I have a L4/L5 disc prolapse but everything has gotten worse!

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I'm 18 years old and in march 2015 I happened to injure my back and slip my disc. Since then I have had physio many times I have tried nearly every pain medication out there, from oramorph, cocodamol, tramadol, morphine patches and lyrica. I have been in pain none stop ever since, every day. I don't even know what it's like to wake up and not feel any pain, honestly! So the other day I went to the doctors ( I'm there constantly btw) and I asked if I could be referred to see a specialist because I haven't seen one yet so I have an appointment on the 22nd. So the whole point of this is, all of a sudden a couple of days ago I woke up with extreme pain in my lower and middle back. The pain is so uncomfortable and makes me want to be sick! It makes it hard for me to fall asleep and it wakes me up so I have bee so tired that past couple of days. I was just wondering if anyone had any idea of what it is and what could be happening? Thankyou guys!

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  • Posted

    Hi Rachael

    Great, September...what did it show?

    Was your thoracic spine checked?

    The leg business is either L5 or S1 OR sciatic. The Sciatic comes off the affected nerve root so your physician will need to pinpoint just where the compression is.

    You are having other pains ..when our back hurts, we tense our muscles in an effort to prevent the pain...we stiffen up. It is possible that pain is radiating because of this.

    The more specific you are, the better diagnosis you should receive.

    Is the ice and heat helping?

    Have you been able to reduce the narcotics?

    kind regards

    judith

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  • Posted

    Hi Rachael, I have an L4/L5 prolapse. I was able to cope with it most of the time until the disk started pressing on the nerve root. This as well as the back pain also caused horrendous sciatic pain all the way down my left leg. I got to the point where I just didn't know what to do with myself. I couldn't sleep, couldn't sit comfortably, was struggling through my days at work - purely because I couldn't afford to be off sick and not get paid. I was in agony most of the time. I had to go through all the official processes of pain killers, physio, pain clinic before they finally agreed to send me for the scan that I'd been asking for for over a year. This showed two prolapsed discs - one of which clearly pressing on the nerve. They tried me with more nerve block pain killers and a nerve root injection. None of this worked for me but I do work with someone who benefitted from the injection. Finally they decided they would operate. The relief when I woke up the next day was immense. This was in March, I am still free of the leg pain and agony in my back. I'm not back to normal - I still have an amount of back pain and stiffness. I can deal with that though and they do say it can take up to 2 years for your back to fully recover so to speak. Hang in there, keep asking for a scan, keep going to your doctors they can help.

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  • Posted

    I know exactly how your feeling, Ive had an MRI scan and I too have a L4/L5 prolapsed disc!

    Your right it is so painful, mine wakes me up at night when i turn over. I have to go to work and suffer it daily. Ive had it since beginnning of September.

    Anyway Ive been reffered to a spine and trauma specialist and im seeing him this monday (cant wait!)

    My doctor said it will either be steriod injections or surgery.

    Ive been on Naproxen for past few weeks. It meant to last 12 hours but ive timed it...it lasts 3 hours. Plus I cant take more than 4 a day so most of the time im in agony.

    The only relief is lying flat on my back. Its so bad ive even started walking with a limp sad

    Im 31 and Ive had this problem on and off for the past 4 years (heavy lifting did mine) but this past few months its just not going away this time.

    I have recently bought a gadget called 'pain gone' Its a stick that lightly shocks the nerves at the point of pain.

    Its not 100% but it does ease it a bit in my leg. Better than doping up on painkillers all the time.

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    • Posted

      Hi Amanda. Thank you for sharing your story! I am 29 and had mine for over 2 years and I can't sleep either. Do you notice any side effects from along the naproxen please??

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    • Posted

      hi gabriella,

      the first week i took it i had two little swollen lumps appear. one on my hand and one on my knee which ive never had before. They went away after a couple of days. Then i had heartburn for about a week, and noticed i was sweating more. but after that first week i think ive adapted to them now and i dont get any side effects now.

      Its funny because on the little sheet of instructions you get with them, it says potential side effects..... sleeping more and then a few lines down it says they can keep you awake hahaha

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    • Posted

      I know they contradict don't they?! That's why I always like to ask people rather than rely on the notes given with them! Where did you get the pain stick please?

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    • Posted

      Its from lloyds pharmacy but they are online too.

      My advice is to get the more expensive one as its automatic. The manual one you have to keep pressing the button so i would image this would end up aching your wrist and thumb!

      I read the reviews and thought id give it a go and yeah theres definately something in it that seems to work.

