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What should I ask the doctor?

Male 34 years old. I was in the military for 6 years and I hurt my back many times picking up heavy objects not by choice. In the military, you are a paid slave controled by people who would march you off a cliff if they would be promoted doing so. I would go to the doc and get pain killers and the pain would last 2 to 4 days and go away. Now I am a writer, I sit most the time. I went kayaking and I think I picked up my kayak wrong. 2 days after kayaking my lower back started to hurt. A week later the pain got worse to a point it hurt to walk. I went to a chiropractor twice and after the second visit, that night I could not walk, the pain was that bad, couldn't walk for 5 days. I went to the ER and got pain killers. I have pain in my lower back and pain shooting down my right leg and I couldn't sit. I got an MRI done and the doc said she'd call me in a week to decide what is next. I still have pain in my lower back, my right leg is still numb and there is still alittle pain at my lower back and right leg. When I walk my back shifts and I can tell I am leaning more to the left then I should be. After doing some stretching exerscises a VA p. theropist told me to do my back shifts back almost straight but when I start to walk my back shifts back to the left and the pain in my right leg get worse. It has been 25 days since my back started to hurt. Hurts to sit and walk. I am waiting for the VA doc to call about the MRI results. What should I ask?

day 1 pain in lower back, day 5 pain in lower back and right leg, day 7 chiroprator, can't walk 5 days, day 13 walk in pain, day 21 alot less pain, still can't sit, day 25 still pain in lower back, hurts to walk but I can walk, hurts to sit but I can still sit, when I walk sometimes my back shift to a worse angle.

MRI print out states: Degeneration and right posterolateral disk herniation at L5/S1, just above the transitional vertebral segment, causing high-grade right lateral recess stenosis with focal nerve root impingment. There is no significant lumbar central spinal canal stenosis or formaminal stenosis. No fracture, vertebral malaligment or compression deformity.
tom painter


  • Going off of your stated mri diagnosis, I have just about the same thing going on with my back. Going off of that just with my experience the chiropractor will not be good to continue seeing as it could do more damage to your spine, that was just my experience it helps some people but going off of what you stated probably not a good idea anymore. As far as what to ask, anything and everything that concerns you. Ask as many questions as possible and get as much information as possible, for example: give me a run down of what exactly is going on with my back in lamens terms so I understand exactly what's happening back there. Get copies and printouts of everything they tell you and diagnose you with. And maybe get a second opinion as well just to be sure. The doctor will give you all possible treatments, and once again ask questions about what the outcomes are or could be if you go either which way. Most likely they will want to try epidural steriod injections that could help greatly as your injury is still new. I am sorry you are in so much pain and there are a lot of people here who can help you with just about everything. I wish you the best of luck and hope you get better asap, no one deserves to live in this kind of pain.
    L5 s1 degeneration, annular tear and bulg with nerve compression. Dr says its normal wear and tear lol
  • Did you end up doing epidural steriod injections? What made you better?
    tom painter
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  • Sorry its taken so long to write back, but yes I did do injections. It will most likely be three rounds they will do as most state laws will only allow 3 per 6 months that's what I was told here in california by my pm, sometimes they can bend the rules a litte. Yes it did help me a bit but what happened with my injury I waited to long to see a doctor so I now have nerve damage. With your injury being relatively new it should help you greatly and get back out into the world and able to do things you once could. For me it took around 4 months to start gaining feeling in my left leg and foot and about another month to be able to walk again for long periods. But again it was short lived due to the type of work I do everyday. I strongly believe with my experience, if I wouldn't have waited so long (no insurance) I could have gotten better and beaten the crap out of this injury but that's not my case. In yours I do believe if they want to go that route it will help tremendously with the pain and mobility issues. Please keep me posted as to what happens and don't shy away from asking anything and everything. I'm here if you need anything, advice, information or even just a simple convorsation. I wish you the best of luck and do your best to take it easy as that is the most important part of getting your injury healthy at this stage. My name is james by the way feel free to pm me or anything anytime and keep your head up and do your best to stay strong.
    L5 s1 degeneration, annular tear and bulg with nerve compression. Dr says its normal wear and tear lol
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