I just got an e-mail from my doctor that my last MRI showed 2 bulging disks in my lower back. Any body have this? My doctor as I've said before doesn't want to handle my case, so has handed me off to a pain specialist. I would like any comments from anyone experiencing this and what remedies are out there. I've commented before my symptoms of pain, and stiffness, and it's getting worse to the point that it's effecting my ability to be an effective mother. Thanks, CAthleen
Bulging disks in lower back?
- 19 Jan 2011 by Cathleen186
- 22 February 2012
- back pain
I have a bulging disc at L4-L5 and disc degeneration L5-S1 and degeneration in the facet joints. I take medicines for pain, a muscle relaxant and as needed anti-inflammatories (OTC). I have had epidurals, radiofrequency ablations, facet joint injections, nerve blocks... none with any lasting relief for me but that's not to say something may work better for you. I am not going to have surgery. I did see a surgeon who offered to do a fusion since I have been suffering for so long but he did not say I would get relief for sure, so I said no thanks! From what I have read and heard from others, surgery can cause more problems than it is worth unless you have cauda eguina syndrome in which you need surgery for sure. Most people I have taked to are worse off after surgery than they were before or at least no better! My mother is one of the few I know who had good relief after having a microlaminectomy. It was after her second surgery she got relief-the first one didn't help.
Most people who have had fusions may feel better at first but within a few years they begin to have problems with the discs above and below the fusion because the surgery can cause more pressure on these areas, so I won't consider surgery until it is a last resort! I did have a discography which showed that my pain generator is mainly the degeneration in the L5-S1. Discography hurt like the very devil-I won't do that again!!! I have pain and stiffness in the AM, also some numbness in the bottoms of my feet and the top of my right foot along with burning pain in the right top of my foot and an deep, miserable ache in my left heel. Some days the pain is so bad, it is all I can do not to cry! Meds help some, but since they changed the formula of OxyContin, my pain control is not as good as it was before. I try to do stretching exercises and walk when i can. I found a job, finally, that I didn't have to be on my feet all the time so that was good. I know what you mean about effecting your ability to be an effective mother. It is hard because some days I cant do all the things my kids would like. I cant do the housework I used to. I cant vacuum or mop and it is difficult to scrub the bathrooms like I used to. My husband is not very sympathetic either. He's never had severe pain-I know from the comments he makes, he has never had pain like I do. He has minor aches and pains so he thinks I'm just a big baby using my pain to try to get out of doing things. I really hope he never has pain like mine!! Some days though, I wish I could give him a little taste of what I go through so he would understand. It is hard for people who have never been is severe, debilitating pain to understand what it is like for those of us who put up with it every day! I do see a chiropractor from time to time and it helps some. My pain Dr is in a multispecialty practice. They have physicians from different backgrounds-some are anesthesiologists, some are physiatrists, some are GP's with extra training in pain management. In the same practice there are physical therapists, chiropractors and massage therapists as well, so it is nice that I can see different types of healthcare professionals because this type of pain is best managed from different approaches. I use heat and ice packs for pain along with my oral medicines and exercise. I just joined a gym to try to get more exercise and try to lose weight. I have to be careful not to reinjure my back though. I did clear it with my Dr before I joined. Good Luck in your quest for pain relief! Keep us all posted on how it is going!
Hi Cathleen. DaZoobaby pretty much covered it all. The radiofrequencies helped the most for me. Let me guess, L4-5 area? It's the same level on everyone, even with the top of your hip bone? Whatever you decide to do, please, please do NOT have surgery! Bulging discs are fairly common and there is treatment for them. So many people regret having this type of surgery and usually end up staying on pain meds indefinitely. It can also have you laid up for several weeks even months. Please start out with the most conservative treatments available. Physical therapy, strengthening exercises, low impact aerobics, swimming, etc. It's so important to strengthen the core muscles as this will support the spine and ease pain and pressure. You can also be fitted with a soft brace for during the day. They're coming out with many new technologies it's amazing.
I have more info on my link for you. I'll attach it in the comment section.
Take care and we'll chat soon!
