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View Full Version : Herniated discs! Need Advice!



t-girl
07-11-2006, 10:01 AM
Hi. I have started lifting weights and eating properly since 3 months ago. I was seeing results and learning more and getting more involved in it each day until one day while I was doing shoulder press I did something wrong and my back really hurt. I went to the doctor and she made me get an MRI and she said I have 2 herniated discs. One in my upper back and one in my lower back. She just said to stop lifting and go to a neurosurgeon. Does anybody has any experience with this or has info on whether I will be able to continue lifting weights in the future? Any advice or comment will be greatly appreciated.

johnnylats
07-12-2006, 08:01 AM
Hey, sorry about your back issues; i myself have had to have major back surgery. It's no fun - if you can avoid it, definately avoid it. As far as your doctor immediately telling you to go to a surgeon......i'm not sure that's the best thing for you. Wheni got hurt we did everything and anything to AVOID surgery and once all other options proved to be ill-faited; then we went with surgery. This was all at the direction of an orthopedic surgeon, so any doctor who immediately pushes surgery, i would get another opinion. First i would try a chiropractor, they can help to massage the discs back in, or adjust the vertebre to allow the discs to slide back in. Possibly accupuncture to get the tissue around the area to relax to again, allow the discs to move into place again. Speaking to a neurologist may not be a bad thing, but jumping to surgery is not a good idea. I have different issues now with my back and hardware, although the original problem has been corrected, so it could be out of the frying pan, into the fire so they say.
Good luck and take it easy with the lifting for a while, just lift for motion with no real weight, weight bearing exercise will definately worsen the issue.

-lats

jcmets
07-12-2006, 11:06 AM
my husband has 2 herniated disks in his back. His DR told him to keep working out as building muscle will help to prevent flare ups.He has decided to aviod surgery and just to go the medication route and wait for the flare up to reslove itself. This first happened in 1997 ans he has only had 3 flare ups. I would go to the nuero sugren for a consult but it may be very likely that he will not want to do surgery and will prescribe you some prednisone for a few days. I would rest and do the heat/ice thing and take some time off at the gym until the pain has passed....just my 2 cents....good luck to you

jcmets
07-12-2006, 11:06 AM
my husband has 2 herniated disks in his back. His DR told him to keep working out as building muscle will help to prevent flare ups.He has decided to aviod surgery and just to go the medication route and wait for the flare up to reslove itself. This first happened in 1997 ans he has only had 3 flare ups. I would go to the nuero sugren for a consult but it may be very likely that he will not want to do surgery and will prescribe you some prednisone for a few days. I would rest and do the heat/ice thing and take some time off at the gym until the pain has passed....just my 2 cents....good luck to you

sb_cali
07-12-2006, 01:48 PM
Hi T-girl,

:)

Okay - I can relate. I had 2 herniated discs in my neck in Dec. granted it came after a fall and they were pretty severe so I had emergency surgery. I didn't really have a choice with surgery, but I haven't had any big problems and everything is fine for the most part. I was back to working out within 3-4 weeks. (moderate cardio and now 6 months later I'm back to my normal workouts) :D

But - my hubs had the same thing one year prior... his was a recurring injury that resulted in a herniated disc as well. He went through PT, a short course of steroids (YIKES! he was a BEAR for a week... guess the prenidsolone has some nasty side-affects). When all was said and done they resorted to surgery. He's been fine every since - VERY happy he had it done. He had muscle weakness and pins/needles going down his arm and those cleared up the day after surgery.

Back to me.. :p I have some small herniations at my L5 S1 level. (Just found out this morning). I've been pretty much doing my own PT and neurosurgeon feels that cortisone epidurals are my best bet for my wacky pain in my legs. The belief is that I injured my back in my fall, but it's just now rearing it's ugly little head. <grumpy smilie here>

As far as the chiropractor thing... It's a tough call. I know people who say their chiropractor made things worse. For me, my chiro wouldn't touch me once I told him my symptoms. He urged me to get an MRI and find out what was going on. I've seen a rehab doc, a neurologist and the neurosurgeon. None of them have been "surgery happy" and anxious to take that route. They've been pretty conservative which is fine with me.

