ive had a disc prolapse and i've recovered!!

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Hi everyone,

I would just like to share my success story in overcoming this terrible condition. I've got 3 herniated disc, 2 in the neck and one at the bottom...L5 I think. I got diagnosed sometime in October 2014. The pain was unbearable and I can definitely relate what you all are going through. I could not even turn a certain position when I sleep because the pain would wake me up. Even at work, being on my laptop for a few minutes would be terrible. I was depressed for a while and reading forums in relations to this made me even more depressed when I read some of the horror stories you guys go through. I truly sympathize with you all and nobody really knows what we go through. That is why I was encouraged to write this as I hope it would encourage others to not give up.

When I was diagnosed with this horrible condition, my doctor encouraged me to do a minimal invasive surgery and assured me that the pain would get better. I humbly declined as I've done some research myself and noticed that surgery should be your last option. based on my research, I've noticed that nearly 90% of people with these conditions heal and all we got to do is follow some strict guidelines for recovery. So, the following is what I did as I had nothing to lose:

1) I've changed the ways I worked in the office as well as my sitting positions. My work and home was in an ergonomic mode. It was definitely not easy in the beginning but I've managed to discipline myself to follow these guidelines as recovery was my number 1 priority. My wife says I am the most discipline person she ever knows smile

2) I started swimming regularly, I started with 5 laps in the beginning (freestyle) and now swim 25 laps, 5 times a week

3) I've looked at some videos on Pilates that strengthens the back and neck. I've consulted my chiropractor on the moves for this just to make certain it was safe and he gave me the go ahead. I spend about 20 min stretching 3 times a day. Even at work, I make certain I do not miss it. The reason I do this is because I've read that in order for you spine to heal, it needs oxygen. And the only way oxygen gets to your spine is through your muscles. Therefore, stretching was essential to my recovery

4) on the days I don't swim, I walk at least 3km.

5) it's very important to keep your weight down. Ive lost 6 kg ever since and managed to maintain it

6) I applied ice daily at least twice a day. It helps in terms of blood circulation.

It's been 3 months now and truthfully, touch wood, I'm pain free. I do get some minor pains occasionally but nothing serious and not that often these days. The reason I'm writing this is just to encourage you that there is hope for us who are diagnosed with these conditions. I'm living proof of this and one of my strongest recovery methods was my determination. I never gave in to this and even told my doctor that I would recover from this and I did. I don't really know if what I've given you above could help some of you but surgery should be your last option. I sincerely wish it does and that's why I am so glad to share my success story to all of you as an encouragement. I hope this helps smile

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, 

    It's great to hear your success story, and for you to unselfishly share it with others. I do also believe exercise is the key, so long as it is not doing further damage. I hope your story inspires many others.

    Gary

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    • Posted

      Hi Gary,

      Thanks and I really hope so too. It was very depressing for me as well for a while and I know it can be frustrating to not know what to do and totally demoralising to live your life like this especially when you get medical advise to either get surgery or learn to live with the it. In fact, when I went back to my doctor and shared with him what I've learnt through research, he was quite suprised with what I've came with and my proposed methods and recommendations used to overcome this. He did tell me that I was right..that 90% of ppl with this condition do recover from this and only 1% of his patients do come back to him.

      And you're right. Be careful when you do the excersises and the stretches. Make certain you consult someone on it as well as not something to vigorous. Building your muscles is crucial to your recovery..especially your core muscles

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  • Posted

    Yeah, thanks for this, i'm so pleased for you. Onwards and upwards Anoo, thanks for sharing.
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    • Posted

      Hi Joe,

      Thanks and always willing to share anything that could help anyone. I myself found inspiration on other success stories on the net and would not have recovered If it wasn't for them.

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  • Posted

    This makes a great refreshing change as you do often wonder if there is any light at the end of the tunnell as so many people on here share there unfortunate situations which can make you wonder what to do. Thank you & you have certainly made me more positive.
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    • Posted

      Hi Tara,

      I'm so glad it did smile really hope you do get better and truthfully wish no one should go through such pain. It's crucial to get your core muscles strong and once you get this up, there is no way you won't get better. If your condition is not due to your years of posture, you should get better. I'll be suprised if you dont.

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  • Posted

    Hello!

    I Just wanted to add my success story to this. After experiencing sciatic pain, numbness (the stuff we've all had) for over 18 months I was finally taken off my feet in Aug/Sept 2013. Bearing in mind this all started in April 2012 it was a long time coming and I had tried everything up until that point - Osteo, Chiro etc. etc.

    Anyway, I could no longer manage and paid for an MRI - best £400 I've ever spent in my life! It showed a large prolapse, both left and right of L5 S1 and a minor tear at L4/5. Doctor told me I was a prime candidate for a Microdiscectomy and that he could do it on the NHS in December (bearing in mind that this was now in October). I would've paid for the op there and then it was so bad, but because I have a young child I agreed to wait. The Dr prescribed me Gabapentin - total head f(*k but worked for me and the pain subsided about mid November.

    With the stresses and strains of the NHS the op kept being put back until I finally got a date in Feb for 8th March 2014. As I approached the date, I weaned off the Gaba and the pain didn't come back as before, thought it was the medication but sought out the Dr to see what to do. I had been desperate, depressed and broken for 6 months now and luckily had a strong Dr who advised me to put things off. I cancelled the op and nearly one year later am doing well.

    My advice, although I wouldn't have taken it at the time, is not to panic and ultimately see surgery as your 'get out'. The four months between being told I had the op, taking Gabapentin and doing nothing physical (NOTHING!) stopped me from having the op and now I play golf three times a week, have tentatively started lifting weights again and am far more active generally. Without reaching my 'breaking point' I would've continued to spiral but I have a great physio who forced my hand with a referral and I believe stopped me from having surgery.

    I completely agree; exercise, losing some weight and stretching are vital, and when you feel any pain, dull or strong, just back off and let things settle down.

    Remember, you can always have the operation, you can't always not have the operation!!!

    I'm more than happy to help answer any questions about my experience - if I don't get back to you it means I'm away skiing - first time in three years!!

    Great thread by the way, so nice to see some positivity wink

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  • Posted

    I'm very pleased for you but have some questions as I'm a bit confused! You say to do excercise, but when you started  you were in pain so didn't the excercises make it worse? I have been in such severe pain from a prolapsed L5 and now a trapped nerve down my left leg that I am afraid to do anything that might make my back "go" again and for me to be unable to walk for days.

    I had a week off work,and spinal injections as my pain is persistent, but still have a trapped nerve one month on, and a back that still feels fragile. I'm so scared and therefore careful that I'm afraid to bend down, lift anything and am careful not to twist or sit awkwardly because my back feels as if it could go at any time. Therefore I'm scared to death that if I exert myself in any way I'm going to end up back at square one: in agony! And also taking time off work which wouldn't be good.

    Having read your post, I think I may ask my doctor or someone at the Sats clinic for advice. What do you think?

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  • Posted

    Wow that is great news good luck for the future I will certainly keep in mind.  Thank you for your post.....xx
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  • Posted

    Can you offer more detail regarding the exercises, please. Also what have you done around the house and in work to help.

    Thanks 

     

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