prolaspe disc or disc bulge

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i been sufferinging with a severe bad back for nearly seven years, even though the pain brings me to tears sometimes i still work.

i had a mri scan two weeks ago and they said i have a disc bulge in my lower back which is causing all the pain in my legs

i have been prescriped tramadol for the pain and an anti inflatmory but it doesn't even take the edge off the pain.

can any suggest any other treatment?

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Tracey

    I was much the same until the pain and my mobility took a turn for the worse, i recently underwent L5/S1 spinal decompression surgery at Nuffield Orthopeadic centre.

    it was explained to me that the bulge in some cases can return to its original position and sometimes its just a waiting game, however mine required surgical intervention.

    pain wise it may be worth asking about an additional drug called gabapentin which i also take for the pain its really effective for the leg pains

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  • Posted

    I have had discs operated on in my neck and my lower back. I am now on gabapentin which takes the edge of the nerve pain, i also take an anti imflammatory called meloxacam and take omeprazole to prevent damage from long term anti inflammatory useage. When i have a particularly bad day i also take tramadol. I can't drive when i take tramadol and gabapentin together as it leaves me high as a kite !!!

    When i was originally diagnosed with the bulging disc in my lumbar area ( can't remember which discs it was now but there were 2 quite low down) i was asked to wait 3 months before doing anything else as apparently if the disc is going to repair itself it will do so within three months. I would ask the doc to refer you to a neurologist or even get you in for an MRI scan , don't let them fob you off as this condition is very painful and gets worse in a short space of time if left ( in my experience).

    My sugery on my neck , discectomy with fusion, was very succesful but i'm afraid the same can't be said for my lower back surgery. I also have another disc bulging a bit higher up from the last surgery but will only have surgery as a last resort now as my left leg is very weak and sometimes i struggle to life my foot. I wasn't as bad before surgery as i am now, both surgeries have left me very weak with nerve damage all down the left side of my body. It's not the same for everyone of course , this is just my experience.

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  • Posted

    Hi Angelic

    Im really struggling after my discectomy it all seemed to be really good until around 3 weeks after it had been done im now really weak on my left side and require a crutch almost permenantly to stop me buckling and im getting pains down my legs as before but now i get the most intense pains in my hips too, it gets to the point that it has me in tears

    im on Diclofenic but by christ it makes me feel ill, im now starting to get anxiety attacks because of it all, i now somewhat regret having the surgery but like you said everyones experiences are different and im sure its amazingly sucessful for many people

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  • Posted

    Hi Kirkyfosh

    I have just found this site and I am so glad!!!!! I thought there was ONLY me with this. I can relate to you in everything you have written. I am far worse too after my op. L5/S1 discectomy. Mine started as a prolapsed disc but over time became far worse and I had surgery for, Impending Cauda Equine Syndrome, which is caused by a Massive disc bulge, a disc ruptures and pushes on the spinal cord. Mine nearly completely obliterated my spinal cord. I was told I had to have surgery urgently or I would become permanently paralysed and doubly incontinent!!!!!!!

    I'm Not paralysed or incontinent thank goodness!!! but I am in constant Pain everywhere below my waist, back pain, sciatica, leg pain, foot pain, Heel pain, Toe pain, and Thigh pain! I also have hip pains and groin pains only mine is on the right side.. So we are quite similar. I can't walk more than a few metres and then I hold on to things. I have numbness in my right foot too or hypersensitivity as they say. It is an awful feeling I cant stand for it to be touched!! It feels like walking on cotton wool. Which makes walking harder as I never know when my foot is in contact with the floor. It is getting to me now. Like you said for the first couple of weeks I thought that it was all on the mend. Although I had a lot of pain and couldn't walk. I'm using a wheelchair now and hate it!!!! My husband does everything for me and the home.... I'm on Co codamol, Diazepam and Morphine!! I have heard that LYRICA is the drug to have only it is expensive so many doctors wont give it out...

    I also know only too well about the tears.... The PAIN just becomes unbearable and uncontrollable and takes over my body!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Has anything been mentioned about your case? Like will it improve or do they know what is wrong ???

