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dollarbill
10-22-2014, 17:43
Curious if anyone has experienced bulging/herniated disk in there back. It is currently pressing on nerves that is causing some pretty descent pain. Doctors plan is to send me to a pain management center to receive nerve blocking shots. This should happen on th 30th. Was wondering how long these shots lasted. As a long haul truck driver, I hate for it to wear off after a day or two.

cbtengr
10-22-2014, 18:55
Good luck with the shots, I had them in 04 for bulging disks in my neck, it did not work for me but we are all different, insurance carrier had a lot to do with my treatment schedule. Least invasive cure first. I ended up having two disks removed and a fusion done. I was born again after the surgery.

Brush Okie
10-22-2014, 20:04
Long story short if disk is bulging shts will not work, but insurance wants to play the game. Also get a surgical consult. I waited till it was almost to long for me.

JSMosby
10-22-2014, 20:23
I had a bulging L5-S1 which pretty much leveled me with sciatica. I never experienced pain like I had down my right leg. I had the shots and 2 days later I was golden!

Good luck

dollarbill
10-22-2014, 20:34
I had a bulging L5-S1 which pretty much leveled me with sciatica. I never experienced pain like I had down my right leg. I had the shots and 2 days later I was golden!

Good luck
Thanks, you read so much stuff and they all have different opinions a person really doesn't know.
I have a real good Doctor, but have never met the pain Doc. Past experience has taught me you QP's will tell it like it's is. Thanks can't wait for the shot.

dollarbill
10-22-2014, 20:42
Entire thread didn't show until after my reply.2 out of 3, I've played against worst odds. But is coming down to insurance going cheaper route first. Read a little on this laser surgery. After I meet this pain Doc might have to insist on the laser. After all I pay the premiums. Thanks again.

zeke
10-22-2014, 21:38
Had one that I had surgery for: http://www.professionalsoldiers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17469

I still had lingering on/off sciatica for a year, but found that PT and mobility exercises made the pain and discomfort mostly stay away. I still get some pain when sitting for long periods but not sure it's from a pinched nerve as a shifted pelvis or SI joint. MobilityWOD was a big help.

To this day I'm not sure if the surgery was the fix but after more than a year of constant sciatica down into my calf I was willing to give it a try.

Brush Okie
10-22-2014, 22:01
Let me fix what I said. If your disk is blown, not bulged shot will not work. I meant to say blown but had a DOH moment and typed blown. I still recommend surgical consult if shot does not work. My pain MD screwed around to long and I could have been paralyzed.

dollarbill
10-22-2014, 23:34
Let me fix what I said. If your disk is blown, not bulged shot will not work. I meant to say blown but had a DOH moment and typed blown. I still recommend surgical consult if shot does not work. My pain MD screwed around to long and I could have been paralyzed.

Hope all is good now for you. I've been reading the laser back surgery of Indianapolis website. They seem to have good results. There claim is a small 2 inch incision and can repair disk. Like I said driving for a living means a lot of sitting, bumps, vibrations, ect ect. I'm sure insurance is going tomake me try the shot . But, the first sign its not working and I'll push for this back laser surgery. I'm only 56 and still have a lot I'd like to do. Thanks and again hope all is well

fred111
10-23-2014, 03:45
I had problems at L2-3, L3-4, and L4-5. I tried the shots. The first one worked for a few months. The second for a couple of weeks. The third for a couple of months.

I went to a surgeon and asked about the laser surgery and he strongly recommended against it. He said he didn't like the idea of heat that close to all the nerves.

I had surgery and it worked great! I was up and walking the next day - not fast or far, but walking. I followed the doc's instructions and I am extremely happy with the results.

Good luck on your back.

dollarbill
10-23-2014, 07:01
I had problems at L2-3, L3-4, and L4-5. I tried the shots. The first one worked for a few months. The second for a couple of weeks. The third for a couple of months.

I went to a surgeon and asked about the laser surgery and he strongly recommended against it. He said he didn't like the idea of heat that close to all the nerves.

I had surgery and it worked great! I was up and walking the next day - not fast or far, but walking. I followed the doc's instructions and I am extremely happy with the results.

Good luck on your back.

