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L5S1 annular tear

Hi everyone.

Last year I suddenly developed excrutiating back pain which caused my whole back and neck to go into spasm and I was unable to walk or move properly for months.

Took a long time to get a diagnosis due to unhelpful doctors but finally got diagnosed with an L5S1 annular tear which is abutting the nerve, as well as a protruding disc in my thoracic spine as well as degenerated discs.

I've found that if I take it easy and am on light duties at work I can manage the pain, however its taken a long time to get to this point with work as I've had a lot of break downs at work due to the pain and that has finally caused me to make enough of a fuss to be taken off harder duties (I would push myself to the point of agony rather than say anything). 

I've now developed anxiety and depression due to this constant pain. I still question myself though and wonder if its all in my head as the pain has lessened due to not pushing myself too much. I don't know why I think this though, maybe due to other peoples comments. Does anyone else ever do this?

Anyway... how do other people manage pain through this condition? Can you manage just by taking it easy? Have you had any surgeries/alternative therapies etc?




  • CP,  To begin with, what form of treatment are your MDs giving you? If so, what restrictions have they given you? I had a workplace injury which resulted in a ACDF of C-5 - C-7 which was unsuccessful as well as left side radiculapathy. Following surgery I was also put on light duty as well for 16 months where I attended multiple MD appointments, I’ve lost count of how many Physical Therapy sessions I attended and a bone growth stimulator for the last 30 days which also was unsuccessful. This injury caused me to lose my career and I was found to be permanently and total disabled. During this period, I became extremely angry as well as depressed and I attended therapy sessions before I was medically retired. The first year of not working , I became extremely depressed to the point I didn’t care what happened to me. I had lost my complete Identity! One day I looked in the mirror and said enough is enough! I finally had accepted what my life had become and I had to change! I knew what my limitations were and tried hard to follow them and on occasion would over do it and of course would pay dearly for it for a few days. After I accepted this fact, a whole new world opened up. Yes, I still have pain, yes I still over do it but I made my mind up that I wasn’t going to let the pain control me! My advice to you would be first get with your MD and get a treatment plan going on, secondly I would definitely recommend therapy ! It’s very nice to be able to vent and get someone else’s view. If your MD allows you, get involved with some form of physical therapy as well. You will be surprised of what a positive attitude and outlook will do for you and your pain! Please keep us posted on how your doing!.....David


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 377

    You can ask your surgeon or other medical professionals to recommend a psychiatrist with experience working with chronic pain patients. I say psychiatrist because one can prescribe medicine to help with depression, anxiety, etc while a psychologist cannot prescribe drugs - everyone probably knows that but I wanted to point it out just in case - hopefully no one is offended. My family doctor referred me to one that has a lot of experience with pain patients and he has been helpful. It is often very difficult to keep a positive attitude as our chronic pain can be overwhelming and the right psychiatrist can often help us. I was previously prescribed Cymbalta to help with my pain but it is also an anti-depressant. Hang in there and good luck. Jerome

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  • Jerome, your 100% correct on that and I’m glad you caught it! No offense taken my friend...David


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

  • I'm just going through conservative treatment at the moment (painkillers and physio) but this has been going on for over a year now and its just getting worse rather than better so I think I require more intervention. I slipped in the shower earlier this week and jolted my back and since then I've developed bad sciatica which has made my left leg numb. Going to make an appointment at my GP surgery this coming week but I'm so used to being let down and not listened to by doctors that I'm quite anxious about it. 

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