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BS: Herniated Disc

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Becca72 29 Nov 06 - 04:18 PM
catspaw49 29 Nov 06 - 04:48 PM
Sorcha 29 Nov 06 - 06:31 PM
kendall 29 Nov 06 - 07:21 PM
catspaw49 29 Nov 06 - 07:35 PM
dianavan 29 Nov 06 - 07:49 PM
The Fooles Troupe 29 Nov 06 - 08:58 PM
Big Phil 29 Nov 06 - 09:02 PM
The Fooles Troupe 29 Nov 06 - 09:10 PM
The Fooles Troupe 29 Nov 06 - 09:21 PM
GUEST 29 Nov 06 - 10:11 PM
The Fooles Troupe 29 Nov 06 - 10:25 PM
MBSLynne 30 Nov 06 - 02:54 AM
Becca72 30 Nov 06 - 08:31 AM
catspaw49 30 Nov 06 - 09:56 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Nov 06 - 10:05 AM
The Fooles Troupe 30 Nov 06 - 07:15 PM
dianavan 30 Nov 06 - 07:37 PM
Melani 30 Nov 06 - 10:46 PM
Donuel 01 Dec 06 - 12:40 AM
Bert 01 Dec 06 - 01:29 AM
kendall 01 Dec 06 - 08:16 AM
Becca72 01 Dec 06 - 08:29 AM
bobad 01 Dec 06 - 11:19 AM
Becca72 11 Dec 06 - 02:59 PM
SINSULL 11 Dec 06 - 03:08 PM
Becca72 11 Dec 06 - 03:11 PM
Big Phil 11 Dec 06 - 04:46 PM
kendall 11 Dec 06 - 04:57 PM
Becca72 11 Dec 06 - 05:01 PM
bfdk 11 Dec 06 - 05:43 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 11 Dec 06 - 11:42 PM
Becca72 12 Dec 06 - 08:31 AM

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Subject: BS: Herniated Disc
From: Becca72
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 04:18 PM

I found a couple old threads on this, but they were from several years ago so I thought I would revisit the topic. Yesterday I was diagnosed with a herniated disc of the lumbosacral spine. I have been in unbelievable pain in my right thigh for several weeks now. I initially went in and was given an ultrasound to rule out DVT (a history of stroke is very strong on my mother's side) and that was negative. So the NP told me it sounded like sciatica, which I've suffered from off and on in the past and she put me on a 6 day steroid pack and some pain meds, neither of which did any good. It got so bad yesterday and my foot started tingling that I called and insisted they see me that day and figure it out. I ended up having an x-ray as well as an MRI (which is an experience I will NEVER repeat) and they found the herniation. I was put on Prednisone and more pain meds and am awaiting a call from "The Spine Center" for an appointment with them to figure out the course of action. I've never had any serious health issues before, and the DO I saw has basically put the fear of god in me, telling me if anything changes or if I lose control of my bowels or bladder to call 911 immediately. I woke up every 2 hours last night to make sure I could still feel my feet. He didn't give me any specifics to avoid and just told me to take it easy and wait for the spine center's call. That was yesterday and I haven't heard from them yet (everyone has a different time frame) so I've been driving myself crazy. Anyone have a similar diagnosis who can share some "what not to do" advice? Obviously I'm not lifting anything heavy and I'm taking my meds, but does anyone have anything else helpful to offer?

Much appreciated.


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 04:48 PM

If you read the old threads, mine was so bad that I couldn't walk, barely crawled. This was after several years of it getting worse.

I had a Laminectomy17 years ago and hane had no trouble since. My bestr suggestion is to see a reputable orthopedist (sorry, I really don't trust DO's but I know they can be just fine) and get the catscan/mri as might be required. If the disc is herniated, ONLY removal of the disc material from around the spinal cord and nerves will help.

This surgery has gone through many improvements lately and is now occasionally done outpatient laproscopically if the problem and amount of material is not huge, just in a poor position.

Good luck Becca.....I know that pain well and there is nothing quite like it. Aine had this a couple of years back and it took awhile to recover for her. Everyone is a bit different but there is nothing else much that works!

Don't make twisting motions and find yourself whatever position in whatever and on whatever and get as much rest as you can.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: Sorcha
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 06:31 PM

I had to have surg. on my neck...C5 for it. Not only herniated, but ruptured. Wasn't bad.