Thanks sir, it seems the shot works fine for a few. I'll just call them the lucky ones. And for that I'm happy for them. I'm the type that if its not broken don't fix it. But, if it is fix it right. It's sounding more and more like I need to push for the laser surgery. In the long run, probably will be more happy and free of a lot of the pain. I can't help but think if you deaden the never and continue on with businesss as usual. Why would you not cause more damage and possibly not even know it until it us too late.

Thanks for all the info

MiTTMedic
10-23-2014, 13:04
Pretty much everyone has a "bulging disc" to some degree. I had an xray that showed one on me that was "impinging" on a nerve. Problem is, I didn't have any symptoms. Not all pain in the back or radiating pain has to do with discs. In my 35+ years in the Physical Therapy realm, I can say I'd have to be peeing on my foot before I'd do surgery without trying everything else first.
I've heard things like "It only hurts when I deadlift", etc.
Long-term surgical outcomes are far from perfect. For that matter, short term outcomes aren't either.
Have they sent you to PT?

dollarbill
10-23-2014, 15:04
Concur.

The risk vs. reward ratio with spine surgery isn't good enough unless pain and functional deficiencies leave absolutely no other option.

You'd be wise to investigate other options first, IMO.

I'd like to thank each and eveyone of you for your input. I thought my mind was realing from all the reserch I found on line. Now its realing and rocking. Even though I've never met a single one of you and had the pleasure of shaking you hand, I value your opions and comments more than any reviews I've found on line.

I just returned from my family Doctor and this is how the back shapes up.
T12-L1: Normal
L1-L2: A right parcentral disk protrusion slightly deforms the thecal sac.
L2-L3 Bulging of the disk flattens the thecal sac and extends slightly into left neural foramen.
L3-L4: Bulging of the disk minimally deforms the thecal sac.
L4-L5:Bulging of the disk deforms the thecal sac.
L5-S1: Eccentric bulging of the disk deforms the thecal sac and compresses the S1 nerve root on the left.
T6-T7: A small central disk protrusion is present
T9-T10 Degenerative change is present in the facet joints.
T10-T11: Degenerative change is present in the facet joints.
The cord is normal in size and signal.

I'm certainly not a Doctor but it seems the list would be shorter to list the disk that are ok. I'll need to research what the thecal sac is and does.
However, right now I'm thinking the only sac i have left still intact is my nut sac.

My Doc is still highly recommending the pain management with shots on the laser back surgery.

The Reaper
10-23-2014, 15:44
I'd like to thank each and eveyone of you for your input. I thought my mind was realing from all the reserch I found on line. Now its realing and rocking. Even though I've never met a single one of you and had the pleasure of shaking you hand, I value your opions and comments more than any reviews I've found on line.

I just returned from my family Doctor and this is how the back shapes up.
T12-L1: Normal
L1-L2: A right parcentral disk protrusion slightly deforms the thecal sac.
L2-L3 Bulging of the disk flattens the thecal sac and extends slightly into left neural foramen.
L3-L4: Bulging of the disk minimally deforms the thecal sac.
L4-L5:Bulging of the disk deforms the thecal sac.
L5-S1: Eccentric bulging of the disk deforms the thecal sac and compresses the S1 nerve root on the left.
T6-T7: A small central disk protrusion is present
T9-T10 Degenerative change is present in the facet joints.
T10-T11: Degenerative change is present in the facet joints.
The cord is normal in size and signal.

I'm certainly not a Doctor but it seems the list would be shorter to list the disk that are ok. I'll need to research what the thecal sac is and does.
However, right now I'm thinking the only sac i have left still intact is my nut sac.

My Doc is still highly recommending the pain management with shots on the laser back surgery.


Mine offered me a facet block across four vertebra with RF denervation if it was effective.

I declined till it gets worse; i.e., so bad I can't stand it.

I have rarely seen a surgery be effective and not need additional surgeries in the future.

TR

dollarbill
10-23-2014, 16:52
Mine offered me a facet block across four vertebra with RF denervation if it was effective.

I declined till it gets worse; i.e., so bad I can't stand it.

I have rarely seen a surgery be effective and not need additional surgeries in the future.

