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Old 08-12-2004, 04:50 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 16
wedrivethebox HB User
Arrow Newbie Here: Lumbar Disc Protrusion?

Hi everyone. Just yesterday my doctor called and told me I have 3 Lumbar Disc Protrusions at L3, L5, & S1.

He wants me to go see a neurosurgeon. I am very overweight 6"0 375lbs and only 28 years old. Needless to say, this is a major wakeup call for me.

I am thinking if I can lose the weight, these back problems/leg pain will subside.

Does anybody else have this problem with the disc protrusions? It started about 2 weeks ago when I drove my parents around while visiting Oregon. I drove 3-4 hours periods with my leg cramped up against the console.

I have never had any problems before so I am very nervous but yet want to understand everything as well.



Last edited by wedrivethebox; 08-12-2004 at 04:50 AM.

Old 08-12-2004, 05:01 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 465
scotty12 HB User
Re: Newbie Here: Lumbar Disc Protrusion?

conservative treatment should make things much better for you.lose weight,physical therapy,stretching daily,anti-inflamatory meds.

i have similar issues along with spinal instability warranting a 2 level fusion the first year i lost about 25 lbs and exersized atleast 5 days a week along with stretching daily.muscle tightness comes with lumbar problems so stretching your hamstrings and other muscles is a very important
part of conservative treatment.

i wouldnt rush to a surgeon just yet.has your doctor sent you for physical therapy yet?
your too young to have surgery unless all conservative treatments fail and you are still suffering.welcome and good luck.......scotty

Last edited by scotty12; 08-12-2004 at 05:01 AM.

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Old 08-12-2004, 06:38 AM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: ontario
Posts: 476
out2lunch HB User
Re: Newbie Here: Lumbar Disc Protrusion?

Welcome aboard Wade!!! It appears as though your dr is concerned about the protruding discs pinching some nerves, so I'd definitely go see this neuro!!! I agree that surgery is a last resort for anyone, but that's not all that neuro surgeons do!!
I pray that this neuro, losing the weight, and other non-evasive things will take care of this problem for you!! I've been living with this for 7yrs, and wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy!! Surgery's not even an option for me!!
Keep intouch and let us know how you're doing ok?? Good luck to you, and take care!!

Old 08-12-2004, 06:42 AM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 465
scotty12 HB User
Re: Newbie Here: Lumbar Disc Protrusion?

"wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy!! " said it

Old 08-12-2004, 01:01 PM   #5
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 16
wedrivethebox HB User
Re: Newbie Here: Lumbar Disc Protrusion?

Thanks everyone.

I am changing primary physicians only because I just didn't feel right about the last time i went to see my current doctor. Something about having to call and get my MRI report myself just didn't sit well with me. It's like they didn't even try to call me. With that said, I have already placed the call to the neurosurgeon and I am waiting to hear back from him.

As of right now, surgery isn't an option. So I will go see him and see what he has to offer. I really feel like he will say, lose the weight, start eating right, and exericising and you will probably feel 100% better.

Old 08-12-2004, 02:00 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 284
ladybird988 HB Userladybird988 HB User
Wink Re: Newbie Here: Lumbar Disc Protrusion?

Hey there,

I joined Weight Watchers to lose weight specifically because of my back pain: bulging disc at L4/L5 with arthritis in two disks. And I walked 7 days a week. Did it help the back? I'm sure it did, but then I upped my walking to 5 miles a day to lose the next 30 lbs and ruptured the disk and wound up having surgery. Doctor said I increased my distance too quickly.

Now I have to lose the last 30 lbs and I hope that will help with the remaining pain. I have talked to people with back problems who claim that 5 extra pounds on their frame causes back pain. So, yes, lose the weight. But be careful doing it. I don't know how much pain you are in, but mine has been horrible and it's hard to exercise with a back problem, all I can do is walk, but hey, the walking was all the exercise it took to lose the weight. That and WW. Good luck to you. I hope none of your disks burst. I will say losing weight and eating right have helped all my other health problems!!!

Old 08-13-2004, 09:54 PM   #7
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 16
wedrivethebox HB User
Re: Newbie Here: Lumbar Disc Protrusion?

Can anyone here recommend and good chair to sit in for computer use? I play a race car game at the computer and sit for long periods of time.


Old 08-14-2004, 04:54 AM   #8
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 465
scotty12 HB User
Re: Newbie Here: Lumbar Disc Protrusion?

adjusgtable height,feel should be flat on floor ,knees bent 90 degrees,and buy a lumbar pillow for the back.....

Old 08-14-2004, 05:19 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 249
Jenna'sMom HB User
Re: Newbie Here: Lumbar Disc Protrusion?

The Aeron chair by Herman Miller, if of course you can afford the hefty price tag. You might look for one on ebay. The come in S,M&L. They are like the rolls royce of desk chairs.

Sorry to hear you're in so much pain. Driving seems to be a common irritant for bad backs. Everyone above has given you great advice. BTW, I had to order my own copy of the MRI report and a copy of the CD. They send one copy to the requesting doctor, and if you're going to another you usually have to do this, it's not really that unusual. Get used to having to do a alot of follow-up yourself with the medical community, especially if you're HMO. Unfortunately, the doctors that hold your hand and walk you gently through the whole process are few and far between, and that doesn't neccessarily make them bad, just busy and overloaded. Some are *#@holes, and you do need to avoid them.

Good luck with the weight loss and PT, the can really make a big difference.

Jenna's Mom

APLIF T4-S1 on july 19, 2004
Harrington rod T5 - T12 1982

Old 09-21-2004, 07:33 PM   #10
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 16
wedrivethebox HB User
Re: Newbie Here: Lumbar Disc Protrusion?

Just a quick update:

After making some healthy lifestyle changes and losing 20lbs so far, the back pain is about 90% gone. It hurts just a little while I am at work (I am on my feet about 8 hours out of the 10 i work) but other than than it feels good. The numbness in my big toe is gone an the leg pain is gone. I sure am glad i didnt' take my doctors advice and go to a neurosurgeon.

Old 09-21-2004, 08:05 PM   #11
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Grand Junction, CO
Posts: 346
AlSmith HB User
Re: Newbie Here: Lumbar Disc Protrusion?

Wade, I commend you for taking your back problem seriously and losing weight. I do have to tell you though that a good neurosurgeon's goal is to help you get better. They are not always going to recommend surgery. If, down the road, you have an unfortunate turn for the worse, do not be afraid a neurosugeon is going to want to cut you up. He is an expert in your type of injury and may have other good treatment options. If you do have a surgeon that tries to rush you to surgery, you should get a second opinion.


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