I have bulging disks in my neck & lower back. Some do press on a nerve & pain goes to my toes on right side & to the calf of my leg on left side. I also disks that are degenerating & arthritis in my back. Oh yeah & bone spurs on my spine. I have been dealing with this for years. My GP tried tramadol. After that, I was sent to a pain specialist. I receive facet blocks in my neck & lower back. I also receive epidurals in my lower back. I take Neurontin for nerve pain, Parafonte Forte for muscle spasms, & right now oxycodone for my severe pain. (the oxycodone is not controlling the pain) Also lidoderm patches. I wish you the best & I hope they are not to bad. I have heard of the disk will fix itself & stop bulging. Not sure if this is correct. I just know my pain keeps getting worse & I have been dealing with this 10+ years. I wish you well & find you a good doctor.
Saw a pain specialist for buldging disks, tear, osteoarthritis, degen on spine (I was 29 at the time!) Likely to rx opiates, muscle relaxers, steroids. Pain kept getting worse. Stiffness awful. Careful... opiates work good for a while and then at least in my experience make the pain worse. Since getting off the opiates, yeah, my back still really hurts most of the time, but it was almost just as bad, coupled with a bad addiction. Catch 22.
Cathleen, If the PAIN persists & you begin feeling a "stinging,burning electric type of pain" down you buttock/thigh/leg area", GET your doctor to check further ASAP ! It can be VERY painful & disrupts our normal daily chores & responsibilities. IF the disc becomes herniated(ruptured) it can trap a nerve & or muscle. When a nerve becomes trapped by it, it CAN & WILL cause permanant nerve/muscle loss in the leg.I KNOW because it happned to me. I have had 2 Lower Back surgeries because of herniated Discs.The first one did not cause problems after the surgery, but the 2nd one caused problems BEFORE the surgery & I now have Permanant lower leg/foot Neuropathy with "foot drop".NO fun, I CAN assure you... Sorry when I hear of ANYONE having this problem. I have 3 children & they ALL have had to have the same type of surgery & one granddaughter(at age 19) ALL because of the Herniated discs..Take care & WATCH IT ! ! ... Judy
I'm sorry it's got you in such pain that it is affecting how you feel as a parent.
I feel like that too about being a "dog parent" to 3 dogs and a great Aunt to my niece and nephews, my husband & I see all the time.
Anyway, I have 4 bulging discs in my back and a herniated disc in my neck.
I haven't had any surgery (yet and hope I never have to).
I take pain meds and a muscle relaxer that helps. I also use Lidoderm patches
on my back which help a good bit too!
Other than that, the pain is just something I "live" with. It's been getting worse with every single day, but I'm still managing.
I heard that epidural shots help, and cortisone (Sp??) shots too.
I haven't had an epidural and the other shot I had a reaction to.
Heating pads, or sometimes even ice helps me. I also use an arthritis cream
called Theragesic. I am not sure if every place/state/ etc has them, but I
get it at CVS pharmacy for about $5 and some change.
I just get my husband to put the cream all on my back.
I hope that helps somewhat... I truly hope you find some relief FAST!
Take care and best wishes,
I have a bulging disc in my lower back hitting a nerve and causing tremendous pain. My doctor wants to do something where he goes in and burns the nerve. I'm a big scaredy cat, and am not sure about it, but we're tossing it up in the air. I don't know if your case would be like mine or not. I know anything hitting nerves hurt though. Good luck to you hon. Ruth
well i got two ruptured discs on L6 and L5 mri proved that and been dealing with it so long i now have bone spurs . no ins will get you the run around reg doc sent me to a specialist he sent me to a surgeon he seen no ins and walked out room serriouslly. so dont know what to do reacon get ins hopefully but i get no pain meds at all just what i can gather up.
Hi Cathleen, Sorry to hear about your diagnosis, I have some things in common. I had two ruptured disks according to my MRI. I woulln't be upset about your doctor referring you to a specialist I think a neorogical doctor could give you a strieght opinion based on what the MRI showed. I was having excruating pain down from my butt down one leg to the toes which felt like pins and needles. It was sciatica, as some one else said surgery is the last resort. Because there is no guarantee on the out come it may even make things worse. Having a bulging is different than a ruptured one although they do have the potential of rupturing.The botom line is consult with a speciaist then consider your course of action. I am no longer working because of my injury not to scare you. The sciatica is better with the disk operation relieving the pinched nerve. But also in 1980 I fell thirty feet out of a tree sustaining a compression fracture of L1.
I did landscape work for twenty three years after that surgery, the ruptured disks made me decide to hang it up. I am not ready for a wheel chair yet.
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