L4/L5 disk protrusion. Would be nice to talk to others!

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Hi all

I am writing this while up at 2am rolling about in pain and none of my pain relief seems to work so was hoping for some advice and just others to talk to in my situation.

I was diagnosed with this after a boot camp injury nearly a year ago. My MRI showed damaged to L4/L5. I have had my first nerve root block injection which I thought was improving and then I went back to square one and worse! Next one due end of this month.

I am also taking pregabalin (lyrics) diclofenic, codeine, ibuprofen, paracetamol, and did have some oromorph too! As well as Ice packs and heat...

I am a nurse and it has got so bad that it's affecting my work too. I am now struggling to sleep at night with it.. Hence the message now!

Do you think, even if it is a smaller disk prolapse, that they may be able to do something else if the 2nd nerve root block doesn't work?

Thanks in advance

Bec smile

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Becky

    Sorry to hear about your back troubles.  You don't say where the pain is.  Is it mainly in the back or does it spread down your buttock and into your leg?  I had an L5/S1 disc bulge which was impinging onto the nerve - the pain was excrutiating - but the pain was in my buttock and leg and not my back at all.  Following two lots of unsuccessful nerve root block injections I had a microdiscectomy - this was 11 weeks ago and I am now pain free.  

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    • Posted

      The pain is all down my left side, buttock, left leg and into my toes where they go numb. As you, I don't really feel the pain in my back itself.

      sad

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    • Posted

      Have you seen a consultant at all?  I would recommend a neurosurgeon if you can presuade your doctor to refer you.  I have head that PIlates can help - I am using it post surgery to strengthen my core but there are several ladies who have similar problems to you who are trying to fend off the surgeons.
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  • Posted

    From my ecperiences its all down to how good the specialist is.I have given up on Physios.He says exercise will fix it.My Mri  shows a disc touching the nerve.All i know is that its very painful.At 61 years old and dealing with a 28 year old patronising Physio is hard enough.They quite simply think that you are making it up.

    50 years in construction i am fully aware of pain.And its quite real.

    I think the key is finding a good Nerve specialist.A bit of paper defines a qualification.It does not mean that they are competent and many are not.

    Find a good Neuro person that talks shop.

    Good luck

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  • Posted

    Hi becky, I'm not near my tablets at the moment but I too have been on your cocktail of tablets and then seeing a new surgeon he put me on gabapentin or something like that. I'm sure someone will give you the correct spelling. Anyway it stops the nerve pain and boy oh boy has that helped.  I'm also continually finding different ways of keeping comfortable through others recommendation.  Obviously the TENS machine is top of my list but I've also got an electric wrap.  Bit like a blanket but way smaller and I plug that in zap up the heat and it helps me relax until the pain killers kick in.  My third favourite is my anti gravity chair which takes the load off my weak legs and heavy back for a while!  Dr has also given me diazepam to take to help me sleep and it's a low dose so no side effects for me.

    I wish you well.  I have the muscle and nerve tests on Tuesday to find out the damage. Might be worth finding out where your pain is coming from too!

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    • Posted

      Thanks Minnie.

      I purchased a tens machine yesterday and am starting to use that. When is the best time to use it?

      I was on gabapentin but it drove me mad so had to come off. I may end up at out of hours today getting some sleeping tablets because can't go on with no sleep and pain all the time.

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  • Posted

    Becky, I'm not specialist and I have never had back problems until June iof this year but from my experience I use the TENS everytime it starts hurting and I'm clock watching for the next round if tablets.  The diazepam sends me off to sleep nicely for a few hours and I can take it three times a day.  It's only 5mg but it does give me the break I need in between coping with the pain.  It doesn't get rid if it but it numbs it down a bit.

    ive been told to alternate between ice packs and hot blankets or water bottles but the cold made me really sick and made the ache worse.  The heat helps with me but anything where you can take the weight off your leg - elevate it helps me too.

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  • Posted

    Hi Becky.  I've been managing a L5/S1 disk bulge for 2 years now. Finally my consultant has agreed that it's not going to repair itself and I'm looking forwards to a disectomy.  With regards to your med list, I've gone through pregabalin and gabapentin - very strong and serious meds,  hard to come off, but a necessary evil if you need them. I now usually manage my flare ups with 2 sessions of acupuncture, 4 days apart, which significantly reduces the nerve pain.  At the time of treatment, this  gives your body (and mind) a chance to reboot from the shock of all the pain.  In conjunction, the meds that work for me  - tramadol (very short term use) and robaxin. 
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  • Posted

    I am sorry to hear about your history with your back Becky.

    i am in the same position. I ran out of 10mg morphine tablets so one nit I had 30 instead of 40mg and I tossed and turned the whole night with my leg in agony! 

    Unfortunatly the injections aren't a cure and never will be and my GP is pushing for an operation. My scan showed prolapsed disc with root nerve compromise and the only thing that will fix me 2 1/2 years on is going to be an op and she feels I'm totally rig in after a permanent fix now. 

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