... diagnosed with a bulging and a herniated disc in my lower back
Sure. Physical therapy can help low back pain especially exercises to strengthen the core muscles and ones to relax the muscle spasms in the low back. Some people find that exercise in a warm pool for therapy can be helpful. Some find chiropractic manipulation can help as well as accupuncture. Some also find that hot and cold pack therapy helps along with electrical stimulation and massage. Some find relief with therapies involving injection of anesthetics and steroid drugs into thespinal areas like the epidural space, around affected nerves and facet joints and/or muscles and "trigger point areas. So there are many therapies you can look into to see what works best for you. There is also pharmaceutical therapy which is a combination of different medications to reduce pain. This can be NSAIDs, opioids, anticonvulsants to address nerve pain and antidepressants that address chronic pain issues.
You might consult a pain management clinic that uses a multidisciplinary approach and may use any or all of these to treat pain.
I too suffer from herniated and bulging discs. I have one bulging disc that is pushing on my S1 nerve (causes sciatica) and I have one disc that has ruptured and the inner material has spilled out and is pushing on the thecal sac (spinal cord) and causes localized nerve pain in my lower back.
I receive a lumbar steroid injection every 3 months which helps for about 4-6 weeks. I have had a total of 4 injections now. I also partake in a lot of heat therapy, stretching, self accupressure, and medications.
As for medications, I take long acting morphine, percocet, flexeril (muscle relaxant, reduces muscle spasms), valium (anti-anxiety/muscle relaxant), gabapentin (relieve pain from nerve damage), and remeron (anti-depressant, changes the perception of pain).
All of these modalities together add up to meaningful pain relief and keep me living an enjoyable active lifestyle.
I just started drug Oxycodone yesterday 5mg with APAP 325mg an anti-inflamatory for my pain. Seems to work for now but from what I hear is that it is highly addictive and you build a tolerence so you have to use more. I know someone who is up to twelve pills a day. Since it is synthetic heroin (hillbilly heroin) it might not be your best long term solution but it works for awhile. Also not easy to get ahold of because a history of abuse doctors are hesitant. I just wrote Christine and told her to consider a nuro surgent for the ruptured disk no guarenteed results may make pain worse. Surgery worked for me I had good health insurance and one of the top surgents in MA. I wouldn't trust one opinion but be sure to get a second for both as far as I know ruptured is worse than a herniated disk both painful.
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