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  • Posted

    Hi Vi,

    The others may not reply as their posts were last Oct, but you never know. . . . .I would also look at piriformis syndrome if I were you. PS is the irritation of the sciatic nerve by the piriformis muscle (in the bum), it can cause all the sciatica problems (numbness, tingleing leg pain) plus groin, hip and buttock pain. I have this complaint now,( and have had a disc prolapse in the past) but it is easy to see how you could have both together. Your back pain might be fixed but the PS pain could still be a problem? ? Check it out, on You tube or google, but don't expect GP's to know anything about it,a physio can locate the muscle and see if it is tender or spasmed when palpitated (massaged). The muscle can sometimes be released by manipulation and acupuncture (not mine unfortunately)

    Take care

    Helen

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    • Posted

      Helen, sounds very similar to what I am experiencing. Have you found any solution or remedy to this issue yet? 
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  • Posted

    Hi Helen,

    Thank you for the reply. I will bear this in mind on my next visit. I have never heard of it but it makes sense to me... Can you tell me more about your pain, like what type of pain etc....

    I have to have another MRI scan soon. They have said it may be the damage to the nerve that is causing my symptoms, if it is I dont think they can do anything for this, but I dont know if nerve damage shows on a scan?? We will see!!

    Thanks again take care

    Vi

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  • Posted

    I had the same disappointing results from those drugs.

    My best relief came from Advil muscle and joint and alternated between that and the highest strength Tylenol I could find. I was still uncomfortable but I could at least exercise to a point as long as took it and waited an hour or so for it to kick in. After 4 months of excrutiating pain from something as small as coughing , something let up. About 3 weeks ago I got my MRI results . Herniated disk and my doctor was said he was getting me an appt with a pain management doctor for a needle in my pack to relieve the pain. My appt is tomorrow. The exruciating part has finally let up. Not sure what I'll do about the appt. maybe still get the needle because it helps the inflammation stay down so you can heal. I still have numbness and pain , but instead of constant , I have painful moments which now the Advil relieves the pain almost completely. When I had severe moments of pain i doubled dosed, even though it says not too. I just couldn't tolerate the pain. I'm a mother of 3 kids and had to struggle through the day. It's just what I found anyway. The other drugs cause constipation , which for me just cause increase pain.

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    • Posted

      Emily please could you post about how the back injection went. I'm thinking about getting this done before resorting to surgery. Can't cope with being in so much pain on a daily basis. Thanks

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    • Posted

      Hi! I completely understand what you are going through. So I didn't get a needle yet , I have to get another MRI for my upper spine because now I have pretty constant pain in my neck, down my arm and my thumb is numb.

      At the appt he did so many tests. It was like over an hour long because I guess they need to know exactly where the pain is and what is causing it , so they can accurately inject the painkiller . I guess it's called a nerve blocker. They also said if needed as an alternative to surgery they can freeze or somehow stop the nerve from sending pain messages to the brain.

      I have already lost feeling in the side of my foot . I didn't realize this until he did this test to see if I could feel sharp or dull. The part of my foot was neither! He said that it was the exact spot that is a result of where I have herniated. So it seems like a good option first . I am waiting for an appt with the back specialist . So I'm going to try this first.

      After 3 months , one day something just let up. The pain wasn't as intense and constant . I thought I was healing and could live again! The doctor said it doesn't heal. It just will fluctuate with different levels of pain, depending on what triggers it. He said I have to modify what I do for the rest of my life. I am a very active person . I'm still processing this. I'm thinking I have to find a new job even. I cannot risk another day of the last 3 months.

      I go back for the needle in 3 weeks. I will let you know how it goes. I think it was the longest doctors appt I have ever been too. He measured how much movement I had . Didn't seem like a big deal. He said I might be sore tomorrow. I was in excruciating pain by dinner.

      At this point I'm thinking it's a good idea, as long as you can change things that trigger inflammation and pain. I guess if you feel good and do things you shouldn't, you could really hurt yourself .

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  • Posted

    Tramadol didn't even take the edge off for me either. I've tried many painkillers and nerve tablets. I'm taking pregabalin (nerve tablet) 75mg twice a day at present but soon to be upped if they are not easing pain, dihydrocodeine 60mg (pain killer) twice a day also naproxen(anti inflammatory) These seem to help more than others i've tried, at the moment anyway. I have a ruptured disc which is causing severe, unbearable pain I'm my right leg. I'm waiting to see a surgeon, I have had about 4 relapses since this happened a year and a half ago. The pain in my leg is so severe this time around I can barely walk so have had to go sick from work. I know how you feel, you need a nerve tablet for the leg pain as painkillers won't help on their own. Good luck!!

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    • Posted

      Pregabalin is another name used for lyrica, a tablet mentioned on a precious post.
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