Help!! I have a bulging disk that's ruining my life!

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I've been to 5 doctors total and not one of them can give me a solution to my bulging disk; they just keep passing me off to the next doctor. Ive been struggling with this for years. I'm only 30 years old and was extremely active before this. Now I can barely walk at a slow pace for 10 min before my lower back feels like I have a burning painful ball at the base of my spine. I Cant take it anymore. Someone please help!!!Advice, tips, direction on what to do, anything would help, thanks!

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  • Posted

    Hi danielle- are you having any nerve issues related to the bulging disc in the legs etc or is pain confined to your back (I had a bulging disc which was pushing on my spinal cord causing horrible nerve issues in my legs burning sensation 24/7 and numb right foot).

    Have you had a spinal MRI?

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    • Posted

      I had an MRI without contrast done about a year ago. the Dr. said it wasnt impinging on the nerve. Ive even had a nerve conduction test done on my legs and they said there was no nerve damage. Actually, my chief complaint when I went into the Doctors office was that my legs were hurting. So would an MRI with contrast show any nerve impingment that they didnt catch before? Now its both lower back and legs that hurt. Im just so frusterated because I want to be active again!
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  • Posted

    Woops I tried to see if anyone else was on this discussion and lost my conversation.

    First of all, MRI.  Where do you live.  You need to see a neurologist.

    1. I expect you have had the MRI.   Have you had things like spinal injections, injections into your thigh etc. etc. what medication are you on.

    2. You must demand to see a neurologist.   You could do what I did, say you want to go privately to see a neurologist (depending on where you live in Cumbria the PCT didn't have a neurologist so I had to go to preston) Some areas have more than 1 neurologist.  It will cost you approximately 100£ + VAT to have a private consultation and its well worth it.  If you do this, go with a lot of questions.  If you go onto this website you might learn a bit more ADRSUPPORTuk.   adr stands for artificial disc - I am not saying that you should have an artificial disc but plenty of people will be on the forum - will try to help - and you will see discusions probably about a prolapsed disc.

    Your disc is probably touching a nerve and an MRI should show this position.  I am not sure whether a decompression (which means that the neurosurgeon shaves the little bit of bone which is catching on the nerve - so that the nerve doesn't get in the way)  However, this is not the only way to stop the bone touching the nerve and so that is why I say go privately first to a "local" neuro   surgeon.  On this site there is also a list of neurosurgeons in England who are qualified to do this operation.  Where did they say your prolapsed disc was? L4/5, L3/4 or L3/S1.I think this is another really important question.

    I've left you lots of questions to ask your doctor.   He should give you a copy of the MRI scan.

    There are all sorts of things that can be done for temporary relief - I take Lyrica which sorts out the nerve endings with signals. There are plain painkillers, Pazital (English equivalent I don't know) then there is Tramadol and then it goes into really strong stuff.  

    It really is disgusting how the doctors behave towards patients. I have been pushed around for over 10 years until I can hardly walk and I have 3 prolapsed discs.  Put a hot water bottle on your back as relief. Keep warm.   I have given you lots of questions so come back to me when you have got them.....

    I can be at my wits end sometimes, but I keep up with the meds. I never run out, i.e. I take them 3 times a day - every day.   I am waiting to go to the pain clinic in Spain but know that they will then put me through all the same things as when I was in England.   However, you are not like me, you are young (my daughter has the same problem - she fell off her mountain bike) I fell down the stairs bumping my spine as I went down - and these sort of things start the ball rolling.   Osteopaths can help temporarily too - I am trying to remember everything so its a bit muddled.  I expect that they will give me a s;pinal injections but the best thing I had was 4 injections in one thigh (near the nerve) and 3 in the other thigh.  I went for over a year with no pain.   But they try everything I warn you.   Then - I hate to tell you this, and I am not going to have it I will put my foot down, they can put a chip in your brain for pain but don't quite know much about it - and I won't be having it. Sounds awful.  The neurosurgeon I have seen in Spain told me I will have to live with it as I am 73 and too old to have another op and besides that I have had 2 neurosurgeons who operated and gave me scar tissue, I don't know what scar tissue has to do with another op.   But I suspect the first op I had was experimental and the neurosurgeon didn't know what he was doing so you MUST go to someone who is experienced. Look on ADRSupport and ask a question.  Someone will answer you for sure. Then come back and answer me the questions I have posed.  And, if you have found a neurosurgeon who operates near you, tell me who it is...... Good luck and I am here for a good old moan if you are in pain.  I can tell you with 3 prolapsed discs I suffer like hell.  

