I have been struggling with a disc protrusion for about a year and a half. I would be really happy to read any information, advice or personal experiences that others talk about.
In early 2008, I came down with severe lower back pain in the area under the trouser belt. I only applied heat to it for a few months and did not see a doctor for it because I was home bound with another illness.
In June 2008, I saw a physical therapist who diagnosed me with mild scoliosis and gave me strengthening and stretching exercises. I did those for about 10 months with fortnightly visits to the physical therapist.
April 2009: The improvement was only mild even after 10 months of regular exercise, so this April I saw an orthopedic doctor. He asked me to get an MRI done which showed that I have a "focal central protrusion at L5 S1 indenting the thecal sac", with "no nerve root compression".
The doctor told me that my protrusion is very mild, and to continue with more or less the same exercises. He said that this condition would come and go all my life but I could keep it mild through exercise. :S
August 2009: Now it has been another four months since then. While my back pain is better and often not there, in the last month I have developed pain in my legs down to my feet. I saw another orthopaedic doctor a fortnight ago and he told me that I should just continue with the exercise because the only other option is surgery, which is not required for such a mild case as mine.
In the last few days the pain has increased and I am wondering what to do. I will be going abroad for studies for 1 year next month, and I am a bit worried about my condition.
I do not understand the following things:
1. Does it really take more than a year and a half for a mild protrusion to heal? Is the doctor right in saying that the protrusion will be there all my life? ~X(
2. Does the fact that I have a sciatica pain now which has almost replaced the lower back pain mean anything? Could it be that my protrusion has got worse?
In the last year and a half the only exercise I have really done is walking. Jogging, sports, lifting light weights, yoga - all these make my condition worse.
I suppose the best thing I can really do now is to find a good physical therapist who can review my exercise programme? The orthopedic doctors I have visited do not seem to be very keen to get into the details of exercise.
New Delhi, India