Slipped disc 

Introduction 

Lumbar spine illustration

Lumbar decompression surgery

1. Healthy disc
2. Nerve
3. Slipped disc
4. Damaged disc
5. Spinal cord

How common are slipped discs?

Slipped discs are most common in people aged between 30 and 50 years old. The condition affects twice as many men as women.

Slipped discs often occur in the lower back. While around a third of adults in the UK have lower back pain, fewer than 1 in 20 people have a slipped disc.

A slipped disc – known as a prolapsed or herniated disc – occurs when one of the discs that sit between the bones of the spine (the vertebrae) is damaged and presses on the nerves.

This can cause back pain and neck pain, as well as symptoms such as numbness, a tingling sensation, or weakness in other areas of the body.

The sciatic nerve is often affected in cases of slipped disc. It is the longest nerve in the body and runs from the back of the pelvis, through the buttocks and down both legs to the feet.

If pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve (sciatica), it can cause mild to severe pain in the leg, hip or buttocks.

Read more about the symptoms of a slipped disc.

The spine

The spine consists of 24 individual bones called vertebrae that are stacked on top of each other.

In between each vertebra there are protective circular pads of cartilage (connective tissue) called discs, which have a tough, fibrous case that contains a softer gel-like substance. The discs help maintain your back's flexibility and wide range of movement.

The spinal cord is highly sensitive and passes through the middle of the vertebral column. It contains nerve cells and bundles of nerve fibres that connect all parts of the body to the brain.

What causes a slipped disc?

A slipped disc occurs when the outer case of the disc splits, resulting in the gel inside bulging out of the disc.

The damaged disc can put pressure on the whole spinal cord or on a single nerve root (where a nerve leaves the spinal cord).

This means a slipped disc can cause pain both in the area of the protruding disc and in the area of the body controlled by the nerve that the disc is pressing on.

It is not always clear what causes a disc to break down, although age is a common factor in many cases. As you get older, your spinal discs start to lose their water content, making them less flexible and more likely to rupture.

Smoking also plays a role as it causes the discs to lose their natural flexibility.

It's important to note not all slipped discs cause symptoms such as pain, weakness or tingling. Many people will go their whole life and not know they have a slipped disc, even though they have one.

Read more about what causes a slipped disc.

Diagnosing a slipped disc

Your GP will usually be able to diagnose a slipped disc from your symptoms and medical history. They may also carry out a physical examination to test your:

  • posture
  • reflexes
  • muscle strength
  • walking ability
  • sensation in your limbs

Read more about how a slipped disc is diagnosed.

Treating a slipped disc

It can take about four to six weeks to recover from a slipped disc. Treatment usually involves a combination of physical therapy, such as massage and exercise, and medication to relieve the pain.

Surgery to release the compressed nerve and remove part of the disc may be considered in severe cases, or if the pain continues for longer than six weeks.

In many cases, a slipped disc will eventually shrink back away from the nerve and the pain will ease as the disc stops pressing on the affected nerve.

Often the slipped disc will stay pressing on the nerve, but the pain goes away because the brain learns to "turn down the volume" on the pain messages coming from the nerve.

If you have a slipped disc, it is very important to keep active. Initially moving may be difficult, but after resting for a couple of days you should start to move around. 

This will help keep your back mobile and stop the joints becoming stiff and the muscles that support the spine becoming weak. Keeping moving will speed up your recovery.

Any exercise you do should be gentle and not put too much strain on your back. Exercises that involve high impact, such as running, jumping or twisting, should be avoided at first as they may cause a flare-up of the pain.

Read more about treating a slipped disc.

Preventing a slipped disc

Taking a few sensible precautions, such as leading a healthy lifestyle, can help prevent back pain and lower your risk of getting a slipped disc. For example, you should:

Read more about preventing a slipped disc.

Page last reviewed: 01/08/2014

Next review due: 01/08/2016

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Comments

The 132 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

CraigMcfc said on 25 October 2014

Hi everyone. Before I start you all must buy a TENS MACHINE! they take the edge of the pain and only cost £20. Anyhow I've suffered from heriated disc pain for the past 7 years (since I was 17) I have two/three horrendous episodes a year where I'm bed bound for a few weeks I can't describe the pain it's unbearable.
I normally go to the physio for the first 3/4 days of pain then once a week for a month, the pain seems to go I think everything is ok I'll go on a run or some type of fitness and OUCH there it is!! It's strange as at times I feel great then others I'm in agony, anyhow I've been referred to a private hospital and in the past 2 months I've had a couple of appointments & a MRI which showed a herniated disc (f5) which didn't look great. The surgeon told me I'll be having surgery there was no other treatment (steroids, physio etc, all short time cures) anyhow I'm going into surgery in a few weeks and I'm pretty worried to be honest even though the operation is 80-90% full recovery. I'm really hoping this works so I can get on with living a normal life and hopefully get back to playing football which I haven't done in a few years!!

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JoanneEC said on 04 September 2014

I have suffered with sciatica since the age of 19 (now 45) and have just got on with life being active, but knowing that stretching and being careful with lifting etc is the key. Last year I had an MRI scan, which revealed bulging disc slight and wear and tear basically, having being advised the case by my GP. Having attended hospital on Bank holiday Monday and prescribed codeine and 3 Gp visits after, being referred by GP to a chiropractor and then being told by Chiropractor that I am too severe to treat, being referred back to my GP; I am now on tramadol and off work. I have 4 bulging discs in the lower lumbar and am trying to get on with being off work by walking constantly around the house and garden, not laying flat for too long and not sitting for too long. This is how I feel is the way to go when suffering with disc problem. My Gp asked if by sitting at work I could use a cushion, but I cannot sit for long, as the pain and numbness in my lower back then radiates worse to my hip and leg. I have requested to see a Consultant and am awaiting the GP's instructions as to what they think. They initially said again physio but no physio I feel is going to inset 4 bulging lower lumber discs. At a loss and totally fed up. I am a person who helps myself and gets on with things, not a winge or shirk my work, but enough is enough.

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Wiccy13 said on 16 August 2014

I have had a prolapsed L5 for many years now, with medication I do not feel any pain! But the last couple of weeks I have noticed an indented line on my back just above my left buttock, It is about 3 inches long and very noticeable! Has anyone else got one of these and is it to do with the disc perhaps fully prolapsed???

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hisgal said on 24 July 2014

Message to Lisabro15

Hi there,
20 years ago I had surgery to remove 3 discs just like yours. That long ago the surgery consisted of removing the discs, replacing with bovine bone mixed with a bit of mine taken from my pelvis and the plates and screws ( called a "scaffolding") to hold it all in place.

I have never looked back! These days I believe the surgery is less invasive but even if it isn't, if your surgeon recommends surgery I say go for it. Ask all the right questions such as success rates, if he can guarantee that the pain will be either gone or at least than it is now.

Good luck, and just do what you need to do what is right for you.

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Lisabro15 said on 23 July 2014

Hi,
I'm a 29 year old woman who has been diagonised with 2 slipped discs to the rights L2-L3 l3 -L4 and a moderate one to the left L4-l5. I'm awaiting my specialist appointment at kings college as I think they want to operate. I'm really worried about my future. since the age of 16 I've suffered with back problems but still tried to pursue my career with horses... The latest MRI is obviously clearly worrying for me at my age and I wonder if anyone could help me or perhaps re assure me re my future? What are the chances of my returning to a physical job? Any comments will be greatly appreciated!

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Talie85 said on 17 July 2014

Rinlovett i waited about 4 months to see a specialist about my back. I was unable to stand long enough to shower in the morning at it worst. Tasks such as getting dressed or making my own food was a nightmare. I hounded the GPs every week to get me help. In hidsight i wish i'd just gone to A&E. Start doing prone press ups and get deep tissue massages because whilst i was waiting for an appointment the situation just got gradually worse.

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Talie85 said on 17 July 2014

Hi Busywoman, i felt like this too (and still do after a long day at work). Its because when you have pain you modify the way you walk, sit and lay down so you aren't using the muscles properly and they seize up. Stretch and use a hot water bottle or heat patches. Lately my symptoms have improved quite a bit as i have been having deep tissue massages twice a week. the lady i see will manually stretch the muscles in my back and legs and i feel so much looser afterwards. She also used ultrasound therapy to reduce the inflammation in my tissues.

If you are taking pain killers (which i am sure you are, probably like sweets) make sure you are on anti inflammatories. Codeine would just mess my stomach up.

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BusyWoman said on 13 July 2014

What I would really like to understand is if all I'm being told that its a bulge in the disc that's causing all of my pain then why is it if I don't remain active is it that the back ceases up like I'm an old lady? where I can barely stand up straight.

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Rinlovett said on 26 June 2014

Hi. I've been suffering with sciatic pain for months now, i was initially admitted to hospital as they thought it could be kidney stones, when they found that it wasn't i was discharged. 3 months down the line my pain has become unbearable, i went to an appointment at the hospital today and i was told that it is probably a prolapsed disk, i was given some (useless) painkillers and told that i will have a scan in 3 weeks to find out for sure. What I'm wondering is if that 3 weeks is not a bit long? I can't even stand up straight let alone walk.

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Talie85 said on 13 June 2014

BusyWoman please don't give up hope. I suffered a slipped disc almost a year ago now and i can empathise with how you have felt. I have shed many tears and lay awake worrying about my future. the truth of it is this is something that the vast majority of people can (almost, and sometimes) fully recover from. The key to it is stretching. Anywhere you feel tight and painful, stretch it. It'll hurt so go gently and build yourself up. You haven't used these muscles for a long time. The other very important stretch is the Mkensie method prone press up (look this up!!). Until i started doing this every day i would wake up with so much pain in the morning. This resolved after just a couple of days.

Its a long road and even after almost a year i still can't walk for more than 30 minutes on a good day but this is still an improvement on how bad it was!!

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jimblanc said on 22 May 2014

I have recently had an operation on a slipped disc which was causing me pain in the back and my left leg, disrupting my ability to walk any distance without severe pain. This is the second operation. The first one was successful but 3 weeks after the operation the pain returned and it turned out to be another disc had slipped.
It is only 9days since my second operation. I have alot of back pain and my leg pain remains the same. I would be grateful to hear from anyone who has had the same operation and what there experiences have been, good or bad? I know this is early days for me but having been in pain for over a year I am feeling morose.

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jimblanc said on 22 May 2014

I have just had my second operation on my spine for a slipped disc. The first operation was successful but after 3 weeks another disc protruded leaving me in severe pain again, especially down my left leg. This was operated on 9days ago. Although the post operative pain was very bad, that has subsided and I am now suffering pain in back and left leg similar to prior to my operation. I know this is early days but I would like to know of anyone elses experiences. I am off work for 6 weeks. Has anyone else experienced the same and have eventually turned the corner ??
If this operation does not work, what is the next step? I cannot walk any distance without suffering and the pain is so bad I cannot continue.
Any other peoples experiences, good or bad would be appreciated.
Thank you

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cream12 said on 03 May 2014

if anyone can recommend any good reads that can aid the process or any suggestions I'd greatly appreciate it!

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cream12 said on 03 May 2014

I was wondering if anyone can tell me how I can help my friend who is dealing with severe disc herniation.

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Bernadette11 said on 04 April 2014

I thought that I would post my experience of my prolapsed disc as when I was at my worst with it I would read comments on here that would make me think am I ever going to get better...

I first got the pain a couple of years ago when I was 24. It was very bad lower back pain and sciatica. It was extremely painful but it gradually went on its own after about three weeks.

I have since had the same thing again only this time it lasted for a lot longer and was more severe. On both occasions it has started after I wore very high heels for a long period of time at a wedding so I really believe this is what has caused it for me...

The second time I had the pain I got no relief really from the prescribed painkillers and I think going to the chiropractor actually made it worse. My GP did refer me for an MRI scan which did confirm that I have a slipped and a bulging disc. I had had 6 weeks of work and I could virtually do nothing- drive, bend down at all, and sitting down was out of the question.

However, after 4 months I am nearly back to normal. I am not taking any painkillers now and I am virtually doing everything that I did before (although putting on my socks is still too hard). In the end physio has helped as well as forcing myself to do normal activities such as gardening.

I know that everyone is different but this might perhaps give hope to someone who might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. I've been able to say to my GP that I don't want the surgery now. I'm certainly never wearing heels again!

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adammileslewis said on 01 April 2014

I suffered an L3-L4 disc herniation just over 3 weeks ago. I'd had some sciatica after minor falls and a disc problem was suspected. It finally came out while I was travelling on business in Boulder and a herniation was immediately confirmed by MRI. It was quite hard to do the scan because I was in too much pain to lie flat on the scanner. I am now receiving ozone-oxygen injection therapy for a couple of weeks. This is standard practice in Italy where I live (it was developed here.) So far, no dramatic improvement but it's too soon to say whether it's working. I understand there are some people trialing this treatment in the UK.

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tracyl65 said on 17 March 2014

I have l4 l5 disc protrusion and have epidural spinal injections 4th February .. which havent worked pain in buttocks all down leg now my foot is frozen and noticeable swelling in right leg were pain is I have been in chronic pain since October and have suffered with back problem s 16 yrs had mri aug 2012 .. an awsit repeat mri see consultant surgeon this friday is swelling normal

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yamasall said on 15 March 2014

I went to the dr with pain in my knee. I was referred to a triage nurse after my xray. He suggested a steroid injection for the pain, but felt it was coming from my back. I was referred for a Mri scan which showed i had 3 slipped discs. Ive been referred to a back specialist. Ive been put on Gabepentine 3 times a day for my nerve endings, and codeine phostate. Some days i can hardly walk, and get out of bed, but these tablets are starting to work so i can continue to carry on working. Start my physio next week. I found my dr great, and the hospital were very quick with my scans and appointments. Thank you

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tracyl65 said on 14 March 2014

Budywoman I am new to this site and I have posted comments but it isnt here yet but this will probably follow . I understand exactly . Can't remember did you say you have had mri scans done

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BusyWoman said on 17 January 2014

I've got a Herniated Disc diagnosed in 2009/2010 despite going to my GP many yrs ago at the age of 29 and having X-ray after X-ray done which showed nothing at all.. So X-rays are a waste of time and money for back pain sufferers!!
I've had many hospital visits, Physio, Hydrotherapy, Cordial Epidural, Nerve root injection, I keep active with my line of work, exercising my dogs yet I still suffer chronic lower back pain that also refers into my side, I suffer bladder weakness yet the hospital refuse to operate? I've been unable to work in my professional status as an auxiliary nurse since 2007 because of the amount of pain I endure.. Yet all the hospital staff were trying to prove was that it was all in my mind!! I'd got anxiety??

