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I’m 21 years old and 6 months after building L4/5 disc still intense pain- does it ever go way?

at this point I’m getting a little desperate. It’s now mid April of 2018 and last October I injured my low back in the seated leg press. Saw the doctor and they treated me for a sprained back until I couldn’t take the pain and got an MRI. Found out the end of December I had a “slight bulge” my doctor recommended the epidural shots if I didn’t get better within a month but I said no and finally started doing physical therapy again March 1st. Since then I’ve had ups and downs but mostly downs. I can’t sit down for more than 30 minutes or drive in the car without pain, I’m having shooting pains again in my butt and down my leg. I’m 21 5’2 118 lbs. I have been lifting weights for the last few years and was a runner in high school and never had problems till the leg press incident last October. I’m just tired and I was this pain to stop. My boyfriend and I can barely go out to eat or see a movie or do a lot of things because of my pain.. does it ever get better? I feel like I’ve lost myself because I can’t be active or do workout classes with my friends. I want to know how I can heal for good.



  • I’m surprised a slight bulge would cause such distress. Perhaps a second opinion is in order?

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
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  • I agree with grandma. I posted when I was half-awake this morning and missed the part about you passing on the injections. Injections are considered conservative treatment. 

  • Avoid bending, twisting and lifting weights (more than 5 kgs) for a few months. If you are seeing a PT then avoid any movement that requires you to bend at waist (example knee to chest touch). I was in your position a few months back and PT kinda increased my pain due to some extreme stretches and I ultimately had to get a surgery done. Take precautions seriously and you will be able to avoid surgery. I am 25 so kinda same age group.

  • I guess I fear the negative side effects of the shots, also the cost :(

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  • hi alexzandraeg

    welcome to spine-health

    any new symptoms should be reported to your spinal consultant and your physiotherapist.  your 'slight bulge' in your disc could have increased and needs to be assessed by a professional.

    long term pain can make you feel desperate and as if life has changed for the worse in so many ways.  adjustments can mean you are still able to enjoy meals out and cinema trips.  we visit very local restaurants when i am able, to cut down the car journey.  i have managed to find a cinema that has fully reclining seats with adjustments on the leg plate, so my nerve doesn't get trapped.  medication is necessary to facilitate this and on some days i cannot do it, but on other days i can.  life has to adjust a little to suit your needs but you can still enjoy yourself while healing, just in micro form.

    things can improve if consideration is made in the further for a weakened disc.  backs are like any other part of the body, once injured they need adjustments to assist them.

    i have added two links below to help new members with information and these also contain the forum rules.  there is lots of material to research on spine-health that will give you the power of knowledge.

    welcome to spine health




    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
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