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23yr old diagnosed w/4 herniated discs&sciatica..help please

Started by Bubblyme20 on 06/06/2010 4:41pm

Hi everyone, I am new here looking for some help. I have been in pain since november, pain shooting down my right leg towards my feet. I cannot walk more then 20 mins then I just have to collapse. I finally got an mri this week and I got diagnosed with L2-3,L3-4,L4-5,L5-S1 herniated discs :( I have been taking care of my elderly grandmother picking her up and cleaning her daily for a year so I am guessing I did this to myself by not being careful. I am in the process of getting insurance so its a bit of a wait till I can help injections and physical therepy. But can anyone give me any advice for helping ease the pain? Aleve doesnt work me, I just dont know what excersises to do, or what...So please any advice?

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If you have access to a pool, it can take pressure off your back. Make sure you have good posture and an ergonomically correct chair, and QUIT LIFTING. There are also exercises you can do the hydrate and dehydrate your discs...they overhydrate while you sleep so you should dehydrate them before you get out of bed...sleep with pillows under your knees if you are a back sleeper. Rehydrate your discs during the day before you are in terrible pain. My physical therapist told me specific exercises to do to accomplish both of these. You should be able to find something on the internet for examples on how to dehydate and rehydrate your discs.

I'm also looking for input. I am 51 years old, and I have the exact same herniations as the 23 yr old...L2-3, L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1. I have no knee reflexes, and my lower legs are beginning to feel numb and tingly. The surgeon that ordered the discogram came in and told me he couldn't do anything for me and walked out. The second surgeon I just saw told me I could ignore the L4-5 and L5-S1 and just fuse the ones above. My understanding is that fusions cause extra strain on the other discs, and I already have major problems with them anyway. Is this sound advice?

The second surgeon also suggested I do the epidural spinal injections even though the pain specialist I saw told me there was no point. The pain specialist told me it wouldn't help at all (due to the condition of the discs). I have a third neurological specialist out of state that I have sent all my records to, but I have not heard back from him.

Chiropractic care and physical therapy over the last year has not helped, and the discogram just wreaked tremendous havoc on an already bad situation. Has anyone had a similar situation and found successful treatment(s)?

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Hi Bubbleyme2 and greengirl1
I have degenerative spinal arthritis and have had chronic low back pain for 25 years or more. At one point it got so bad that I was sent for physiotherapy which ended up being one treatment of traditional traction. That helped for a couple of hours and from everything I have read I am sure the aquatherapy that greengirl1 mentioned would help as well. But, both treatment modalities require you to be fixed to one location and not mobile and actively living your normal daily routine, i.e. going to work, riding your bike etc, etc. A new device that allows all that and more has just been launched and I am a participant. I wore the Trekke Lumbar Lift for about 4 hours every morning for two weeks while I was working at a computer. For the following two weeks I was virtually pain free and then gradually the pain began to return. Since I had the device I was able to put it on again and now, I wear it whenever I feel the need, for as long as I feel the need and have been able to reduce the degree and duration of pain I suffer by a significant amount.

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STOP LIFTING! I worked as a CNA doing what you do for your grandma for about 15 years, fortunately never hurt myself, but later a simple slip and fall ruptured my L5-S1. Surgery 6 yrs ago (discectomy/laminectomy) has resulted now in a L4-L5, L5-S1 herniation. Surgeons want to do a fusion, but pain specialist refuses a discogram, too painful and too narrow for him to attempt. Get insurance that does not have a pre-existing clause........find a pain specialist. A good one will go over your options and allow you to choose with them. I have been with mine almost 4 yrs and it has become a "whatever you want" relationship as to what he feels best, I trust him with my life at this point. As for excercises.........consult with an MD and/or PT before doing ANYTHING. I was doing things, even under a PT, that we thought would help and I now have nerve damage that has my left leg below the knee numb. Dont do anything without consulting a professional. What works for one person may not work for you!

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Bubblyme - Please listen to the advice above. Follow throughin gettinginsurancethat doesnot have a pre-ex clause. There are many options for spinall injuries out there, but most are extremely expensive. Also, getting multiple opinions. I saw 5 different surgeons before I made my decision to go with a spinal cord stimulator. Not the solution for everyone, and only a 50% guarantee that it might offer some help.It has worked very well for me, but I am still recovering from post op pain given my surgey for the permanent implant was just over 2 weeks ago. Once you start seeing doctors to get opinions, if they rush straight to fusion & nothing else, seek advice elsewere. At your age (I am 33), fusion is the last resort & is highly complicated on multi level issues. If you read on here you will find stories where the fusion has worked for some, but for most, it has left them in more pain than not having the surgery. FIND A PAIN MGMT SPECIALIST. This is crucial. They can help you manage you pain until you have all the research & diagnonsis on your condition, and can help you make a qulified decision on what approach to take. Also, stop lifting. Be very careful with all movement going forward. If not treated correctly, this can be a life long debiltating issue. I am so not trying to scare you, but I have been at this well over a year, and was in great sapeprior tomy injury. Sadly, all I did was bend the wrong way to pick a pen up off the floor, and next thing I know I am in the ER with a herniated L4-5 & L5-S1,both with annualr tears. Now, as the tears begin to heal themselves, there are pain fibers growing inside the disc causing additional pain for me. Fusion was the only option I had until I found out about neuro spinal stimulation. It is not a cure, but hopefully will helpmanage the pain, reduce my dependence on medication, and get me back to a normal quality of life until better technology comes along. Best of luck to you. I hope you find a way to stay pain free.

Sincerely,

Brandon

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I just turned 28 and have just completed my second back surgery. They removed a buldge disc in my L-4 area the first time and months later after that surgery it rebuldge. The pain in my legs was unreal and the lower back pain was horrible. All of it was caused by a female rear ending me. I have no insurance and have to pay for both surgeries in cash and let me just say I am not a rich man nore do I have a rich family but luckly I do have a loving family who scrapped and saved for both surgeries. My point of helping on pain is the pool was the only time that I felt relief, other than being on pain pills. I never actually swam however I would take hour long walks back and forth slowly in the pool. Also a half hour in a hot tub always helped. The only way I could ever get relief other than that was pain pills on which I became dependant on (not addicted) I needed them to just walk for 20 mins or even go out to eat. I can tell you that attitude believe it or not was the only thing that kept me going. The pain got so bad sometimes it made me cry, but I kept on having a good attitude. I kept saying to my self at least I can walk, at least I woke up and put two feet on the floor and if you think about it, pain lets us know we are alive. I know it sounds bizzare, but a good attitude will help you or any one get through this. I still have pain, I am scared to know that I am only 28 and have the back of a 70 year old. However I love life and I make it a goal every day to try and be happy and keep a good attitude. Being grouchy does not make the pain go away and being happy does not make it go away either but some one once said it takes more effort to frown then it does to smile. Good luck to you. I hope every one here feels relief and I will keep you all in my prayers tonight. STAY STRONG...

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