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Old 09-03-2007, 07:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tishaunt View Post
I have been reading what I can on this disease and I have read numerous times that a herniated disk can eventually heal on its own and the pain will lesson or go away completely. My question is - how does this happen?
Tishaunt:

A number of years ago a had an MRI that also indicated that I had a herniated disk. I can tell you that in my case, I spent a long, long, LONG time in physical therapy. I was also given medication for the pain. In the end, however, what worked for me?

WALKING. I made it a point to go out and walk around my neighborhood three times a day, (short walks) but within a few months, my back was pain free. I can only tell you that this is what ultimately worked for me; your doctors would be able to advise you as to what course of treatment you need. However, I was stunned that after all the physical therapy I had, (which essentially did nothing) that it came down to something as simple as walking. I believe it "re-inflated" the disc, so to speak. While I do still have some mild back pain even today, I can attest to the fact that yes, it is possible to "recover."

Good luck.

Take gentle care
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Old 09-03-2007, 07:54 AM
 
144 posts, read 762,684 times
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I have a herniated disc at my L5 S1..talk about pain!! I went to the doctor and was told that surgery was an option but only with a 20% or success rate so he'd rather see me try physical therapy...meaning daily walks and excerise and dropping a few pounds. For me that worked. It's been about a yr now since I've had unliveable pain....I was taking vicodin and flexril like pez candies Now I can pop a motrin if I need to or just relax and rest for 24 hrs and I"m good to go! I also found that yogo and pilates helped alot..I was just careful not to do things that required full pressure on my lower back...I do crunches on my bed..LOL...hey, it works.

A good friend of mine had the issue with the same disc and had the surgery and regrets it..he's in more pain today than he was before surgery.

Whatever you decide..good luck to you!
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:11 AM
tao tao started this thread
 
Location: Colorado
720 posts, read 2,967,224 times
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I have a herniated disc at L4-L5 and I just had my second cortisone shot a couple of weeks ago. At first the shots made things seemingly worse but now I feel like it's helped. Unfortunately now I'm dealing with the effects of percocet addiction. I've started the process of tapering off but it's pretty tough.
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Old 09-03-2007, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Hampton Roads, VA
673 posts, read 2,917,851 times
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Good luck first off with your problem. I am 27 years old and just had surgery for a bulging disc as well as spinal stenosis in Feb of this year. My doctor told me that it is very uncommon for someone my age to have such bad back problems that I had. I tried a steroid epidural to fix it and that didnt work at all. It caused me more problems then it was worth. I had my back problems for quite some time before I figured that it was something that wouldnt heal on its own because it was too far long.

I was referred to an excellent surgeon who did wonders. There is no hardware in my back. He went in and cut the disc and opened the canal for the sciatic nerves. I had problems where both legs would literally go numb, they would tingle, and cause me alot of problems. Sitting, standing, walking, etc were all problems. I feel like a new person today and that surgery has given me my life back. It was called a lumbar laminectomy discectomy.

I hope you dont have to have surgery and many people dont. In my case it was just too far long to recover naturally. I just want to let you know that IF you have to have surgery its not the end of the world. I've heard so many horror stories about back surgery and I really went around and round whether I should have it or not. It worked out so great, my scar is about an inch long, and I was in the hospital one day. I stayed out of work for 4 weeks and by the end of my 4th week I was walking 3 miles a day to help with the recovery.
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Old 09-03-2007, 09:22 PM
 
144 posts, read 762,684 times
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I wanted to add..I didn't do the shots either...Dr said not to bother..they just 'mask' the pain and I could end up hurting myself more. I sure do wish you the best, I know what you are going thru and it's not fun.
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Old 09-04-2007, 04:30 AM
 
Location: Rochester Hills, MI
578 posts, read 2,345,069 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wi_Girl View Post
Good luck first off with your problem. I am 27 years old and just had surgery for a bulging disc as well as spinal stenosis in Feb of this year. My doctor told me that it is very uncommon for someone my age to have such bad back problems that I had. I tried a steroid epidural to fix it and that didnt work at all. It caused me more problems then it was worth. I had my back problems for quite some time before I figured that it was something that wouldnt heal on its own because it was too far long.

I was referred to an excellent surgeon who did wonders. There is no hardware in my back. He went in and cut the disc and opened the canal for the sciatic nerves. I had problems where both legs would literally go numb, they would tingle, and cause me alot of problems. Sitting, standing, walking, etc were all problems. I feel like a new person today and that surgery has given me my life back. It was called a lumbar laminectomy discectomy.