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: kendall
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 07:21 PM

Her sister had back surgery and they almost crippled her.
Sorry, Becca, that's another thing you inherited from me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 07:35 PM

Then I'd go to a different and better doc Kendall. I can show you success rates on lammies and they're pretty high providing the cuttter knows his business and the proper testing is done beforehand.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: dianavan
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 07:49 PM

If you can get the muscle spasms to stop, the disc may slip back into place by itself. To accomplish this miracle, pack the area with ice. I know its uncomfortable in the short term but it worked for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 08:58 PM

My sympathies...

Poor li'l Becca tried to lift a heavy weight,
Poor li'l Becca tried to lift a heavy weight,
Poor li'l Becca tried to lift a heavy weight,
And now she's got a Herniated Disc!

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt to prove it....

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: Big Phil
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 09:02 PM

Hi
You have my deepest sympathy with your condition. I was diagnosed with a prolapsed/herniated disc in July 2005. The pain is at its worst horrible,and at its best awful. I was laid up for about 12 weeks, any movement at all was limited to crawling about on all fours, the only way to relieve the pain. My right leg from thigh to toe was numb and indeed bowel and bladder were affected. After 12 weeks when no hospital appointment was forthcoming, my boss at work paid for me to be looked at at a private Hospital.
I saw a Consultant Neurologist who diagnosed my condition. He made a decision that as I had started to walk with a stick that further rest would indeed be most benificial to my condition..BUT in his opinion the herniation may re occur at any time, the disc now being weakend.
So here I am now 18 months later with no leg pain at all when resting, but unable to walk very far because the leg begins to get numb.
I know of a guy who had the operation to relieve the pressure on the nerve, he now limps, and his feeling in the affected limb is much reduced.[ like a dead leg he says ]
I prefer my aches and pains now to the thought of an operation that may offer a limited chance of success at best, at worst ending up with damaged nerves in the spine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 09:10 PM

I found this gave assistance - it puts a slight stretch on the spine, that you can control and stop instantly.

Lie on floor or other flat firm surface (warm, not cold) with knees raised.

Try (don't push to the point of hurting yourself!) to get the small of your back on the floor.

If/when you can achieve that, you can increase the stretch by gradually dropping first one knee to the floor, then the other so that both knees are eventually flat on the floor.

RELAX!

This will put a gentle steady controllable spinal tension in place you can lift a knee immediately at anytime if you want - even with both knees raised, the effort of putting the whole spine flat helps - if your spinal muscles are very tight, you may have difficulty in achieving the 'small of back on floor' at first - relax and take it gently.

Don't overdo this - and also try to keep weight off your spine as much as possible.


As I said - been there, done that, got the T-shirt to prove it...

and best of luck...

Trust me - I thought I was gonna die too - the doc's advice about watching for any serious symptoms should not panic you - he just doesn't want you to ignore any serious signs!


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 09:21 PM

As Big Phil says - my GP (a very good one!) pointed out at the time that there is a 1/3 chance of the surgery helping, 1/3 chance of it making things worse, and 1/3 chance of it making no difference at all.

Which is why I never had any surgery, but nowadays I can cope most of the time without much noticeable pain, as long as I do NOT lift anything much greater than about 25 Kg - or DO NOT stretch awkwardly.

In the beginning, time and rest were the most useful - and I had some proper physio spinal tension - but I found the trick described above worked almost as well, and was a hell of a lot cheaper! The physio admitted that with common sense and not forcing anything, it couldn't do any harm, and was just as likely to do almost as much good.

The problem with spinal tension, is that some small people need 'tons' to do any good - some big people like me need only very light tension - too much for the individual will NOT help, and may in fact only increase the perceived pain!

Fight Gravity - Lie Down!


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 10:11 PM

Hi Becca
As an osteopath in UK I would endorse the comments above regarding the ice-pack (Dianavan) and the srtretching exercise (Foolestroupe).
You appear to have hgad very good service so far from your medical consultants, with a very rapid scan and diagnosis. It is unfortunate that one practitioner "put the fear of God into you". It was probably poorly explained, or put over in a rather frightening manner, but the aggravated conditions he mentioned e.g. loss of bladder/bowel control, are "red flag" conditions which would need urgent treatment. They are, however, VERY RARE.
Surgery, either by removal of the herniated portion of the disk or by fenestration (opening of the canal through which the nerve root passes) is usually very successful. My own preference is for a neurosurgeon rather than an orthopeadic surgeon to do the operation as they are usually more gentle.
While recuperating try to ensure that you lift nothing heavier than a bag of sugar (2 kilos).