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your post. Im going to take your advice and put my foot down. Some of these Dr.s just dont give a damn. I have heard of an experienced nuerosurgeon in san  diego, Ca. name Dr. Dodge. My brother went to him and got great treatment. Looks like the road I will be headed toward as well. 
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  • Posted

    Hi Danielle, I just tumbled upon your thread, and I hope you are doing better.

    I have had herniated the last two lumbar discs on the Job 11-1/2 years ago. I have had similar experience with most doctors I've seen. The first and most important advice I can give you is this: AVOID TAKING OPIATE BASED PAIN-KILLERS, even though you will need it everyday, please train you body and mind to get used to the pain, Unless you have flare-ups that is, I know it sound harsh, but trust me, it will help you a lot. Stretch multiple times daily. Don't be wasteful with your money, get your finances in order, and let others be generous onto you (I don't mean for you to be selfish, but you will be in more need of help the most people you'll ever meet, so be wise.) Keep a great support system around you, if you already have one even better. KEEP ON WALKING, the longer the better, take pauses when needed. Swimming is very soothing for people like us. Stay positive, push yourself to make progress, and if it ever becomes hard for you to further your education, or keep a job, don't be too hard on yourself, ignore those who don't understand you. Do for work and fun what will not aggravate your injury. Don't be DISPONDENT, for you are NOT ALONE. 

    PEACE & LOVE!

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  • Posted

    Hi Danielle

    I've been suffering badly for 3 years now, herniated disc and DDD in L5 S1, pain down both legs to the point I can't stand up straight or walk with out painful electric shock like pains. I take a alot of pain medication and have had 3 steroid injections. My last one was Sept and was great until I had a woman crash into the back of me with serious effect to my back. I am now waiting to see my consultant on 7th February- the earliest appt available since my crash in November!!!!! I know exactly how you feel. I can't do anything try as I might. I'm lucky as my partner is amazing and my boys help enormously. This has had an enormous effect on my whole life, I can't work due to the tablets i take and my depression is at an all time low. I'm 41 and am like an 80 year old. I also have osteoarthritis.

    I try to walk and keep active but it's a viscous circle with my low mood and pain.

    Finger crossed you get sorted. I am in Liverpool which has a great neuro depth at the Walton centre but I am with an orthopaedic consultant in the spine depth at the local hospital in town. I just want to be back room some k8nd of normality. I know it's not been of much help but at least you know you are not on your own PM me if you would like a chat xxx

    My meds are pregabalin 600mg naproxen 1000mg dihydracodiene 240mg paracetamol 2 x 4times a day this, I have been told is a foundation for all the other meds to work on - I take all this and my venlaflaxine (exilir in US I think) but am still in huge amounts of pain

    All the best for 2017 hope you get some sort of answer xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Danielle.

    I've got the same problem. 5 scans and seen 8 doctors. They all say I've got chronic back ache. But all scans are showing bulging disc. So I'm lost for what advice to give you. Just keep pushing as I am. I'm not giving up in getting treatment and a cure. I've had an operation for stenosis to upper spine in neck. This has left me with violent headaches which I'm trying to get sorted with doctor.

    Wish you the best and hopefully a cure.

    Happy new year.

    Regards

    John

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