TR

Thanks Reaper, if someone would of told me a year ago I'd have back problems with this much pain, I'd laughed in there face. I've always considered my back as the strongest part of my body.
I was wondering why you declined the block (if it's to personal I'll certainly understand). My thinking is I might do more damage down the road ,without feeling any real pain.

The Reaper
10-23-2014, 17:12
Thanks Reaper, if someone would of told me a year ago I'd have back problems with this much pain, I'd laughed in there face. I've always considered my back as the strongest part of my body.
I was wondering why you declined the block (if it's to personal I'll certainly understand). My thinking is I might do more damage down the road ,without feeling any real pain.

Because I was not comfortable with the potential downside, and I still have a good tolerance for pain.

It is an option for when I can't take it anymore.

TR

dollarbill
10-23-2014, 17:51
Because I was not comfortable with the potential downside, and I still have a good tolerance for pain.

It is an option for when I can't take it anymore.

TR
Understandable, thanks.

fred111
10-24-2014, 06:14
dollarbill. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. I like the way you are preparing to make you decision.

grog18b
11-06-2014, 08:38
I've had a bad back since 2003. First time it went "out" was during hunting season, walking through 3' of snow. I got 500 yards from the house and the back seized up. I went down, and had to low crawl back to the house. I made it inside the door, and had to wait there for 8+ hours until the wife came home and was able to drag me into the jeep and drive to the hospital. After a few weeks off work, and numerous "adjustments" from a local chyro, the spasms stopped. I went a year before it went out again. Washing my newborn in the kitchen sink, leaning over, the back locked up and I had to hold her and me up with my elbows until the wife ran out and grabbed her. I went down in a pile like a noodle. When this happens to me, it feels like someone is hitting me dead in the lower back with a 2x4 as hard as they can.

Since 2004 I've gone through numerous types of physical therapy, shots (nerve blocks) which never worked for me, numerous doctors including supposedly the best out of Bethesda MD, meds and muscle relaxers as my prior job would allow, and nothing helped. I've had a lot of MRI, CT scans, Xrays, and so on. Plenty of tests, poked and prodded. I even tried a place that stretched my back with a big traction system. As my last resort, surgery. Doc said I would either stay the same, get better, or get worse. Quite a prognosis, right? So, the day after I retired (I could never do a disability retirement, that's just me... so I worked in great pain for two years) I went into surgery. The pain, after I recovered from the surgery was the same. No help at all, plus the PT and recovery for nothing. Now I have more metal in my back than most people. 4 large screws, two hollow bolts, and two flexible rods... I wish I had not done it. They went in from back and front, so I have good scars now.

After all that, I decided that something had to be done about the pain. I went to the doc, and had to try my last last resort. Meds. I found out that I am one of the lucky people that morphine has no effect on. Like tic tacs. Some meds gave me rashes, and most had no effect on my pain at all. Finally, tried Fentynal patch, 50mcg/hr. The night after I tried that patch was the first night since 2003 that I slept the entire night without waking, or waking in pain. Got up the next day like a new man. Started back into PT, and dropped 50lbs like it was a rucksack. Since I started using the patch I have maintained my PT, and am now back into karate. Something I enjoyed greatly as a young adult. I continue to drop weight, and am getting better and better in shape. The patch has never made me feel "high" something that I inquired my pharmacist about. I wondered why people steal those things when they never made me "high". He said if you really have pain, they won't make you "high" but they will remove your pain and make you feel normal, which they do for me. There are side effects with them. I know when they wear off, as the back pain returns bad. It is also hard to pee sometimes. They also turn off your libido. As the wife says, my libido was once a 69 Mustang, and now it is a duce and a half... but hey, you take the bad with the good. Meds are not for everyone, but given a choice of being cut open yet again, dealing with pain severe enough to couch me all day, or meds, I'll take the meds.

I've had a few additional MRIs to make sure I am not doing damage to my back with the PT program I enjoy now (I walk every other day with my dogs 8-12 miles, and take Karate classes three days a week) and have only increased my dosage once in the years I've been using the meds. If you are old like I am, explore multiple options, and as Bruce Lee said "Use what works". Everyone is different, so what works for one person may or may not work for another. Two of my brothers-in-law also have back pain, and their backs are really screwed up, with multiple surgeries, removing chips of spine bone, and such. They went the multiple surgeries route, and they are more messed up than ever now.