Colyn.


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 29 Nov 06 - 10:25 PM

Colyn

The icepack is useful in early stages, but over 30 years later I still do the stretching as required.

I didn't mention it here, but I have previously mentioned in another back thread about how I built up the spinal rotators, which massively eased my discomfort, and hold things together pretty well - you need to be well healed out of the acute stage before trying that however.


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: MBSLynne
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 02:54 AM

When a friend had problems with hers at Sidmouth I gave her some comfrey oil to rub on. Doesn't actually cure anything, of course, but it does ease the inflamation and help the pain. She said it was the first good night's sleep she'd had in days.

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: Becca72
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 08:31 AM

I have to call the neurosurgeon's office today for an appointment. From what I've read online (taken with a grain of salt) nowadays surgery isn't always the first choice. They can do a lot with drug and physical therapy which is the route I intend to try first. As my father mentioned above, my sister had a similar situation several years ago and has been unable to work and in almost constant pain (and heavily medicated) ever since. I've spoken to many people who have had back surgery and most of them are never quite the same afterward. Thanks for the hints, everyone. The strange part for me is, this time my back feels fine, all the symptoms are in my right thigh (the herniation is at the L5-S1 level) but I have been putting an ice pack under my leg and it does feel better while it's there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: catspaw49
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 09:56 AM

Surgery never was the first choice and most of the doctors I know or the ones I went to considered it a final option. In some cases even then it was not done because it had possible problems and thought it might not do enough to warrant it.

On the other hand, in my case, AFTER exhausting other treatments from chiropractic and acupunture on up through medicines and many of the remedies mentioned here, surgery was my best option. I had two herniated discs (L4-L5 and L5-S1) and it took care of the problem. As I said before, I was at the point I could barely crawl and walking was ouit of the question.

Yep....I' known some bad surgical outcomes, but there are also far more surgical successes like myself and I get fed up hearing about all the others ...... a little balance here please. NO surgery should ever be undertaken just for the hell of it and without proper testing and preparation except in emergencies but try to give the cutters their worth.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 10:05 AM

I know some chiropracters have a bad name but Mrs G went to one after years of back pain, including pains and numbness in her legs, and she was about 80% better after the second visit! Another 2 or 3 got her to 90+%. They say it will never be fully cured but what a difference. I don't think she was ever diagnosed with ruptured or slipped disks but she never had a scan:-(

I guess I am saying it is worth a try but it has to be a good one!

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 07:15 PM

"my back feels fine, all the symptoms are in my right thigh"

It's called "referred pain" - drove me nuts till I understood and accepted what was the cause and adjusted my life accordingly - at the young age of your 20s you want to burn energy, not lie around...

My left hip is complicated by arthritis too - the two lots of pain symptoms overlap! The recent discoveries about green lipped mussels and shark fin - and their synthesised products help keep things (even the disk hassles a bit!) a bit under control, provided I don't 'push it' ...

Same major area as you Spaw, and I got some lesser thoracic and cervical areas too - but surgery is not recommended as the first thing - they really like to make sure that the situation is stable - I had years of hassle till I worked on getting adequate tone in my spinal rotators - then things got a lot easier.


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: dianavan
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 07:37 PM

Becca72 - Put the ice pack on the area around the disc. Thats where the spasms are ocurring. You have to get them to settle down before the disc can slip back into place.

You can also slip the ice pack into the waistband of your pants. I did that while working and it worked fine.

You can used to anything!

Anyway, it worked for me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: Melani
Date: 30 Nov 06 - 10:46 PM

I had severe pain from that condition about 12 or 13 years ago. I spent three weeks in bed, and still take NSAIDs, but nowadays that's mostly for arthritis. I also do back excercises every morning.

My advice would be like most of the above--make surgery the very last option. If you have to have another MRI, ask them to put a towel over your face before they slide you into the round coffin-thing--then you can't see it. (That's not a joke, by the way--it worked for me.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: Donuel
Date: 01 Dec 06 - 12:40 AM

Bravo to everyone who gave Becca good advice help and hope.
Much of this info is new to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: Bert
Date: 01 Dec 06 - 01:29 AM

Ouch! been there, hurts like hell doesn't it. Just like someone is trying to screw your leg off. I was flat on my back on the floor for two weeks. I'd laugh now and then to stop screaming in agony.

