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Old 01-06-2013, 08:12 PM   #1
AndreaDM
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Herniated discs anyone?

Anyone have any experience? I'm suffering from 2 herniated discs in my neck and have been in excruciating pain (neck, shoulder, arm) all weekend. My neuro referred me to a pain mgmt specialist, but the appt. isnt until Thursday and that is just a consult. I have an appt for steroid injections on the 16th. Anyway, what can I do to deal with the pain until then? I've been taking Advil like candy and have tramadol to take, but it does nothing. I've alternated ice and heat, rested all weekend, used icy-hot with no results. Help, I'm desperate. I almost went to the er several times over the weekend but I'm sure they are packed with flu people and I don't want to go sit there for hours unless I know they can really help me. DH thinks I should call pain mgmt to see if I can get in tomorrow. Of course I don't want anyone thinking I'm a drug shopper either I really don't know how I can work tomorrow, I have a 50 minute commute and that alone will be horrible. Any advice?
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:35 PM   #2
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I have a herniated disc in my lower back, that I have had problems with off and on for the past 20 years. It was giving me grief about 10 days ago. Was one of the worst back pains that I have ever had in the past 20 years. I was out of town and went to the local urgent care there. They were fabulous and they give me an anti-inflamatory shot. I hate shots and resisted but they persuaded me. Two hours later I was able to stand up straight and go out to dinner. The shot was so worth going and waiting there. I would go to the ER or an urgent care. There are things that they can give you to give you relief. Also find yourself a good chiropractor. Hope you feel better soon!
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:41 PM   #3
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I have a herniated disc in my lower back that pinches the sciatic nerve. I was given tramadol as well, but the only thing that helped was a mix of painkillers and muscle relaxers. For me a really hot shower helps a bit. Steroids didn't do anything either. The pain has eased over time.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IheartMickey View Post
I have a herniated disc in my lower back that pinches the sciatic nerve. I was given tramadol as well, but the only thing that helped was a mix of painkillers and muscle relaxers. For me a really hot shower helps a bit. Steroids didn't do anything either. The pain has eased over time.
I have the same thing. I started working out at curves, it has made a world of difference. My sciatic nerve does not flare hardly ever now. I used to take all that to. Now working out has solved most of my issues.
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Old 01-06-2013, 08:51 PM   #5
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Working out, stretching and my chiropractor putting me in traction. Nothing else worked at all. When I have a bad flare up, I do not even attempt to take the pain pills or muscle relaxers because they turn it into a horrid cycle. The more you sit and lay around the worse I feel, but that is all you are able to do when you take those things.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:03 PM   #6
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Yep. L5/S1. I had surgery (microdiscectomy). Best thing I ever did. The pain I was in was excruciating; so much so that I couldn't stand...or sit. The only position that wasn't pure agony was on my hands and knees. I had to crawl around the house and couldn't even sit on the toilet without crying. The onset of pain was a Saturday (though I've had back problems my whole life). It was shooting down my entire right leg and buttock into my foot. On Monday I went to a chiro in tears. He looked at my x-rays and declared my spine "perfect" and said my pain was due to a tightened periformis muscle. He then did some "adjustments" and within 30 minutes my entire right leg went completely numb and I lost the use of my foot...of course, the pain was still there. I called the chiro who declared that "normal" and told me I should come in for another adjustment. On Tuesday my friend (who is an RN who works as the office manager for her husband's pain management practice) demanded I get an MRI. Her husband set me up with an appt at the local hospital. Had the MRI on Wednesday, and an hour after I got home, my friend's DH called me and warned me to lie down and not move...he had the results of the MRI and he was sending me for an immediate surgical consult with a colleague (luckily the best ortho surgeon in the area). I saw the surgeon on Thursday, and he took one look at my MRI and also at me in so much pain I was weeping in the waiting room and he set me up for surgery the following Tuesday.

I woke up from surgery 95% pain free and regained the use of my leg and foot as well as all sensation within 6 months. by 8 months I was completely rehabbed, and two years later I am better than ever. The surgeon showed my the disc he removed and said it was the largest herniation he'd ever seen. The disc material had blown out of the space and tangled up in my spinal cord. It was like removing hair from a drain, he said.
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Old 01-06-2013, 09:36 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone, it helps to know others have felt my pain! I'm gonna try to hopefully get some sleep and see what I can do in the morning. So hard to get comfortable, I've been taking Benadryl just to help me sleep!
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:54 PM   #8
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I had two herniated discs in my neck (C5/C6 and C6/C7 - well actually three but C4/C5 wasn't symptomatic). The steroid shots didn't work at all for me, nor did physio. Gentle massage, traction, and ice (along with lots of ibuprofen) were the only things that helped, but they only gave me short-term relief.

Ambien was a godsend for sleeping. It's the only time in my life that I've taken sleeping meds, but I'm not sure how I would have made it through without it.

After 20 years of off-and-on again pain, culminating with a couple of months of no pain relief and some serious nerve compression issues, I had the two discs removed and the vertebrae fused (ACDF surgery). A year later, I'm now pretty much completely pain-free. I regained full use of my hand/arm right after surgery, and was without restrictions 10 days later. Within a month I was at 80% recovery, and 90% by six months. I haven't had any real issues now for months, and would say I've had a 95% recovery. I have no regrets.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:11 PM   #9
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I agree about the anti-inflammatory shot (wish I could remember what they gave me). I went in one day crying and barely able to move. The shot was a miracle.

That said, I had ACDF on C3/C4 2 1/2 years ago. It didn't fuse. The shot I mentioned above was back in August. I couldn't believe the difference.

