Grrrrrrr - Go away herniated disc :(

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January 1st 2017 - supposed to be the start of a new year but not for me. While lifting a heavy fridge, I injured myself and my locked my back. MRI showed a badly herniated L5/S1 and so the journey starts.

Terrible Sciatica commences and sitting is just unbearable. 8 weeks of physio and the Sciatica is under control - but sitting still remains a problem.

So I've adapted to a life of standing and lying down. A supportive work environment has been a godsend with my company installing a standing desk.

As I fast approach month 3, mental strength diminishing with progress plateaued.

Unbelievable how debilitating such back pain can be.

Clearly want to stay away from the surgeons knife and will try to refocus on physio again for the next 3 months.

All the best to my fellow sufferers and let Lahore we can beat this !

Jay sad

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  • Posted

    Ooh Jay I have been at this for 13 years. And unlike many back pain sufferers I have never had back surgery. I had a neurosurgeon and orthopedic surgeon tell me that I was not a candidate for surgery early on. I'm rather glad that I was not because it saved me from having to make a decision to have surgery since surgery is a very risky thing. Back surgery has a lot of failures and even when it's not a failure there is a lot of times when it doesn't work to relieve the pain or sometimes it will relieve the pain but only for a year or two. In all the pain sites I go to some of these people have had seven and eight surgeries which just astounds me. I think I would quit after one or two if I even had the choice. You've only been at this for 3 months and you've already done your PT and I say good on you for doing that. Like you I have a lot of problems with the sitting so I use a cushion, I take it wherever I go. As a matter of fact I have several cushions one in my car for when I go somewhere and in then of course one at my place where I sit to eat and so forth. Fortunately for me I am able to sit with my cushion for about 1 hour. That's my max. I've known people who cannot sit at all you may be one of them. You can try getting injections and that might help you to sit for a period of time it also might help with your lower back pain. You didn't mention anything about getting epidural injections. Some people have absolutely no help from them, some people have a little bit of help and then there are those people who said that they've had a bad reaction to them. I get a little bit of relief from each shot, however I had one shot that took all my pain away for about 9 months. That was many years ago and I was able to get off with all of my pain meds. It was Heaven on Earth. But of course all the pain came back eventually and I had to get back on my pain meds. Like you I have the same disks that are a problem the L4 for S5 and I also have degenerative disc disease. However as I have aged I have also acquired arthritis in my SI joint and my facet joints which is made the pain quite a bit worse. Now I can't stand or walk for more than a couple of minutes. So you are lucky at this time that you're able to walk and stand. Be sure to keep your physical shape up so that that doesn't go away. I think it would behoove you to go see a pain management doctor. I'm not recommending you necessarily get on pain pills I don't think you're necessarily there yet and that's a huge decision to make. However they're the ones who do the epidural injections and they can put you on medication to help with the pain that goes down your leg and there are other medications that you can take for the pain that is not an opiate and therefore not addictive. There are many mechanical things a pain management doctor can do for you back to help with the pain other then the epidural injection too. One other thing that comes to mind is something called needling. Personally I'd never even heard of it and never had it done to me but I learned of it on a pain site. I couldn't tell you a thing about it I've just heard people talk about it. If you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask. And I do encourage you to join some pain sites because you will gain information and support from these sites. You will find them on Facebook. There is also a pain site called "mychronicpain". It's real good for support but also people can give you advice based on their experience. Good luck to you on your new adventure.

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    • Posted

      Hi there,

      Many thanks for your detailed response and I have taken much encouragement from the fact that you have avoided surgery for all this time. I will definitely keep up with the physical therapy as I know it is good for me - just difficult when you don't see results, I'm thankful things are not getting worse though for now and much more aware of things around me. 

      In in terms of pain management, I have avoided the epidural to date, my consultant has left this decision to me. Right now, I'm thinking I can manage the pain so the risk vs reward is not tipped on the side of going for it as yet. Getting by on simple analgesics for now. 

      It's amazing how losing a simple act of sitting has such a big impact. I actually dreamt that I was sitting a few days back, which made me happy momentarily as I woke smile The maximum I have endured is 15 mins so far and will avoid this for now, abut understand this is not sustainable long term. 

      Ive joined a few forums like spine-health and there is great info on these. I think my next step is to alter my diet, a case of every little helps. 

      I'm sorry to hear that your mobility is not good right now and I wish you good luck in moving back in the right direction. 

