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trying to find the right doctor

Steven7SSteven7 Posts: 49
edited 07/19/2017 - 10:28 AM in Chronic Pain

so I herniated l4-5 s1 6 months ago and i've tried several PT, spine specialist, water therapy and even chiro. right now im pain free, but i want to go back to my old activities. i want to strengthen my core, and me active again. i know i won't be able to do certain stuff. but, I can't see the light at the end right now. it's been 6 months since i've been weak, can't do much, im just like a baby. i know this takes time to heal, but how can i progress? i met 6 sport medicine doctors (PT) and either they rush for epidural when i have no pain or just give random exercises that you can look up in the internet easily and are not specific for my situation (a lot of the exercises involves twisting and bending). What do you guys recommend? I'm trying my best, my family keeps telling me "you seem like you gave up, you need to live life and you can't like this". I won't do epidural if im painfree, i can walk, climb stairs, sit for 1 hour. but i barely can stretch or strengthen core because the pain will come fast. i acquired a lot of experience searching in the web and i know what hurts the most. I want to keep searching and theres several PT to go but im scared they just keep sending me the same stuff. their evaluation which involves flexion and bending to see where i can get hurts a lot. I wanted to ask, should i go to a sport medicine PT or regular PT? everytime i go to sport medicine they rush me with epidural like if thats the solution. This is depressing. im trying to progress in life, i want to graduate from my master degree to live happily. im on anti depressant (cymbalta) because of this. Its all i can think about and it's because i want to be active again, i want to go back to living life happily, i want to help my grandmother with stuff. but i can't and i feel bad when people help me. I'm only 25, its been 6 months since the herniation caused by bad form with deadlift. im possitive, i won't give up, but i can't see the light atm. thanks for reading and sorry for my english!

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1

Comments

  • peanut006peanut006 MichiganPosts: 147

    Forgive me,  maybe I'm not understanding correctly... if you're not having any pain that's great! Small herniations can happen to anyone,  but if they cause you no pain and you're careful about not injuring yourself further,  then with physical therapy and time you may heal and be just fine (I say "may" because each person's body handles injuries differently). It sounds from the way you wrote this tat you're more scared than anything which is totally understandable but please don't let the diagnosis of a herniated disc completely derail your life... you're going to be alright!!

  • exactly! but the thing is, i went to 6 PT already and any kind of stretching or core stuff hurts like crazy! I just can't find a single exercise that won't cause pain. even the easiest ones (mcgill crunch aka curl up) causes pain. I went on without PT but I feel stuck right now because i dont know what else to do. yes i can walk, i can sit, but I can't do any kind of activity that a normal guy would do. i can't squat down and grab something on the floor without pain. I know im going to be alright but the search for the right doctor is depresing ;( + its 2 months wait for every doctor since they are the "best" around here. 


    i do have a doubt, some people recommend me PT sport medicine while others recommend me regular PT (no sport medicine), is there a huge difference? i know the medicine one can obviously give you medicine, but exercise related they are both the same? 

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  • peanut006peanut006 MichiganPosts: 147

     It definitely depends more on the doctor then on the title in my experience.  Have you talked specifically about what you would like to get out of physical therapy?  Been specific about your pain,  your concerns,  and what it's limiting in your life?  Maybe they could build a more specific tailored plan if they knew more?? Also, again,  just my personal experience,  but maybe they're suggesting a steroid injection first to relieve the pain that can come from PT?? I personally have ESI's every six months to help the pain when it flairs more than my medications can handle. Maybe they're thinking something similar for you?  To have the injection first to keep the pain of PT from stopping you from making real progress??

  • hello peanut! well for sure. its just that everyone recommends the sport medicine since i injured myself doing deadlift, but you're right, the ESI helps to do the right exercises to rehab. but my concern is, if i do the esi and try to rehab, i won't be able to see which exercises caused pain and which ones didn't. 

  • hello older! damn you must be living the hard one :( im sorry about that. and in my opinion, 20,000 for the service dog is a LOT. thanks for sharing your info and i will keep you guys updated! 


    last doubt, anyone ever tried chiropractor? someone recommended me one, but she does manual manipulation and adjustment too. im a bit scared tho 

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  • Is it possible that it can heal (not completely) with just rest, avoiding everything that causes pain and no exercise? maybe wait for a year or more without pt or anything and just rest and hydrated? 

  • peanut006peanut006 MichiganPosts: 147

    Again... my personal opinion,  but you couldn't pay me to see a chiropractor ever again.  I went to one three times a week for a couple years when I was first injured and Lord do I regret it.  Caused far more damage.  To me,  chiro is like cracking your knuckles.  Feels good for a minute but doesn't do a thing to actually help.  I would definitely avoid if I were in your shoes,  but you can always discuss it with your doctor to be sure.  I know some people swear by it,  I am just most definitely not one of them.  As far as rest and healing,  that would be a great question for your doctor as well.  I had a friend with a herniated disc who went with rest,  hydration,  stretches and anti inflammatories and was doing a lot better after a few months!! But you know how it is,  different bodies,  different healing!! LOL 

  • mlsmmls MarylandPosts: 11

    I'm scared to try chiro, too. But I've tried many, many other things (I list them in my website if you're interested--URL is in my signature line). 

    Traditional PT (and I'm guessing the same goes for sports medicine PT) did not help or flared up my pain. For me, steroid injections (trigger point injections) helped bring my pain down a little, then specialized myofascial release (mfr) physical therapy calmed my pain much further. 

    I know how you feel about exercise flaring up the pain. I'm still trying to figure out what's best for me to do, but I have been able to add limited jogging and bicycling to my activities. I find starting out slow, but still knowing that my body is capable of exercise, helps. It's just that my body is now somewhat conditioned to expect the pain, so I have to slowly de-condition my body. 

    I've been at this for many years. I wish I had realized all this only a few months into my  pain journey--before the patterns got so engrained in my body. But even though I didn't, I've  been able to reduce my pain and increase  my activities. Anyway I try not to fear pain, because that in itself can perpetuate it.

    I wish you the best of luck!!

    HealingFromChronicPain
    (if you want to read about my story and what I've done to reduce my chronic pain, see my personal website: https://www.healingfromchronicpain.com)
  • thanks for the answer guys! MLS the MFR was given to you by a physical therapist?

  • mlsmmls MarylandPosts: 11

    Yes, I got mfr (specifically "jfb-mfr") by a physical therapist, so insurance covered some of it. There are also massage therapists who offer it, but at least in Maryland (and I'm guessing in most other places), it's only covered if it's by a PT (and sometimes I still had to fight for it to be covered). 

    HealingFromChronicPain
    (if you want to read about my story and what I've done to reduce my chronic pain, see my personal website: https://www.healingfromchronicpain.com)
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