Hi there! I'm new to these forums, and to having back pain. I'm a nineteen year old female, and the past month my back pain had gotten so severe (and started radiating down the front of my thigh) that I went to the doctor. I was extremely fortunate to have a sympathetic doctor who had me do a few physical tests. Fortunately, she used to work with neurosurgeons so has a lot of experience with this sort of thing.
After doing a few things, she said that I had an L4-L5 disc herniation that was compressing the nerve root and based this off of me having no ankle reflex and that I couldn't keep my right foot pointed up when I walked on my heels. She was very concerned and prescribed me a 5-day course of methylprednisolone and some painkillers (which I am thankful for because I was in a LOT of pain). She said that I may have to look into surgery because nerve root compression can be dangerous. While this isn't as definitive as an MRI, I don't have the time to get an MRI for awhile because...
Just a few days prior to seeing the doctor, I booked a trip to go to the Netherlands for three months to see my fiance and the tickets are non-refundable. I can get myself emergency health insurance in case I "need" a back surgery, but I was hoping maybe some of you guys would have some tips on how to keep my back healthy while I am abroad so that I can enjoy my trip as much as possible. (Things like walking, or biking maybe? Not sure how healthy cycling is for your back)
Also, it's likely that I will run out of painkillers when I'm there but can get codeine prescribed by my fiance's doctor... is this as effective for treating back pain as hydrocodone? Hydrocodone is not allowed to be prescribed in the Netherlands, so I cannot get that.
Any tips are welcome!