I question as they say walking is good exercise as to why for the past few months Where I have done lots of walking in my job as its an active role as to why then I still suffer chronic pain? There as been no improvement at all in fact some days I can barely stand up straight due to the amount of pain experienced!

I now give up trying to get medical assistance as I have done for the past 5 years and if it wasn't for my family I would end it all as I don't see living and suffering like this any quality of life! And I know for a fact that if I left my dogs suffer like this then I would get sent to jail or fined!!

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Grae said on 14 January 2014

To TheHead in particular, I have had a slipped disc for about 10 years. Originally having hurt my back I was referred to BUPA (lucky enough to have it then) but (6 weeks on) the specialist wouldn't give me a scan, just wanted to prescribe some physio. Eventually I persuaded him to give me an x-ray at £100 instead (you'd have thought he was paying for it personally!).
Anyway that showed I had a 'thin disc' right where the pain was. He prescribed physio anyway, saying it was a common thing, not that it really helped much.
7 years later, hurt back again. Different job, different specialist. Wow! Bath Clinic, great surgeon, anyway having looked at my x-rays he happily did a scan (yeah, at £800 you bet he did!). But it proved I had slipped a disc 7 years earlier. May still need surgery but not sure I want it, back is playing up again now.
Anyway, why not ask your doc for an x-ray if he won't scan you. If that shows a thin disc then you could use that as evidence that you need a proper scan.
Hope it helps you

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Kerry4515 said on 05 January 2014

2 years ago i went to my gp with terrible pains in my upper back, arms and legs. I was given diazapam and told to go back if no better.went back 3 days later and was referred for an mri scan which showed a slipped disk, c5. Waited 3 weeks to see a specialist who said he would operate. 4 weeks later i had the op in a lovely private hospital in sheffield, even tho i am nhs patient. I received such good care. It makes me angry when i hear stories on here that people have had to fund their own scans as their gps won't do anything! Change gps, its not good enough. I hope those who are struggling get the care you need and deserve soon.

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Werzal said on 02 January 2014

In reply to thehead lost two jobs in 2013 mate because of bad back, saw doc same old thing drugs cure all, people got on to me to see Tim at Cleve Chiropractic.Saw him he said as I slipped disc 8 years ago an MRI would be way forward, had two choices over £300 in Bristol or trip up to Cheltenham where cost was £228, best money I've spent Tim saw results told me to go in A&E straight away, couple days later had to see my doc, my left foot had dropped, he sent me straight into Frenchay where I was operated on, now 6 weeks ago start physio today at 3pm so fingers crossed.

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thehead said on 22 December 2013

hi, i have been off work 3 weeks with lower back pain, i work as a driver self empolyed so need to get back to work but cant even sit in car pain terrrible. been to osteopath 4 times . went to minor injuries gp the other night gave me dizapan and diplafenic. but not doing any good. i went o my own gp 2 days ago naproxen and cocodemol . helping a little bit. gp moaned that i went to hospital as surgery will be billed. i asked if i cold have a mri scan, well you think i was asking for winning lottery ticket. no chance. i go swimming 3-4 times a week but have stopped because of pain. i wal alittle this helps. in the past when ive had bad back a couple of trips to osteopath does the trick.she says lower back thers no movement im strecthing etc ice pack nothing seems to work. ive looked at paying for mri scan but £700 its alot will gp refer me if i tell him i had it done private . nay advice would be welcome thanks

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anthonyburke99 said on 14 December 2013

Glamourous Nana, i had a similar injury. MRI revealed 2 ruptured discs and one bulging in lumbar region. I was in a lot of pain and losing the ability to walk with heavy/floppy feet. Was losing muscles in glutes and suffering a lot of cramps as well as sciatic pain and numbness in feet. Tried massage, chiro, physio, nothing worked for 3 months. . Eventually tried swimming to keep mobile and suddenly started to recover. Still cannot physically jog or run but have recovered ability to walk and rise on balls of feet. Now have started core training which also seems to be helping. Bottom line ; only swimming seemed to arrest the downward spiral which came from immobilisation.

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TPGar said on 13 December 2013

Dear User814852, don't worry whether you will have pain or no pain when you go for MRI. In fact, the severity of pain is not always an indication of the severity of the problem. MRI scan is the best method of identifying slipped disks. However, it is a very costly scan, which is one of the reasons why doctors might be reluctant to send you to MRI initially.

NHS often mentions that it takes normally 4-6 weeks to "recover" from a slipped disk. As a neurosurgeon explained me, in 4-6 weeks for many people the chemicals responsible for making you feel the pain will wear out, and hence those people stop feeling the pain. It does not mean, that their disk has completely restored.

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Glamarous Nana said on 13 November 2013

In August ( on a sunday) i got up from attending my flowerbed, when a sudden pain i can only descibe as an elastic band snapping in my lower back was felt. I rested for a while in standing position. After 30 mins i decided to leave the flowerbeds and sit on the driveway and paint the fence as it seemed it would be easier on my back which it seemed to be. I just shuffled along as i progressed, but only 1 hour later, i got up from the floor, for the same sudden pain of an elastic band snapping in the same place, only much worse!. This time i realised i couldn't bend down and the pain was across my lower back. At this point i realised something was wrong and layed on my bed until next morning, where i felt as stiff as an ironing board. Saw G.P that morning (Monday), signed off work with severe back pain, given Tramadol for the pain and referred to the AMPS team. Seen 4 weeks later, i was diagnosed with a bulging disc in T5. Weekly visits to a lovely physio, massages, exercises and Acupuncture and i am no better. I take Tramadol and more recently Naproxen too. I have constant hip pain and lower back pain unless i take max dosage of Tramadol, which after 1 day of full dose makes me feel spaced out, but this is the only way i can walk without shooting pain up my Left leg every time i walk on it. I can only sleep for 2 hours at a time due to the dull pain in hip and having to roll over and i click like mad in my hip and knee now. At times i sleep in spare room as it has a very soft mattress. Saw consultant yesterday, finally agreed MRI scan ASAP and after examination confirmed bulging disc in T5 or S1, bulging out backwards. depending on results will determine either injections by Epidural or surgery! I work in the NHS and feel like one of my own patients! Dreading results, watch this space. Been off work 3 months now ;(

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User814852 said on 26 October 2013

I have been suffering from lower back pain for about ten years now, since the age of about 25. My problem is not consistent but it comes and goes, more recently coming more than going. A few weeks ago when I got out of bed I could not stand up and had to fall back in. The pain was so severe and no anti-inflamatories would work. I could not lie or sit comfortably and I had no strength to stand up straight or walk. Tried some stretching to ease the pain and nearly passed out. The pain was concentated at the base of my spine and in one side of my hip with shooting pains going down my thigh. After a few days and a visit to the doctor the pain subsided and I was able to continue with my everyday life. My doctor reccommended that I go for an MRI and I have an appointment booked for a few weeks time. As I am sitting here now I am getting uncomfortable shooting pains in my hip but I know when I start to move around this pain will lessen. For the two previous days I have had no problems at all, maybe just a little stiff in my movements. I am worried now that when I go for my MRI if I have no pain on that particular day will they still be able to see the root of the problem or will they tell me that I am wastting their time? I know that one day the pain will severly flare up again but obviously we can not book our scans to correspond with this. Even if I only have little pain at the time will they still recognise that at times I am in agonising pain? Is this consistancy of pain normal and would it be considered acute or chronic? Does anybody else suffer from the same routine of pain? Thanks for your thoughts.

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Jfdi said on 15 October 2013

good morning, I thought I would share my story with you. In nov 2012 I was struck down with severe back pain which left me unable to perform anything. visited doctor who diagnosed Sciatica, referred me to Physio. Had physio and acupuncture and it did not get better. My physio referred me to a lumbar triage who looked me over and sent me for an MRI scan. 9 weeks later (without being at work) I had my scan. 2 weeks after that I am called by the lumbar triage who advised that I was to see a surgeon "urgently" as a severe disk bulge to L5/S1... Urgently being the word!
8 weeks later after constantly phoning the hospital, I finally got an appointment to see the surgeon. He took one look at my MRI scan and I was admitted to hospital there and then and operated on the next day.
Torrid time in hospital but 7 days later I was allowed home. long road to recovery and I had been off work for 6 months now. employer not happy!
6 weeks after my operation having received major pressure from my employer, I returned to work... worst mistake of my life as it was too soon and I struggled everyday. As I didn't want to lose my job I tried to work through the pain. back onto maximum pain killers to just keep me going. unfortunately, I just had to give up and admit defeat and I resigned from my job.
The pains never went away, and now I am under the surgeon again, having just undergone another MRI scan as the suspicion is my L4 disk has now ruptured / bulged. Due to see my surgeon in November. Speaking to my GP, it looks likely that further surgery is due and I am totally deflated. Not only is my life on hold, my families life is also. I have two young children of whom I cannot play with due to the pain.
It is totally amazing how ones life is completely shattered as a result of this. normally fit and healthy and now hobbles like a man of 101 years old. unable to tie my own shoe laces.

Heres to awaiting for further surgery. Will it ever end? who knows.

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Midi43 said on 11 October 2013

I have suffered with back pain for years since injuring myself at work when the muscle went into spasm I had several episodes of this but none in the last 7 years. 2 years ago I started to suffer severe pain in my feet and my gp put it down to plantar fasciitis however struggling on with increasing pain in both feet and developing all I can describe as electric shock like pains across the bottom of my back and occasional sciatica has taken its toll. My gp finally agreed to send me for an MRI which came back with a large broad based disc protrusion at l5 s1 which is abutting both the s1 nerves. As well as disc dessication at l4 l5. The pain is getting worse in my back and feet I'm stiff all the time and struggling with work and housework. I take painkillers everyday just to take the edge off. My gp hasn't referred me as yet as I am needing a further MRI as they are querying hydromyelia in my thoracic spine. What I would like to know is would u be offered surgery for the prolapsed disc. Thanks

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todbowyer said on 05 August 2013

I have just been to see a specialist at the hospital today. This is after about 3yrs of varying degrees of pain and decreased mobility, visits to GP, A+E, periods of physio and hydrotherapy. The initial diagnosis was a pulled ligament. FOr which i was given a prescription of exercises. These were very difficult and painfull to do at that time, so I stopped doing them. I have constant pain, but occassional bouts of intense pain. At worst, stiatic pain in both legs which left me with pins and needles in my toes after 6 months and loss of sensation on calves. I had to rehabilitate myself back to walking. I couldn't understand why they didn't just scan my back to see. I believed I was mis-diagnosed but could not get anyone to think again. I was told basically unless I'm incontinent or paralysed there was little anyone would do. I have had 6hrs off work in the last 3yrs due to my back pain because I always try to just carry on. Today the Dr said he believed it was a ruptured disc. This fits more accurately with the syptoms I get. And now I believe I have the correct diagnosis I can do the exercises that won't aggrivate that area. I am frustrated and was quite angry at the original diagnosis as the exercises they told me to do did nothing but causes me more pain. And it has only been since I stopped and continued with normal activities, walking dogs and household chores, that my back appears to have healed more. Which again fits with the theory that sometimes discs will heal and repair over time. I feel more confident now to carry on, manage the pain, and exercise myself gently back to recovery, the the possibility of surgery if appropriate. I some ways its good that I've had to wait this long as I am confident now its not a ligament or muscle that just needs strengthening. I think i've tried enough and been through enough to know when somethings a little bit more serious than muscle ache.

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Vickieburgon said on 01 August 2013

Was just wondering what the longest period of time is for this pain... I have had lower back pain for nearly 4years now and never seemed to get anywhere with the docs... I was sent for physio which I found a total waste of time... So I paid to go to a chiropractor... Although I found this helpful at first I soon realised it wasn't a permanent fix so stopped wasting my money... I have also been prescribed anti inflammatory tablets of the doctor which also done nothing... Yesterday I went back to the docs and burst into tears and explained that 4yeara with back pain is enough and I demanded that I be seen at hospital... She is now sending me for an MRI and has put me on some different tablets (anti depressants) my question is... Is it normal to go so long without them looking into what the cause is?

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Britchick27 said on 15 June 2013

Hi, I have a bulging disc and have had physio and steroid injections but nothing has helped. I have a constant shooting pain in my right leg and it is agony. I am due to go back to the hospital soon to see the consultant. Do you think they will suggest surgery? I have been like this for 7 years. Any advice will be grateful.

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thefawn said on 08 May 2013

I have 3disc with loss of Lubricant,I have a prolasped disc L4/5 my consultant told because i cannot tolerate Steroids He nor anyone else can do anything for me.I am in constant pain and can only take paracetomol daily and Diazapam when severe. I have also just been told the Cervical Spondylosis as deteriated and has now started to form bone spurs/osteophytes to give it its real name..Im at a loss and despair at the amount of pain i have Plus the rest of my body has arthritis and Fybromialgia.But on a lighter note I swim 2/3 times a week which does help keep me somewhat mobile as i am limited to how far i can walk. HeyHo. All of us out there with these probs ,Keep Smiling,Keep Possitive and most of Dont let it get you down .Enjoy life as much as you can Dont give up trying .Good luck one and all and i thank god im not as severe as some I know. .Foxyladie

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Tooms said on 30 April 2013

to wiggsy45
I have just had a disc removed the name for what I had is cauda equina syndrome .I had to have my disc removed L5 and L4 i think it was .The biggest worry here is that it traps all your nerves that work your lower half .With you saying that you have lost bowel movement that is a massive sign . Have you developed dropped foot /foot drop . I was admitted to hospital over night I had an MRI scan the next morning and they operated immediatly .That quick reaction saved me from being in a wheelchair .google the above and check it out
Regards

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MysticCharm said on 30 April 2013

Has anyone been told by a doctor that they might not be able to work for a few years, with a prolapsed disc (sorry,question mark not working) > Also, how easy is it to be active with 2 young children, when a prolapsed disc is that bad that you've been told you need an operation > Advice would be appreciated, thank you!

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Crackerjack147 said on 29 April 2013

Also with the mobility issues, it can be very embarrassing having to stop all the time. Unfortunately most people have no empathy or understanding of what it feels like. Again I would try to avoid squatting too much if possible as when you are coming back up you can put strain on the lower back. Is possible I would try to take a seat or lean on something for a while and then continue. All the best.

