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Herniated disc

Hi,
I'm a athlete and trainer and injured my lower back due to training (ironic i know ;) ) about five months ago. Went to doctor and told me it was nothing and will go away by it's own. Still had pain so went again to different doctor and told me same thing. Waited about 2 months, pain was still there and decided to go to chiropractor, who sent me to X-ray. Had to wait about 2 months for X-ray and it showed herniated disc in L4 -L5 S1. Had 3 treatments with chiropractor and he sucked, didn't help me. Went to a different chiropractor overseas while visiting friends, and he helped me. I had numbness and pain i my left leg often, and it went away after treatment. No longer pain in morning etc. I researched a lot on the subject on the internet and found out that exercise is good. Well since I'm a trainer i know all about the best exercises, and i started my own rehab training. I am pain free today and improved a lot. Can do mostly everything except leg raises. I can only raise my leg about 30 degrees, and i feel big pain in lower back. Pain when i stretch hamstring etc. So basically everything seems fine except when i raise my legs, then i feel it. So i know it's still there and not completely healed. So my questions is, since it's been 5 months already and still there. What are my options? Surgery? treatment? or still do my exercises and hope for the best? Anyone experienced same thing?
Thank you for all the answers. I am bit worried since it's affecting my job as you can imagine.
Thank you
ym
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Comments

  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
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  • CertifriedCCertifried Posts: 91
    edited 08/01/2013 - 2:55 AM
    welcome to the forums! This is definitely the right place.

    So, I basically have the same issues, L4/L5/SI herniations, with some lovely arthritis and stenosis (narrowing) thrown on top. I've been doing this for years now, so although I'm not a doctor, I will happily share my experiences and knowledge.

    1) you need an MRI. X-rays for bones, MRIs for soft tissue. An X-ray isn't telling the whole picture here.
    2) PT is absolutely the first thing to do! So, A+ there. Surgery should be, in my experience, a last resort. I've seen far too many failed surgeries. (x wife was one)
    3) See someone who knows spinal injuries of these types. A spine center for example, specifically pain management spine centers. I find them to, typically, be anesthesiologists or some other "non-surgical" type of Dr. They'll only recommend surgery as a last resort. You have PT, steroid injections, RFA (nerve ablation), and quite a few other options available to you long before surgery is ever considered.

    so, good luck!
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  • Certifried said:
    welcome to the forums! This is definitely the right place.

    So, I basically have the same issues, L4/L5/SI herniations, with some lovely arthritis and stenosis (narrowing) thrown on top. I've been doing this for years now, so although I'm not a doctor, I will happily share my experiences and knowledge.

    1) you need an MRI. X-rays for bones, MRIs for soft tissue. An X-ray isn't telling the whole picture here.
    2) PT is absolutely the first thing to do! So, A+ there. Surgery should be, in my experience, a last resort. I've seen far too many failed surgeries. (x wife was one)
    3) See someone who knows spinal injuries of these types. A spine center for example, specifically pain management spine centers. I find them to, typically, be anesthesiologists or some other "non-surgical" type of Dr. They'll only recommend surgery as a last resort. You have PT, steroid injections, RFA (nerve ablation), and quite a few other options available to you long before surgery is ever considered.

    so, good luck!
    Great info. Thank you!
    Great to hear from someone who have/had same issue. All the best to you
    ym
  • i also have same thing bulging l4,l5 and herniated l5,s1 at least that what my mri from over 2 years ago said.i do not feel i am ready for the recommended microdiscectomy, to many people reherniate, in my opinion. if you want more info pm me.
  • catfishman said:
    i also have same thing bulging l4,l5 and herniated l5,s1 at least that what my mri from over 2 years ago said.i do not feel i am ready for the recommended microdiscectomy, to many people reherniate, in my opinion. if you want more info pm me.
    Wow, two years hmmm. Maybe i shouldn't complain :)
    But it's just affecting my job. There's too many suspicious PT out there in my opinion. I had one who told me to do the plank! Really? I paid you to tell me that?
    I know hundred of exercises better for the core than the plank. I think my only option is too see a spine centers. I don't have the patience to wait and hope. And i believe nobody should do that. There's a problem, well let's find out how and let's fixed ASAP. Nobody should be walking around with pain in their back. I will continue to do my own research on the subject and will try different methods, until I'm completely fine. I will keep you guys updated on the situation and hopefully will share any knowledge that I've learned
    ym
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  • i have chose to stay with pain management, and do stretches at home everyday. my job is physically demanding, i must be able to lift up 75lbs, not all day, but sometimes frequently. lately i have been feeling pretty good,as far as the sciatic nerve pain.my job pays me well enough for me, and i have alot of respect from my bosses. i have this back problem, but i can work circles around the 20 and 30 year olds at my work.
  • I'm very interested in others advice and opinions on what you should do as I am in a similar situation. My sciatic symptoms started just over a year ago but got progressively worse in Dec 2012 when an MRI confirmed a herniated disc at L4/5. I have had numerous sessions of physio, 2 caudal epidurals, one in Jan and one in Feb and am now working on strengthening my core muscles and having more physio. Even though I have made huge progress since being diagnosed my recovery is very up and down in that I seem to be making progress but then something aggravates my back and the sciatic symptoms come back. My consultant has said I am in a 'grey area', not bad enough to justify surgery but bad enough that it is affecting my everyday life. I agree with him, the last thing I want is surgery but also do not want to have to just put up with it forever more. It seems to have gone on for so long now I don't really know what I want to do, I feel I should be better than I am this many months down the line
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,269
    edited 08/02/2013 - 9:01 AM
    xrays can not show a herniated disc. MRI or CT scan is needed for that. Xrays can show bone alignment, and spacing however they do not show detailed soft tissue, which is what a disc is made of.
    It can take two years or so for a herniated disc to resolve on it's own. If there is no nerve root impingement or central canal impingement, then physical therapy is the best option, followed by injections and other conservative treatment options to reduce pain and inflammation.
    Surgery for pain is not considered to be helpful- it is done to correct a mechanical or neural problem- ie- compressed nerve root canal, or spinal canal or in mechanical issues, a slipped vertebre or some other mechanical issue.
    Core strengthening excercises help to protect your back from further injury, and strengthen the supporting musculature around the spine, but you should talk to your doctor regarding the best excercises for your condition before going ahead with them.
    Sandi
  • Thank you all for your input.

    The stretching and core strength exercises has definitely helped me. I would emphasize more on the stretching though, that's what seems have helped me the most. Mainly the mckenzee.

    Sorry that my experience with physio has been bad, not much help for me. Lost my trust for them, sorry.
    I had as i mentioned one really good treatment with chiropractor overseas. Well over the weekend i am going over there again, this time i booked double session, which also includes acupuncture.

    And as for the record, I did had an MR. I just wrote wrong first. Therefore i know about the herniated.

    I will continue my research and treatment on the matter as i mentioned. And i will keep you guys updated on the situation.
    If you guys have experienced anything helpful regarding herniated disc. Please feel free to share it here.

    I have also scheduled a private yoga and a massage session, when i get back. I will try everything until I'm completely fine.
    I never had any injection or anything. Just my own training regime and one good chiropractor session. And i am pain free, but as mentioned can't raise my leg above 30 degrees. Will do whatever it takes to get where i was before, and will share my experience along the way.

    Thank you
    ym
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