Then it gradually got better and was able to go to work. The only job I could get was in a sheet metal shop where I had to operate a TREADLE guillotine. And it was the coldest winter for 20 years. More ouch.

But eventually it went away completely. Well almost, 'cos I still have to be careful lifting things. Every couple of years I'll get careless and oops! But it doesn't come back so badly, usually just for a day or two.

Lay off of the caffeine - the last thing you need is something to wake up those nerves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: kendall
Date: 01 Dec 06 - 08:16 AM

..screw your leg off?...naw, I won't go there. Spaw might.


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: Becca72
Date: 01 Dec 06 - 08:29 AM

I had the same thought, Dad...haven't felt that way since high school. :-)

I actually gave up caffeine 2 months ago to ease the symptoms of GERD and it's worked like a charm on that. I've been on Prednisone for 3 days now and am feeling TONS better. I spoke with the spine center yesterday and they won't see me until Dec. 11 so I just have to take it slow and steady until then, I guess. The ice packs are helping a lot, too. I think now that I'm past the stage where I'm terrified I'm going to paralyze myself with a good sneeze everything is working out alright. Bente hit it right on the head in a PM to me when she said they made her feel like she was walking around with a time bomb inside. That's exactly the vibe I got from my doc and it certainly did scare me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: bobad
Date: 01 Dec 06 - 11:19 AM

I thought you all might find this interesting:

Don't Sit Up Straight, It's Bad For Your Back
   
It seems that sitting up straight, something many of us are taught from a very early age, is not good for your back, say researchers from Scotland and Canada. They found that sitting up straight strains your back unnecessarily. Ideally, you should lean slightly back, at an angle of about 135 degrees, they say.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/healthnews.php?newsid=57654


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: Becca72
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 02:59 PM

Just got back from the spine center and the verdict is....NO SURGERY! Yay! I'm healing well on my own but they'll probably send me for PT anyway just to help it on its way. I am so relieved. And my "no shopping of any kind" restriction was lifted as long as I take it easy, so I can finish my xmas shopping (though no one will be getting anything from me weighing more then 10lbs as that's my lifting limit!).


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: SINSULL
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 03:08 PM

Late to this thread. So sorry, Becca. Damn! You Morses are high maintenance friends.
Screw the shopping. Most will be happier to see a healthy Becca.
SINS


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: Becca72
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 03:11 PM

Sins, Elaine went with me and we were giggling about the "family history" section of the forms...I can pretty much check everything and SOMEONE has had it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: Big Phil
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 04:46 PM

Becca72, like myself you have been lucky to avoid surgery. I am 18 months further down the road than youself, so follow your Medical advice, remember it may be a weak area now, so take it easy and good luck with your condition..


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: kendall
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 04:57 PM

What a relief! I hate to see my kids in pain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: Becca72
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 05:01 PM

It's been a very long 7 weeks, but I'm finally feeling better and plan on doing whatever it takes to continue.


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: bfdk
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 05:43 PM

Glad to hear you'll be avoiding surgery, Becca.

Just hang in there, it'll be a slow process, but you *will* get there eventually. Best of luck with it :-)

Best wishes,

Bente


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 11:42 PM

Becca, I too have two bad disks, lower back. Had them at least two years. Manifested in pain in right ankle and work up to my hip when walking...sometimes I could only walk a dozen steps and the pain would be excruciating. Rest. Some walking. Pain. Repeat.
Finally, a back x-ray showed the real problem. Now I do a series of stretches and back muscle strengthening exercises; can walk longer distances now and improving.
Funny thing, my back didn't actually hurt until the diagnosis and therapy; now there is a modicum of pain there that I am aware of.


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Subject: RE: BS: Herniated Disc
From: Becca72
Date: 12 Dec 06 - 08:31 AM

John, I had a similar problem. My back has been fine the whole time. All my symptoms had been in my right thigh. Then a couple weeks ago I started getting a tingling sensation in my right heel (like it was falling asleep) and I knew that couldn't be good so I called and that's when they finally did the MRI and found the herniation. I find now that I get a little twinge in my back from time to time, but I think it's because I'm over-compensating for my painful leg so I'm all off kilter.

On a high note, I was able to shave my legs this morning for the first time in 7 weeks!!! I know, TMI, but it was a sure sign of recovery for me. ;-)


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