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Crackerjack147 said on 29 April 2013

Hi the Poet, hope you are well. Hopefully I have helped a bit. I am not sure what an antalgic scoliosis is. When my discs finally gave out I remember my body lurched to the right away from the pain in the left hip. It was quite alarming how this happened almost instantly and when I had an xray a few weeks later my spine looked truly terrible! It has gone away and I believe eventually it will in anyone over time. As you say I am increasingly sceptical of chiropractors practicing ‘convential’ techniques. The guy I saw and still do practices the ABC technique which as I understand is a bit different. To be honest a lot of chiropractors do the lumbar roll I think it’s called which can be dangerous and they are applying force and a twist to the spine, this alone can slip a disc I understand if the force is too great! For many weeks I couldn’t walk for more than 50 yards at times and standing for only about 20 seconds. Even after 4-5 months I could still only be on my feet for 3 minutes or so at best. The other thing a lot of chiropractors do is prescribe heel lifts which I think can be dangerous. Acupuncture can help at first to loosen some muscles but it’s no miracle cure either. I think eventually the exercises I was doing strengthened the back and gave the discs time to heal. I would try to persevere as much as you can, it is soul destroying when you can see little to no improvement but it can come eventually I am sure of that. Also as I may have mentioned before, the worst mistake I made was being at work all day and then just coming home to lie down to try and ease my suffering. Again I think an exercise bike may be a good idea as you are stretching you legs and your back is being gently given some movement which may help blood flow and healing. I am no Doctor BTW! These are all just my observations!

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the_poet said on 19 April 2013

Hi,

This is a response to NAT1000.
Your husband has had a slipped disc for over a year. Did he have an MRI? If so, was the prolapse massive? If he suffered for a year, there is a chance he was naturally recovering and the visit to the chiropractor helped him incidentally. Sometimes Chiropractors can manage pain, but the root of the problem is not removed and the placebo effect cannot be underestimated. I too had the same reaction when I first saw my chiropractor. I genuinely thought he was helping. I paid him £35 per session, three times per week, but it soon became apparent, after several sessions that nothing was happening.

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the_poet said on 19 April 2013

I would like to add one more comment. I think people should not use chiropractors, especially for diagnosis. I actually saw a chiropractor before I had my MRI and his diagnosis was way off. He didn't even detect the prolapsed discs. People can have a lot of pain as a result of prolapsed discs, but that does not necessarily correspond with the severity of the problem. For instance, some people do not have slipped discs, and just get muscular pain in the back and can be out of action for months. These people can probably benefit from chiropractic help, but I think a diagnosis via a scan is necessary to eliminate a serious problem. If you have a slipped disc, a lot of the times it heals naturally and your chiropractor wil ask you to come in for several sessions. You cannot be sure if the problem was resolved naturally or the chiropractor helped because if you keep up the treatment even for a few weeks, the natural timeframe for healing non-serious disc is conditions is similar.
Sure, it feels good, they always appear sympathetic, but they really just want to rob you off your money, and I don't think they can really help with serious problems. I saw a reputable person and he assured me I will be much better within a few weeks. I saw him for over two months, three times per week. With a severe disc prolapse at l4/l5 level, his twisting and turning did absolutely nothing. I think people waste good time on these treatments, and their condition just ets worse. If your prolapse is not that big, wait it out, but if it is crippling you, do not hesitate to have surgery because, in spite of internet horror stories, discectomies are fairly routine, and have a 90% success rate. As long as you are sensible and take care of yourself afterwards, chances of making a full recovery are excellent. I think this is what I am going to do. I am sick of this suffering for six months. I am prepared to risk having the operation.

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the_poet said on 19 April 2013

Hi, I previously posted as Kirok.
To update things, I am getting very anxious and increasingly worried. I have developed an antalgic scoliosis. I have had this for six months. This form of scoliosis is secondary to the prolapsed disc. It is not true scoliosis, but it causes tremendous discomfort, and I have a lot of problems with walking as a result of this.
I have read all over the internt about this particular symptom. Apparently, this is very common in people who have slipped discs, but very few people have gone online to discuss this, and say whether or not they had this symptom. Does this resolve surgically? I had been seeing a chiropractor, but I think his treatment was just having a placebo effect. I have seen no change in my symptoms in anyway. My orthopaedic surgeon said I need an operation. He said neither physio nor injections will help due to the size of the prolapse. I wanted a second opinion, which I will get next week, and if that doctor also concurs, I will push for the surgery because my body is badly contorted and this is causing all sorts of other health issues.
Did anyone else develop a list? Did it resolve if and when you had surgery?
Please write here!!

Kirok

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the_poet said on 10 April 2013

Hi Crackerjack147. I hope you keep posting since your story is the most inspiring one I have read on the internet.
This is Kirok. So far I have resisted surgery. I cannot walk and I have a list. The list really bothers me, and I was wondering if there are any other people who had one. If so, how long did you have it and did it disappear after the symptoms resolved?
Also, although everyones story is good to hear, it is very discouraging to hear from so many people who have only negative things to report. Those of us who are already depressed find these stories even more crushing than the diagnosis. Are there no individuals who a) got better, and b) did so without surgery.
I saw a chiropractor recently, but I believe he didn't really help. Besides, I couldn't afford to pay him any more. Crackerjack saw improvement with stretches but I found it makes my problem worse. If Crackerjack can post again, I would like to hear if he had a list (leaning to one side), and if he also had mobility issues. How long did it take you to walk again, and was it a gradual return to mobility? I find avoiding aggravating things to be the hardest thing in the early stages of recovery. Does anyone have any advice as to how one can get around safely when mobility is compromised?

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Crackerjack147 said on 07 March 2013

Kiroc, good luck to you! And indeed everyone else! It can heal naturally it just may take time in my case 6 months or so to get back to some normality. I think the worst mistake I made was to rest too much. Its hard to balance but I think you need to try and do as many of the stretches, strengthening exercises as possible, though its hard when in constant pain and you dont want to do further damage. I began to believe it would never go away but eventually you can heal it. Good luck!

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RM72 said on 04 March 2013

In late December last year I bought a BMW, which was probably my biggest mistake of last year. Although initially everything was fine, about 7 days after buying the car I noticed that my back was feeling sensitive and the next day getting into the car my back went in a major way, muscle spasms "the lot". Managed to get physio but this didn't really help and about 9 weeks later the whole episode started again, this time with crippling sciatica too, particularly down my right leg.
Sciatica hasn't gone away, but with pain killers it's mostly under control.
Feeling like its 1 step forward and 2 back at the moment as today, after a relatively good day yesterday, I am suffering with pain across my lower back and right hip.
Currently waiting for an appointment with orthopaedic specialist.

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Kirok said on 01 March 2013

Hi, I would like to share my story. Back in June 2012, I did some physio exercises for back pain prevention. The next day, I experienced some stiffness in my lower back and had some right hip pain. It was worse when I bent or got up from a seated position. I avoided most activity that would have aggravated the condition further. I was pain free when I was sitting or walked. The pain appeared to be muscular in nature. I saw my GP who gave me a referral to see an Orthopaedic surgeon, though the appointment was months away. I gradually started to improve. The worst pain was when I turned in bed at night. After careful rehabilitation of my muscles, I was much better by October, but I think I overloaded my back one day and the problem got much much worse. I was unable to walk without hip pain and my body developed an antalgic shift. I continued to work. I saw the Orthopaedist in November 2012, & an MRI was performed just before the New Year. When I got the results I was in tears. There were two bulging discs and one very large central prolapsed disc at the l4-5 level. On my follow up appointment I was offered epidural injections and physio. The doctor told me the problem was quite substantial. I left the clinic feeling despondent. I then consulted a chiropractor who started to gently realign my spine to correct my gait and he also prescribed gentle exercises. I have been seeing him over a month and though I did not think the treatment will make much difference, I woke up this morning with a reduction in my pain. My body is still stiff and I feel some weakness in my right hip and leg, but perhaps this treatment will work. The NHS physio was overly negative and so was one of the Orthopaedic registrars I saw this week. Both of them said, injections will bring pain relief, exercises may stabilise the pain, but I will never be free of pain. I think the NHS pessimism was unduly cruel. This article suggests people do naturally heal and I will report further on my progress.

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wiggsy45 said on 24 February 2013

I did my back in at work three years ago I have five disc that have collapsed, pain is awful all they do is give me more pills, has taken 9 months for them to refer me back to the hospital . when I see my GP and tell him the problems all I get is nothing to worry about . yet I get numbness tingling in my face hands legs my back side, does not matter what they give me to take they don't work. My legs give way have problems with my bowls have fallen down the stares three times walking is a night mare and now I have t let my partner do driving because of my legs and pill's.

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eej said on 05 February 2013

Ah, seems I can write another comment! I also wanted to recommend that people see a neuro surgeon, to at least know the options. These days you can choose what hospital you go to, so do a bit of research and make the effort to see a surgeon at a hospital that has a good reputation/specialism in this area - ask your GP, chiropractors, do some internet research etc. I found that talking with a neuro surgeon made me understand the MRI scan much better, as well as what the surgery entails and what the risks are - a micro discectomy is apparently a pretty simple operation, but I was told there is a 1 in 1,000 chance that you will lose the use of one(?) leg and you bowel/bladder. Although you'd have to be pretty unlucky to be that 1 in 1,000, these odds are not great still, particularly when you consider the potential consequences. I am not sure whether this is a theoretical stat, or a stat based on actual operations. Also this stat is bound to vary wildly from hospital to hospital, and from surgeon to surgeon, though not sure how to access such data to (theoretically) increase your chances! I am due to have the steroid injection, though not getting my hopes up, and I have to wait again now for this, for 6-12 weeks. Seriously, the NHS is pathetic in cases like this, and it's not actually even free if you pay taxes. I am going to see another chiropractor (my third), who has been recommended to me by the chiropractic clinic that I saw in Preston, to see if she can help. I did pilates, but some of the exercises were painful, and so am now doing daily stretching exercises given to me by the Preston clinic that are pilates-based, but which are meant to be helpful for people with herniated discs. Some days I am sorely tempted to just have the surgery, as despite the risks (which are actually low if you think about it, despite what I say above), as the thought of walking out the next day with the problem solved is so appealing. But then it may not solve the problem

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eej said on 05 February 2013

I feel so bad for some of the people that have posted on this site that have received such poor and unsympathetic treatment from the medical world, and particularly those that have severe conditions. I first suffered a disc bulge in the late 90s. I had very strong sciatica and there was barely a single position I could be in at first without getting those very strong pain signals, in my case down my right leg. I saw my GP that refered me for physiotherapy. My memory of how I recovered is very hazy. The physio or osteopath did not cure me, though may have helped, but for me what cured me, I think, was time, and listening carefully to my body. I think it too many months, possibly even a year or two, for my condition to go, though I think I have never been fully right since. That said, I could do things like mountain hiking, mountain biking, even heavy lifting, so must have been pretty good. I had a bit of a recurrence around 5 years ago, but that didn't last that long, and was relatively low in severity. Then I suffered another episode (stronger than the first reoccurence, but still better than my intial episode), which I am still recovering from. As people have said, each case is individual, but what I would echo is that if you are not fortunate to deal with decent medical professionals, you must take control of your own destiny. You simply must have an MRI scan. If your GP isn't forthcoming about this, seek advice from a chiropractor on what to say to get one, or ig you have to, change GP/surgery. Secondly, listen to your body. There are cases when you may have to push through some pain (e.g. stretches), but beware of those sharp stabbing/shooting pains - you shouldn't be doing things that cause these. There is a specialist chiropractic clinic specialise in disc herniations. I spent a week there. I don't know how much it has helped me, but worth considering. Would like to write more but reached limit

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Crackerjack147 said on 21 January 2013

gemdalagem

I was in Australia when I had my slippage and from what I hear the medical treatment is better if a little more costly. I suppose an MRI would be a good start of possible to get an exact picture of what is going on underneath, maybe the NHS dont do this as standard. Bending forward or crouching had relief for me, I had a canal stenosis. In hindsight I would have avoided crouching so often as getting back up from this position can strain you the same as you would need to avoid sit-ups or crunches. I barely had any relief either, I found on here that lying with pillows under your knees can help or if on the front a pillow under the hips. Truthfully nothing seemed to provide much relief, I suppose anti-imflammatories and pain killers will just take the edge off it. Eventually I found using an exercise bike, lying on my front and raising my chest off the floor and holding for 10 seconds to try to strengthen the lower back over time seemed to help along with regular appointments with my Chiropractor who practices the ABC technique. I would say to anyone who sees a chiropractor, do not let them do the classic twist with force applied to you as that is probably the worst thing to do to your spine! Stay hydrated and try to maintain good posture which is easier said than done. I found sitting on the edge of my chair can help and try to avoid being in the same position for any length of time. At one time it was only possible to be comfortable by crossing my legs, probably not ideal for you but may provide relief. I think in my case it was just a question of time and getting back to exercise that gradually provided relief. It is incredibly frustrating and depressing to wake each day and feel you have not improved at all. I did not ever think I would improve after 5 months or more of virtually no progress. However now I know that it is possible to get better and there is always hope, though I realise now that my body will never quite be the same. Rambling sorry!

