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30yr old male, small l5 S1 "protrusion"



  • Well, for whatever it’s worth... there are clinics in the Netherlands which do PRP and  I’m assuming there must be some great ones in Germany. 

    About your sensations, I’d not let stress and anxiety take over my life. My mom was suffering from pretty terrible lback and eg pains due to sciatica and she met this coach which combines a few disciplines to help back pain. This coach basically says:

    - eliminate the moves which cause your back and leg pain (no forward bending under load, improving posture, focusing on activities which can cause disc flex ion and correction of these habits) 

    - work on core muscles and also on breathing and other stuff such as the bastrica breathing plus kegel squeezes and some other moves 

    - work on your mind since he believes many of the pains we perceive to have, have to do with conditioning for our body to expect pain and your mind can be accustomed to remove pain (interesting book by  Dr John Sarno ) 

    For my mom, this was fantastic and she has stopped taking pain killers and does hardly have pain and she leads now a relatively painless routine with some flair ups from time to time however she claims that things have improved 80%

  • whoa I haven't posted in a while!  I was doing pretty well, nerve pain had all but disappeared in my legs and feet...back was still "tight" but it was very manageable...even went back to playing hockey and working out a little (mostly just exercises prescribed by a physiotherapist)...then I went and hurt myself again playing hockey...no real incident or anything, just felt the old familiar pain in my lower back and left glute.

    I think hockey might  be a thing of the past for me, which is dissapointing...but I'm happy that I did see a lot of improvement prior. I never did get PRP, seems like no one in my city will offer it for lower back disc issues?

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  • Good to hear about the positive recovery of yours and a source of crucial information for newbies like me....

    So after a year of PT and cold/hot therapy you are doing >90% fine... I am targeting such a recovery, though don't have a hard timeline for the same ....

    Any other helpful piece of advice....

  • wrcftw , your story sound very similar to mine , I am male 34 and looking pretty healthy , you would never guess that I have back problems..  It seem like my pain and symptoms are at lower degree than your but almost the same otherwise. I Been like that for a almost a year now and its all the time ups and downs.. its really hard to be pain free for over a week.. and its so easy to do something ''wrong'' and set back again ... 

    I've had an MRI previously without showing any problems but I'm going privately to second MRI and opinion abroad as here in UK doctors don't take my condition seriously and don't bother digging little deeper ... I don't even have a proper diagnose.. Part that is a disk problem .. 

    I also cannot accept to be like that for the rest of my life and will try anything possible to beat the chronic pain ! but so far been straggling mentally and physically..

  • Hi wrcftw,

    You are on the right track. Persist with exercise. In my experience you really need to understand how the core muscles work and how to activate them correctly. Think about them often, especially when sitting and exercising. For example, when I am swimming, if i do not actively engage core muscles my spine will twist and can lead to back pain.

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  • It's a very frustrating thing to experience, but I've found that medical marijuana, taking long hot baths and stretching make me feel pretty good. I dont take pain killers, only advil sometimes to try and help some swelling.

    Im going through a set back right now, physio and doctor said hockey was fine for me to start up again but I obviously tweaked something because my pain is back to about a 6 or 7 out of 10.  It's causing some old feelings of anxiety etc but I just have to have faith that with exercise and patience, most people are able to get this down to a mangeable level.  Having manageable pain is something I can live with as for a while I was living life normally, having to force myself to remember to do my stretches and exercises because I just didn't think I had much of an issue anymore.

  • Thank you for providing updates.  Im currently in a similar situation.  However, my injury was on the job while positioning a patient.  Initially, my right leg felt as if it was on fire and I had a dull ache in my back.  Since, the leg pain decreased but the ache remained, i was given muscle relaxers.  No xray or mri was taken.  I returned for my follow up and the physician was concerned that I couldn't lift my right leg more than 5 inches off the ground.  He ordered a MRI and sent me to a specialist.  The specialist barely looked at the MRI and disregarded the report that there was a l5-s1 bulge.  So he sent me for physical therapy with no medication.  PT made it worst, sadly.  My dull ache turned to sharp radiating pains and added right hip pains. I would limp from every PT session.  Once it ended, the specialist was surprised that it didn't help and he finally prescribed an anti-inflammatory.  It helped decreased the flare ups but it's not for long term due to the side effects.  I'm feeling better and my restrictions has increased to 25lbs.  Sadly, holding weight on my right side,  and standing, sitting, or walking for long periods can cause flare ups and motor weakness.  Long story short, it does get better but like you, I'm concern about the future.  I don't believe I will be returning to that particular department due to how physically demanding it is and the fear of reinjuring or delaying my healing process.

  • Almost at my 1 year mark.  Daily odd leg sensations and twitches/aches/burning at about a 3/10 pain scale as well as lower back stiffness seem to be my life now.  I'm starting some yoga and still continue the daily exercises from Physio.

    Pretty discouraged to be honest. I'm 31, in decent shape and I fear that my casual days of playing sports with my friends is over. Any sort of mild physical activity gets the nerve pain going again.

  • I have a very similar MRI and pain symptoms to wrcftw. Four months ago, I had sudden onset sciatica pain after doing alot of yard work and heavy lifting. I have been to multiple doctors, and had multiple pain medications, including 3 epidural steroid injections. My pain level has gone from a 10 to about a 4 or 5, presently. I have always been very active and healthy, and although I am older, I too do not want to spend the rest of my life in chronic pain, and to worry if I make a wrong move the pain will be back to a 10. I have a small disc bulge at l5/s1 which impinges the transversing s1 nerve, and I also have the bilateral pars defect on l5. I qualified to get a microdiscectomy in January, but chose to continue conservative treatment instead. At that time I could not imagine the pain continuing on for months, and making me fairly disabled--sitting and standing in place for more than a few minutes makes the pain increase. I am currently doing physical therapy twice a week, but it is very discouraging that my pain and weakness have not resolved. I think the pt is making me stronger, but the nerve pain in my leg seems worse. The continuing pain has given me alot of anxiety, and because of the pain I wanted to stay in a reclined position for most of the day. I also have twitching and muscle spasms in my legs/butt, and it was suggested to me that is was due to anxiety.  I think by month 6, if I have not gotten better I might get the discectomy with the neurosurgeon. An orthopedic surgeon thought the solution would be a fusion, due to the pars defects. Any advice--persist for months with exercise or get the surgery?

  • Haven't checked in in a while.  Doing OK I suppose. Daily pain is 1-2, still haven't returned to playing sports and I've stopped doing stretches as it seems just to flare things up instead of hurting.

    Kind of discouraged that 1 year out, i'm not fully healed...but I suppose I may have to start thinking that at 31, this is my new normal.

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