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waiting to see Neuro Surgeon about herniated disc treatment options
tlh509 posted:
Hello, just was diagnosed with herniated disc in L5 area. It is pushing on some nerve back there, and standing, walking are now out of the question, too painful. Sitting can be too. I have tried the Chiropractor 7 times, no real help. Next up I am going to try accupuncture. I will have surgery as a last option if necessary. I will ask the Dr. when I get in, what is the chance of success. That will have alot to do with my decision, but of course the pain will too. Anything else I should try? or anything else I should know??? Am doing back exercises daily, and also using a stationary bike for 20 minutes a day too. I hear to keep exercising if possible.
tlh509 responded:
I forgot to mention, my pain is in the buttock, left buttock, at the tailbone area and goes down the backside of the left thigh. It stops at the knee. I spoke with my G.P. this morning about getting a back pain shot, but I was told I will have to wait to see the Neuro Surgeon first.
davedsel replied to tlh509's response:
Hello and welcome.

Please read through the Tip at the top of this WebMD Back Pain Community that lists recommended steps for getting back pain diagnosed and treated. You are absolutely correct in saying that your last option would be surgery. You are also right in seeing a neurosurgeon. Just make sure this doctor is a spinal neurosurgeon, not a general neurosurgeon.

Statistics show that spinal surgery is 50-60% successful for reducing pain and up to 80% successful for improving functionality. The spinal specialist you see may claim higher success rates, but the statistics I just gave you are an average.

Injections do help many people are a much less invasive option to surgery. These range from steroid injections to injections that burn the nerves called a rhizotomy or ablation. My wife has had two rhizotomies that have given her some pain relief for about 6 months. Injections are not a permanent solution where surgery may be.

What you do need to do is get several opinions from specialists such as spinal neurosurgeons and/or spinal orthopedic surgeons. Various medications can help, ranging from over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin to presciption pain medications.
Activity is vital and does help with pain management. Ice and/or heat applied 15 minutes on/15 minutes off can help. A good recliner and bed can help. Hydrotherapy such as a hot tub (home or gym) can be very therapeutic.

Please keep us updated on your journey. We understand and are listening.

I pray you find answers and relief soon.
Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.


tlh509 replied to davedsel's response:
thank you Dave.
trs1960 replied to davedsel's response:
I agree with Dave. While it sounds like your nerves about L5/S1 are not happy, please make surgery your last choice. Just read the stories here about how the expectations of back surgery went from cure to the destruction of a persons life.

There are so many other options at this point. I would recommend learning as much as you can about your spine and nervous system so that you can understand which treatments are worth investing effort in. If I were in your shoes at this point I would seek out a good orthopedic physiatrist.

First learn about your pain, it's cause, it's flare ups, it's personality. That will help you understand more about what's causing it.

There's good books out there. For you I would recommend reading The Chronic Pain Care Workbook by Michael Lewandowski Ph.D

Lots of good info in it to guide you in the right direction.

As Dave states we're not doctors and can't diagnose or offer treatment, but we can warn you not to make irreversible mistakes,

dianer01 replied to tlh509's response:
Dave and Tim have given you some good guidance. Now for my 2 cents worth!

Give it time if you can. Sometimes these things resolve themselves over time, Exercise can be good and my favorite, Blue Ice. An ice pack is my best friend.

I went to the sporting goods store and got a couple of the ice packs which stay flexible when frozen. They are much more comfortable than the solid ones but I don't think they stay cold quite as long. Well worth the extra dollar or two.

my best to you

trs1960 replied to dianer01's response:
Just remember the 12 week rule. Know the difference between acute(rest is best) and chronic (rest is rust) phases.
bj1208 responded:
Hey tlh509 I agree.with Dave,.TRS1960 and Diane's advice. In my honest.opinion docs.will tell u they have a.good.success rate for surgeries to make u feel more at ease.

I had to have my surgery, fusion at L5-S1. My disc blew but it also splintered pressing in both S1 nerve roots on left and.right side. I will went thru every treatment option available which all failed.

Be sure u research and ask questions even if they sound ignorant. My surgeon didn't have a good bedside manor and he would hate when I brought out my journal and ask 20-50 questions and I wouldn't leave til I got answer where I could understand every detail.

One detail of Dave's statement I would tend to say the statistics are too high is that surgery to stabilize spine is 60-80% but for pain reduction is more 49% and lower. Surgeons go more.fig stabilizing the spine but if nerve root damage is present or other damage to tissues then pains will set in and more than likely be there for good. Keep us posted bow u r doing.
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

~~ Joy ~~
tlh509 replied to trs1960's response:
thanks Tim
tlh509 replied to dianer01's response:
thanks Diane. I have used both. Seem to get more relief from heat than ice, but will keep at it.
tlh509 replied to bj1208's response:
thank you Joy. Will do.
bbtalk responded:
Hi tlh509,

Stretching is definitely great therapy. Keep it up.
I myself have been suffering from back pain for 30 years and have been able to manage my pain through the use of a back stretching device called the Back Bubble. It allows fluid motion while stretching and it has improved my quality of life. I am able to continue doing the things that I love... like surfing! Maybe it can help you too. Its definitely worth a try. You can find videos on YouTube about if you're curious about how it works.

I wish you all the best...
tlh509 replied to bbtalk's response:
thank you so much!

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