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New here, I am 19 and have been battling a bad back since April.
I went to the doctors and they wouldn't even refer me to an mri, just dosed me up on loads of meds, and I think I have probably taken everything in the book lol and nothing works. So I got an MRI scan done privately.
Also had physio and seen a chiropractor.

I know you guys aren't doctors on here, I know I have a herniated disc and another ruptured ? I just got referred to the assessment clinic and the doctors forgot to send on my scans, so they said its either surgery or spinal injections. They didn't actually specifically say to me what was going on, its all been a nightmare.

What's the best option considering my age? Spinal injections or surgery? As that's what they've offered me
This is very rare or someone my age so I'm told and there is no help lol the nhs is horrific

I can't do anything, I can't go to anything because I can barely walk the pain is that excruciating! And being 19 and having this pain is really annoying! And for those people with the sciatic pain- it ruins your life

Opinions ???

Thanks :)


  • First, you need to know specifically what exactly is wrong, what levels are involved, and what the options are, what options the doctors you are seeing are the one that they recommend.
    A lot depends on the actual size of the herniations, whether or not there is nerve or cord involvement, if there are tears in the annulus.....so until the doctors have your actual images and reports in hand, and can show you the images, and you can talk to them, you have to wait.
    Normally, they will offer the least invasive things first.........as long as their isn't major risk involved in waiting for a time.
  • I know we like to complain about the NHS but really spine pain isn't as cut & dried as many other medical conditions. It takes time to identify the correct pain generators & then there's a list of concervative treatments to be worked through. I know how frustrating & exhausting it is when you desperately just want to be 'fixed' but it's not that simple. You don't want to rush to surgery if there are other options that can work...they often do.

    You paid for your MRI. I'd phone & request a copy & the summary sheet. Then get another appointment to go through the findings with the clinic specialist. They can then get you on the right track for treatments. With herniated disc I'd stay away from chiropractors & NEVER allow them to do adjustments (this is common advise. Even a chiropractor has told me this). Physical therapy/physio & medications are standard first treatments all over the world. They can do better once they have your MRI results. You may be referred to a pain management doctor. There are probably a whole list of medications you haven't tried if you've only seen your GP so far.

    In my opinion it's well worth trying the injections if the recommend them. They are tremendous help for a lot of people. I know the NHS can be very slow. Often you have to push hard for them to get their wiggle on!
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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  • Doesn't sound right to me that they only gave you the options of surgery or injections.. There is more to chronic pain treatment than that. Like EG said, physiotherapy with or without medication is usually tried first. Some herniation's heal on their own or with the help of physiotherapy. That said, sometimes when a nerve is compressed, doctors recommend surgery sooner rather than later. Perhaps that is your situation.
  • Stevens_95SStevens_95 Posts: 7
    edited 09/03/2014 - 5:08 AM
    Thanks for the replies, well I got a call today saying my results had been forwarded onto a consultant so I am waiting to hear back but those were my options. Well Its hard because I am on certain medications at the moment for other things and I can't take particular things. I work with software so I am sitting down all the time, but I can't be drugged up and work and be throwing up. I had my clinical assessment and they said to me those were my options for my condition, as I said they have hardly given me any details because they were not sent the correct things but I dropped in my mri disc myself as I mentioned earlier must of been forwarded onto the hospital. Luckily I paid for my MRI or I would of been waiting for 6 weeks just for that.

    I am aware its a ruptured disc, I am deciding whether to get a wheelchair because I can't actually walk anywhere. I was very unwell last year battling a anxiety disorder I really wasn't well and I've managed to get better all by myself got myself back to work and this happens and we all know how much pain gets you down!

    I know I moan about the NHS they have been good but its so frustrating, just wanna be able to enjoy myself and do the average 19 year old should do!
  • You say "Its hard because I am on certain medications at the moment for other things and I can't take particular things." I'm glad you're aware of this. My friend has bipolar, anxiety etc. as well as spine issues & has had some really frightening experiences with medications. There are several 'Medication Interaction' tools on the Internet. I know docs & pharmacists should check these things but they don't always. I always put my meds & suppliments into a checker just to be sure.

    In the UK a good physio should be able to give you some tips on dealing with your job & other physically taxing things. Mine was great at teaching me restrictions & coping mechanisms. If a specialist recommends a better chair, desk or something for you your company might be willing to help with some accommodations.

    I'm so glad they have your MRI now. Without that they were just giving you standard advise. Surgery or conservative treatments basically covers it for everyone! Now they will be able to recommend which treatments will be best for your particular case & give you the probabilities of success & what surgical options may or may not help. It's important to develop a blend of different treatments. I use everything from injections, RFAs, physical therapy exercises & stretches, medications, topical creams, airomatherapy, meditation & visualization, ice & heat. With experience my pain has become far more manageable both mentally & physically over the years.

    I'd wait on the wheelchair idea until you have your consult. Unless its completely necessary & recommended it could be a bad idea. Keeping moving, even though painful can be very important with spine problems. Activity often reduces pain long term.

    Sorry, I get a bit diffensive of the NHS. After living with the alternative I have a new found appreciation of 'free' healthcare. It still breaks my heart when I hear of people who can't get the care they so desperately need because they can't afford it or their insurance company denies them. Spine problems take time to identify & manage. It sounds like you're on the right path now. Please let us know how it goes.

    You're right, chronic pain & anxiety, depression go hand in hand. I struggle too. I think many of us do. I hope the support you get here will help you as much as it has me. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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  • nor is it medically necessary. The most important thing that those of us with spine conditions can do is to keep moving, keep excercising, keep walking.
    Those who give up , can often find themselves unable to get back up once they resort to things like wheelchairs.
    I am not saying that it isn't warranted in some cases, but for a herniated disc , it is not in almost all instances. Even a ruptured disc, if that is the actual diagnosis ( the terms get mixed up far too often and used incorrectly by radiologists and doctors when explaining things to patients), doesn't mean that you need a wheelchair.
  • I agree, do your best to keep moving! Once you stop, even the simplist exercise, it is so much harder to start again. I was given the advice to try bedrest in the beginning and I ended up in worse shape than before both mentally and physically. You will learn with time through listening to doctor's advice on which exercises to do and how to move properly in order to reduce the stress on your spine. I'll be thinking of you as you decide which options are best for you.

  • Thanks for the replies! It just tires me out so much, just sitting in certain positions hurts and luckily my company have just moved offices and the chairs are amazing and are so much comfortable for me. I did hear from the nhs today and basically I've got an appointment with a surgeon to discuss surgery as they feel it's the most appropriate solution.
    Finally after months I am getting somewhere, it's been a never ending nightmare, but they called and said if it the pain gets any worse then go straight to a&e. So hopefully it won't come to that.

    But thanks for the advice!
    Have any of you guys had surgery?
  • Hey! I'm happy to hear you have a comfortable chair at work! It always makes a huge difference for me if I'm sitting on a hard, but supportive chair.

    Keep us posted on how you are doing. I hope you get some relief soon. I'm new here, but there's many people on here that have had surgery. Good luck!
  • It does, to be fair I am always moving up and down and everyone's like what are you doing but I have a good excuse haha!! :) They have mesh backs and lumbar support which is good, atleast I am getting somewhere! I am kinda nervous though!! I hope it helps :)!
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