Herniated Disks

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kmelodyg, Jun 3, 2003.

  1. kmelodyg

    kmelodyg New Member

    Hi everyone. Do any of you have herniated disks in your back? What did you do for treatment? Have any of you had a Endoscopic Discectomy? Did it help or make things worse? I have just been diagnosed with it, so I'm looking for some more info. I found a bunch of good sites, but I like to hear from people that have actually gone through this. Thanks!!

    Lots of love,
    Kathryn
  2. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    I did two years of conservative treatment with a very
    caring chiropractor. The first day I saw him there
    was another person like me. We started the same
    day. She was all better after weeks of treatment.
    I wasn't. My chiro said I would need to go everyday
    so he suggested I get an orthopod and use it at home.
    You basically hang by your hips everyday. It helped
    somewhat. I couldn't use it in this condition today.
    I would get dizzy. They also have gravity tables I believe.
    He did work on me that wasn't manipulation.
    You can't have manip with herniations. He
    stretched me out on a table face down and from
    my hips down the table moved down. I would
    only have surgery as a last resort.

    I had surgery that was unsuccessful. I was a bad
    case though. I haven't heard of your surgery.
    I will look into it out of curiousity.

    What are your worst symptoms? I had excruciating
    pain down my legs and into my feet along with the
    back problems. Epidural injections can help, as
    can gentle stretching exercises prescribed
    by a PT or chiro. Use of a back support can help
    as well.

    How long have you been like this and what have
    you tried?

    Lynn
  3. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    I have 2 herniated discs and researched carefully before deciding against surgery. I looked on the net and read books, and they all pretty much said that back surgery is a last resort and there is a good chance you won't be better off afterwards and an even better chance you'll be WORSE! I just took it easy, saw a chiro a few times a week, and my discs healed themselves over a year's time. It's a slow process, but not worth risking permanently crippling yourself by having back surgery that doesn't work.

    Marilyn :)
  4. j9miller

    j9miller New Member

    My L4 & L5 are ruptured and I feel like I may have some problems up in the cervical neck area. I was hospitalized for 7 days in August 2000 for the ruptured discs. I was taken by ambulance to the emergency room when I could not walk after bed rest for a day and a half. After x-rays at the ER the dr wanted to send me home but I told him I could not walk. He wanted to blame it on the FM but thank goodness I had an old fashioned dr filling in for my primary and he admited me. After an MRI three days later and finding the two ruptured discs, the neurosurgeon said I was not a good candidate for surgery. I did lose some of the reflexes in my legs though. He was glad I was admitted. Had I walked I could have permanently injured myself ... maybe paralyzed myself. I wish drs would listen more in the ER (everywhere for that matter). I still hurt alot most days. I get the pain down the legs and sometimes into the feet but I stretch and pray alot.

    Janine
  5. insomniac1

    insomniac1 New Member

    Hi Kathryn, im Kris I had an injury at work back in 98 my L4/L5 disk was herniated i tried everything i had therapy, epi shots, and more. i ended up having a laminectomy in 99 which worked for about 3 months then i was in the er unable to walk all the time i had shooting stabbing pain down both legs, lost my reflexes and would literally be walking one min and the next id be on the floor. it was terrible i ended up going back to the surgeon and in september of 2001 i had a fusion with bone grafting and instramentation, i now have screws rods plates in me. my walking has improved but i have daily pain. some better then others. i also now have a bulging disk right above and right below the fixed disc. another thing, i have sever scar tissue that can not be removed or i can sever the nerve and be paralized. it is not fun. i dont regret the surgury and if i was in the same situation again with not being able to walk i would do it in a min. just get a good surgeon and be prepared for a lifetime of back issues, i am again in therapy to try to fix myself. all we can do is pray. kris
  6. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    Hi Kathryn, I find icing helpful for the pain. Also, I am taking mobicox for the pain, but it doesn't take all the pain away. I was just recommended to try Wobenzyme for the inflammation, and am wondering if people have tried this.

    Anyone benefit greatly from ultrasound at physio?