I had surgery again the end of November - ACDF on C3/C4 and C4/C5. They redid the one that had been done previously (it also had a huge bone spur grown over it) along with the new one. We'll see how it goes this time.

I also have a herniated disk in my lower back, but PT takes care of it when it flairs up.

Prior to the initial surgery, I saw a chiro for my back and neck. While I believe he helped my back to a point, I have no doubt that he made my neck much worse. I've seen several people whose backs were improved by a visit with a chiro, but I would never let one touch my neck again (assuming I hadn't already had surgery). I have a nephew who wound up in the hospital after a neck adjustment with some sort of stroke that was caused my a neck adjustment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennasis View Post
Yep. L5/S1. I had surgery (microdiscectomy). Best thing I ever did. The pain I was in was excruciating; so much so that I couldn't stand...or sit. The only position that wasn't pure agony was on my hands and knees. I had to crawl around the house and couldn't even sit on the toilet without crying. The onset of pain was a Saturday (though I've had back problems my whole life). It was shooting down my entire right leg and buttock into my foot. On Monday I went to a chiro in tears. He looked at my x-rays and declared my spine "perfect" and said my pain was due to a tightened periformis muscle. He then did some "adjustments" and within 30 minutes my entire right leg went completely numb and I lost the use of my foot...of course, the pain was still there. I called the chiro who declared that "normal" and told me I should come in for another adjustment. On Tuesday my friend (who is an RN who works as the office manager for her husband's pain management practice) demanded I get an MRI. Her husband set me up with an appt at the local hospital. Had the MRI on Wednesday, and an hour after I got home, my friend's DH called me and warned me to lie down and not move...he had the results of the MRI and he was sending me for an immediate surgical consult with a colleague (luckily the best ortho surgeon in the area). I saw the surgeon on Thursday, and he took one look at my MRI and also at me in so much pain I was weeping in the waiting room and he set me up for surgery the following Tuesday.

I woke up from surgery 95% pain free and regained the use of my leg and foot as well as all sensation within 6 months. by 8 months I was completely rehabbed, and two years later I am better than ever. The surgeon showed my the disc he removed and said it was the largest herniation he'd ever seen. The disc material had blown out of the space and tangled up in my spinal cord. It was like removing hair from a drain, he said.
Most of my pain is gone as well. I do have some problems with my right arm. I'm hoping desparately that this time the neck fuses.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:27 AM   #10
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Call the neurosurgeon or the pain management specialist & ask for something stronger to get you through until your appointment on the 16th. No doctor expects his/her patients to suffer in horrible pain. I'm sure you will find that your pain management specialist will be able to help you.

Feel better!
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:30 AM   #11
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I just sent you a PM with the name of the prescription that I was given. It has been a lifesaver in helping me deal with the pain while I'm waiting for treatment also.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:33 AM   #12
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I'm actually having a flare-up now of the two herniated discs in my lower back along with the bursitis in my hip. The doctor has me taking Aleve for inflammation and Lortab for the pain. It seems to work. Then I do some stretching on top of that to loosen it up and to make sure the other muscles around them stay loose and strong.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:41 AM   #13
IheartMickey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horseshowmom
I agree about the anti-inflammatory shot (wish I could remember what they gave me). I went in one day crying and barely able to move. The shot was a miracle.

That said, I had ACDF on C3/C4 2 1/2 years ago. It didn't fuse. The shot I mentioned above was back in August. I couldn't believe the difference.

I had surgery again the end of November - ACDF on C3/C4 and C4/C5. They redid the one that had been done previously (it also had a huge bone spur grown over it) along with the new one. We'll see how it goes this time.

I also have a herniated disk in my lower back, but PT takes care of it when it flairs up.

Prior to the initial surgery, I saw a chiro for my back and neck. While I believe he helped my back to a point, I have no doubt that he made my neck much worse. I've seen several people whose backs were improved by a visit with a chiro, but I would never let one touch my neck again (assuming I hadn't already had surgery). I have a nephew who wound up in the hospital after a neck adjustment with some sort of stroke that was caused my a neck adjustment.

Most of my pain is gone as well. I do have some problems with my right arm. I'm hoping desparately that this time the neck fuses.
I went to a chiropractor three years ago for lower back pain, he adjusted my neck without my permission and after he did it I knew something was wrong. My head was throbbing when I was driving home and I've had migraine every day for the past three years since. I've had MRIs of my head and neck but it doesn't show any damage. My headache specialist refused to do an EMG to check for nerve damage because he said it would be too painful. I've become disabled by the pain for the migraines and I fully blame the chiropractor for that.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:49 AM   #14
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I have suffered on and off for the past 20 years (lower back). Fwiw I very very rarely take meds for anything but on those occasions when it's been at it's absolute worst, pain meds have been an absolute necessity. And if anyone had told me that I could handle it IMO it would've been obvious that they had no idea what kind of pain I was in (I'm talking bring you to tears, unable to do anything pain). So if that's what you're dealing with I say go to a doctor, get a strong prescription pain reliever and use it. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Best of luck
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:13 AM   #15
AndreaDM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I Love Pluto View Post
Call the neurosurgeon or the pain management specialist & ask for something stronger to get you through until your appointment on the 16th. No doctor expects his/her patients to suffer in horrible pain. I'm sure you will find that your pain management specialist will be able to help you.

Feel better!
Thanks, I just did and they called in Rx, no idea what, but it has to help! I'm just annoyed that I wasted an entire weekend in bed, in pain.
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