatica is coming from I just assumed it was from the worst bulging disc l5s1. I have multiple bulging discs. As far as I know they said it could compromise the nerves. When I get the sciatica it tends to be different toes sometimes. Either the sole of my foot and my wee toe or the side of my foot and big toe.

    I have two children already my first I could hardly walk during pregnancy and it got way better after birth until my child was about 6 months.my second pregnancy was easier as I was more active however in labour I couldn't move with the pain when the head started to engage and go down.after delivery my legs were weak and I found walking hard but it eased quickly. Then about 8 months ago my symptoms got bad again. I woke up one morning with very bad pins and needles and i could barely move.Then 6 months ago i got traction and this is when i started to get bad sciatica before it had been very mild. My child is now 2.

    I see you have had surgery is this before or after you had your twins?

    Thank you for replying just talking to someone who understands helps.
  • shazvSheffieldsshazvSheffield Posts: 2
    edited 12/28/2014 - 4:07 PM
    Hey hun...funnily enough my Chiropractor actually said getting pregnant again could help me....as the pregnancy hormones are what cause the ligaments to stretch in the pelvis and he could then try to 'manipulate' my spine and SI joints back in line. !!!!??? So something to think about maybe !!??? Good luck whatever you decide to do. X Sharon x discs with l5s1 being the worst (told a moderate broad based bulge) to be honest I'm not totally sure what this means. I have been told my a specialist dr not a spinal dr tho that I probably don't need surgery atm but spinal injections may help.

    I have other issues with my si joints and scoliosis. Also I have spondylosis on my spine.

    To be honest i don't know if I should be very concerned or not cause they said I don't need an operation.

    My symptoms are back ache. I have problems sitting at all it feels like someone is crushing my spine. I have sciatica with numb toes at times it does srttle at periods. I have pain down my leg and where my si joints are.

    Simple tasks are a lot harder now cause it hurts to bend. I am flexible at moving and was told I'm hypermobile. Walking is easy enough for me as long as my sciatica isn't very bad.

    I have tried lots of treatments they are ice pack, using heat, traction ( which made my sciatica way way worse), tens machine, exercises from physio and acupuncture (this is the only thing that helped). Oh swimming helps with the pain at times as well.

    I have had a local steroid injection which eased the pain for 3 weeks and then it just went back to normal.

    I really want to have another baby. So anyone's experience of being pregnant with this problem would be greatly appreciated. I'm only 29 and to be honest I think pregnancy started all these problems but I love kids.

    Any tips? Or even just your own experience? Has anyone recovered from bulging discs to the point they are in little pain or even none at all? I'm trying to be patient and hopeful.
    Sharon Vernon
  • LC84LLC84 Posts: 599
    edited 12/29/2014 - 4:10 AM
    I think that getting the advice of a spine surgeon is a good idea. Your OB would most likely be the one to recommend which route to go as far as delivery, but I could be wrong. I had my twins in 2006. So that was after my first surgery, but before my 2 most recent ones. My pregnancy went pretty well. I did have a C-section but they weren't in the proper position so we scheduled it at 38 weeks. I started having more bouts of back pain after I had them, but the nerve pain didn't return until a year and a half ago. I was still able to work etc after I had them. The episodes where my back would go out, would generally improve with steroids and pain meds and they only lasted a week or less. My back was always sore, but those episodes were debilitating. I couldn't straighten up, I had trouble walking, and the pain and pressure was too much for me to get out of bed unless absolutely necessary. These episodes would only happen every few months, sometimes longer. Then 2 years ago they became more frequent and lasted longer. My nerve pain returned during one of these episodes and it's been downhill since. Still, that was 6-7 years after my pregnancy.

    I'm sorry, I thought you said your nerve pain was from your SI joints, not your bulging discs. You want to make sure that you know if there is any nerve compression. So from what I understand, you've seen your GP and a Pain Dr, but you haven't actually seen a surgeon correct? But you are seeing an orthopedic surgeon soon? Make sure to write down questions to ask about your MRI 1) if there is nerve compression 2) would you be at risk for nerve damage if you let it go 3) the question of pregnancy ( will it cause more problems or cause complications based on your MRI and symptoms) and recommended way to deliver. Also, ask anything else you can think of. I always did some research and created a list of questions when seeing any new specialist.

