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26 Years Old With Three Herniated Discs (L3, L4, L5)...is there any hope?

FeelGoodMCFFeelGoodMC Posts: 1
I'm an otherwise healthy 26 year old, but have been diagnosed with three herniated discs at L3, L4, and L5 after an MRI.

I had the pain for about a year but it was manageable. Then in Early November I was playing basketball and something happened which sent me straight to the ground. Couldn't get up and had to get an ambulance ride to the ER. Got an MRI and found that I had 3 herniated discs at L3, L4, and L5.

The pain radiates down my left leg and often times my toes and lower leg will go numb and be tingling. About two weeks after the basketball incident I was feeling a little better and decided to move a 50lb object upstairs (bad idea, I know). Woke up two days later in screaming pain and went back to the ER. Got a bunch of pain meds and muscle relaxers and was told to continue physical therapy.

Since the second ER incident I have not had another MRI. I do fear that I may have made it worse because the pain is more severe

I've been stretching everyday, doing PT, staying relaxed, not lifting anything over 10lb... but that was a month ago. It is still extremely painful to stand up and it hurts like hell to walk. I have a severe limp now in my left leg. I can't really do anything besides sit or lay down. Standing for more than 5 minutes sends screaming pain down my left leg. No pain at all in my right leg.

I am going to get an Epidural in all likelihood next week, but I'm afraid it's just going to mask the pain and not help me get better. If the pain is masked I fear I might make the injury even worse by being too active.

It is incredibly frustrating to be this young, otherwise healthy, and have this problem. I'm getting very frustrated and depressed by the idea that my life may be like this forever. The DRs keep saying it might get better on its own with stretching and conditioning, but so far that hasn't been working.

Is there hope for me? After my Epidrual, if that does not work I plan on requesting a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon or neuro surgeon.


Please someone, give me hope.

Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

    . Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)

  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
    . Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?

  • . Physical Therapy
    . Ultrasound / Tens unit
    . Spinal Injections
    . Acupuncture
    . Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)

  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
    . How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)

  • . Name of Medication
    . How long have you been using this?
    . Results
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ There you will find much information that will

  • - Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system
    - Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts
    - Tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc
    - General pieces of valuable information

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
    - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 12/16/15 20:15 est

Feel Good While You Can.
- MC


  • Lily2014LLily2014 Posts: 84
    edited 12/16/2015 - 3:36 PM
    I'm sorry to hear of your pain. I know what it feels like to be in pain and feeling like there is no hope! I was 24/25 when I first started having back problems and it can feel very isolating, especially when others in your social circle are not going through similar things and don't understand. I think seeing a specialist for a consultation would be very helpful for you, mainly to help give you information about your herniated discs and the options open to you etc.

    In my experience, exercising and movement have been really helpful, but it's about doing the right kind of strengthening and exercise. That is where a PT can help. I haven't ever had epidural shots so couldn't advise on these, but I did have discussions with various professionals about these when I had herniated discs. From what I understanding, they can give sufficient pain relief to reduce/completely stop the pain and it is from having less pain, that you can do the right exercises and start to have better movement to be able to live more of a normal life. I was told by my consultant that for some people, these can work enough to stop the pain (therefore masking the problem in a sense but not fixing it). I think as long as your herniated disc isn't causing pain and doesn't have big impacts on your movement, it is ok to have herniated discs for years without any problems or need for "treatmeny".

    As hard as it is (trust me I know!), try not to think that it will be like this forever. It may be that the epidurals give no relief, but they may work. Even if they don't, you won't stay in this particular place forever as things will continue to change as you find out more information about your back and get more help. It always feels very bleak at the beginning and when you are in horrendous pain everyday, but many people on here will be able to tell you that things change and even if you do live with chronic pain, this can be managed so you can do many, if not all, of the things you would like to do. Don't give up hope! Good luck and let us know how you get on with the shots.
  • backpain90bbackpain90 Posts: 17
    edited 12/16/2015 - 3:51 PM
    Hi..I also can feel your frustration and disappointment. I am also about your age and active footballer. I was diagnosed with prolapsed disc from l2-l5. At the moment please stop any physical activities as it will aggravate the condition. I think you have to realize that you wont be able to be active as before(hard truth need to digest).You definitely will have to change your lifestyle in order not to aggravate your condition.The condition will definitely improve as time goes. Dont worry.Cheers
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