But - in answer to your question, I'd definitely talk to a neurosurgeon and if you're uncomfortable with what he's telling you, definitely get a 2nd opinion. :)

Hope that helps!!

sb_cali

johnnylats
07-12-2006, 02:19 PM
You're right on sb. I had a blown disc at L5 - s-1, and a torn one L4-L5, surgery for the first and i was 28 when that happened - i'm now 30. You have to be careful in regards to the back, everyone is different and not everyone gets better with the same treatment. Depending on the severity of the problem, there are a # different resolutions. Epidurals are exciting - not. Lol. Chiro's can be good or bad, so can Physical Therapists, and also surgeons. You just have to figure out what is best for you in your situation, and what level of pain you are willing to endure as back pain will never completely go away; once you have injured your back, it will never be the same, it will be different. The one thing i don't agree with is medication. That is fine for post surgical, but if you are relegated to take pills to control or help feel better or inhibit inflammation over an extended period of time, really, you are only putting a band-aid on the problem. Sooner or later, from masking the real trauma, something will give, even if it's years later. I have been to several pain management clinics, therapists as well, all did not recommend, nor do i, taking a cortizone or steroid based shot to help with back issues. These drugs again, band-aid the problem, and actually, can degrade the joints over time, and who wants to have more problems like that?!?!
sb; Good luck with that area, i can tell you, it's not a fun thing to go through, but if you need to do it, you gotta' do what you gotta' do. Anyone that goes through issues like this, my heart goes out and i wish you the best, whether it's a slipped disc, bulging disc herniated disc, s****osis, whatever - it's no joke. Do what you think you can handle, and what's best for you, listen to your body.

t-girl
07-12-2006, 02:25 PM
Thank you all for your stories and comments! It helps to know that other people have gone through this and have found relief one way or another. I will go to a couple of different doctors-neurosurgeon and chiropractor and I will defenitely have second opinions if surgery comes up! I am feeling better but I miss lifting soooooooooo much :(

chickeneater
07-12-2006, 02:32 PM
:) Read Dr. John E. Sarno's book "Healing Back Pain":)

(no drugs, no surgery, no excercise)

This book saved my life.

sb_cali
07-12-2006, 03:23 PM
These drugs again, band-aid the problem, and actually, can degrade the joints over time, and who wants to have more problems like that?!?!

hey Johnnylats - (Sorry t-girl for hijacking your thread.. :D )

Ya know..I'm curious about the cortisone shot. I guess I thought it was more than just a bandaid, I thought it would actually help bring down the swelling and help those irritated nerves. :confused: But I was a little disappointed at the thought of only having 4-5 weeks of relief initially.

Also, I've been taking neurontin as a result of my accident to help with the hyperparesthesia in my left arm/hand. Interestingly enough, it hasn't touched the nerve pain in my legs, so I'm going to discontinue taking that. One doc put me on it for 2 years! :eek: But I'm starting to read enough to know that I'd rather not be on it. I'm also reading horror stories of people who stopped it cold turkey and had seizures. Yikes! So I started tapering off last week. (Neurontin I guess is just another one of those bandaids....)

Chickeneater: I'll have to check out that book too..

sb_cali

CardioFlava
07-13-2006, 08:03 PM
t-girl: As a Physical Therapist Assistant, I would recommend Physical Therapy BEFORE seeking the expertise of a neurosurgeon. A herniated disk can (most of the time) be reversed with pelvic traction(for your low back hernistion) and cervical traction (for your upper back herniation) or other forms of therapeutic modalities. A Physical Therapist can also recommend therapeutic exercises/stretches that can help the back pain. After a good go of therapy, if the herniations have not improved, I would (and so would your Physical Therapist) then recommend surgery...but not before.

I hope this helps!

CardioFlava
07-13-2006, 08:05 PM
Thank you all for your stories and comments! It helps to know that other people have gone through this and have found relief one way or another. I will go to a couple of different doctors-neurosurgeon and chiropractor and I will defenitely have second opinions if surgery comes up! I am feeling better but I miss lifting soooooooooo much :(

I would not recommend a chiropractor at this point as your back may become "addicted" to the manipulations performed by the chiropractor. I have seen this many times.