    Steroid injections are usually given in a series of 3 if they work. Some as soon as a few weeks apart. There is a limit to how many you can have in a year, but yes, they can be repeated. Maybe yours wasn't because it didn't last very long. Your Dr may believe that a repeated one will be no different. Every case is different so it's hard to say. How bad would you rate your pain at this point? That's something else to consider. If it's safe and you can live with the pain, maybe pregnancy isn't out of the question right now. I would just hate to see you suffer through worsening pain and you'll be limited to what treatments you can have. I think you may have a better understanding after a surgeon looks at your films. Their specialty is to interpreted those results and then provide recommendations whether it's surgery or conservative treatments. This is all just my personal opinion. I would see the surgeon then go from there.

    You can always PM me if you just want to talk. I'm happy to listen and try to help in any way I can.
    LC
    Progressive DDD
    Osteoarthritis
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • Yea I am still waiting on seeing an ortho dr I have been told that the waiting list to see them is about 5 months. The specialist person was a gp/physio I think. She said that I would only get different injections into my back from the ortho that I most likely would not be a canidate for surgery. This was the only reason she was referring me to them.

    I was first sent to a rhematogoist as they thought it was bad arthritis however my inflammatory markers was OK. I was told I had multiple bulging discs with spondolyisis. Slight wear and tear on my hip joint and scoliosis on my si joint.its all daunting all the terms and what not. The rhematogolist said my bulge could potentially go back but I would prob have flare ups. When I got that MRI done I had barely any symptoms or sciatica.

    To be honest I want to avoid surgery at all costs.my mother had spinal surgery on her neck and she's in more pain now than ever before.

    I only take paracetomal for my pain but to be honest moving about slowly and lying flat ease my pain the most. The sciatica is the worst thing pain wise for me.I find it hard to deal with the sharp pain down my leg and the cramps as I have young children to look after.

    Its been 5 years since my first pregnancy and things have progressively got worse tho I have only recently found out I've bulging discs before I was just being treated for so joint dysfunction. I know it sounds mad I want another child but I don't want what's wrong with me to hold me back. I feel it has taken away so much from me already. I know things could be worse tho and that's why I'm trying to be positive.

    I'm sorry to hear you have nerve pain it really is awful to deal with.do u take much medication? I'd say carrying twins would have been sore on your back. Its a good idea to write down all my questions cause you forget when you are in with the dr.

    I have never had many episodes where I had to lie down and was barely fit to move.only once and once I slowly got moving it improved very quickly.my pain is burning pain in my lower back with dull pain too. The sharp pain down my leg and into my foot I find it hard to walk when this happens. Usually I get so tired from the pain I have to lye down flat early in the evening and sometimes during the day. It starts to get depressing after a while but you have to work through it I just hope it eases. Throughout the past 5 years I have had good spells and bad.recently though for about 6 months its been constantly bad.
  • this will sound ridiculous, but have you tried resting your feet on something when sitting to take the pressure off of your legs and lumbar spine? my back problems were definitely exacerbated by pregnancy - i gained 60 lbs with my first (and only). i found that resting my feet on a box under my desk at work definitely helped ease some of the sciatica pain. I still do this at work, currently. I have also found relief with a heating pad. I am taking pain meds, as needed.
    I am currently 2 1/2 years out from pregnancy. these problems all came to a head at 6 months post partum. I think when everything started to shift back to where it was supposed to be is what caused this bout of pain. I have tried injections, and had some relief, but they stopped working a few months ago.
    Chasing little ones certainly doesn't help any of the problems! Also, I've found not all doctors are understanding that as mom's we can't just stop picking our children up and caring for them. I have been lucky in that I have a hands on husband who has been able to take time off from work to assist with child care, and worked with both my son and I as far as modifying activities. My little one is 2 1/2; and is able to comprehend that mama has a boo boo on her back and can't pick him up. instead, i sit on the couch, or down on the floor with him to hug him. plenty of cuddles still this way.
    good luck to you. i hope the specialists are able to answer your questions. there is nothing more frustrating than being given a diagnosis with no information as to how to treat, or adjust your life accordingly. unfortunately, it seems that is beginning to be the norm these days.
    *hugs*
  • LC84LLC84 Posts: 599
    edited 12/30/2014 - 2:19 AM
    Maybe things are done differently where you are, but generally surgeon's aren't the ones to give injections. They can refer you to a Pain Management Specialist or Physiatrist to have those done. Who did your previous injection? The surgeon is there to interpret your MRI and provide recommendations whether it's surgical correction or conservative treatments. The best reason to see a surgeon is to have a better understanding what's going on with your spine. Surgeon's interpret MRI's all the time, so the surgeon may be able to clear up some questions you still have. Have you scheduled an appointment even though you have to wait 5 months? Are there any other surgeon's near your area that have a shorter wait time.? You can usually be put on a cancellation list. You're not crazy for wanting another child. That decision should be between you and your Dr. I would just want to be sure that you don't have any nerve compression since you're dealing with nerve pain down your leg, and you said your symptoms have worsened. Disc bulges can be normal if they aren't severe. When was your last MRI? Who is currently handling your case? It's a tough decision when to start trying to have another baby, every case is different so if your Dr says it's okay to have another baby, then it's up to you.
    Progressive DDD
    Osteoarthritis
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • My gp gave me the local steroid injection.it was injected around my si joint area.this is where the pain goes to from my back and then down my leg.