I recommend you get multiple opinions if you decide on trying surgery. Make sure the Dr can point to a spot on the MRI and say 100% for sure that this is your problem and he is confident he can help you. Otherwise, if they give you my options, stay the same, get better or get worse, don't do it. If your current lifestyle allows for meds, don't be afraid to go that route, if you have exhausted everything else. Don't use meds first. Muscle relaxers may help you, or not. I still use them from time to time, when the Karate is particularly rough. Try all the physical therapy you can handle. It might help you. Don't be afraid to tell the doc "Hey this isn't working for me, let's try something else." If the doc insists, or tells you your pain might be in your head, get another doc. Fast.

Good luck, and I hope you get relief soon. Back pain is not fun at all. GROG

Stephens
11-08-2014, 15:01
Because I was not comfortable with the potential downside, and I still have a good tolerance for pain.

It is an option for when I can't take it anymore.

TR

Sometimes timing is important. If you can function and the problem you have is tolerable, consider waiting until the "benefit" truly outweighs the "Risks" or does so in a more decided manner. This of course doesn't apply to things like heart attacks etc.
:)

Red Flag 1
11-09-2014, 15:07
Grog18b paints the perfect thread entry for chronic moderate to severe back pain. What really stands out is addressing the issue of dealing with the cause of most back issues. No amount of surgery, steroid injections, or medicines can really do what physical therapy, and core building can do to fix the problem. Aside from acute injuries , the bulk of the troubles come from overloading vertebral disc spaces, poor posture and some really poor body mechanics; myself included. Without addressing these issues, we really will not have any lasting relief of symptoms.

If surgery is used for chronic back pain, there will likely be some symptom free time. The same can be true with epidural steroid injections, if there is radiating pain from the back injury. This is the time to get seroius about physical therapy (PT). PT is what really addresses the cause of overloaded disc spaces. Tighted the core, and it is more than just sit-ups, and you have a shot at staying ahead of the pain. Pain meds, taken for pain may be needed. There is a difference between addiction to pain meds, v dependency. The clinical picture between the two is very different, especially if handled by pain management folks.

The bottom line I am pitching here is that it takes more than just surgery to deal with back pain that is chronic. You can't undo surgery, and my choice for my back has been to hold aurgical intervention for later. Like grog, physical therapy, and an active core tightening regime has kept me out of the OR as a patient. Pain meds handled by pain management folks when and if indicated.

Great post, grog18b!!

The Reaper
11-09-2014, 16:28
Exactly.

I was lucky in that my knee specialist wrote me up a referral for physical therapy, with emphasis on cardio and legs, and the physical therapist and I decided to do a little exercise bike work for cardio, and do a whole bunch of core strengthening exercises that I should do for the rest of my life or until I can't do them anymore.

She felt (and I agree) that if you do not have a strong core, the rest is a waste of time.

Currently looking for an exercise bike to go with the core exercises so that I can continue to do them at home.

TR

InnovativeCGO
11-10-2014, 01:20
though i have never had a bulging disc, i have suffered from back issues. i recommend chatting with a chiropractor.

i was really skeptical of the entire chiropractic field but i personally saw positive improvements after a few weeks of regular adjustments.

i have been pain free for about 8 months now (since my first chiropractor visit) and now just look at the adjustments as preventative maintenance.

the only downside is that we couldn't get out insurance to cover the adjustments so we paid out of pocket ($35 per visit). maybe your insurance has better coverage.

dollarbill
11-10-2014, 02:53
Thanks for the info. But you're not going to believe this. Family Doc said it was ok to take up to 16 Advil a day(more than 16 will do liver damage)then take two Norco. Went home,got shots in the back. Doc says about three days for steroids to affect muscle. Go home and pop a couple of advil. I got up out of bed and passed slap the hell out. Wife called 911. Turned out the Advil are a hole through my stomach. It was so bad that when they incubated me I hosed a tech down. Yeap,they HIV tested her. I lost so much blood (9 bags) It sent me into a heart attack. Evidently I've been up now for about 12 hours from a medical induced coma. Right now I'm not sure if I need to kick my docs ass or sue him. I can tell you this, Community North Hospital knows their stuff. Excellent Staff and Doctors.

