lower back prolapsed disc

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Hi

Hopefully someone can help me. I've been suffering with a prolapsed disc for 7 months now. I did it at work and continued to work with it for 3 weeks after. The doctor's were helpful and signed me off and asked me to come back two weeks later, mri scans were mentioned and physio been a huge possibly. So far all I have had is physio and that many painkillers I've lost count. Yet 7 months later it has slightly improved, I have my manager on my case about needing a time frame on when my back will be better ( I've been back at work 3 months) and "light duties" can't go on forever. I have already had a stage one warning. Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Any advice is welcome. And any tips on how to ease the pain I don't want to be on painkillers much longer.

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  • Posted

    If pain killers are the only thing you've done so far, its no surprise there's no improvement...smile

    If you want an alternative pain relief, you can try infrared light therapy - It works like a charm and it not only relieves pain but helps speed up your haling because it boosts blood circulation, brining healing nutrients to the injured area.

    You can just get an infrared heating pad (do not confuse with regular electric heating pad, not the same) and start using it every day.

    When I dicovered it, it changed my life.

    I would also suggest trying back traction (spinal decompression) to relieve the pressure on your disk. It can also be done at home with a simple back traction home device.

    Hope this helps and I hope you get better soon.

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  • Posted

    A couple of points:

    Stage One Warning - this sounds a bit concerning and you may feel that you would benefit from a conference or meeting with a lawyer to discuss this matter. I don't specialise in employment law, but it sounds a bit heavy handed to me and the last thing that you want on top of all your back problems is to be fighting your employment for, say, 'constructive dismissal' in an employment tribunal. A shot across his bows by showing him that you are well aware of your employments rights might quieten that aspect of things down a bit.

    The back pain:

    MRI Scans - you should have had one of these by now to show you precisely what disc/s are affected and the general state of your lower back. Tell your consultant that you require one of these as you have waited long enough now. If he/she still thinks that you don't need one, tell them that they are effectively denying you treatment.

    I realise that this sounds a bit heavy-handed, but my own experience of the NHS is that they really don't like to offer treatment if they can get away with it. Personally, I have just refused to turn myself into a 'pill junkie', which these hospitals and doctors are more than prepared to do with their patients if they can get away with it.

    You will probably need an MRI scan for:

    LUMBAR SPINAL INJECTIONS - for heaven sake, before you consider any operation, please ask for these. They really do help back pain, but probably for a limited amount of time. They are steroid shots and be directed either towards the disc to towards the facet joints. I have found that my back seems to be reacting to their pain relieving effects less as time goes on.

    Operation to remove prolapsed disc - if they offer you this, ask them about the Endoscopic Discectomy and not the traditional Discectomy or Microdiscectomy operations (which is misnamed as it's not that 'micro' at all). The latter Discectomy/Microdiscectomy is open surgery which requires the stripping away of muscles to get at the prolapsed disc and which will leave a several inch surgical scar down the bottom of your back (the length of which can also depend on which surgeon cuts you up). The Endoscopic Discectomy is new, not widely available and far more patient-friendly, if you are suitable for it (and if they felt that you weren't a suitable candidate, I would want a full explanation as to why they thought this). It only requires a c.1cm insertion point and the rest is done by cameras and various sophisticated instruments. It is not just cosmetically nicer, but also leaves less scar tissue internally, which itself can cause pain at a later stage.

    If you can afford to go privately, you can save yourself the pain, agony and slower recovery of the Microdiscectomy by liberating yourself of c.£10K and finding a private surgeon who is trained to undertake this type of operation. If you need to use the NHS, you will need to find a hospital and more specifically a surgeon who can do it. Good luck on that point.

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  • Posted

    Hi Lucy ,I agree with STD .You should have had an MRI and they can do Lumbar injections etc .Me personally none of the above have worked and Im on alot of pain killers and pain patch but not working so now on waiting list for micro discectomy.Ive been off work since May last year 2013 and its looking like i wont get back till sept if i have my op next mth .I can't understand how you have been given a warning esp if your doc has given you letter .I would be getting advise on this from a lawyer .Hope you feel better soon its a nightmare to live with .Good luck .
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  • Posted

    Hi Lucy i presume you have had an MRI scan already as you already know you have a prolapsed disc, I have suffered this pain for two years and can understand what your going through, pain killers are not always the best way forward I am on pregabalin at the moment and they are not to bad, it sounds like you need to go back to your consultant and ask what the best way forward for you. I am due to have injection on 3rd march so I am hoping that works. If not looks like I will have to get fused. In regards to your work situation I would ask for a copy of your contract and read it carefully. Usually if you have a doctors certificate stating you have a Prolapsed disc they should not be able to give you warning, I am a warehouse supervisor and I have not done any manual handling task since my problems started so there is light at end if tunnel for you. I hope you get things sorted
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  • Posted

    If you have been employed there for 12 months or more you have rights under employment law. If your back problem is already, or likely to be 12 months duration (yours is of this nature) your employer has a DUTY under DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) 1995 and last years Equality Act to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate you. If the employer does not provide Reasonable Adjustments then this may very well constitute discrimination. The key word in any discussion with your manager is Reasonable Adjustments. That should allow the manager (or their superior) to grasp the concept that you have a disability NOT an injury. Under employment law a disability has a much lighter definition that would be case for claiming Disability Living Allowance (for example).
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