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Lost and Confused with disc herniation healing

I am 28years old and I have had chronic lower back pain for 18years. I am 5'6 and 128lbs, have always been very active (hiking, cycling, backpacking) I own a pet sitting/dog walking business and I house clean and attend school full time. On December 27th I went to the ER with debilitating pain - I had an MRI and it seems I have a minor L4-L5 disc herniation and a major L-5- S1 herniation. I have been seeing physio, chiro and acu and by week 5 I felt significantly better- just a week and a half ago I started getting worse and I am bed ridden again. I'm starting to loose optimism and I just would love to know if anyone had similar experiences with relapse but eventually healing. I am currently pmsing which may be a factor, and when I was feeling good I lifted an arthritic dog into my car one too many times.



  • If you have not been seen by an orthopedic or neurosurgeon you need to do so, they are the only one's that can give you a proper diagnosis. I would also be very careful about seeing a chiropractor knowing you have disc issues, at time they can do more harm than good {personal experience}. After getting a proper diagnosis your doctor will be able to give you a plan for recovery. Good luck. 

    Spine-Health Moderator

  • MarWinMarWin OhioPosts: 696

    @amystj I know it must kill you to not be with those furry little love balls. Here in Cincinnati this weekend there is a My Furry Valentine pet adoption show this weekend! We went last year and it was lots of fun! Anyway, be careful of too much bed rest. Over time, your body may need more and more rest. So do your best to keep moving. 

    The two things that stick out the most to me are that you attend school, and pet sit. Both of which promote a considerable amount of time spent sitting. Once your body gets used to that much sitting, it can be stressful for your muscles to be ready to do all the activities you do. I worked out, ran, officiated soccer so I thought I was in great condition, but I hadn't realized the amount of time spent being active was far outweighed by the amount of time I spent static. 

    The first key would be for you to get your body and muscles back in balance, and then move to being more mobile each day. I am constantly moving around now, and am always on my kids to put the homework down and get up and get moving at least once every 15-30 minutes, and for about 10 minutes or so. 

    I do agree about not putting this in the hands of a chiropractor at this point. I loved my chiro, but unfortunately he made my sciatica and low back pain worse because he gave me the wrong type of PT to do. 

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  • Amy

    Please do not rush to have surgery. You are still young. Focus on rest, and some physical therapy or specific stretches and excercise.

    Strengthen your core to help support your back.

    Be careful not to lift too much.

    Wear a support belt. Very last resort should be any surgery. I speak from experience.

    Laminectomy-3 discs removed, screws and rods for support, metal shims in place of discs.

    It was 2 difficult surgeries and long periods of healing.

    I am now dealing with chronic pain and rediculopathy. There is no going back.

    I know many have successful back surgery and are running marathons 5 months later, but some do not.

    It is difficult to deal with the chronic pain- in fact i just came upon this forum tonight- searching for chronic pain support groups.This is my first post-

    I hope you feel better soon-

  • Thank you everyone - I should say I have been diagnosed, have had an MRI - the herniations are one aspect, the other being fluid loss and oateoarthritis. I am only seeing a chiropractor for deep/soft  tissue laser treatment - no manipulation. Also seeing acupuncturist and physio. I walk for at least 2-3 hours a day for about 3 out of 6 weeks. Unfortunately, with this recent flare up- I had to cancel all of my dog walks as driving has been very painful so I do plan on resting quiet a bit more but will do nice little walks. Thank you for all the advice everyone! 

  • MarWinMarWin OhioPosts: 696

    Be careful about getting too much rest. Keep in mind that the more of something you give your body, the more it needs it, and hence the harder it is on your body to accept new movements. 

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