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I'm currently 20 years old and I have Degenerative Disc Disease in my L4-L5

amigoodaamigood Posts: 4
edited 10/26/2015 - 12:07 PM in Degenerative Disc Disease
I'm currently 20 years old.
I've been having lower back pain since I was 19. It all started in late October of 2014.
Today is now October of 2015.
I went to my doctor and he read me the comments of the MRI reports.
He said that what I have in my lower back was a mild canal stenosis in my L4-L5
and that I have Degenerative Disc Disease in my L4-L5.
He said because of what I have is mild, that no surgeon would operate on me.
He said that I will have to live with the pain for the rest of my life and modify my lifestyle completely.
Before he gave me the diagnosis, I thought what I had was a disc herniation on my lower back, but that's not the case.
Now that I finally know the diagnosis I don't know what to do.
I don't know how to feel about this.... At all.
I've already done physical therapy with 2 different doctors.
Both being so so. The first one helped me by giving me different exercises and the second one didn't help that much but did charge me about $50 per hour.
I stopped going to him, because after the first 4 treatments I saw no difference.
I'm currently flying down to Peru to see what I can do there and get a second opinion.
Should I get surgery? Is there ANYTHING that I can do to be pain free again?
As I've said before I'm 20 years old. I want to be able to become a politician to change and make a difference in this world.
But I don't know if I can do that now. I really don't know what to do.
I feel kinda lost, but at the same time at least now I know what I'm dealing with.
Can someone give me some tips, please??
Any help would be highly appreciated.
Thank you
- Felix


  • Hi, Have you tried therapy yet? That is usually the first step. DDD is very common as you age. You are very young to be in so much pain. Did your doctor offer you any relief options? When i was in your shoes i tried aqua therapy too that on top of physical therapy. The physical therapy also helped me lose some weight so it was a win win. At any age its risky to jump into spine surgery so proceed with caution is what I would do. I would do therapy first. Then the procedure that is least invasive.

    Good luck :)
    2005-ACDF with Corpectomy at C3-C-5.
    2006-L4-L5 diskectomy.
    2009-Cervical laminectomy at C3.
    Steroid injections series x 4.
  • DragonDiDDragonDi Posts: 2
    edited 10/28/2015 - 2:35 AM
    Hey hey, I've been working with DDD since I was a teen too! Here's what helped:
    800 mg of ibuprofen 1 a day (but sometimes on bad days I took 2400--I do not recommend) I also found smoking marijuana once a week helped cut back my ibuprofen intake (yes I know it is illegal in some states--but it REALLY helped)
    25 mg of Elavil (it's an old anti-depressant but at low doses it is super helpful with nerve pain) I would take this at night--it always tasted a little bit like palmolive dish soap

    I stretched when I first woke up and before I went to bed, like hamstring stretch, quads etc, hugged my knees to my chest and rocked from side to side

    Kept a heating pad near by at all times(they tell you to use ice--but ice never worked for me)

    Used my tens unit nightly during acute pain episodes(you can find them online--it's what PT calls stim)

    Yoga and walks

    And every two weeks (or 1 a month) depending on the pain levels--I found a massage school where it's $35 for an hour massage--worked great or I used groupons

    I also bought a collection of funny hats--which I would wear when I was grumpy and in pain at work or at home, so folks would know it's not them, it's me...or actually my spine.

    Try to avoid surgery at all cost, Felix--I mean it! Unless you start to experience muscle weakness in your legs, try everything--even acupuncture first!

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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
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