New to the forum.
I'm 32 years old and very active (avid surfer) and suffered a disc herniation at c4/5 about 18 months ago now. I had an MRI to prove it to be the case.
I respond ok to PT, but flair up often and surfing doesn't help it. The doctor says I should give it up, but its the only thing that keeps me sane.
During flare ups I kind of self manage with high doses of codeine as it's still over the counter here in Australia up to 15mg and with a tiny bit of knowledge of how soluble opiates are in water vs the other junk, I can avoid a trip to my GP for a script.
The problem is that the pain is getting worse, the flare ups more frequent and the self treatment is becoming ineffective (tolerance probably). To make matters worse, Codeine is getting up scheduled here from next year, so I will run out of that option. My GP has given me a referral to a surgeon but doesn't actually recommend surgery and he personally thinks results are inconclusive (even though I have read plenty of success stories). In terms of pain management he's also very conservative and wants to avoid me getting addicted to stronger pain meds. His honest suggestion is take it easy, stop surfing, PT and avoid flareups to damage it further.
So to the point of my story, how strong does the pain have to be before anyone here considered surgery as the option?
I like to think I have a high pain tolerance but it is slowly becoming debilitating and depression is something I have had in the past and I am bloody scared of walking with the black dog again.
To put my pain into context, it's like I have a permanent dagger through my neck and radiating through my trapezius. I do occasionally get arm pain back, and often get numbness and tingling. It tends to switch sides for some reason. Pain on 1- 10? At worst I'd say a 6 or 7. I'm dealing with an average 4 on a daily basis.
Is that enough to go through surgery, or do you recommend I wait until I have an absolute blow out?
Thanks for reading .