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gemdalagem said on 20 January 2013

Hi, just need a little advice really. im 28 years old and i started with lower back pain on the 5th, which was relived when i bent over forwards, like apressure realease! anyway i woke up on the 12th and could hardly walk stand or anything. i went to the out of hours doctor and he told me i had sciatica proably caused by herniated disc. so its been just over a week since i went to see him, iv been taking 30/500 co-codamol and voltarol which to be honest dont do anything. it seemed to get better on wed and thurday but yesterday and today its like back to square one, but the most of the pain is now on the left side of my lower back, as if its in my left hip, pain into my thigh and knee. the pain is constant and has been since the 12th, even on my good dat it wasnt easy to walk,sit or do anythging and now its absolute agony! last night i hardly slept! it dosent relive when im layed on my back, front or side! the pain is just constant! its making life so hard now, im a single mum with no family close by, studying at uni with lots of work to do but its making it difficult for me to concentrate on anything! im going back to my docs this week, hopefully tomorrow if i can get in and am gonna demand they do something to investigate! but am worried they will send me home to ride it out as its only been a couple of weeks since it started! any advice would be great. thank you

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Marmoset79 said on 18 January 2013

Hi All

Thought I would share my slipped disc experience.
I'm 33, and about 7 months ago I woke up with back pain - Not unusual for me. Went to work and it got a LOT worse. Ended up on the floor in agony with my back in spasm - Could barely move, got taken to hospital and given some painkillers and Diazepam. Was released and told to see my GP to get referred for a scan, took me nearly an hour to limp out of the hospital!. Spent the night in the worst pain I have ever experienced, couldn't physically get out of bed the next day. Managed to get a home visit from my GP who said I probably had ligament damage.
Spent the next 7 weeks off work in a lot of pain taking a lot of tablets feeling really low. First time I went out for a walk was about 4 weeks in, and it took 45 minutes to do what would usually be a 10 minute walk, showering was a nightmare and I couldn't get socks on for over a month. I have never felt so helpless as I did in that 7 weeks, but luckily my sisters live nearby and came in to see me most days, I really don't know what I would have done without them. Was a little better by the end of the 7 weeks, so I returned to work part time, and was OK to start with, but then my back started to get worse again. Visited my GP who said I may have a slipped disc. I saw a really nice neurosurgeon who was concerned I was ggetting pain in both legs and feet so sent me for an urgent MRI - This confirmed a massive herniation of L3-4 both sides of spinal canal. Neurosurgeon told me it would heal and roundabout now I should be 100%. I am a lot better, but I still have good and bad days, sometimes it feels like someone is drilling into the sole of my foot, my hips crack pretty much every time I get up from a seated position, and I get a really bad dull ache in my bum. Thinking about going back to see the neurosurgeon.
Anyway, best of luck to all of you, I know how horrible and debilitating physically and emotionally the pain from a slipped disc is

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Crackerjack147 said on 17 January 2013

Now after 6 months I am relatively free of pain on a day to day basis, however I still take Nurofen and sometimes other anti imflammatories to keep it at bay a little. I can now walk and stand for 10 minutes or longer, still not great however the important thing for me is that the constant discomfort is no longer there. I would like to offer some of the advice that seems to have helped me, though I appreciate that everyone is different and some of it has been reitterated a million times! I would recommend getting back to some sort of exercise as soon as you can though avoid stomach crunches or sit ups, avoid twisting with force, maybe try lying down and raising 1 leg at a time to strengthen the core a little. Also I tried swimming but this didnt help me a lot, I found cycling on an exercise bike seemed to help, as I could sit and the gentle movements should help circulation. I also found that avoiding the crouch which I was doing maybe 50-60 times a day at the peak seemed to help. Sometimes it is unavoidable but I found leaning or better finding somewhere to sit down to rest is a better option. I try to perform regular lower back 'pump' exercises where you lie on the back and draw your legs into the chest and wrap the arms around clasping hands and gently pumping. Also lying on the front and raising the stomach off the floor and holding this for 5-10 seconds for a few times regularly. Though my condition is far from 'cured' it has improved dramatically so it is not a forlorn hope if you have this condition as I thought I was beyond help at times. Best of luck with it and try to persevere.

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Crackerjack147 said on 17 January 2013

After experiencing left hip pain for some 8-9 months and not really knowing the problem I finally suffered a large slippage of the disc between L4-L5 resulting in the classic compression of the S1 sciatic nerve. This was in June 2012. I experienced great discomfort pretty much 24 hours a day and found it hard to sit down without crossing my left leg over, even lying down was difficult and standing and walking became torture with 2-3 minutes on my feet at best even after 3-4 months. Initially after a 10 day spell in hospital mainly because I wouldnt have had help at home and the 20-25 different tablets they were feeding me each day I had the steriod injection in the lower spine. This didnt seem to help much at all in my case and after 10 days I was still struggling to even get the 25 yards or so to the toilet. I returned to work after 3 weeks off but didnt feel much better, my body was twisted quite alarmingly and on xrays my spine resembled a banana. I looked at having surgery but was reluctant to go down that route unless absoltely necessary. I began seeing a chiropractor who practiced the ABC technique, which trys to knock your body back into a good posture, I believe that has helped me quite a lot. I truly felt quite helpless with this condition as even after 5 months I still couldnt stand or walk for 3-4 minutes with experiencing great discomfort and constantly had to sit or crouch down which became embarrassing as well. Anyway that is the background detail as I am sure most people who have suffered this will relate to.

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Crackerjack147 said on 16 January 2013

Also I would like to thank Damogc Re - 03 September 2012 post with sleeping on back with pillows under knees, this seemed to be the only way I could get some sleep. Also keep as hydrated as possible. Good luck to all.

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Crackerjack147 said on 16 January 2013

After experiencing left hip pain for some 8-9 months and not really knowing the problem I finally suffered a large slippage of the disc between L4-L5 resulting in the classic compression of the S1 sciatic nerve. This was in June 2012. I experienced great discomfort pretty much 24 hours a day and found it hard to sit down without crossing my left leg over, even lying down was difficult and standing and walking became torture with 2-3 minutes on my feet at best even after 3-4 months. Initially after a 10 day spell in hospital mainly because I wouldnt have had help at home and the 20-25 different tablets they were feeding me each day I had the steriod injection in the lower spine. This didnt seem to help much at all in my case and after 10 days I was still struggling to even get the 25 yards or so to the toilet. I returned to work after 3 weeks off but didnt feel much better, my body was twisted quite alarmingly and on xrays my spine resembled a banana. I looked at having surgery but was reluctant to go down that route unless absoltely necessary. I began seeing a chiropractor who practiced the ABC technique, which trys to knock your body back into a good posture, I believe that has helped me quite a lot. I truly felt quite helpless with this condition as even after 5 months I still couldnt stand or walk for 3-4 minutes with experiencing great discomfort and constantly had to sit or crouch down which became embarrassing as well.

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hatter4life said on 14 January 2013

F.A.O JDGRAY
I have prolapsed disc at l5/s1 and due for surgery tomorrow. Just to reassure you , your not the only one that has problems with this kind of thing. Its all to do with the nerves at that level its common for people to have this problem when suffering with a prolapsed disc at this level. Cauda equina is when you lose control of your bowel or bladder function(incontinence), not starting and stopping the flow. Some people have trouble starting and some have trouble stopping. Its quite normal so no need to worry. If at anytime you do loss controll of funtions you must see your g.p asap as it needs to be treated immediately.

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momofone said on 13 January 2013

Yes, JdGray, I believe you are correct. I have a 13 yr old son who saw a urologist for a couple years beginning with similar symptoms...and by 12 his symptoms were like someone with a prostrate problem. But, initially, he could not urinate, especially in the evening. The urologist and staff were no help...”potty yoga “ and laxatives they said were the answer (we are in the US...such advanced medicine!) Three years later, my son is daignosed with L5-S1 Schmorl’s node, avasular necrosis etc.

A chiropractor has done more for him than anyone and pushed for me to get MRIs of his lumbar area. This is all new news, so I am actively working on the necrosis issue...it makes sense that bladder and prostate problems would be associated with trauma to this area looking at a nerve chart.

Wishing you the best possible outcome now and in the future.

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Jdgray said on 06 January 2013

Hi guys and girls. I am 38 yom who after MRI has been diagnosed with disc prolapsed at L4/5 and L5/S1 and am waiting for surgery.

The problem I have had over the past few weeks is difficulty passing urine. I am not in retention i can empty my bladder it just takes me ages to start peeing. I stand at the toilet and have to run a tap so I can hear running water and really have to concentrate, and it can take a good few minutes for the urine to start flowing. I have been told by Dr it is not cauda equina but have not been given any explanation

For reassurance I would just like to know if any one else has had or is having the same problems and is it my disc herniations which are causing the problem.

Thank you and I hope someone here can spread some light on my situation.

J

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scunningham said on 14 December 2012

I felt I had to comment on this page, I am 21 and roughly 4 months ago, I was kicked in the leg by a horse, through the course of a week I had excruciating left leg (opposite leg I was kicked in) and lower back pain leg numbness and muscles spams, because I was working in america they were very quick to send me for an mri and found I had 4bulging dics told no physio or surgery required. Returned home and gp prescribed physio all was well and till goimg on holiday n upon returning excruciating lower back and leg pain this time down the back of the leg, finally afyer trips to the gp was toldnif went nhs it woild b several months before I could see a consultant, went private and had an mri.and cortisone injection imto the nerve causing the pain withig three weeks, latest mri discovered one of the previously unaffected discs had now completely prolapsed n caused sciatica also diagnosed with DDD this was roughly a month ago. Since been told yesterday by a different gp who wasn't the one to push to see a consultant , that I can go to work not my choosen lime pf work which was working with horses, but an offices with adaptations, despite not being employed in the uk when this all happendd and told not to spend prolonged time sitting, she refused to sign me off saying they had supplied 3months worth f sicknotes . Frustrating to say the least despite also that newest injury will take a bit longer to heal as such, with all of this iv been forced to sign up to job seekers. Back injuries are incredibly frustrating especially without the continued support of medical help so its nice to know there are others out there struggling the thing that makes me the maddest is that feels like people think u like sitting at home living off peanuts. Good luck to all

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JennyW1964 said on 11 December 2012

Just wanted to post story having read lots of reveiws before my op. When I started having back pain over a year and a half ago I went to my GP with concerns over a few months. After a year of suffering they finally agreed to send me for an MRI scan where they found that I had a Calcified disc (T8). Within weeks of finding out what the problem was my legs had started to feel very heavy and very numb and where going discoloured. The distance which I could walk got less and less and was leaving me very tired and basically home bound. I had seen the consultant and was very shocked when he told me that the only way to remove the disc was by thoracic surgery. This left me petrified but as my legs where quickly deteriorating I knew that I had to go through with the op. After having the surgery I won't lie the recorvery in hospital left me very tired and sick but this was to be expected with a 4 hour operation. I was in intensive care (bed bound) for 5 days and was brilliantly looked after by the staff at the hospital. Although I couldn't get out of bed whilst in intensive care I could feel the improvement in my legs right away. I am now starting to get my life back on track and I am so very grateful to the surgeons and hospital I can actually walk.

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wiggsy45 said on 11 December 2012

Hi have five disc gone in my back and one has slipped, have weakness in my legs the doctor has put me twenty pills a day but it hasen't taken away all the paine . do you think it will get any better as I have been like this for over two years, will point out I didn't think it was as bad until they told what was wrong 5 months ago. but now every time I go do something I'm in so much paine.

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hatter4life said on 23 November 2012

hi all,

nicsmallwood1411 i feel for you mate. i know how you feel. life seems to be on hold and dominated by the fact you have a problem with your back, and i know its difficult to be positive when you seem to be going backwards rather the having a solution to the problem. just have faith that your case is being taken seriously enough by your gp to be doing something about it. Its a long journey but as long as you get to where you need to be it will be worth it. Doing nothing everyday is harder than anyone can imagine, laying in the sun on holiday doing it is nice but being stuck in your house with nothing to do is very trying. im awaiting discectomy on l5/s1 prolapsed disc and suffer with ddd. Keep your chin up and know you are not alone i think everyone here seems to be having the same troubles. Things happen in life its just a hurdle that needs to be overcome.

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Lizziegirl said on 23 November 2012

I would like to thank everyone who has commented on this page,I feel i am not alone now with all the pain I have on a daily basis. I have been unable to work for the last 5 years due to Degenerative Back condition, i too have had all the treatment that has been thrown at me to no avail. i have had most of the drugs too, I am now on Morphine tablets and had a appointment in the week with my Doctor who is going to refer me again to the consultant, as I pointed out that I am only in my 40's and if I feel like this now what will I be like when i am 60!! I know an operation is the only way for me as my consultant has told me, i also understand how risky it might be. But i am willing to try anything to get my quality of life back, and return to work. Thank you once again in making me feel I am not alone, a great support for me. I wish you all the best in finding a result with your own problems. Take care x

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nicsmallwood1411 said on 23 November 2012

Hey,
Im 24 and have been suffering with 1 slipped disc and 1 bulge plus a schmorls node for over 3 years now. I done my back while at work and have been out of work now for a year. To begin with my g.p was adament it was muscular pain, due to my age I guess, after a year and half battling with the pain I eventually got an MRI the results were l4/5 herniated disc, l5/s1 bulge and a t12 schmorls node. I started on Injections and epidurals and of march 2012 i had surgery on the l4/5 disc. I was virtually pain free for nearly 5 months when i was lifting my bag up and i was back to square one, i had another MRI two weeks ago and it seems the l5/s1 disc has now fully herniated.... Since my 21st birthday i have felt like an 80yr old and i was just beginning to be myself again....seems im going to have to wait that little bit longer...everything is now on hold and I've even had to take a year out from university. I take 25 tablets a day, walk with crutches around the house and have to use a wheelchair when im out... I can't drive no more and im stuck at home most days. They say the best thing to do is be positive...id like to know how im to do that?!?...though i tend not to feel sorry for myself, life could be much worse and there are Millions out there that are...i wish at times i had their strength. But for now...im just gonna get on with it! :-D best wishes to all!! Xox

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lucy1766 said on 20 November 2012

Hi I have got two prolased discs of L4/L5 S1 have had this for the past 7 years am 33years old, i've had MRI'S and have had spinal injections but nothings really worked,i'm currently taking DF118 painkillers and lyrica,beclofen and anitripaline at night.I've had physio and while it did help a little the pain is just as bad,i've been off work really since 2005 but have tried to back go back to work during this time has well when i've had "good times" these usually fade within about 6 months and i need to leave the job again and am then back at square one again with the pain and mobility problems,at the moment i feel really "stuck" as to my next move have been in lots of pain lately and just feel really useless.
Would also like to add that can't have op to remove discs as discs have now been "absorbed "back to my body but because they have been pressed against my nerve the nerve will never be any better.

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hatter4life said on 16 November 2012

i am currently waiting on a microdiscectomy on l5/s1 as i have a large prolapsed disc and also have been told i have ddd. crissy1000 you have my deepest sympathy with your work situation. fortunately for me my employers have been brilliant about my situation and have told me take time of now until my op to aviod any more damage to myself. i cant imagine what it would be like to work in the kind of pain i get on a hourly basis every day. it drives me to despair everyday so it must be agony to be forced to work with the pain. i have suffered with back problems for nealy 15 years and it was only when i saw a new gp that my problems were addressed. if you dont feel your gp is doing enough for you please ask to see someone else maybe someone at your local surgery who is more specialised in this field. if your employers are insisting you work then they must by law adapt your work load to suit your condition. ask citezens advice if your unsure about your rights. whilst im here is there anyone who has had a discectomy who also has ddd. i am wondering if you are more prone to further problems down the line because of ddd if you have had a discectomy my nuerosurgeon has told me theyre is no reason it should but i have read articles they say different things. i hope anyone who is on here gets theyre problems sorted soon whatever they may be, if one thing i can say is dont feel alone in your problems theyre are so many stories ive found with people in similar situations as mine and the strength i got from it has probably kept me saine. Keep patient and take everything a day at a time and dont give up. good luck to you all. take care

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back pain34 said on 15 November 2012

Your story sounds the same as mine but there are things you can do, tramadol and other painkillers will cause sickness but I was prescribed omeprazole to counter this, ask your doctor to try this or continue to insist on getting a painkiller that works for you.
Physio is useless in my experience, I also have a L5 S1 problem and am shortly to have an operation, it will be a long battle but you need to complain and push for the treatment you need and are entitled too.
With regards to your job you can either get signed off by your doctor or tell your work that your doctor recommends you go on light duties, I also am expected to do heavy lifting but now because of light duties I am protected, you are also allowed to insist on a chair to sit on and I find a mixture of standing and sitting proves helpful.
Once you are refered to a hospital you need to chase them and remind them that they are time limits they have to stick to with regards your treatment, your local PALS will help you and look at sending a complaint to your local hospital, I was told there was a shortage of surgeons but they still have to provide care, this can include sending you to a private hospital for treatment.
It's unfortunate but you have to go own this road to get treatment but this will work out in the end, keep going to your doctor and don't take any nonsense, if your not happy tell them and if necessary get writing those letters.

