Post # 1
Just got back from the doctor. He thinks I have a herniated disc. I’m getting an MRI done tomorrow (he took x-rays today).
He gave me a steroid shot into the muscle in my back to help ease the pain and prescribed steroids and muscle relaxants as well.
He is hopeful it can be fixed with 4-6 weeks or rest and physical therapy. So it may not even be herniated (just bulging) the MRI will shed more light on that.
Has anyone had any experiences with this? After getting on a regimen of steroids how quickly does the pain subside?
I’m hoping to get back to work tomorrow, but I’m taking today to lie flat on my back and work from home.
Post # 3
I had a friend who had a herniated disc, and unfortunately, it wasn’t a fast healing process. The pain came in waves and was worse when he sat for a longer period of time.
I saw your post from earlier…so sorry this is happening to you! I hope you have a speedy recovery!
Post # 4
i was diagnosed with a bulging disc my sophmore year of high school. the initial recovery took a few months to get back to normal motion (granted, i was a lot more active then than i am now – ballet and cheerleading, etc.)
now, about 12 years later, i have occasional pain where the bulging disc is, but nothing nearly as bad as it was initially – and it normally stems from over exerction with certain exercises, like running and biking (ironically, stretching exercises that i thought would hurt it more, like yoga, seem to make it feel better – but that could just be me)
oh, and when it first happened, alternating heat and ice helped ease the pain a lot
Post # 5
@2PeasinaPod: Thanks. Right now I can’t really sit at all. Anything more than a few minutes is excruciating. Laying flat on my back is the only comfortable position right now. Walking is ok and standing is ok.
@Lovebird724: Yeah, I’m sure this is something I’ll have to deal with/be careful with for the rest of my life. I just really hope I can find a way to manage it and still horseback ride.
Post # 6
Well I got the MRI done and even my uneducated eye can see the herniated disc.
I start physical therapy today and should hear the official results from my doctor on the MRI on Thursday.
The L4/L5 disc is herniated and pressing onto the nerves in the back of my spinal column. And there looks to be some bulging on the L5/S1 too (not sure if that is just due to the extra pressure from the disc above though).
I can post a photo of the MRI if anyone is interested (i.e. a science nerd like me).
Post # 7
I’m so glad you decided to get another opinion. Steroid injections work differently on most people. My husband got one in his hip and felt relief within days, but I had 2 in my shoulder within a month and it took almost 2 weeks to feel better.
PT will help, but make sure you get somebody who doesn’t push you too hard. You’ll have to also go over any restictions or limitations that may make things worse for you. I’d specifically ask about the horseback riding.
Good luck and hope you feel better soon!
Post # 9
@KatNYC2011: Oh wow! I hate to hear that! I hope you have a quick recovery and the pain isn’t unbearable. :/
Post # 10
@ItWasntMe: I already asked about horseback riding. Not allowed until I’m healed. Before the MRI the doctor was guessing 4-6 weeks.
I know it’s not terribly long in the grand scheme of things, but it makes me sad.
The pain is thankfully getting better each day (probably due to the large doses of steroids). I will be sure to be VERY careful in PT. There’s so little I can do right now anyway since my range of motion is hugely limited.
Post # 11
I’ve had a bulging disc and the pain has never gone away. Granted, I never had steriod shots, so maybe you’ll have better luck. Also, I didn’t have insurance at the time of the accident, so the doctors and physical therapist really dismissed my concerns.
Post # 11
Oh no! I’m glad they were finally able to figure out from where the pain originated. Hope you have a fast and easy recovery!