I hope you dont have to have surgery and many people dont. In my case it was just too far long to recover naturally. I just want to let you know that IF you have to have surgery its not the end of the world. I've heard so many horror stories about back surgery and I really went around and round whether I should have it or not. It worked out so great, my scar is about an inch long, and I was in the hospital one day. I stayed out of work for 4 weeks and by the end of my 4th week I was walking 3 miles a day to help with the recovery.
I had 3 lumbar laminectomies on my L4, L5 disc ....in 1986, 88, 1989....Due to being 160 at the time; then gaining 40 lbs. after each surgery ....STILL GOT A BAD BACK. They dont know what to say except "Hey lose the weight". Doctors are like A**H****, ...EVERYBODY HAS ONE.
When one doc tells you something you dont like; just go to get a second and third opinion.
I wish I never would have let them go in there; but after steroid shots, facet injections, chiropractors, pills, all of that/ nothing else would work. It just made my back weak at that site. whether I'm fat, or small, its just the Workingman's Disease, unfortunately.
Watch your body mechanics; old sayings are right, life with your knees, not your back. THEN MY KNEES went out when I turned 50. So????
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Old 09-04-2007, 04:33 AM
 
Location: Rochester Hills, MI
578 posts, read 2,345,069 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milabs View Post
I wanted to add..I didn't do the shots either...Dr said not to bother..they just 'mask' the pain and I could end up hurting myself more. I sure do wish you the best, I know what you are going thru and it's not fun.
Tell the doctor that TOLD YOU NOT TO BOTHER....To go take a flying leap into the lake. He is NOT the one living with the agony. Go get another opinion. The shots helped me for years...only need couple facet injections every six months. So, who is he to tell you that? does he suffer from the symptoms? I like talking with docs who have the problem I have had, then they have truly WALKED A LIMPING MILE IN MY SHOES.
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Old 09-04-2007, 08:02 AM
 
144 posts, read 762,684 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeleenieWeenie View Post
Tell the doctor that TOLD YOU NOT TO BOTHER....To go take a flying leap into the lake. He is NOT the one living with the agony. Go get another opinion. The shots helped me for years...only need couple facet injections every six months. So, who is he to tell you that? does he suffer from the symptoms? I like talking with docs who have the problem I have had, then they have truly WALKED A LIMPING MILE IN MY SHOES.
I am pain free today. No shots, no surgery and just short time with pain meds. I've had several opinions, from some of the top drs here in Mi at the UofM. Not one of them pushed the shots..it will break down the disc over time and I could end up with more pain and more medical issues because of it.

Like I said, I am pain free today because I didn't go under the knife..I got up off my butt and excerised and lost weight. All of your weight is carried in your pelvis and the less weight y ou carry the less stress on your pelvis. I do realize that not everyone will get relief from excerise and weight loss..but it certainly can't hurt anymore than the pain I used to feel. I've give birth 5 times without drugs and it doesn't even compare to the pain I had in my lower back.
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Old 09-07-2007, 02:39 AM
 
1 posts, read 6,944 times
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Default Herniated disc back?

After reading yours, and several of the other inputs, I really feel your pain! I had a serious worst 4 months of my life back in 2003. I had initial right lower back pain after some fun Marine Corps martial arts training and an increase in my running. I thought I had strained my back, but the pain went from my back to my butt, and down to my right calf. It was impossible to sleep more than 3 hours straight, as that was the time the 800mg Motrin wore off. The worst part was not knowing if it would ever end. I had an X-ray taken, and it indicated a fairly healthy back. I visited a chiropractor, and physical therapist. They gave me very similar exercises, and eventually my pain went away as mysteriously as it had come about.
3 years later, I started having lower back pain again, but this time on my left side. It was unbearable for 2 days, but subsided and left a weak left foot with numbness for about 3 weeks. I then had RIGHT side back pain which has traveled down to my right calf, just like years before. I was able to get an MRI finally, and it indicates 2 severely bulging discs (L4/L5 and L5/S1) pressing on my nerves. My pain has reduced significantly, and the day before my MRI I actually went for a 4 mile run (not the smartest thing, I know). I am very confused about what I am going to do, I have not gotten to meet with the Navy docs yet, but I am going to make surgery a last option. If it went away before, I believe it can again. I took my few years of relief as a sign that it was not a big deal, but will not make the same mistake again if it continues to heal. The back arching exercises, biking, hiking, swimming, core-strengthening, and stretching suggestions by PTs seemed to not only help, but give me more of a reason to do more for staying in shape. My running will suffer, but overall it is making me get in better general shape.
My story is TBD, and I hope it turns out well. Part of me knows I may be believing what I want (no surgery), but part of me knows if I adjust my habbits/muscles I may be able to put this thing in check.
Good luck with your problem, may we all be able to put our socks on without pain in the morning!!
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:19 PM
tao tao started this thread
 
Location: Colorado
720 posts, read 2,967,224 times
Reputation: 933
I'm sorry for your pain. I know it well. At this point I've now had two cortisone injections and I've just started two new medications on top of the percocet and flexeril: mobic (an anti-inflammatory) and lyrica (to stop the nerve from firing). I'm also going to start physical therapy. In a few months I'll probably have a third cortisone injection.

The doctor has explained that this is a lifelong problem. Right now the focus is on getting the impinged nerve itself to stop firing (rather than just masking the pain with painkillers) and getting physical therapy to strengthen my back. Eventually I probably will need surgery but for now we're trying everything we can to get the pain under control.
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