    I have a recent disk injury in the neck with pain, burning and numbness down my left arm in addition to pain in my back, neck and shoulder.

    Fortunately, I'm not at the point where surgery is a consideration. My mother has had a cervical disk fusion, though, so I hope I don't end up moving in that direction. It's only been a month, but I'd like to know what people found most helpful for a cervical disk problem and tight scapular muscles.

    I am using a muscle rub, have had one session of acupuncture, a bit of chiropractic treatment and 2 physio sessions and am trying to avoid lifting and using my arms much. Any other suggestions?

    Do you think ultrasound would help Kathryn with her back problem?

    Jen F
  7. Harmony

    Harmony New Member

    Hi Kathryn,
    I'm scheduled to have a discectomy July 14th on my L5-S1 disk! YIKES! This is a last resort for me and I have had this for 20+ years but has gotten so bad. I went through therapy and epidurals but nothing else helped. The Dr. said I need a fusion but wanted to try the discectomy first since the fusion has a lot more risk involved. If the discectomy doesn't help in a year, I will have to have the fusion.
    In a way I'm taking a chance of having two surgeries, but I would far rather try this first than rush into the fusion.
    I have put off surgery for years but I've gotten to the point where I need to try it. I hope you can find relief without surgery. I hope you feel better!

    Love,
    Harmony
  8. smyle4moi

    smyle4moi New Member

    i not only had herniated discs though, i had ddd which caused them...i had problems since i was 12yrs old! byt he time i was 20 1 had deteriorated to that of a 70 yr old...after very good treatment with a chiro...who did do adjustments by the way....as well as other therapies he and i both felt that he was at the limit of care he could provide and for the sake of pain management referred me to a orthopedic surgeon...who said they usally disagree with chiros but thought his treatments were right on the money and after an mri imediately sent me to a neurosurgeon...he said i could have the surgery then or later but would need it either way...i went ahead as i was in sooooo much pain....they removed one disc and fused my spine....due to my excellent chiro therapy all along i healed VERY quickly....got prego with my second child 2-3months after surgery!!! now all back probs are due to muscles.....i would absolutely do the surgery again in a heartbeat but probably not sooner than i did....if you can find a good chiro who doesnt work against traditional med but with it including that as a part of you treatment instead of feeling like he can cure all that ails ya ...you would feel soooooo much better.....do not let any dr. talk you into surgery that isnt necessary....the risks are very high....i was losing use of legs anyway...so only could gain...also ( and i know this isnt easy) building up your abdominal muscles will take alot of strain off your back....i say...i dont have ab muscles...i have kids! LOL hope you feel better soon....LOri
  9. kmelodyg

    kmelodyg New Member

    Thank you everyone for your input and experience that you shared with me. After having my MRI, the ER doc and my doc said that I wouldn't need surgery. But the Endoscopic surgery sounds like it may help in giving me my life back! My symptoms are extreme pain in my lower back It radiates all over. I do get quite a bit of random pain in other area of my back as well. It hurts mostly to sit for lond periods of time. It feels like my spine is going to collapse on itself. I do get shooting pains in my legs and feet. It makes it impossible to walk most of the time. It has only gotten this bad since this past Fall. I am defiantly being discriminated becasue I'm only 25. The docs say that my pain should not be this bad. I also have horrible uncontrolable shakiness and muscle spasms. It is mostly in my legs but can be in my arms, hands, and even head sometimes. That worries me. The only diseases that are really associated with that are Parkinson's, MS, and Diabetes. And I know I am not Diabetic. I really want to do anything that I can do to not be in pain anymore. I want to be able to walk normally again. The Endoscopic surgery seems so invasive and it just might help. Who knows? Any other help you guys can share would be great. Thanks again!!

    Lots of love,
    Kathryn
  10. Jen F

    Jen F New Member

    and to have such back problems....that's horrible.

    I am sorry to hear that you have trouble being taken seriously, probably because you are young. I can understand that and relate.