Post # 12
I had a bulged disc in my lower spine. I believe it was the L5/S1, too. As I told you a month or so ago when you first got the pain, I had to see the chiro a few times a week, wear a back brace, NO bending AT ALL for many weeks. I used a pillow at work on my chair and same at home. No slouching. I didn’t take steriods, just advil and a muscle relaxer (one night-hated it because it made me so tired the next day) and I felt better in a few weeks. I hope you feel better soon!!!!! I will say this-my lower back has not been the same since I had the injury almost two years ago. Every few months I have a bit of pain. Not enough that some advil, icing or heat pad won’t help and I haven’t been back to the chiropractor. But you do have to baby it as much as possible for the rest of your life. Just be so careful with bending. I used to just bend over carelessly, but since my injury I bend over with my knees and gently. Hang in there!!
Post # 13
I’m impressed! I already got my MRI results. The tech called me this morning.
I have 2 protruding discs (in between a bulge and herniation, some doctors would call it a slight herniation).
L4/L5 is protruding left, L5/S1 is protruding right. There is also some nerve pressure/impingement by the discs.
Good news is that I have no restrictions (except no horse back riding), so for everything else, if it feels ok I can do it. I’m still looking at 4-6 weeks before I can ride again since that puts direct pressure on the lower discs.
I start physical therapy tonight and go back in 2 weeks. Right now I still have too much pain to want to do much of anything, but I’m glad that when it starts to subside I don’t have to worry about being active.
They may want to do a nerve test down the road if my radiating pain doesn’t go away. But I guess this news all in all is pretty good.
Plus… maybe with 6 weeks of PT 2-3 days a week I’ll finally get my abs/core in shape.
Post # 14
I used to ride, and have disc issues, so reading this was so interesting!
I have a disc bulge at L4/L5, L5-S1 disc portrusion and the doc wrote in where he saw some degenerative disc disease.
My Mom has had two major back surgeries, at 20 years old and at 27. I am 25.
I rode my whole life and in June 2009 lost my horse (colic), stopped riding and haven’t ridden since 🙁 In August 2009 I began to go numb when I ran from the waist down, sometimes everywhere, sometime in certain spots. Finally in June 2010 when I couldn’t get through the pain anymore (stubborn and stupid) I saw my doctor.
I had nerve testing done, blood pressure testing (basically a full body ultrasound to make sure blood was flowing as it should!) and then the MRI and the results are above.
I am at physio 3x/week, massage once a week. Had to stop running and am still not 100%. I am back running now, swimming and fitness classes to get a full body work out. I am going numb still (they think whatever is bulging is impacted blood flow) and physio actually wants to me get back to riding. She thinks the muscle development in my back from riding held me together and once I stopped, this bulge happened and with all the high impact sports I do, my back just had enough!
Core strength is the #1 thing I need to work on, I can’t just “do” what I want to any more athletically, I have to be careful and build myself up to the level I am used to so slowly. Who knows if I will get back in the saddle, part of me is very deterred with the thought of having to find a new barn and being a “good rider” once upon a time the thought of lesson horses does not excite me!
Good luck, take it slow, physio is amazing (though, it took 3 different physio places to find one I was happy with!) and I really hope you heal up!
Post # 15
@RingPup: Thanks! That’s interesting that they think you should get back to riding.
I am 26 years old and have had back problems on and off for about 6 years. Usually just a 2-3 day pain/numbness episode every 6 months or so.
This time I had 3 increasingly worse episodes in 1.5 months so I finally saw someone about it.
I was glad the doctor didn’t tell me that I can’t ride any more, but rather just wants me healed and strengthened first.
I do hate the idea of taking all this time off and getting back in the saddle right before the summer show season TOTALLY out of shape. But maybe the PT will help and if I can do the elliptical etc to keep my stamina up that should help too.
I hope you do get back in the saddle. I can totally understand how lesson horses don’t excite you after having your own (and I am so sorry for your loss).
I’d recommend trying to find a barn/trainer that works with an equestrian team at a local university. That’s how I found my current barn/trainer and she is very good and has some nice lesson horses.
She also has some nice private horses with owners who don’t ride. One of which I’m supposed to start campaigning in the jumpers this summer (hopefully I’m better for that).