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19 year old male with minor hernaited disc L5-S1. NEED HELP AND ADVICE PLEASE

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
Hi I'm a new member and I'm looking for any advice.
Here's my story. About 6 weeks ago, I lifted someone up about 130 lbs and held them on my shoulders while on a trampoline for about 30 seconds. After putting them down about five minutes later I began epxerienced pain in the lower right side of my back and extreme tightness. About 10 minutes after this I realized that when bending down to touch my toes I couldn't go passed my knees, and also my right leg was having pain/numbness. Anyway that is how I herniated my L5-S1 disc.

After this I began seeing a Chiropractor and Acupuncturist. After the first week my pain in my back went down but I was still experiencing limited range of motion and numbness down my right leg. Anyway it has been 6 weeks now since this happened and I currently feel good. I no longer have any pain in my back. My symptons now are: When I wake up every morning I still have a little numbness in my leg, and limited range of motion. However after about an hour my range of motion is back and the numbness is gone. If I sit for a long period of time when I get up I have some numbness in my leg but again after about 5 minutes of walking it goes away. If i lie in the supine position when my right leg is lifted about 50 degrees I still get pain in my low right back. My MRI which i got 2 days ago confirms I do have a minor herniation in L5-S1.

Here is my dilemma I'm a very active male, a goalie in hockey , and love working out. I want to be able to play hockey again and I have been working out lightley already just no back or legs. I worked core on a ex ball for the first time in a month (my chiro told me I can't but i didn't listen) on monday, and I felt great the next day, actually since working core I feel better than I ever have. My chiropractor doesn't want me doing anything because she says I can make it worse. However I feel fine and not doing anything gets me depressed. My acupuncturist who is my uncle told me since I feel almost 100% definitely work core, do a light workout with no back or legs, and I can play hockey with a Back Stabilizing belt. I want to be 100% and feel no more symptoms.

My doctor (general doctor) about a week ago prescribed me anti-inflamtories, muscle relaxers, and lidoderm patch. I haven't taken or done anything he said because I don't feel any pain and my chiropractor said that will only take away my pain when I take it no actually make it better. She also said muscle relaxers may help or worsen the problem and they make me drowsy. Since I feel almost 100% i'd rather not take a chance at making it worse.

A lot of people have told me to take physical therapy. They said since I almost feel 100% therapy will help me get to a complete recovery.

I now do not know what to do. I want to play hockey, and workout. I feel fine get occasional numbness but no pain in my back at all. I don't want to take pain killers or muscle relaxers. And most importantly I want to feel no symptoms at all including numbness. Should I start physical therapy and drop everything else? Is it safe to play hockey? Should I work core and workout lightly, minus my back and legs? Please help me!

Thank You and sorry for this loooong post.


  • Please see my comments under your initial post under lower back pain.
  • Dear 19, hope you are still getting better. I have had four back surgeries since I had a fall at home in 2005. I had a 2 level fusion on my neck and had a revision at c6 c7 two years later. I also had a micro-disectomy and micro-laminectomy at L5 in 2005 and a spinal fusion at L5 in 2008. My surgeries restored the function of my right leg and arm but did not help with the pain. I am not a health professional, but I have been told that spinal surgeries are only done for loss of function and weakness and numbness that interferes with life activities. You may benefit from PT, as they would know which activities and exercises to focus on to keep you well. My PT had a masters degree and was extremely knowledgable. Good luck, Marybeth K.
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  • Dear fellow chronic pain sufferers, I had a bad fall down the stairs early in the AM in 2005 and have had two neck surgeries(a two level fusion at C5-C6 and C6-C7 and later a revision at C6-C7) and two back surgeries(a micro-disectomy, micro-laminectomy at L5 and later a extreme lumbar lateral interbody fusion at L5) since then. I am so grateful that my surgeon was able to get rid of my right foot drop and weakness and was able to restore function in my right hand and arm. I still have the chronic pain and am dealing with this. I get disgusted when others judge my being on pain meds as these are necessary for me to function. Do not let others get down on you for this.I do not get high while on these drugs as they only dull the pain. I also have developed major depression since the fall and finally have a wonderful psych. doc. who has been a Godsend. I have to work hard not to go over the edge as I have two young adult kids, a hubby and family members and friends that need me. My pain doc is excellent. I had two other ones who were not helping me at all. One even was a complete jerk and made fun of me during proceedures. I was afraid to change doctors but finally did and I am so glad I did! This new doc introduced me to a caudal injection where it floods the lumbar spine and also floods both legs with cortasone and lidocane. My doc told me it was an injection that was for people who still had chronic pain after surgery. It worked well last time I had it and gave me 50% pain relief in my legs for four months and 40% relief during the next two months. I asked my doc why my other pain docs failed to try this on me and he said that the caudal is the least reimbursed injection. Thats all for now, I hope everybody out there is doing better,hang in there, Marybeth K.
  • Its really good to see that you are feeling so good. I would think that it is very likely you will make a full recovery with your back as long as you don't do anything to re-injure it. I would stay away from all the meds but the anti inflamatories unless you need them to sleep or your pain gets bad, but like you chiro said you can do more damage to your back if you are on pain killers and working out, because you wont feel the warning signs.

    Dont over do it and you need to seek solid medical advice on what you should be doing for a workout and activities. I would imagine that core workouts, as long as it doesnt cause you pain, is one of the best things you can be doing at this point. As far as all the other activities, as long as your doctor feels that it is ok and it doesn't flare up your back you should be fine.

    Backs take time to heal and you will have to be cautious for some time and a lifetime as far as the dumb (sorry I had to use the word) moves like lifting heavy objects on a trampoline. We all did things we shouldnt have done when we were young and were pain free, but time does catch up with you fast if your not careful :)
  • welcome and sorry to hear of your injury. it is good to stay active but don't over do it. PT would be a good idea because they can guide you correctly. they can work with you on acheiving your goal of getting back to hockey. With any activity if you feel an increase in you symptoms you need to stop the activity. Back issues can be tough to deal with. With you being 19 you need to take care of your back and give it the time it needs to heal. also, the dr's gave you the medication to help in getting better. but, do not use the lidoderm patch or muscle relaxers when you are wanting to exercise.
    Best of luck and definitely check into physical therapy.
    injury 12/29/09. L2 henamgioma L3-S1 desiccation protrusion narrowing, L5-S1 nerve rood displaces, L4-5 annular tear DDD L5-S1. surgery 4/24/12
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  • I'm not sure the original poster is still following this thread, which originated over 2 years ago.
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