Joker
11-10-2014, 04:36
Thanks for the info. But you're not going to believe this. Family Doc said it was ok to take up to 16 Advil a day(more than 16 will do liver damage)then take two Norco. Went home,got shots in the back. Doc says about three days for steroids to affect muscle. Go home and pop a couple of advil. I got up out of bed and passed slap the hell out. Wife called 911. Turned out the Advil are a hole through my stomach. It was so bad that when they incubated me I hosed a tech down. Yeap,they HIV tested her. I lost so much blood (9 bags) It sent me into a heart attack. Evidently I've been up now for about 12 hours from a medical induced coma. Right now I'm not sure if I need to kick my docs ass or sue him. I can tell you this, Community North Hospital knows their stuff. Excellent Staff and Doctors.


Both.

Glad you're on this side of the grass.

dollarbill
11-10-2014, 06:57
Both.

Glad you're on this side of the grass.

Amen brother, not ready to follow the light. The nurse was just telling me what a pain in the ass I was trying to be knocked out. She was saying they threw everything at me they have,and I was still trying to get off the bed. I keep going into A-fib. I guess if I keep it up the heart doc wants to put the paddles to me and shock it out. Honestly don't see that happening.

Red Flag 1
11-10-2014, 14:49
Amen brother, not ready to follow the light. The nurse was just telling me what a pain in the ass I was trying to be knocked out. She was saying they threw everything at me they have,and I was still trying to get off the bed. I keep going into A-fib. I guess if I keep it up the heart doc wants to put the paddles to me and shock it out. Honestly don't see that happening.

Very sorry to learn of your complication. You now know the prime risk in taking NSAIDs, a gastrointestinal bleed. The surgeons and GI folks know more about that than I do, but I do know that longterm NSAID use is hard on the digestive system, and the kidneys. Virtually everything carries a risk, and no meds work in a vacuum; your doc should be able to explain the risk/benefit ratio for the meds you take. Lets hope you get some things addressed, like the A-fib for starters. You will likely be best served by sticking pretty close to a doc that you like and trust. My guess is that you will need follow-up care after your hospital stay. I wish you the best of luck with your back issues as well.

Golf1echo
11-11-2014, 08:40
Gravity and life cycle issues, some more poignant than others. I found this article to be a good one https://www.yahoo.com/health/7-weird-reasons-your-back-hurts-and-what-to-do-about-101652689922.html
Seems like there has been a big gap between medical treatment and the chiropractor. Strong young backs can only carry you so far, Eventually, for myself, I have learned that posture and small tension or isometric movements do wonders...especially around the hips. If you look at a model of the spine you can see how intricate parts of it are*, learning to keep your back aligned and use it with the right motions has made a big difference and strengthens the core. Movement in the lower back can often release tension in the neck, working the chest and collar bones gets things from a different direction as does a squeeze under the rib cage but these movements are subtle. Leaning to the side and pressing the heel back down to the ground and a slight squat gently putting tension on the neck as you lift and straighten out are two other movements that help considerably... small movements working with the structure of the bones, ligaments, and muscles to align.
* Be cautious.
The turning point was talking with an adventure racer whose advice was about strengthening the core, his disks had been shaved twice but he managed to win the BRC two times among other races...I started being proactive and work on this throughout the day.
I found relief in these exercises and hope this may help someone avoid the rash mistakes I made and get some relief too.
Some images illustrating the system and the intricacy of the spine.
Not a Doctor or a chiropractor.

Golf1echo
11-12-2014, 03:41
"These days, not really"That is good, I was a bit isolated for a couple of decades :D
Good point on the legs " Good foundations support strong buildings" especially the quads, someone smarter than I should describe the contraction of aging. Those ankle rotations are a good start. I think you put it better how "The spine is intricate and functions as one unit, to be sure" it took me a long while to learn that. It is the shear and cantilever forces that do one in!!