Hi all. I have been diagnosed with a herniated disc at L5 and am in severe pain. I am on day 12 of being in bed. I try to walk around a bit but my lower back (almost in my bum) and my right leg give me so much pain that i cannot manage for more than 5 mins before ending in tears. I have seen a neurosurgeon who has written me off work for 3 weeks and who has suggested a spinal block to help with the pain if i dont get relief soon. Has anyone else experienced such pain levels and how long did it take to reach manageable levels? Also, any positive experiences with the spinal block? Many thanks. Kim
Yes, I have similar issues in my back and it IS painful but I caution you not to spend so much time in bed. It is not doing you any favors and will lead to weakness and more pain. The spinal block may help you. If it does and they isolate the nerve causing the pain, they can burn the nerve with radiofrequency waves to give you long term relief. You need to try and be up walking as much as you can stand. Just dont lift anything or do any twisting motions. I have a herniation between L4-L5 and L5-S1 is bone on bone from degeneration.
I have many levels of facet joint disease (my facet joints are very jacked) plus they think I have rheumatoid arthritis as well so I know well the kind of pain you are in and if I lay around, even for one day, I get so stiff and sore I can barely move and I have to push through that pain to get moving but once I am up and about for a bit, it gets better. I do gentle stretching every day (clear that with your doc before you do it though) there are several exercises that are good for helping low back pain. Ask your Dr to show you some or ask for physical therapy after your block. You will probably have a certain amount of pain no matter what you do for the rest of your life. It takes a bit of time to come to grips with that. I used to work in the Operating Room and I had to give that job up and went to a desk job at home so I can walk about regularly and stretch or even lay down flat a few minutes when necessary. I still take my dog for walks and live a pretty normal life otherwise but I am always in pain. I do take medications regularly to help reduce the pain but some days it is still pretty bad. I take a long acting pain medication twice a day and a short acting drug for breakthrough pain when I need it. I also take a muscle relaxant at bedtime. It certainly changes things but with some lifestyle modifications and help from a good pain management physician, I do okay. Welcome to DDC. We have a good support network here and we try to help each other through the bad days!
I've used chiropractic care and physical therapy after a herniated disc. It's important not to cause further damage so a physical therapist is a safe way to get movement back to your body (this is important for pain control) in a safe way.
Steroid injections work wonders for some people so that may also be something you want to try. You don't have to continue getting them if you don't notice help.
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