Hope this helps.

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chrissy1000 said on 09 November 2012

i had really bad back in march was told i had pulled a muscle it got worse could hardly walk .had physio but it was too painful 4 months later was sent for a scan which showed L5/S1 I i also have siatica which was really bad in my right leg had all the painkiller tramadol.co-codamol garbapatin.napronxin and muscle relaxants carnt take tramodol they make me sick.the pain is really bad in my left leg now saw a private doctor he said i need urgent surgery but no back surgeon in my area finally got an appointment today in another area and i am going for another scan as well.my job is heavy lifting and standing all day i dont even know if i can go back to work

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Red_Kez said on 25 September 2012

Hi everybody
I have suffered with sever back pain for nearly 14 years now. It all started a few weeks after having my 2nd child. I went to see my GP who told me it was due to the birth & told me to do sit ups. Well as u can gather this done me no favours. I carried on regardless for a further 10 years in agony, bk & forth to gp, & got no where. Then i changed gp. When i told her what i had been going through she sent me straight for an xray, which came bk inconclusive. The following year i was refered to the trauma & orthapedics, who aranged for me to have an MRI. Well got the results that showed I had not 1 but 4 prolapsed discs. Was advised to do pain managment which was a complete waste of time & NHS money, they tried telling me the pain was all in my head, so the following meeting i took my mri pics with me & showed them. They then said there was nothing they (pain clinic) could do. After seeing surgeon 3 times & facet joint injections, cordal epidurals & god knows what else i was told my only other option was surgery, because I had degenartive disc disorder. Well had 3 disc totally removed & wallis device fitted in April 2010 & all seemed well for 18 months. Now I feel like im back to square 1. Saw consultant last week, MRI booked for 8/10 with view of further surgery. I cant take this pain anymore & I take regular Tramadol, paracetamol, & have been put on setraline. I know im not alone after reading all the posts but i feel so alone sometimes. People dont seem to understand, that some days are better than others, I was told of a fab web site called asksara.com its helped me with so much stuff from personal care gadgets, to home improvements to mk life that little bit easier. Thank you for taking the time to read my post & dont forget to check out the web site.

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juw said on 19 September 2012

I wrote on this message board in june, and I am still no wiser as to what is going on. The consultant told me to stop the hydrotherapy, as it may be causing more damage. I was sent for another scan but they couldn't find a vein for the gandolinium injection, so when I saw the consultant he said there was a dark patch on the disc above the one I had had surgery on, but without the injection before the scan he couldn't tell for sure what was wrong.
I am in constant pain all the time and now waiting (4 weeks already and no letter) for another scan at a different hospital.

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Damogc said on 03 September 2012

Im 30 & for 5 years now ive had treatment for a slipped/prolapsed/herniated disc all the same thing. Ive had physio, acupuncture, a steroid injection & surgery. If your on this you already know the symptoms & how bad they are so instead of telling my individual story id rather try & help. Sleeping is your bodies healing time, your back needs plenty of support so take to the floor, with a duvet under you or invest in a firm mattress. Stick to sleeping on your back with a couple of pillows under your knees, this slightly raises your legs thus keeping your spine straight & taking off the pressure. Another is on your side with a couple of pillows between your legs. Avoid sleeping on your front as this will stiffen joints for when you wake up. The discs expand with fluid due to inactivity causing more pain, this is why its very sore when you wake so give it a few hours; gentle exercise is required otherwise the muscles supporting you will degenerate due to pain & lack of work. A short walk a couple of times a day & push ups worked for me; id lie on my stomach & push my upper body up keeping my hips & legs grounded holding for a couple of seconds before coming down; Reps of 10 every couple of hours. Keyword is gentle. Heat/Ice applied directly to the lower back/hip/buttock elevates the pain, I used a hot water bottle every 2 hours. Have a shower wherever possible, you cant keep the spine straight in a bath so avoid it, you will only create pain later on. Drugs: Pain killers can be doubled up with anti inflammatory so tramadol/ ibuprofen is my cocktail. Daytime have plenty things to read or watch as the pain will appear far worse, take your mind off it. Avoid sitting, bending, stretching and twisting keep you spine ass straight as possible. This helped me but I fully understand how individual each case is. Dont lay about feeling sorry for yourself give it a try and if it turns out surgery is required try not to worry your in good hands

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Lorraine63 said on 15 August 2012

I totally sympathise with all of you. The pain is unbearable 24/7 with no let up. I've been in pain for 14 months. The first 6 or so it was bearable and came and went but the last 8 months I've been in constant pain. Don't know how I kept working but I did up until 6 weeks ago. I went to see the GP 8 months ago and was told it would sort itself out and was given 8mg cocodamol. I kept going back month after month and all the GP did was up the dose. I now take 60mg 4 times a day as well as morphine. Nothing works now though. I had to pay to see a chiropractor who wrote to my GP saying I urgently needed an MRI scan. I got one eventually which showed a large prolapse. I was told epidural steroid injection waiting list was 5 months. I cried and cried knowing I couldn't cope with pain for that long.
I ended up paying 3k for the injections which was 3 weeks ago and the pain is worse. Consultant things disc has prolapsed even more. I've also lost some feeling in my bowels. Went back to work but after 2 shifts the pain was so bad that I can't walk. Got appointment with GP who rang consultant straight away who saw me Monday evening at 8pm and said because of loss of feeling the disc would have to come out ASAP although Monday is the earliest. He's hoping to fit me in during his on call day. This is under the nhs. The pain is getting worse as each day goes by but I'm trying to hang on until Monday. I've been very depressed and suicidal. Those of you in severe pain will know what I mean. Painkillers aren't touching the pain now and the only comfort I get is laying down on my side. I've heard some say the surgery only last a few years but it will be worth it to get just a few years of being pain free. I can't bear another day. I'm a changed person. Miserable moody. No quality of life. I pray the surgery is Monday and wish all of you the best as I know what you are going through.

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quirkyfox said on 13 July 2012

I have had chronic pain from m y prolapsed disc for just over a year now. Im on 2 differnt morphines, gabepentin and many other drugs i cant remember. My memory isnt very good with my medication, im having so many side effects and ive ganed 4 1/2 stone. Is not just the fact im in mobile thats caused the weight gain its also the mediation. Im waiting to see an othapedic concultant who will then refer me to another hospital where ithe spinal clinic is. I used to be a working mum and fit as a fiddle, it was a 52 mile bike ride that caused it along with i also fractured back when i was pregnant with my daughter. My mum now looks after myself and my daughter, i cant cook, clean or drive, i even forget if i had my meds. About 8 months ago i was in hospital cos the pain was so bad, the surgons informed that i may have to have an operation but be refered to another hospital but now i have to go back to them to be refered. My gps are great trying their best to get me treated. I cant do activites or play longer than a few minutes with my daughter cos i will be in agony. My life has completly changed and i feel its on hold, i just want some hope and see the right people. I've read that if your in the same chronic pain after 6 weeks or so than op is the case. But at the mo i'm just forbed off with medication. I just want my life back,

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JoGAB said on 09 June 2012

I have had back & leg pain since May 2009 after doing a 26 mile power walk. I went through Physio as they thought I had Sciatica but this didn't work - actually made it worse. March 2011 I had an MRI which showed a bulge on the L5S1 disc, as I had been in pain for so long and nothing else was helping I was offered an operation, I was very worried about having surgery on my spine but was at the end of my tether so went ahead with it. Had the operation September 11, which all went fine and was almost pain free. In January 2012 the pain was back, I could hardly walk and was taking so many painkillers - tramadol, paracetemol, naproxen & amitriptyline, but hardly touched the pain. Refered back to Consultant who arranged another MRI for March, he thought it may be inflamation. The pain did ease a little so I thought it must have been inflamation. Went back last week for my results only to be told that I now have a disc prolapse on the same disc, 10 times worse than before! He was quite shocked that this had happened and I am now waiting an appointment for another operation - was told this would not heal on its own. I am still taking the painkillers and having to be very careful although I am still working. I feel like my life is on hold at the moment, I have 3 children and feel really bad that we are unable to plan anything at the moment. I am 40 and the last 3 years I have been in constant pain, I do hope this operation is done very soon and is a success! I would be interested to hear from anyone whom this has happened to.

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juw said on 08 June 2012

I had L5/S1 Disc surgery 8 weeks ago and I am now in more pain than before the op. The sciatic pain is horrendous. The physios said there was no land based excercise that could help and I am now having hydrotherapy.
My Sister had the same operation 20 years ago although it was more invasive then, she now uses a wheelchair.
Does anyone else have family connections with the same problems? or is this just co-incidence.

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Josephsdad said on 31 May 2012

Hi All, I was diagnosed with L5/S1 and L4/L5. I had the op 2 week ago and am now almost pain free, in fact the pain that remains is the thought of what I was like weeks ago! I had an injection 2 weeks before the op which have a little pain relief then wore off gradually but I don't regret having it at all. Originally my pain was in my left hip which then spread to my whole left leg. I don't need to describe it further because you all know how bad it is. All sorts of tablets were prescribed - nothing really worked. The only relief I got was lying flat on my back on the floor.
My advice would be to keep pleading with your GP, then referral to an orthopaedic surgeon, MRI scan, referral to a spinal surgeon who will then tell you what's what. I was sorted within 3 months - don't be fobbed off with painkillers!
For surgery, in my case, the benefits outweighed the risks. I couldn't go on any further with pain like that. Remember that the surgeons are experts and are worth their weight in gold. They know what they're doing.

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dippa said on 27 May 2012

Hi I have had disc prolapse for the last 5 months been to doctors and many pain killers but not much help at all, Plus I have had 3 back treatments which it cost me a sum of 200 pounds but no help at all. Now am waitin to have anthere mri scan again has my last mri scan was last year october 2011, But dose disc prolapse last for a very long time? If any one have any advice please feel free to msg me.

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DanCity said on 19 May 2012

Hi all,
I'm 21 and i have suffered with severe back pain for a number of years.
Went for an MRI scan after numerous visits to the GP for the same problem, and was just constantly given medication after medication after medication!
Enough was enough, when i simply just couldn't stand the pain anymore.
Been off work (currently) since december, and am due in for a discectomy and decompression on tuesday. I have 2 prolapsed discs L4/5 and L5/S1.
Really cannot wait for it to be done, as the pain is just simply horrific.
I took into consideration about any potential risks, but to be honest, this is just the only resort i want to take. Nothing else has worked.

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back pain34 said on 05 May 2012

Hi there, I understand your reluctance for having surgery at such a young age and agree that it is a last resort but you consultant should have offered other treatment, did you ask him if there was any?
I think you should go back to him and ask about having a steroid injection to see if it helps, it did not for me but I know it does work for some people and if it relieves the pain you can have 3 a year, also ask to be refered to the pain clininc who also can give some good advise for you, you should also be refered to the physio department, your own doctor can do this.
I hope one or more of these suggestions help you but if in my case surgery is the only answer then you have to weigh up whether you can live with the pain or if it is worth the risk but please get your doctor or consultant to refer you for the other treatments and good luck.

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18yr old with back pain said on 03 May 2012

Please read:
I'm a 18yr old boy, average weight and height.
This time last year I was In a good job, learning to drive and just enjoying life.
But I started to have a dull pain in my lower middle back. I didn't think much of it as I thought it was just muscle pain so I took a few pain killers, but this wasn't the case, 2 months went past then I went to the doctors. The GP advised me to take more pain killers. Another few months went past and the pain was still there but it had gotten worse, I could barely walk properly or drive. At the start of september, my pain was a at a all time high, and the worst part was I started my second year at college, I was studying joinery at that time. I started to see a chiropractor that my aunt had gone to, thier approach was good but 4 months down the line, I'd spent £950 on treatment that barely worked. I started to become deppressed and by now I had spent another £250 on a new mattress thinking it might help because I couldnt sleep because of the shooting pain down my left leg. By now I still wasn't sure what was wrong with me. I went back to the GP and I described the pain and he said I've got sciatica. He gave me gabapenton capsules to take, I was taking 12 a day.
I had an MRI scan done 5 weeks ago and got the results I've got L4/5 and L5/S1 dick protrusions. (whatever that is) I went to see a specialist who helps with this problem but it didn't help, and I don't want surgery because of the risk. Please would someone tell or recommend what I'd should do next, I can't this pain.

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Josh2011read said on 03 May 2012

Hi its Josh here again, after waiting 9 weeks for an appointment back at Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham ive finally got one for 12th May. I'm quite interested into what they have got to say this time? How can you say that I havent got slipped discs from the MRI Scan I had? when it clearly says in the report that I have in L4 L5/S1...
This pain said by many others isnt 'growing pains' not for 6 years.
Anyone had any success with their slipped discs if they have how did you get treated?
Thanks all and best wishes.

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Help ChrisKing said on 30 April 2012

Chris King Hear,
I just waited 8 months to see a doctor at John Hunter Hospital N.S.W Australia, I waited 1/12 years in pain.. Just to get the referral to a surgeon who doesn’t operate for pain.
If that’s not bad enough he tells me there is another surgeon who will. Ok I say could you put an internal referral in so I don’t have to wait another 8 months in pain and on narcotics to see him & he said yes we can do that for you but in the mean time we suggest a gym based program and as for pain killers maybe try panadol..LOL
Ok so what a load of crap I cried and they left the room the doctor and his team walked out of the room.
2 months have now gone buy and I ring the hospital to find out how far on the list I am to see tje surgeon and the JHH tell me the good doctor never said that at all and treated me like I was lying and told me I’d have to go back to my GP and get him to put in a referral in to see the other surgeon like everyone else.
It’s just doesn’t make sense So I went back to my GP a New GP and had the referral done 2 More months wasted in pain, While I wait I’m taking MS Contin a day for the pain doesn’t do much but enough to get threw a day just fighting like a dying dog and Endep to try stop me thinking about taking my life. I am a 27 male and I am willing to undergo clinical trials anywhere in the world I do have a passport and I am willing to travel but I just dont have 50k to fund the operation.