    Its been a while since I got my MRI it was back in march. Where I live I can't choose to go on any other waiting lists.there is one hospital that specialises in back problems and that is where I have been referred. I can't make an appointment any sooner unless I pay for it.

    I haven't had a surgeons prospective on my condition at all yet.just the gp, rhematogist, then the specialist (I don't know what you call this dr she was a physio as well as a dr)

    I have been told the bulge was bad enough to cause sciatica but should sort itself out. Unfortunately so far that hasn't been the case.
  • Fedup, have you tried different types of pt? I see you list tens and traction, but how about exercises? I know when all of this first came on for me, pt was helpful. i didn't have much of a pain reduction, but i was able to build up surrounding muscles to assist in proper body mechanics to compensate for the pain from my back.
    did you find any relief with the SI injection? I've had a couple of different sites injected, and had success up until the most recent which didn't provide any relief.
    i have a whole bunch of issues, thankfully they are all located at L5/S1. I also have a broad based disc protrusion, in addition to sponylilothesis, and a pars fracture (which the ortho spine specialist told me has recently broken); all this is contributing to nerve root compression, with associated symptoms, and flattening of the thecal sac. I have no stability to my spine there. I am awaiting approval for a fusion from insurance. The OSS told me that most of these issues could be addressed and repaired with a fusion.
    I did have a period of a year plus where symptoms abated, and I was able to function normally. I know we are all different - so I don't want to tell you that, and have you hope you will be the same. but there is hope.
    i hope they are able to get you in sooner. acute spine pain is h*ll. Do you have a strong support system at home?
    It truly is awful to be young and dealing with all of this. I can empathize!
  • Yea I have tried exercises the physio have gave me.they don't take the pain away but they do help. Think I am going to be more dedicated to doing these exercises every day to see if it helps.

    I have had a bad back now for about 5 years and during that time my symptoms have eased at different times but the pain always returns. This is the first time I have had nerve pain in my foot that's what I struggle with the most. When it eases I don't mind the backache.

    I found the local steriod injection helped in fact I had no sciatica for 3 weeks but then it wore off.the injection made my hormones be messed up so that meant my back ache seemed worse when it wore off. I have been told there are other types of injections that I can get.this is what I have been referred for.

    Luckily my husband is very understanding and good.he helps out lots. He works full time so I need to b fully functioning during the day for my kids.

    Little one what is a pars fracture? I have never heard of that before.
  • littleonellittleone Posts: 77
    edited 01/02/2015 - 11:58 PM
    glad to hear your husband is able to help, when he's home from work. that makes all the difference... having someone there, at least for a few hours so you can rest.
    injections work - and they are worth it to avoid or postpone surgery. i had a transforminal which worked very well for the radicular pain, and then i had a medial branch block twice. I was able to have relief from those for 3+months. I hope you get some too.
    Pars fracture, is a fracture in the bony wings off of the back of the vertebrae (from my understanding). they told me originally that it was most likely from adolescence, and my tennis days. it had healed, but now for some reason it has broken officially, and is causing more pain, and causing the slip of the vertebrae to move around more. this stuff is all greek to me :)
    have you spoken with your ob about potentially getting pregnant with all of your disc issues? or the effect the steroids can have on pregnancy?
  • I think my problems started as well with pregnancy. I have twins that are 10 now, and I believe the pregnancy initially started my problems. I am very petite 5'0" tall about 125 pounds, so I know carrying them did a number on my spine. I started having back pain off and on during and after that time, with terrible sciatica. I finally got a MRI a couple of years ago showing a couple bulging discs with nerve root impingement. I have been a waitress through school as well, so I know that hasn't been helping. I got to the point, about six months ago, where the pain became constant. I got another MRI, and now I have a variety of different problems that are a lot more severe. Listen to your body. My surgeon and pain specialist both asked me if I had any accident that led to this...honestly the only thing I can put together is the pregnancy. I used to live a very active life...working out almost everyday. Now, I haven't been to the gym in months. I can understand where you are coming from. Hang in there!!
    Spine-Health Moderator 
    DDD
    Ankylosing Spondylitis
    Bulging discs T12-L3
    Annular Tears with Disc Extrusion L4-S1
    Moderate Central Canal Stenosis
    Moderate Foraminal Stenosis
    Enlarged Facet Joints/Ligaments
    Spinal enthesopathy
    L4-L/5 PLIF with cages, rods, screws 2/15 


