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    lightning31738 posted:
    I am glad I found this exchange. I have 3 bulging discs with one pressing on a nerve. I have had good pain relief using 1 vicodin a day only when the weather changes. Other than that have been symptom free except over the past 2 months I have had increased pain and the vicodin isn't touching it. I can scale it an 8 on a scale from 1-10. Should I ask my doc for an MRI to see if anything has changed. I'm in terrible pain and don't know what to do. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    davedsel57 responded:
    Hello, and welcome.

    Yes, with the increased pain it definitely sounds like it is time for a new MRI to me. Then go over the results with your doctor and develop a treatment plan that works.

    Praying you can get the treatment and relief you need.


    lightning31738 replied to davedsel57's response:
    Thanks Dave, I really needed some reassurance that I am doing the right thing. I made an appt. to see the doc friday. I will let you know what happens.
    lightning31738 replied to lightning31738's response:
    I went to the doctor yesterday (friday 16th). It went pretty well. My doc ordered regular x-rays and MRI on my back. I don't have x-ray results yet and I have the MRI I have done Wed. the 24th. Will cont. to keep you posted.

    MagPrincess replied to lightning31738's response:
    Glad to see your doctor took you seriously and even ordered both xrays and MRI. It sounds like he is pretty through.

    If you are at all claustrophobic you need to take at least a xanax prior to the MRI. Its a tight closed and loud space. I did fairly well in it but then never had a problem with closed spaces.
    lightning31738 replied to MagPrincess's response:
    Thanks for the suggestion. I am claustrophobic. I'll call and let them know.

    bj1208 replied to lightning31738's response:
    they also have the OPEN MRI machines too - which they are not that bad.

    good luck and keep us updated - Joy
    Geradine4733 replied to lightning31738's response:
    My doctor claims that the open ended ones are not as good. Have your doctor give you a med to calm you down so you can handle the MRI. Then the MRI experience will be OK>
    lightning31738 replied to Geradine4733's response:
    I called the Doctor's office friday to get the results. All the nurse said was with everything going on with my back they are going to order physical therapy for it. Since she didn't explain what showed up I am supposed to go by monday to pick up the reports on my back. Will let yall know when I find out tomorrow.
    bj1208 replied to lightning31738's response:
    hi lightning - just wanted to check and see if you got the results yet -

    one thing I would do before starting the physical therapy is to take the results to either an orthopedic spine specialist and/or a neurosurgeon spine specialist - not saying you need surgery but they are the best at reading results - they can also direct you for the best treatment plans -

    take care and let us know what happens - Joy ~~
    lightning31738 replied to bj1208's response:
    I went and picked up the results yesterday. It showed 6 bulging discs. Would physical therapy help that. Your right i'm going to take the results to a specialist. Then I can decide. My doctor increased my pain med last week and it is taking care of the pain very well.
    Joe T Minchew, MD replied to lightning31738's response:

    Unfortunately, it sounds like your MRI has demonstrated that you have diffuse age related or "degnerative" changes in the spine. This is a particularly difficult problem if your main problem is back pain. If your main problem is leg pain, then sometimes you can isolate which one of the "bulging" discs may be irritating the nerve and injections or minimally invasive surgical procedures may be helpful if therapy and medications do not work. However, if back pain is the issue surgery is generally not an option. Physical therapy is an excellent option for this type of problem. It is not necessary for you to see a spine surgeon prior to beginning PT as long as you see a therapist that is experienced in the care of spinal patients. There is essentially no chance that basic therapy by a well trained practioner can harm or "damage" you. It may well be that a course of therapy and a home exercise program improves your symptoms to the point where a visit to a surgeon is unnecessary. Hopefully, your pain will resolve but it is not uncommon with diffuse disc bulging for some level of pain to continue indefinitely. The key will to work with the doctors to keep your pain to a minimum as before and your function to a maximum.

    Good Luck!

    lightning31738 replied to Joe T Minchew, MD's response:
    Thank you doc Minchew. I'm hoping that the PT will help alot. I am going to participate as much as I can and do my part.

    nanabiddy42 replied to lightning31738's response:
    Have any of you tried spinal decompression?? It took away years of pain for me--even after spinal fusion surgery. It was a miracle worker for me. Please look into this.
    lightning31738 replied to nanabiddy42's response:
    I am going to PT now. That is what he is doing right now. It hurts when he is doing it. But after he has finished the pain is almost gone. New pain med is helping with the break through pain. Feeling a little better than before I started PT.

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