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carpetman51 said on 27 April 2012

had my results from a mri scan this week showing a plolaped l2 disc.
my pain started in jan of this year, i woke up one morning and had severe pain in my back, right buttock, and pain down my leg
having managed to get to my doctors he decieded i had sciatica, and gave me some painkillers which did not work, the pain was so bad that just having a pee was near impossible.
i was prescribed different medication, diazapan etc with no relief, however i have to say the doctors whom i sa did try and help, we are lucky to have a great part time gp called dr torkington, who is a old style of doctor, she is so popular that if you can get a appointment with her for say 10 am, turn up a hour later, as she does not give you the normal 10 mins, she takes her time and patients who see her never moan if she is running late.
i got to see her and she said ineeded a mri scan which she aranged and this month had it done, in the meantime she prescribed codene and paracetimol which helped a bit, but now i have a patch that i put on every 3 days called fentanyl which helps slighty
i am now waiting to hear about a surgical injection that may help, however if it does not, i will have to see the surgical team to see if it can be operated on.
please persist with your gp, even if he refuses a mri scan, they are allowed to get you one, then at least you are able to know whats wrong with you

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foreverinpain said on 26 April 2012

Thank You all for making me realise that I'm not alone in the way I've been treated by the medical profession. I have suffered for years with back pain & after about 5 years managed to at last get an MRI which showed the bulging L5 disc & a Tarlov Cyst, which is another can of worms altogether, anyway to cut a long story short, I eventually saw an Orthopedic Surgeon who was dismissive from the start & basically brushed my pain off as 'nerve pain' & said surgery would not be an option for my disc. I was offered a pain clinic which would be a very uncomfortable 100 mile round trip for me which I obviously can't do in my condition! I've been dosed up on Tramedol & Codeine & just feel like I have no life. I saw my GP again a week ago to see if there was anything else they could do, I asked for a second opinion but he just said they wouldn't be able to do anything else for me as this so called specialist had said surgery was not an option. I'm just 40 & can't envisage living another 40 years in this amount of pain! I am like an 80 yr old with my mobility & can't sit, stand or walk for long. I am constantly on pain killers & feel cast aside by the medical profession - they don't have to see me everyday so i'm not their problem - my poor family does most things for me. Can I demand to see another consultant ? It's a neurosurgeon i need really, especially with the Tarlov Cyst too. Thanks .

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Lady Gravy said on 25 April 2012

I got married and started university in Sept 2010 and my gorgeous little girl was only 3 at the time. I got out of bed one day at the end of November 2010 in excruciating pain and barely able to move and have been on various medications including Morphine ever since. I now take over 100 tablets every week and still have to take 120mg of Zomorph twicw a day and have Oramorph to wash them all down with and was told that I may be like this for the rest of my life.
2 MRI scans have shown that I have a prolapsed disc L5/S1 and sub-chondral marrow oedema on the left sacro-iliac joint with ankylosis in my spine. I am only 30 and my beautiful baby girl isn't even 5 yet and worries about me every day. It is so unfair that we have been left to suffer like this and told to just learn how to deal with it. I even got offered to see a psychologist to talk about it.... Talking however wont get my health back. Or my place at uni which I had to withdraw from because occupational health said I was unfit to practice. Even after I travelled 3 and a half hours in blizzards and 3 feet of snow to make sure I got to uni!!!
Eventually after a year and a half of fighting against my G.P and rheumatologist I got a second opinion and have been referred to a neurologist to see if there is anything they can do for me.
I would be so grateful if anybody has any info for me. I seen that the success rate is between 60 - 90% but I am absolutely terrified at the thought of anybody messing with my spine!!

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User665163 said on 12 April 2012

I hurt my back in May 2009. I was off work for 9 weeks as noboday seemed to help me, I was sent to physio but this made my symptoms worse. I had pain when moving, sitting and what felt like a trapped nerve in my left leg. Finally after much persistance my Doctor advised me to go see a Chiropractor, he managed to get me back to work.
I have had a couple of instances since the worse been at the end of the summer in 2011. I was unable to straighten up and the pain made me sick. I had pain down my left leg and my right leg was giving way. I was on crutches and bed ridden for over 2 weeks, my Partner did everything for me including bed baths and taking me to the bathroom. Due to the pain and my persistance I was finally sent for a MRI, I have a permanent buldging disc and a dehydrated disc. My back has never been the same since, I am in constant pain, I have gone back to the Doctors on a number of occassions, to no avail. One time the doctor told me my back was bad because I'm fat and need to lose weight, without looking at my history. I am nearly 29 years old, 5'8 and a size 14. I dread to think how I am going to cope when I am a OAP!

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back pain34 said on 07 April 2012

I am so angry about all the reports from people saying that they are being told they have to live with the pain by the medical profession.
You have to fight for it but you are entitled to medical treatment, the story that your doctor cannot refer you for an MRI is rubbish, they don't like do it but they have to, ask for a second opinion and report his conduct, ask at your surgery they have to have a proceedure for this, seeing how useless he is it's not going to effect the treatment he is denying you.
I am 9 month's into not much treatment but I see my consultant is 4 weeks and hopefully go for another option to try and help my condition.
As I have said before if you don't complain you don't get the treatment.
Hope this helps, you are not alone.

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lolalu72 said on 06 April 2012

I had a fall nearly 2 years ago while heavily pregnant. Shortly after i was on crutches, after i had baby i expected to recover from c section but could not walk without the aid of my babys pram. I was told by a physio therapist that i needed to work on my stomach muscles. I complained as i was on co codamol and diclofenac ( as i still am) and life was so hard looking after a new baby a 6 yr old + hard working husband, and simple things like bending and standing /walking were so painful -saw another physio continually since summer last year she kept saying it was my pregnancy do pilates, it is nothing to do with your discs your mental state making things worse for urself - i do pilates but is painful but persevering - eventually refered to hosp 'to rule out problems as i dont think its anything serious' doc bewildered aswell - i get to hospital to see a low back pain physio after over a year to be told it is a disc problem- no point xraying you or further investigations as we cant treat it only send you to pain clinic. they havnt done any tests at all- Im only 40 and have a young family and am basically disabled the only reason i carry on is my family otherwise i wouldnt im in so much pain all the time have no enjoyment out of life except the smiles on my kids faces, my marriage is suffering as i feel like im an oap always stiff and sore and can barely pick up m,y toddler son. I dont know waht to do next. Im already addicted to the codien i feel anxious and panicky and cant sleep when they wear off all i dont want to keep living like this

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tporter77 said on 05 April 2012

Hi after reading all this today, here is my moan.
In 2001 i bent over to shift the weight of two shopping bags as one was heavier than the other. As i was bent over i could not strighten myself up again without my legs buckling from under me. A&E said at the time it was more than likely a slipped disc but i was given no scan ar xray. Nearly 11 years down the line, i am still in sever pain everyday. i have been to see physio's (about 7 times), including one who specialises in backs. I have had the same GP for the duration of this so he knows my history. I have asked to be sent for an MRI scan only to be told that privlidge has been taken away from GP's. I now have sciatic pain as well as femoral nerve pain and still getting no-where. Please help.

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back pain34 said on 03 April 2012

You can insist that your doctor refers you to a consultant if he refuses get a second opinion.
I have found to my cost that unless you get nasty there is nobody going to offer you help.
I am at the moment waiting to see my consultant again and will need to have an operation but it is painfully slow and physio does not help and the endless pills get me down but there is treatment it's just that you really do have to fight for it.
Things to do:
Go to your accident and emergency hospital and sit there until someone sees you.
write to your MP
Write to the Health secretary
start an e-petition
Write to the papers

You have a right to be treated but be prepared to fight.

Good luck

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thenunn said on 02 April 2012

Hi I had a bad fall 2009,since then pain in leg and back has got much worse so much so i went off june 2011 and was medically retired in oct 2011 as i could no longer sit for more than 15min,drive my van or walk more than a few hundred yards without extreme pain. had an xray..then physio who said i was in wrong place and advised i needed mri ..mri nov 2010,slippage to disc l4/l5,stenosis ,facet joint degen,l3/l4 l5/l4 nerve irritaion.Had nerve block .no good,had amatryptylene,lyrica no good,now on tramadol,which seemed to help but now 4 weeks in isnt. My leg pain is horrible,it starts lower back comes to the front under left hip which is painful to finger touch,runs down front thigh,to shin centre and outer and into middle of my sole,as well as back pain . I am not happy as i feel confused by what i have been told and basically told live with it nothing else to do . I want to ask gp to refer to neuro as i think l2 involved and there must be something they can do ! my pain is 24/7 and ANY postion ,any activity ..i am so fed up can i ask to be refered to a neuro ?
thanks for listening .

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back pain34 said on 29 March 2012

Can I say that the first thing you need to insist on is to be refered for an MRI scan, the medical profession will do all they can to deter and prevent you from having one because then they will have to offer treatment. I have had a major back injury for the last 8 month's and it has been a nightmare trying to see the right people. I have recently had an epidural steroid injection which unfortunately has not worked so will now have to try an fight for an operation. There are over 100,000 people in this country in constant pain that can be treated but because of cuts and the general medical opinion that we will have to put up with constant pain and end up being disabled because of this apathy. Please write to your MP your health authority the papers and get publicity for this continued disgrace for our suffering.

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simonjugg said on 26 March 2012

Hi I have receently been diagnosed with a prolapsed disc however I was referred to a consultant for chonic knee pain in the first instance. since having all xrays and mri on my knee I was given some physio sessions. During the sessions they have come up with this disc diagnosis. Is it worth going back to my consultant and asking for some clarification regarding the prolapsed disc or to just carry on with thee physiio sessions.

Any suggestions

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saralousa said on 26 March 2012

To shaz4473
keep fighting for the MRI - as its the only real tool to determine the disc bulge

i had one and that's the only way they could see that i had 3 damaged discs the worse one protruding on the base of the S1 nerve - no xray or other diagnostics would have determined that

not sure but i know my mri scan was reviewed by a radiologist and he told the gp to refer me to the neurosurgeons

is it the gp thats being difficult as you could if possible transfer to a new gp - who may have more funding and willing to pay for it

good luck with it all

(huggs - it seems that you were referring to a nz physio and his technique - mckenzie technique - the back book - its worth a look as i found it very helpful and found a physio trained in that technique- sorry london based)

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killyspike said on 20 March 2012

Oh and by the way I'm 36. Don't let them pass you off as being anxious. Your back isn't right and you need to know what is going on Shaz. Insist on MRI scan.

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killyspike said on 20 March 2012

@shaz4473 there are more than just slipped discs that cause back pain and you won't trully know without an MRI scan. The symtoms I get seemed very much that of a slipped disc. Forget about x-ray that won't show anything. I had an MRI scan 2 weeks ago and I now have confirmation that there is some prolapse. I have had bouts of severe lower back pain over the 5 or so years I have experienced it. I recently got another bout but the gap between them was over a year and a half and I believe it was because I stopped exercising due to the long hours at work. I believe exercise should work in preventing another onset. However I do also go to the chiropractor every 3 weeks for adjustments to help keep it in check. So my advice to you Shaz is to get an MRI scan because it seems strange to me that you exercising like you do doesn't keep it in check. I wish you all the best and insist on an MRI!

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sjm1985 said on 20 March 2012

To shaz4473

I would deviantly ask for a MRI scan, its a lot more detailed than an xray, I'm surprised its not the first thing they ordered done.

Did you ever get referred to a neurosurgeon consultant etc?? Because they can normally tell straight away if its a slipped disk, my symptoms made it obvious it was a ruptured disk coz i couldn't move my left foot

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Help ChrisKing said on 20 March 2012

To shaz4473

I was in pain for over 12months before I evan new what an MRI was the reason why Doctors hear in Australia stuff around with that stuff it because they cant hand out MRI referrals only a specialist can do this and its an $800 scan well in Australia anyway we cant tell you you have a sliped disc no one can you need a scan for this.

DONT 4 GET CHRIS KING.......... SOMEONE HELP ME.

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shaz4473 said on 19 March 2012

I have had problems for the last three years now. Initially a case of sciatica but then on and off periods of bad back pain. I generally cannot sit longer than 1 hour or walk for more than a couple of hours. I have been to hospital three times now, sent for physiotherapy at two hospitals, tried an osteopath, a chiropractor for 3 months, pilates for 6 months and still have the same back trouble. I am fit and healthy and walk most days and do two exercise classes a week(one a back class) when I am able with a good diet and it is severely affecting general day to day life. Problems like lifting kettle when it is full, pushing a trolley, carrying shopping bags let alone trying to do anything adventurous!
I did get an xray done two years ago but on reading the information online it looks like it would have been beneficial to get an mri done. I have been diagnosed with muscular and soft tissue problems, to mechanical back pain and now it is being suggested a bulging disc. I am being told that it would be of no benefit getting an mri - would be interested to know anyone elses opinion on this or experience they have gone through.
I have been told by the hospital I need to be less anxious and that these problems present themselves as we get older - I am 38!!

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NSW heath SUX said on 18 March 2012

I present as a very challenging problem with severe and unresolved back pain relating to L5/S1 level disk prolapse as said in my other post Ive had 2 steroid injections into the L5/S1 foramen and 1 nerve root block all with no help. I do get continuous nerve root and lower back pain. I can see there are clinical trials but none in Australia, Ive rang around a bit looks like if I had 50k cash I could get straight in and have a Spinal fusion cant get private health as its a pre existing condition done the run around for 2 years Some days its hard to see a future with out pain Im only 27 I have Kids both under 5 life is hard every day is a fight and Im at war with my self all the time..?

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sjm1985 said on 17 March 2012

"Chris King"
I would say your pain is nerve related and i would ask your GP to prescribe you something for that.

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sjm1985 said on 14 March 2012

In August 2011 i was diagnosed with ruptured disk, i was experience full left foot drop & server weakness of left leg but strangley enough no pain!!! The neurosurgeon informed me that the damage was done & didn't think surgery would help much, we decided it was best to postpone surgery until it symptons got worse.. I was hoping it wud be few years, i got 2 months before it affected my bladder. Sad Sad Sad Sad
I was told he was going to preform a microdiscectomy & the incission would be sealed with dissolvable stitchs, no aftercare needed. I came out of op with 21 stamples & a 7cm incission!!!! Erm didn't go quite to plan. (has anyone else needed stamples??)
Bad news didn't stop there:
The surgeon told me that he ended up removing significant portion of the disk. (my gp told me that cliff notes from hosp say nearly 2/3)
That the pain im now experiencing will never go away. (none before op loads after, sods law!!)
My gp told me yesturday that i'll have to get use to it & tramadol, co-codamal will be my life long partners!! Gabapentin as well probably.. Now i've still got left leg weakness & can't walk around without leg splint..
Q1. Has anyone else had similar problems
Q2. From personnel experiences does it get better mentally (Can you just get use to it)
Q3. Can taking pain killers long term cause health issues

Weirdest thing is this all happened while i was sleeping, went to bed fine woke up unable to stand properly!!! They reckon i'd damaged the muscles around the disk before & combination of co-codamol plus seizure meant (profanity removed) disk (Epilepsy) (basically worst timing for a seizure coz the damaged muscles acted as a weak spot on my spine & shot the disk out)

Sorry its so long just needed to get it off me chest & tbh just going to sleep scares hell outta me na!! First time is bad, second will be horrific!!

