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herniated lumbar disk: need help

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:31 AM in Lower Back Pain
I'm 26 years old and was in pretty good shape until i herniated a disk in my lower back about a month ago. I've been to the hospital emergency room 2 times and all they did for me was prescribe 20 5mg oxy's which only lasted for a couple of days. I ran out of the medication and was still in severe pain. I am unable to sit for more than 5 mins at a time before I have to lay on the floor flat on my back - the only position I am comfortable in. I went to the hospital a second time and they gave me the same prescription and told me that i should feel better within a couple of weeks. It's been a month now and I feel no better. To make it worse, I have been buying pain killers illegally which is incredibely costly as well as risky. I need advice about how to go about getting a pain management doctor. Do I need a referral? I can no longer afford to get medication on the black market. While taking them I am able to live in relative comfort as well as go through my stretching routines and back workouts - which is begging to help. I am not able to do this without pain medication. Please help! I am willing to consider anything at this point!


  • Hi Sam1983,

    Do you have insurance issues? I don't quite understand why you have gone to the ER two times. Are you seeing a primary care Dr. and/or specialist? If so, they should be doing something to manage your pain! In my experience, you get sent for an MRI first, either the primary care or specialist then prescribes pain meds. Then, if you don't improve over a couple of weeks, they send you for epidural steriod injections and/or PT.

    O.K. I'm gonna sound like a Mom here, which I am, but DO NOT buy pain pills illegally! Are you crazy! First, you don't know what they really are, second, you don't need any criminal charges in your life! Sorry to "lecture", but NOTHING good can come out of doing this.

    Work with legitimate doctors and you will be much better off. To answer you question, yes, you will need a referral for pain mgt. If you are seeing a specialist, they usually have their own people that they will refer you to.

    I hope you find relief soon!

    Best wishes,


  • I'm so sorry to hear you have this problem. I've had this problem for 7 years, so I know what it's like, and I'm a great listener if you ever need one. I'm only 22, so I also know what it's like to be young and in pain. You are still in the early stages of your injury, so you still have options with treatment. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! :B Research as much as you can! It's one of the keys to getting proper care.

    Do you have insurance? Yes, you might need a referral from a spinal specialist or your GP. If might take a while to find the right pain management doctor, but you will eventually find the one that's right for you! You are smart for trying meds and other treatments before surgery. There are so many options for relieving pain and healing, and some of them take a continued effort and need a while to show results. It's a lot of work, but it's worth it for a chance to be out of pain! Once you get cut you can't go back. Most surgeons consider a successful surgery to be one that fixes the mechanical problem, but a lot of people still have pain and only a minimal amount of people are fixed forever. I have a personal opinion that A LOT of surgeons are like car salesmen, one sells surgery, one sells cars. Not all surgeons are like this though. A good surgeon will support all other treatment options prior to surgery unless you have certain conditions that need to be treated immediately, such as Cauda Equina. Since surgeries don't last forever, the younger you are when you first have surgery, the greater the chance of needing multiple surgeries throughout our lives. Research is key. Look up all treatments and talk to people here and other places to hear their experiences. Ask questions! Never be afraid to ask anything, because chances are, someone here has dealt with it too. You have to be well-informed to get the treatment that's right for you.

    I wish you all the luck in the world! Please, please, please be safe and make sure you don't have any meds in your system when you see your pain management doctor because they will most likely dismiss you if you can't show a valid prescription. It's also important to NEVER get meds from more than one doc at a time. All pharmacies are linked so they can see who gave you what and when you got it. This still works even if you don't use insurance to pay for the meds. There's a lot to know when dealing with doctors, especially pain management doctors. It basically comes down to knowing and following the rules and being an informed patient under the care of the right doctor. I'm more than happy to help you in every way I can! Just please, please, please be safe and do your best to get meds legally. A GP might even help you out until you can go to a pain management doctor. If it gets too bad, please go to the emergency room with your MRI and explain you are trying to get an appointment with a PM but that you can't handle the pain right now. It helps to never directly ask for meds, because this is a red flag to doctors. Just tell them you are in terrible pain and nothing you're doing is helping. For a pain management doctor, you can tell them all the tiny goals you have, like standing long enough to shower, being able to sit or stand for 10 minutes, or all the little things you need to do around the house. They will probably want to try injections. I've had several types of injections and all went smoothly. For some, they help, for some they don't, but they're worth a try when the pain gets to be too much! I hope you are able to get the proper care you deserve and I hope that your situation improves with time!

    Much love and understanding,
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  • :Hi am new here, but i have been in pain from a herniated disc and bulging in my back for a month now. it is so hard for me to walk or stand or even sit for long periods of time. i also have trouble sleeping at night, maybe 3 hours at the most. i am taking muscle relaxers and everything else and nothing is helping. i am scheduled for physical therapy this week, but i do not know if i can take it, the pain is overwhelming at times. i have had the epidural injections and they worked for awhile the n quit. i just wanted to say hi and introduce myself . i know how awful back problems are and how they hurt. i also have dengenerative disc diease. everyone take care and i hope the best for you
  • HI Everyone:

    I am really surprised that no body has heard of non-surgical spinal decompression for herniated, bulging discs, sciatica, spinal stenosis, facet syndrom. If your pain is caused by one of the conditions above just google "non-surgical spinal decompression" in your town and talk to doctors. Like one of the posts above said the surgents are like car sales man. The whole diagnosis for my father with MRI at surgent's office took just 3 minutes. He was so ready to open him up next monday that wasn't funny. Do your research and find a good doctor with non-surgical spinal decompression machine and get your life back. My father is backe to playing golf and having a good time like old times. I hope this helps people who don't know where to turn. You have options and it is not in drugs and surgery. Good luck and stay healthy.
  • When you say "stretching routine and back workouts" what exactly do you mean?

    Have you had an MRI?
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
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