    I wish there was a machine that could plug into our nervous systems and get a reading of what our pain level is, so that doctors wouldn't disregard our descr of the pain and resulting disability as a mental thing or just exaggeration.

    Hope you get more help and are able to walk more soon!
  11. stillafreemind

    stillafreemind New Member

    I blew two discs while working at Monsanto in my mid twenties. The surgeon wanted to do surgery..I did not. So I was fitted for a really unattractive (LOL) brace. Ran from just under my boobs to my tailbone. Had staves in the back and front. The doc said I would never ride horses again, or drive tractors..yada yada yada. Well..to make a really long story short...

    I wore that darned thing off and on for almost fifteen years. Mind you I only wore it while I was working..not playing. And lo and behold..over the years..I had less and less pain. I had some really good chiros in those years also. Now..I do not have that brace anymore..and I do not know if my discs fused themselves or just healed..but they are as fine as frog hair!

    Good luck....Sherry
  12. reva727

    reva727 New Member

    Two days after Christmas 2001,I woke up fine but as the day progressed I was more and more in pain. I went to my DO the next day because I thought my hip was out, most of the pain was in my hip. It didn't help and got worse and worse. I got where I could hardly walk. My neurologist sent me for Xrays, then a cat scan which found the problem, two herniated disks, one which was pressing on a nerve. He thought it was so bad because the disk had ruptured and the nerve was inflamed. First I took Prednisone, then I went to the back doctor who sent me to another doctor for shots in my back. That was only a tempory fix, but I never went back because all the people I knew that had back surgery are worse off then before. It's been a year and a half now. I still have some pain, but it most of the time it's not bad, just when I overdo it. The worst part is the sciatica in my right leg. It's never gone away.
  13. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    Kathryn,

    I was 27 when I had herniated then fragmented
    disc. I have had back problems since teens and
    been in and out of school because of it.

    I went to an excellent chiropractor and did traction, etc.
    Surgery is a last resort, not a first resort. If most
    of your pain is back pain, it problably isn't coming
    from the disk. You can have herniated disks ( and
    many people do) without even knowing it.

    My age was never a factor. I had severe disk
    degeneration and severe fragmented disc.
    No one ever said I was too young because all of
    my diagnostic tests, as well as my limitations.
    I only heard one surgeon say he wouldn't have
    touched me due to the severity. But not due to
    youngness. I didn't have a fusion. That is a whole
    other story. That is the one they don't like to
    do on young people. That is why I had a custom
    made brace like someone else here said. I
    did the traction, etc. I did epidurals. The brace
    and epidurals were AFTER the failed back
    surgery.

    Please explore all your options. You should be glad
    they don't think you need surgery. Get other
    opinions. I had three second opinions about
    getting a fusion after the first failed surgery. They
    led me to the brace. This is not to be taken
    as a quick fix my any means. Anesthesia alone
    is dangerous.

    If you are only being treated by an ER dr and a pcp you need to see a neurosurgeon, neurologist, or
    orthopedic surgeon. Backs are nothing to
    fool around with. Believe, me, I know. It doesn't get any
    easier the older you get, either. Get to specialists.

    Good luck,
    Lynn


    [This Message was Edited on 06/04/2003]
  14. kmelodyg

    kmelodyg New Member

    Thanks for the info guys. It seems like a common theme to many of you that surgery should be thought of as a last resort. I will definatly take that into consideration. The back brace sounds like it could help too. I went to a Chiropractor a while back for about a month and a half, and I was in more pain because of it. So I am reluctant to ever go back again. I gave it a shot though!! My PCP who gave me all this trouble and who has cut down my pain meds and saying that my pain isn't real, called this morning to tell me that he wants to see me tommorrow. I don't want to see him anymore. I am tired with working with someone who makes me feel like an addict instead of a suffering patient. He dosen't believe in Fibro at all. And I know for a fact that that is causing alot of my other pain. I just want to wait until I can get into the Pain Clinic and I get my insurance, and get to some specialists. I am so fed up. Any other input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

    Lots of love,
    Kathryn