      I'll update how I'm getting on over the coming weeks

      stay in touch smile

      Jay

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    • Posted

      Yes they are and getting off of them is horrible from what I've been told. But why are you telling me that. It's not like I brought up. Jane I really think you just try to start trouble with me. Please stay on topic or I'll turn you in.

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    • Posted

      Hi

      The posting was sent to you in error. I apologise.

      Yes u are right.

      ​However the reason I mentioned benzos was because sometimes they will be prescribed in tandem with opiates. Sorry for the confusion.

      Have a good day.  xxxx

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  • Posted

    Hi Jay I empathise with you. Physio was useful in my case. It can improve . I was advised to have Pilates, core muscle strengthening exercises, hydrotherapy, tens machine.

    Steer clear of painkillers esp NSAIDS and opiates..

    ​Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Hi Jane,

      I'm pleased physio was useful for you and thanks for your note. 

      My physio programme has recently moved from stretching to core strength building so I am on the right path. I've also started seeing a posture specialist who look at correcting left to right body imbalances through excercise. This is quite interesting but too early to see the impact as yet. 

      Wish you you success in your healing 

      Jay

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    • Posted

      Thanks Jay. Also a good supportive bed, chair is essential.

      If you google the mechanism of pain you will understand the need for physical exercise and healthy foodstuffs and regular exercises such as walking.

      ​xxx

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    • Posted

      So I changed my trusted mattress of 10 years for a new one just a few weeks ago, taking a little time to get used to it - but getting there. 

      This weekend will dust off my Vitamix and start making some smoothies to get some good nutrition into me. 

      Never been a fan of veggies, but will adapt smile

       

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    • Posted

      With summer around the corner you might consider trying your Farmers Market. I find fresh locally grown vegetables to be so much more superior to grocery store vegetables that they make such a difference in taste.
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  • Posted

    Not sure if this has already been asked, but have you had any sort of steroid injections. I hear that it's a hit or miss with them. I had one last week and I wasn't one of the lucky ones. Are you taking anything for the pain?

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    • Posted

      Heh crystal, the injections was suggested as an option but I'm avoiding these at present but may need to reconsider my options. For pain I'm on simple analgesics for now but again think I will go back to my doctor.

      I've taken a few weeks off work to focus on physio as I seem to be getting lazy on doing the excercises but hopefully the time away from work will help.

      It's awful not being able to sit down sad and can't see the light at the end of any tunnel right now.

      Trying to remin somewhat positive for now.

      Hope your well

      Jay

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    • Posted

      Hi Re pain on sitting down.

      I went to physio and was given several gentle exercises to do improve the muscle tone of the core muscles so they act as a natural splint on the spine and thus to take the pressure off the nerves.

      I was advised to always sit with a lumbar roll and a small cushion to support my neck to relieve the weight of the head on spine.

      It is also very important to have a supportive nattress and other furniture. Not to stand, sit or lie down for too long. Also important to keep the back muscles toned by doing gentle exercises.

      Physio also advised NOT having hot baths because the heat of the water plus the positioning relaxes the muscles which then 'pull one's back out'.

      So whilst having a hot soak may relieve the muscles temporariy in actual fact according to my physio it exacerbates the back pain long term.

      It's important to research the mechanism of pain. This explains the chemical processes going on in the nerve endings around the verterbrae and how the chemical deposits increase the level of pain , that is why exercises are encouraged in order to increase the flow of blood to the area in order to wash away the toxic chemicals adhering to the nerve endings which in themeselves increase the level of pain. This is where the tens nmachine comes in handy in order to stimulate the flow of blood. Hope I have explained it clearly as feeling tired.

       

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    • Posted

      Oh wow I didn't know about the not taking hot baths. That is always my go to when I'm really in a lot of pain. It's great to hear everyone's thoughts on things to do to help with the pain even if it's not my post LOL.

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    • Posted

      Hopefully it helps you out. It's great that you're trying to help yourself with all natural methods. I think sometimes we jump to medicine to ease our pain a little too quickly. Keep me updated, I hope you start feeling better soon

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    • Posted

      Very informative Jane - thanks, My physio is also working on me building core strength, so will definitely be focusing on that over the coming weeks. What you say on the chemical side of pain also makes sense ... maybe that's why a glass of wine helps too smile

      Enjoy your day

      Jay

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