  • fedup100ffedup100 Posts: 46
    edited 01/04/2015 - 11:36 AM
    Pars fracture sounds painful little one.I hope u get some relief soon.

    I don't have an ob dr I have only spoken to the general practioner dr and the rhematogist dr.they both rnt specialised in pregnancy but both z they couldn't c why I couldnt have anymore kids.they z that I would probably be in more pain but it should hopefuly ease after pregnancy. They told me pregnancy puts strain on your back. I have been pregnant before so I understand this. I never have got pregnant when I have sciatica though as this is a new symptom for me.

    The good news is I have been walking for an hour each day for the past 4 days and this is helping the nerve pain in my foot be less. It hasnt totally went away but it isnt as severe. Tomorrow will tell more as I am back to childminding duties by myself. My husband has been off to help me out for the holidays.

  • I have a large disc extrusion, which created a lot of symptoms for me (weakness so that I could not really depress the gas pedal on the car). I did have a series of 2 injections. The first one worked pretty well, and 2-3 weeks later I had a second one which did improve the symptoms even more. What's funny is that about 2-3 weeks after the second injection my pain has started to fade and has not returned. I've returned to swimming a mile each day, and walking the dog, walking at work, and even some running. I do all my PT exercises all the time though and that may have been what helped. I am awaiting a repeat MRI to see "what happened" as I am still scheduled for surgery. So pain can be reduced. On another note, the steroid injections also messed up my hormones quite a bit and I still think they are a bit out of whack, so it's something to consider if you are thinking of another child soon. I wish you the best of luck!
  • I am 5ft 2inch so not much taller than you. I keep being asked if I had an accident too and I did fall one day going to the physio but my problems had started before this. Did you have any more children after your twins? Did you sciatica ease ever? It really is awful to deal with.

    Are you able to go walking? Do you have to get surgery?thankfully I am able to walk and this is helping at the moment but I have only started doing this so hope that it continues to help. The only relief I get it when I am walking or lying down flat. I never thought I was going to have to deal with this so young, but I am determined to find a way to get through it to get back to a normal life. I really want another baby so I have to figure it out.
  • Runnerhkt how long have you been dealing with the disc extrusion? I wish you all the best for your MRI I hope that it is good news for you.

    I have had some relief from doing walking and physio exercises.I think I need to really step up and do these exercises more than once a day every day. I think my core muscles need to be better to help me with pain so trying get my core muscles stronger at present.it is harder than I thought to do when certain exercises hurt my back.
  • Little one you sound very similar to me. Have you bulging discs or had surgery? I am going to try proping my feet up. Anything is worth a try.

    Anymore tips or experiences is very welcome. If I find anything that works for me I will share.

    Its nice to hear everyones stories and experiences as you feel very alone sometimes with chronic back pain. Alot of people don't really understand. I am only 29 and feel I'm too young to be dealing with this.I do feel very blessed to have two kids already though.

    I have put my back out this morning have pins and needles but thankfuly it has eased already a little.I think I need to get an exercise regime and stick to it. Exercise has helped in the past but maybe I need to b more dedicated to it.
  • So thought I would give an update to my situation to anyone who's interested.I know its so hard to find information on this subject.so I ended up having to get another MRI as I was flagging cauda equina symptoms. I had tingling in the crotch area and having toilet issues. These have resolved thankfully and the MRI showed I did not have cauda equina working on me very relieved. They said that my back had not got any worse than last year however my gp thought I would need an operation now as my symptoms was worse.he told me he didn't think it would be a good idea for me to get pregnant. Though I'm confused as before he said it was OK and my MRI shows no difference. So I haven't gave up hope just yet. I'm being sent to a specialist which will take 8 weeks going to ask the question again. I think its an unanswerable question though. Still would love to hear anyone else's story's regarding to back problems and pregnancy.
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