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newby! bulging disk advice please

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
Hello i,m new here!
I started getting pain in my lower back about 14 weeks ago then gradualy spread all the way down my right thigh, the pain is worse when i sit or lye down and keeps me awake a lot during the night! went for a spinal assessment and was told i had a bulging disk and told to walk for 60 mins every day to strengthen my back muscles up. I have never been offered an mri scan and i,m worried it might be something else as there is no sign of improvement! I no it sounds like nothing compared to what you lot have had but its realy getting me down, the doctor give me tramadol which seem to help a little, any advice would be great, and sorry for rambeling, rach x


  • :) hi! i see this is your first post and i want to welcome you to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. do not let fear run your life. an MRI is imperative for a diagnosis many times. without a correct diagnosis you cannot be treated correctly. please do not downplay your pain. your pain is as important as any of ours! good luck and please move forward with your care. pay attention to your doctors and i wish you the best of luck. we are here for you and are very concerned. Jenny :)
  • Welcome to Spine Health.

    What kind of doc has been doing your assessment and treatment? It's very typical for PCP's to do a few simple tests and say "you have XXX" without an MRI. Many times people will get better with a few weeks rest, PT and a few meds. However, when that doesn't happen, there comes a point where further assessment needs to be done, to include imaging.

    The best thing to do is to be the squeaky wheel and let your doc know that "this just ain't hacking it". If this doc doesn't want to listen, then find one that will.

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  • Hello, thanks for your reply, I got refered to a spinal clinic at a hospital and a lady there did the assessment. I was thinking the same thing about being told what it is without a scan to confirm it! its quite worrying. What I want to know is who referes you for the mri scan, her or my gp?? Thers been no mention of one, thanks rach
  • Does walking make the pain worse? I had been told the same thing by every doctor I had ever seen. Walking always caused me pain and weakness- because of the instability in my spine 8} the docs never got it right until recently.

    Please don't be afraid to ask for a referral for a second opinion if the walking is causing problems.

  • Hello, no the pain is worse when I sit or lye down, I have to walk about till it ease's off, the pain has moved down from my hips to the botom of my calf in to more like a cramp & pins n needles but i've had this for about 15 weeks now and am no further forward! thanks rach x
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  • Hi Rachel, thanks for the PM, your info has helped greatly. Maybe I can help you now. I was having Physio from January to May and the Physio wrote to my doctor and asked him to refer me then for an MRI scan as the sessions were not making the pain go, (even though I was doing the exercises also) My Dr then referred me for an MRI scan which I got an appointment for about a months later, gt the results of the scan sent to my Dr about 2 weeks later and he then referred me to a Spinal Consultant who told me what was wrong before he even looked at the MRI scans that I took with me (I thought the man was a genius!!!) He then referred me on the NHS for a Microdiscectomy and as I then later got numbness in my groin area I believe they moved me up the list and I am now scheduled to have my op next week on Thursday 4th September. I have a dehydrated discs at L4/L5 and herniated disc at L5,S1 which has been causing lower back pain, numb left bum cheekm electric shooting pains down the back of my left leg and also pins and needle sensations down my back leg as you have described. I would push your Dr for an MRI scan due to the fact this has been over 12 weeks and still you are affected and not getting any better.

    Good luck

    Sally xxx
  • I'd be going back to my primary doc and mandating an MRI. He/She shouldn't have a problem with it given the length of time your pain has been present and how it's moving. If he/she is still hesitant, let them know you've been doing a lot of research and your worried about potential nerve problems, etc....just let them know that they're stuck with your pain until they can help you figure it out...that works too! Best of luck!
  • Hello, went back to my gp and asked about mri, they looked at my notes on the computer from the spinal clinic and It says that i don't want surgery and there for wouldn't need a scan! I couldn't believe it, I did say that I wanted to avoid surgrty if possible so thers probably been some sort of confusion! to make matters worse my leg pain is getting worse through the night and i,m hardly sleeping at all, the tramadol does ease the pain a little but i can;t get back to sleep for hours after taking them! sorry for rambling on but just fed up, rach x
  • Rach, that makes no sense, cause even if you said you didn't want surgery they need to know what is causing the problem so they can know what alternative therapies might help to fix it. You need to be the squeaky wheel as Hagland said and keep after them. They just forget about you once you leave their office anyway in my opinion. If your gp isn't helpful, get a new one right away. As for MRI, I have had one ordered by both my GP and my NS. I am in CA and have an HMO insurance so it may vary depending on your coverage. Did they even bother to do plain radiographs at least? It sounds to me as you are receiving substandard care. Please be your own advocate and press on to get some answers. Good luck, Sue
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