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    • Posted

      I have. Tens machine it's helps while using it but can only be used up to 3 0r 4 times a day 15 minutes each time . After using it I pretty much go back to where I was b4 hand naproxen and most medication s have side effects especially long term. End of the day all pain relief medication is just masking the problem. Not fixing it and long term causing more damage to main organs

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    • Posted

      Hi Amanda, I had the same problems as you, I was walking with a limp too. I only had partial feeling in my left foot although that didn't stop me feeling the nerve pain there. I got to the point at work where I was virtually lying on my front bent over my work station (which was waist height) because it was the only way I could function. I was given naproxen too which my Dr said for the first 11 days they act as pain relief and anti inflammatory. After that they're just pain killers. They didn't touch my pain but they said that's because they don't target nerve pain. It wasn't until the scan results that they found my disc was pressing on the nerve causing the sciatic nerve pain down my lower back, hips and left leg. After this they tried me on pre gablin, which made me feel horribly sick for first 2 weeks and very drowsy. No help with pain though. Next was gabapentin which was exactly the same. Finally I was tried on duloxetine which stopped the drowsiness and helped a tiny bit with pain. The root block injection helped for a few days. I'm 39 and I've had back problems on and off throughout my life. I'm hoping that things don't go backwards now. I had the op in March and I'm still free of leg pain. I still have numbness in toes and parts of my leg. I am still working on improving my back strength and flexibility, still quite a lot of stiffness and lower back pain and muscle spasms, but I can cope with that. I found some Pilates videos on nhs website designed for people with chronic back pain and also for me people with bad knees. I'm going to try them and see if they help. I may look for your gadget too.

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    • Posted

      No I had an emergency op in 2013 as l4/l5 disc had burst and collapsed. 6month prior to that I'd had a steroid nerve block with very little. Relief. I've had to persevere with different med s and physo and hydro since . No long term relief . I have degenerative disc diease, inflammatory joint diease and fibromyalgia. So it a case of living with it for me and fixing what they need to when they need too. Just had another nerve root injection today via a private hospital via the nhs . The experience was a world away from that of the one I had at the nhs hospital 4 year ago . Much better this time round . Now it's a case of waiting to see if I get any relief back to see consultant in 6 wks

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    • Posted

      Hey all.

      Ask for physician for a TENS used by physical therapists...they are battery operated, have leads you place right on top of problem area...I run mind 24 hours per day on a setting "modulate"

      The leads are in two pairs, kitty corner so it feels like a circle effect...very soothing.

      Some settings can nit be run 24 hours per day. Mine is a Meda One Step

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    • Posted

      Hi Alison, it sounds like your having a rough time with different painkillers sad

      I have told my doctor I have a physical job (painter and decorator)

      So I can't take anything that makes me drowsy with working at height.

      My appointment is on Monday and I'm going to request the op straight off but if they refuse I'm really scared about the injection. Is it a big thing in the back of your spine and does it really hurt?

      I'm going to try these Pilates videos they sound good. Second time I was referred to physio they diagnosed me as having one leg longer than the other hahaha so all the exercises I was doing was just making me worse.

      I had 4 different diagnosises before my mri scan and that one is my personal favourite lol

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    • Posted

      Hi Amanda, I did struggle with pain relief for over a year. Part of that was because no matter how many times I asked Dr to send me for a scan - she just kept telling me she couldn't , I had to go through the proper processes first. When they finally did do the scan it became obvious why the naproxen hadn't helped - it isn't designed to treat nerve pain. Even all the ones I was tried on for nerve pain after that point barely took the edge off. I'm a digital printer so very physical job.

      The nerve root injection: They give you anesthetic to the lower back area. I'm assuming for most ppl this means that you won't feel the needle. My sensitivity in the area was reduced but I could still feel the needle. It was more uncomfortable than painful. I didn't actually see the needle as I'm not a fan. I asked them not to let me see it - so I'm afraid I don't know how big it is or what it looks like. My anesthetic fully kicked in whilst I was waiting for the bus. That was great because for around 8hrs I had no feeling in my feet, legs, genitals and waist. I was pain free for that time. The injection is a walk in the park in comparison to the pain you deal with on a daily basis. Unfortunately it didn't work for me and the operation was their last resort. I do work with someone else who has had the injection and it worked for them. The operation worked for me with regard to the nerve/leg pain. I still have back pain but most days it's manageable. I can live with that - I couldn't have coped much longer with the nerve pain as it was.

      Good luck on Monday, hope you can get it sorted.

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    • Posted

      Alison, thank you so much for this post...you answered every question I have had. I am so sorry that your physician could not escalate your care. I have been laying with my knees up since Tuesday because I am in such pain.

      I wish everyone in our discussion group successful treatment of their spinal issues...I have procrastinated long enough.

      hugs all around

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