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Nat1000 said on 01 March 2012

My husband has been suffering with a slipped disc for almost a year. He was also getting sciatic pain down one leg and has been having lots of time off work etc.. It has affected the whole family and has been a pretty miserable time. However after going to see a physio who put him on an inversion table (and sent him home with it so he could spend the wkend using it) and recommending walking and lying on back with legs raised on a sofa in between using it, the sciatic pain went. This was great but he still couldn't sit down without being in agony and as his work involves either office work or driving to various jobs around the country (and then doing very physical work once there) he still had a problem. The doctor was no use..wouldn't refer him to the hospital, and the nhs physio just gave him excercises to do which obviously weren't helping. The private physio said there was no more he could do. We decided to try a Chiropractor and it was a revelation! She went straight to the cause of the problem and after just applying pressure to one point on his back for a minute or two whilst evaluating him he was able to sit in the car on the way home pain free. She also advised ice packs for 2 hours at a time every 2 hours and pillows under his knees in bed. This has aslo helped tremendously. He is going for a 45 minute session with her tomorrow and she has recommended he have 4 altogether (minimum) as he has been suffering such a long time. We will see what happens but so far so good and not as expensive as we thought..1st session £52 and subsequent sessions £28. If you haven't tried a chiropractor then go and see one (check the chiropractor register first to make sure they have been checked).

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Josh2011read said on 27 February 2012

Here I am again, gotten no further with anything, its like back in square 1. @queenbee33 I went to Orthopaedics, they said that I have no slipped disc and was referred back to the Physio, who just left me with a few bits of paper with exercises on and 6 weeks to do them. I went back and he discharged me. Now after several months, I am still suffering with this problem. I went back to my GP last week and went through the MRI scan and past records which states about the discs being a problem, so now im being referred back to the Orthopaedics...help!

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Kit petit said on 04 February 2012

After suffering on and off with severe back pain and sciatica,my GP referred me to have a MRI scan,which showed a herniated disc S1/L5 with nerve irritation. After 6 weeks of physio ( electic,dry needeling,exercises,massage) etc The pain in both legs was worse and sensation in my left foot was dwindling. Walking with cructhes,and developing scoliosis,was booked in to have the operation on 26.01.2012. Surgery went fine,came home next day with discomfort ofcourse but pain in right leg only.............after taking numerous pain killers and spending time resting for the first week ( GP orders) yesterday I decided to do some light duties such as dusting and cooking tea which has resulted in me feeling good that I'm beginning to get back to normal in a sense. But after sitting down after eating,I couldn't move........every time I tried moving my right leg pain shooting down my leg made me scream for my husband. He tried to help me which made me scream even more. After 20mins of this I couldn't stand anymore pain and just moved to stand screaming and crying :-( and phoned my GP,who is away until Tuesday,but nurse said I cold possibly have another herniated disc but will hopefully see Dr on Tuesday,and to take painkillers......has anyone else suffered with pain 1 week post op.....??????

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Huggs said on 03 February 2012

I must agree about exercise. I slipped my disc in 98, I was in Portugal at the time, went to see a physio who sent me off to the gym, I had 8 sessions (twice weekly) with a sports injury personal trainer, who showed me what exercises to do. He also showed my several stretches as did the physio. I used to do some stretches before getting out of bed then others on the bedroom floor, I also did some at work during lunchtime. The best advice I got was to lie on the floor on my stomach whilst watching TV/reading, leaning on elbows, with my face in my hands, or at the first sign of pain, it works! Sitting around on soft armchairs and sofas are the worst, walking is great and within a few weeks I found dancing was easier and less painful than sitting!

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ArcPilates said on 31 January 2012

I am noticing a pattern with all of these comments: basically A doctor can't fix your back for you, you have to take action (albeit sore and slow!) to fix it yourself. I have suffered on and off from back pain, and following a particularly bad herniated disc L5-S1 (due to hyper mobility in certain joints) last year I was astounded by the lack of knowledge and treatment offered by the NHS. Only pain killers were offered, no physio, no scan.. I eventually fixed mine with several (private) physio sessions and Pilates with a highly qualified teacher (not in a gym). Expensive but worth it for the total recovery
There is a mentality that we should be able to do nothing but pop a pill to get better. People, I emplore, DO SOME EXERCISE! Gentle, careful exercise, preferably under the watchful eye of a good Pilates teacher. It's the best way to strengthen your back, lower abdominals and
gluteal muscles and avoid further problems. We need to
have more awareness of our bodies and our take
responsibility for how they work, it's in our own hands!

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mclaren149 said on 29 January 2012

Hi everyone, Im 29 have been having back problems for 5 years. at first doc put it down to inflamed pelvic joint, I had steroid injection, did nothing. then had x-ray that was fine. Over a period of a couple of years I then had repeated 'flare ups' where my back would go into spasms for days at a time and i literally couldnt do anything. I then had a spell of about ten months relatively pain free, nothing had changed it just dissapered...but then came back with a vengence, I was sent to specialist, who really didnt care, and sent me to physio, that did absolutely nothing! After a while I went back to gp and asked to be reffered for second opinion, that specialist then sent me for MRI, this showed 2 'slipped disks', disks which had decressed in height, that I was born with a slender spinal canal and tarlov cysts in spinal canal. still nothing was offered to me. In the past six months I have got significantly worse, I am now on an epilepsy drug, co-codamol and naproxen and sometimes tramadol. I have had another steroid injection which had no effect. Doc sent me for an urgent MRI as I now have constant pins and needles in my leg and foot and loss of sensation on my ankle. I had MRI within two weeks of him reffering me, I now have to wait 10-12 days to see my gp for results, I am hoping its adviced that I have surgery, I am sick of living my life in pain it has such an impact on me and the side effects from the tablets are none to pleasent either. I sympathise with you all.

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back pain34 said on 27 January 2012

I injured my back at work after twisting when lifting a heavy piece of equipment, I did have another person help with the lift but the twisting action did the damage.
After being prescribed several different medicines from anti-inflamatories and muscle relaxants my doctor reluctantly refered me to a specialist.
The waiting was forever and it took 6 weeks to even get a referal to the physio, they agreed there was an urgent need for physio but after only one treatment they refused to do any more work as they considered the injury too bad, eventually after ringing the hospital on a daily basis and having an MRI scan the appointment came through for another 6 weeks wait, all the time the symptons were getting worse and I was struggling to hold on to my job.
One day the pain got so bad that I went to the accident and emergency department, while there was plenty of sympathy the general opinion was that I would have to wait for the consultants appointment.
The big day arrived and finally somebody who seemed to understand my problem, been diagnosed as having a slipped disc but made worse because the base of my spine had not formed correctly, we discussed the options and I decided to go for the epidural steroid injection although my consultant recommended only one as he believes an operation will be necessary, at last somebody was talking sense and listening to me.
So how silly of me to think that the wait for an injection would not be so long , after endless phone calls I was told I was not even on the waiting list as they had to first get approval for the funding....apparently my case will be refered to the funding commitee who only meet every 4-5 weeks and then if approved I can go on the list. Well I am fed up with the never ending pain the never ending medication I have to take and the likelyhood of loosing my job any day soon.

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lucyeware said on 26 January 2012

shelly77 : I get exactly the same pain. Particularly in my left leg. I have herniated discs in L3-L4 and L5-SC1 and it hurts all the time. I can no longer walk for longer than 15mins and I can barely sleep/Sit down for long periods of time which is making me exhausted all the time.
I have been to a physio who has been VERY unhelpful and pretty much ignored all of my concerns and accused me of having bad posture, which is bad as sitting up really hurts!

So, Any advice where we can go, turn to, ask or just get help? Please Please!! I am 22yrs old and I want to get this sorted ASAP

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User622821 said on 07 December 2011

And I thought I had a problem!! Dodgy back on and off for a few years, mainly after playing squash or on the golf course but 3 months ago it really went on the squash court. Turned out to be a large central prolapse L4/5 which gave me pain like i have never known.
NHS sent me home after 4 days in Neurosurgical ward where I was supposed to have an emergency op.
Amytriptiline/Dehydracodeine and Dyclofenac make it manageable but life on hold.
Short story is that I have now seen the same neurosurgeon through my health insurance and had a second MRI which shows it has not regressed so advice is an op and can be done within a couple of weeks.
I'm opting to have it done but wait until january. I'll let you know how it goes!
Im 54 and should probably have stopped a few years ago but I'm officially retired from a court now. Intend to get back to golf in the spring. All being well.

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shelly77 said on 04 December 2011

I'm 34 and have had 2 herniated discs (L4-L5 and L5-S1) for 7yrs. Was able to cope with the pain up until 3 months ago. I have been admitted to hospital 3 times in the past 3 months to be literally knocked out with morphine for days due to severe pain. I have tried every painkiller/anti-inflammatory on the market, physio, chiropractors, accupuncture,epidurals...and nothing works. I have severe back pain, radiating down both legs to my feet, tingling and numbness. I cannot even put on my own socks or shoes in the morning. I have been told by a few doctors that if i continue like this, i will end up in a wheelchair by the time i am 40yrs old. I am on a waiting list to see a neurosurgeon but could take 6-9mths....what am i suppossed to do until then? I am afraid of the damage that is being caused not only to my spine but also to my nerves in my legs. I cannot continue to live like this - i have no quality of life and am too young to face a future like this. Don't know where to turn to....

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TXSunshine said on 13 November 2011

At home I injured my back & could not move for 15 minutes & in 2 hours I could not walk. The pain was above a 10 central low above tailbone and lightening pain in buttocks. I went to GP, chiropractor, specialists, pain management dr for injections. I was disappointed that MRI#1 only reported a bulging disc which could or not cause pain. This made the doctors unsure about the level of pain I was really in. For 6 weeks I struggled to walk, sit, normal activities and was in tears with every bump in the road driving my child to school every morning. Months later I started having pains in feet & legs. I went to a specialist for the feet and leg pain. I have purchased an inversion table, backtolife machine, pillows, seat cushions, new desk chair, vitamins, books, lotions, inflammation patches, pain & muscle meds & list goes on. My old dr commented that the MRI was not reliable as it was open instead of closed and the place I went to did not have a great reputation. I asked why would they do the open instead of closed and he said so that I would need to come back and need a 2nd MRI..more money for them. So I had a 2nd MRI at another location & reported a 6 instead of a 4 bulge but no more detailed information. After 2 very long years in pain I found a dr that recommended a Discography (pain mapping) and a Plasma Disc Decompression (minimally invasive surgical procedure) if we found the herniated disc was contained. I was very excited about this procedure but unfortunately my discography results report a grade 5 full thickness tear at L5-S1 with contrast material leaking to the epidural space with mass effect on the thecal sac ending at S1nerve. So I am meeting with my dr this week to discuss other options for me. If you are not ready for surgery & your disc herniation is contained you should find a doctor that does the discography and the PDD. If you have any ideas for me please share. Living in Pain. :( I want my life back.

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Dickens66 said on 09 October 2011

I have made a forum for people with back problems - if any of you would like to join, and have a chat about our experiences
It needs a few tweaks still :)

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Paulmcgy said on 01 October 2011

I have had a bad back for years and saw an osteopathic on and off for the whole time. At various times over the years it would be worse or better with me often unable to bend and on lots of medication. After three children and ten years of picking them up and dragging prams in and out of cars, my back eventually could take no more. In August this year I had surgery for something else and awoke to horrendous and unbearable back pain that got quickly worse until I could barely walk and had lost all feeling in my foot. I was lucky as my GP was very good and referred me to a friend of his who is a very good neurosurgeon. Again very luckily we have private healthcare with my husbands job, so I was seen quickly. Even the consultant was shocked at how much pain I was in and said he generally sends most people away as they are not bad enough for surgery. An MRI scan showed a massively prolapsed disk that was almost entirely out. I had surgery a few days later when in actual fact I had almost two whole disks removed. When the surgeon came to see me after the operation it was to tell me what a mess my back had been in and why the operation had taken a lot longer because so much work had been needed. I am very pleased that I had surgery as now a week after surgery the pain has gone apart from an odd ache, which he expects to go with recovery. I feel very lucky and am pleased to have been able to had this done so quickly as would had had permanent damage otherwise. He did say that the patients who get the most out of surgery are those who have been in acute pain for shorter periods of time. People who have had the pain for much longer will take much longer to recover and will probably not get as much benefit. It is a difficult decision but the age argument seems ridiculous as I am only 35 and age was never a consideration. The decision to have surgery must be between patient and surgeon and I know does not help everyone, but was the right answer for me.

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ray786 said on 26 September 2011

Im writing on behalf of my father whos been suffering with this issue for several years, for upto 20years he was diagnosed with a slipped disc, the usual channel was painkillers, morphine based, physio therapy, eventually injections into the back. Temporary relief for several months a time. I feel really very very sad and can imagine how many people in the comments section have endured, dad is mid 60's, over 24months ago suffered with gradual pain becoming deep and severe and radiating to hips and legs now too, after xrays and then 2 mri's a prolapsed disc was noted. Constantly being advised for physiotherapy and a crazy amount of painkillers, a person whom walked everyday, took the grandchildren out all day long and could drive, can barely walk to and from the bathroom without pain and discomfort. His whole body has arched and with restricted movement and walking other health issues are flaring up. His not even able to get in the car, we have changed everything in our home thankfully we have a purpose built annexe but as a bed and mattress designer myself we have changed his beds many many times. We've tried all types of clinics private and nhs, and i feel like everything is on slow conveyor belt, Im not stating painkillers and physio do not work, but i guess for some it doesnt especially with age. He has been on a cocktail of meds, including ones placed under the tongue, well his had that for many years now. After bugging the gp many times, the hospital would say too old and risky for OP, but if nothing works and quality of life is diminished what choice does he have? after much suffering i took him private bupa, a specialist recommended in west mids seen him and stated an OP is required, reassured though there are risks quality of life will be better than now.. funny thing is that this op is available via NHS, but long waiting times (thanks to our recession and banks!!) means we are still waiting since May, im hoping it could be in october or nov. :oS

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gizzyrose said on 15 July 2011

To anyone this will help - I have suffered with a bad back since I was a very young child dismissed at 15 with diagnosis of scoliosis. Led onto severe sciatica where I too was under a Consultant and advised to go to physio who left me housebound for 12 months and on crutches to move at al for 18 months. I also had 2 epidurals which did nothing for me other than caused additional problems with the 2nd one and led to me leaving hospital in a wheelchair! Physio on final appointment admitted didn't know what was wrong with me and how to help by then the damage was done! Though I am continuing to suffer I currently work full time how do you ask, through an exceptionally talented Osteopath. After being told I was young enough to put up with it (being housebound at 25!) I was in despair and visited her with no real hope or belief in her abilities and with her taking 1 look at me and stating she was not sure what she could do for me but after 3 sessions I was off my crutches (remember after 18 months!) I still see her periodically and have massages whenever I can afford it and I have just (today) been further diagnosed with Osteoporosis, prolapsed discs and nerve damage which affects my entire body (im often falling down the stairs) and would say to you to fight for operations if and when theyre on offer to you and run a mile from physio! Research the best surgeon for your specific issue around the country and get your GP to refer you to that person if they wont change your GP - I am still working full time though I have constant pain that nothing touches so your life can improve but don't accept what your doctors GPs etc tell you fight for whatever you really want. I sincerely hopes this helps and would advise to select only an Osteopath that someone you know well has recommended after personal treatment. I wish you all well and a good sleep!

