Back pain - the stabbing nerve kind

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Does anyone in this forum know if you can cause further damage to a pinched nerve in your back? I have a herniated disc and the "bulge" is pressing on a spinal nerve causing EXTREME pain. The pain can stab me when I'm doing the assigned PT exercises, when I'm trying to sleep, or just going for a walk. Am I supposed to immediately stop what I'm doing, or press on? I've asked this question of my spine specialist and PT, but never get a real answer.

My heart goes out to EVERYONE suffering from back pain. It's like having a migraine headache 24/7. As I've mentioned on this forum before, I'm doing everything my spine specialist is asking me to do, but no relief after 9 months. It's so FRUSTRATING!

Thanks for allowing me to vent... and more importantly learn from all your experiences and knowledge.

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  • Posted

    the reason they haven't given you an answer is because there is no clear-cut answer . it just depends on your body and the condition of your back. Your age also matters. when my back pain started all I had was one bulging disc and some degenerative disc disease which is just a fancy word for arthritis. I thought I was in pain then and that's the kind of pain I had for many years until a year ago. Now I have so many things wrong with my back I and there is no solution. I once heard a chiropractor describe back pain as a toothache in the back. I think that's as good as your metaphor. for me I like to let my pain be my guide. The reason we feel pain is so that we will not do something that elicits that pain. For example we know not to touch the stove because it's hot and we all understand what hot is because we have felt it. When we felt that pain our brains told us the stove is hot. the only problem is that chronic pain which is pain that lasts for three months or longer is actually our brain sending off false signals. At least that's the case when there's not a whole lot wrong or when what was something wrong but it has healed.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your response, amkoffee. What you state makes a lot of sense to me. I'm 64 and would not be surprised to find out it's arthritis. I've been diagnosed with the same thing you were - degenerative/bulging disc. It would also not surprise me if the pain I feel is my brain sending a false signal. The pain is worse when I'm stressed out, so I try to do relaxation exercises (breathing, etc.). The pain is horrible when I first wake up in the morning - maybe because I don't want to wake up in the morning? I usually feel better in the late afternoon/evening, though the pain is always there. I know that there are people who have it worse than I do. I just need to keep doing PT and following doctor orders. Just got to keep on keepin' on! Thanks for taking time to respond!

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    • Posted

      The fact that your the worst in the morning is a good indicator that it is arthritis. Movement helps to lubricant aging, dry joints so do be sure you keep keeping on.

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  • Posted

    Hi i have had sciatica and lower back pain for over 20 years on and off i am 41 years old my back could go at any time but would usually be ok within a few days to a week but never really had time off work and have always been active. December 2018 i had a slip and jarred my back this came with instant pain down my leg then over the next few days my right leg was very weak with numbness in my big toe and sole and i had urinary problems. when i got MRI it showed l4/l5/s1 discs degeneration quite bad basically the back of a 70 year old and i needed l4/l5 disc dicectomy this did little to help as when the neurosurgeon operated i had scarring to my nerve from years of the disc pushing on my nerve and leaving tissue behind from the disc. He removed some of the scarring and shaved my disc i have been unable to work since i have just been today to see a orthopedic back surgeon and there is nothing he can do as i have 3 discs degenerated badly a fusion would just put more stress on my good discs. Pain management is the next option steroid injections and if that dose not work i will need a spinal stimulator. i have had two surgeons look at me they both say the same nothing they can do but i had a scan in early 2017 when i had a bad episode of pain by the time i got my MRI i was ok so nothing was done or said about degenerated discs just said i had a slight bulge and i had lost the curvature to my lower back im fuming as something could have been done earlier. Sorry you have this pain but yes you can make it worse scarring to your nerve is not good at all GOOD LUCK

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    • Posted

      Stevenlucas - you are too young to be dealing with this! I'm so very sorry. Thank you for taking time to respond to my question (um, er... vent). Ask them if you can take an oral steroid. My spine specialist prescribed that to me because I can't do another spinal epidural so soon. Not that the oral steroid helped much... well, I had two hours where I was pain free and enjoyed every minute of it!

      I try to be careful with my back, especially when the pain zaps me. But it's so hard not to do things I'm used to doing. I will use precaution knowing you've had nerve scarring. Of course, they wait and wait to propose surgery and it sounds like by the time they agree to do it, it's too late. Argh!

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    • Posted

      It is remarkable how badly the back can get. Your back problems starred much earlier then mine. I was probably your age when my back problems started. It's been 15 years now and ever since I had a bad fall in February 2018 I've been in the worst shape ever. I can't have back surgery because my bones are too brittle. I have multiple herniations, 5 fractured vertebrae, a fractured sacrum and arthritis in multiple joints. I'm 58 with a 90 year old back.

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