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r c chapman said on 10 July 2011

i have have 2 corroded lower discs for 4 yrs now which have got severley worse this yrive had 2 mri sans and ive being to see a back surgeon last dec and he basicly said i was to young for a operation (im 36) and offered me to go to pyhsio which i have being to the hospital twice a week which has done nothing but make the pain worse ive also had a injection in one of the muscles in my lower back 3 months ago which never worked im back at the hospital in 3 weeks for another desision for the needle in my spine ive took diclfenic, tramadol, codine, dizipan , dihadrocodine, in the past to no pain relief im now currantly taking liquid morhine and nefopam tablets.... 2 days ago at work i was just doing my normal job and got a really bad pain and ive being in severe pain since 2 days in bed it really hurts when i walk i would really like to know why the surgeon can make the desission that im to young for surgury should'nt i make that choice???

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christinac47 said on 29 June 2011

i have suffer really bad back pain for around 4 years now last year was the hardess as when it gets bad can not move at all as ther is to much pain been to see a spicaless and he said i have a slip discs was very cheeky to me because i could not explain my self to him properly i felt so let down as i thought this docter would listen ,cant do anything about this matter now as he said sorry to me he put me in touch with a thiseo to see if this will help me then i have to see him again in 3 month time i dont know what to expect from this docter as i feel he was a bit to head strong i find it hard to trust the hospital and this docter has just made it worse as i did not get the time of day to tell him what was going on with my pain he even had my mri scan in his office which he did not even look at until he spoken to me then looked at i suffer from dyslxea and find it hard to expain things right away its much hard when people are rushing you out the door i had a very bad experance in the hospitail as some went wrong i dont want to get into detail with it but i fell very afraid of going back i just dont know whats next

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kerinsian said on 21 June 2011

To Josh
Hi, you asked if anyone here had had the surgery for prolapsed discs!
I had that surgery at age 19, and while I cannot tell you what to do, I can tell you that it owrked for me. I only had one problem disc, but the pain was severe and prolonged so my doctor referred me to a specialist in Cardiff. I had the op and from the first day noticed that despite the pain from the op, my backpain was greatly reduced. It's a serious step to take, and no doubt your doctor will have told you that it can go wrong, and that nothing is guaranteed, but for me it was well worth having it done.
I'm now 50 and my discs above and below startied bulging and causing pain 5 years ago, so bear in mind that you may suffer later in life if this operation works for you now. (This trouble was in no way caused by the operation)
Do I think it's worth having the operation? For me yes, very much so, but please make your decisions based on your own desires and the advice of your doctor, not mine. All the best :)

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julieatbolton said on 21 June 2011

I have suffered with back pain for over 25yrs now (I suppose being 6ft tall doesnt help). I have managed to help myself by doing pilates at home (Darcey Bussell) which has been really great for over 14 months. Approx 6-7 weeks ago I started getting a dull ache around my right knee area. This has gradually gone worse now where the pain is now from my right butttock all the way down to my ankle. I have tried to carry on with pilates but cannot as this makes my leg/buttock feel like it is 'burning'. The pain is constant, like someone is pressing a potato peeler into my muscle and turning it. I have had x-ray (came back clear) and had result from MRI yesterday which states I have a L5/S1 disk protrusion. I have a morphine patch on each buttock which is changed every 7 days, I take a strong painkiller 3 times daily, paracetamol, and diazepam (which I only try to take when in desperate pain). I also take a morphine tablet which dissolves under the tongue when again I only use when I am desperate and cannot sleep (which was again last night). I have paid for 2 sessions of acupuncuture which did nothing at all. In fact, the last session, when the needle went into my buttock, hurt so much I felt like I was going to be sick - he put 13 needles in altogether all the way down my leg - did not help at all. I have rang my gp today to ask him to refer me for urgent physio. Nothing seems to be helping. I have cried so much today (as being off work also gets me down as I feel guilty - ridiculous I know). Its was a nice feeling reading some of these comments as it makes me realise I am not alone. And writing this all down is making me feel a little better - stopped my crying anyay. Sort of counseling I suppose. Had my mobile hair dresser round last night to try and make me look (and maybe feel better) it didnt work :) On that note, I am going to pull myself together and get my makeup (mask) on.

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queenbee33 said on 15 June 2011

hi nathhanade,
well im not on the same level as you, as i only have 1 prolapsed disc (although i have been told im showing signs of another prolapse higher up) but havent been sent for another mri!! what you said about the steroid injection is very interesting! i dont know if its the same as the epidural? ive been told i cant have that, as im on medication for migraines, & i have injections for various other things! i just cant seem to get any further than physio, & i really dont want to go through that! if i had the money, i would bypass everything, & go straight to a back specialist, afterall the issue is with our backs, not something a gp deals with everyday!, thats my opinion anyway!
hope your getting by (as thats what we do) take care..

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nathhanade said on 10 June 2011

I have had a prolapsed disc for the last few years after a car accident. The doctor said he was not going to bother putting me on the list for a consultant as i would never get seen anyway. had physio for months until they gave up and said it's having no effect.
Last result as i could hardly walk was going private. £750.00 within one week had the mri scan showed 4 slipped discs and a degenerating one at the lowest point. Went onto nhs had a steroid injection all within 1 month. I was told this process takes 14 months.
They said they would not open up the disc area as there was a very high risk of infection.
The injection lasted 19 month pain free until 2 days ago where i was unable to move. the hospital sent me home in a wheelchair with pills. 2 days on still can hardly move and having to sleep downstairs on the sofa. Have to borrow money to go private again as my doctor told me i would be waiting at least 3 months to see someone about it.
and as im self employed i dont receive any money.
Also the steroid injection went wrong and i ended up in hospital for a week but that should not put you off as i would have it again just to be able to walk without the aid of lots of pain meds

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queenbee33 said on 09 June 2011

@josh, im dreading physio!, my appointment isnt untill july 14th, hopefully after that i will be refered to a back specialist! ive been told physio wont help me, but i have to build a case for the specialist! im on tramadol at the moment, doesnt help at all, doesnt even send me to sleep (i wish it would) im having trouble sleeping now! a new thing creeping in now is, both my feet are going numb, only for short periods, but im told could last longer! neway i really hope your appointment with the spinal surgeon went well? id love to know the out come! take care.. queenie :)

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Josh2011read said on 01 June 2011

@queenbee33 I totally agree with you, I had to do physio, its so painful for my back! i have the pain going down my leg into my toes some days it can be terrible! I am seeing a Spinal surgeon on Monday after waiting since 24th december 2010. So see what they have to say, im only 17 and ive had back pain since 2004. I guess I do want surgery to relieve the pain alot, cause its frustrating not been able to work properly, and to walk around with pain constantly there. But I look at the pros and cons and success rate and how many operations took place at the hospital im going to.
Been on all sorts of medication naproxen, codrydamol, cocodamol, gabapentin, celebrex even tramadol, none of them work just send me to sleep.
Good luck with it :)
Josh

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queenbee33 said on 31 May 2011

it seems wrong to be relieved, to hear of other ppl suffering the same as me! but untill i read this i felt totaly alone. ive only had a prolapsed disc for 5 months, but it feels like 50 yrs! ive been told my my doctor my disc has a unusaly big tear, and its pressing on multiple nerves! my left leg is in constant pain (on some days i have to drag my leg) my knee is affected, constantly hurts & is swollen. one of the nerves runs to my toes, recently my big & little toes are swelling up, going purple & are extremly painful. the back pain i cant even describe, nothing helps, im going thru every pain killer, nothing helps. i have been told i would be a candidate for back surgery, but nobody realy wants surgery (i do)! my doctor is very good, but i feel just doesnt understand, unless your going thru this, you never will! i cant even get refered to a back specialist untill i have tried a course of physio, & im on a 3 month waiting list! the thought of physio worries me, when my doctor does his tests on me ( raises my leg & so on) i can hardley walk & my leg & groin atre left black & blue! but i know to see a back specialist i have to go through with it. im 33. but everyday now, i feel 133!

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Josh2011read said on 05 May 2011

So the best option is to see if I can have surgery?
My nan had slipped discs and tried chiropracters/acupuncture and they hadnt helped her apart from making the pain more.
Its limiting what I can do from day to day activities, and is frustrating.
Thanks Josh

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moggiemag said on 04 May 2011

Hi, I know exactly where you're coming from, back pain can totally ruin any enjoyment you get from life. I've been suffering from middle back pain on and off for about 20 years now. The local surgery aren't much help, all they've been able to offer me are painkillers and physiotherapy, neither of which have gone anywhere near solving the problem. In desperation I started looking around for alternatives, I tried hypnotherapy - didn't work on me, then had a go at acupuncture - no difference whatsoever.....then I visited a registered chiropractor.....he can't cure me, and doesn't claim that he can, but he has managed to reduce the length of time that I'm in pain from each "flare-up" from 2-3 weeks to just a day or so, this has made a big difference to my life. Without surgery the problem will never go away but a chiropractor can certainly help with the pain management, give it a try. Hope this helps, good luck, Mags

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Josh2011read said on 27 April 2011

I have had these prolapsed discs (3) / back pain since I was about 13 and I'm now 17 and have only found out the pain in my back was these discs causing it. I have had all the tablets my doctor can prescribe me from naproxen/amytriptilene/célèbrex/codrydamol/cocodamol/ to the strongest tramadol and none of these have worked. I am currently waiting to see a spinal surgeon at Birmingham Royal Orthopedic Hospital and wondering if any one can advise me if surgery is successful? (anyone who has had the procedure) because I've had physiotherapy and hasn't really much helped doctors are quite concerned because of my age having these ruptured discs. Would be much appreciated. Josh

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jedra said on 26 April 2011

Hi, no idea where to turn to for advice, so hope someone reading this website may have some help. My husband first suffered a prolapsed disc 8 years ago. He had very strong medication and a root block injection. He was off work for 6 months, but when he returned, he was in and out of work for two years with recurrent flair-ups. His condition then returned to normal for 3 years. Sadly two years ago though, he slipped slightly and again prolapsed the same disc, but also the one below. He was in the most severe pain I've ever witnessed and during the night, I called an ambulance where he was given gas and air to just get him down the stairs. The paramedic said he'll need emergency surgery. Sadly the A&E just drugged him up and sent him home the following day, where I struggled to get out GP to constantly come and review his pain and medication. He spent 8 weeks sleeping(ish) on a lylo downstairs, he had to crawl into the kitchen to use the toilet (bucket), and often collapsed with the pain and exhaustion. He was not the same man as was so drugged up. He was constantly assured that he'd suffered enough from this condition and would be a surgical candidate. Sadly (again) on finally getting into the NHS, he was given another root block and told no operation as he can now make it to the toilet!. Anyway, he lost his job (and all his self esteem), but thankfully was a very fit man before this 2nd flair up. He managed to get himself walking about slightly, then when he could, he swam. Fast forward two years and he has found a part time job and copes (just) with daily duties. My question to anyone who has experience with this debilitating condition is this: is there anything that can be done? we have to evaluate everything we do as a family. He can only walk so far, only sit for so long, only drive so far, he gets numb foot, pins and needles plus constant sciatic pain. He can't do things with the children and holidays are hell. He's 41 and I think 8 years is enough

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belle30 said on 18 April 2011

Hi Linda

I dont really know where to start but I can understand where you are at this moment. Im only 30 but i had a bad car accident five years ago and I was left with chronic back pain, and like you the pain was so unbearable that I was able to give birth to my 9lb Daughter without any pain killers as I was use to the pain. To date I have had SI & Facet joint steriod injections x 2, more painkillers than Boots, Physio x 16, MRI Scan x 3, CT Scan x1 and I am currently on the waiting list to have the nerves burnt out of my lower back for the 3rd time. I have finally been dignosed as have two prolapsed discs with annular tears. I recently spent a week in hospital because the disc torn and the pain was unbearable, although the bulge of the disc wasn't pressing on the nerve to make me qualify for surgery it was enough to alter the spinal fluid causing a loss of sensation in my bladder and bowel and I struggled for about 3wks with walking. The first three years I found very difficult trying to make people understand and treat me. The best advice I can offer is control your illness and not let it be the other way around. I was also put in touch with a Pain Management Consultant which I found very helpful as they are there to teach you how to live with your condition and how to get the best results out of your medication and treatment. As I live in Wales I am lucky enough to be attending a free course called "The Expert Patient" which is designed to teach patients how to live with and manage their long term health condition www.eppwales.org. I know its difficult but the best thing is to try keep going, although Im on a nice cocktail of pain killers at the moment I try and not let my condition take over my life. I hope my story can be of some assistance, take care and all the best Jo :)

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fedupwithpain said on 18 April 2011

I have been in pain since october 2010. i have been bed ridden for most of that time all over christmas and now im at the point where iv been told i need an op on my back I have 2 grown up kids the pain of child birth is like shelling peas compaired to the pain I have in my back I have to go for a mri scan and im so so scared I dont know what to do But i do know i cant go on like i am doing without any sleep taken tramadole like smartes and my life is on hold as i can only go out unless i have someone with me im not young but im not old im 56 and my daughter has just had my second grandson and i want to beable to take him out in his pram .....You would not think that this kind of thing would change my life so much , I have had tracsion and you name it all kinds of pain killers but no good ... So looks like its going to be the op but im hopeing there is someone out there to tell me there have been where i am and that there now are ok fingers crossed .. linda thank for taken time out for me .........

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Exercises for sciatica: slipped disc

In this video a physiotherapist demonstrates gentle exercises for a herniated or slipped disc, a form of sciatica

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