I have three slipped discs. My doc says there's nothing that can be done except for me to lose weight. But everywhere I go, people keep asking me if i've had surgery or if I go to a "pain management clinic"...what are they talking about?
Hi...did you just get diagnosed with the 3 slipped discs? Did you have an MRI? Pain management clinic..is not what I go to for pain relief. I go to a Physiatrist (I guess that could be considered a pain management clinic).He prescribes pain meds and helps in trying to find relief for my pain. I have been to PT and have had 3 epidural steriod shots. Where are you located? I am in New Hampshire also. So, I guess what I am trying to say is that maybe I can help you out.
Hi. Well, it's always a shock being diagnosed with slipped discs. Maybe meet with your primary care physician to come up with a game plan. It can be overwhelming and everyone has an opinion as to what you should do.
So, a pain management clinic is usually a medical team that helps you cope with pain as you hopefully "fix" your disc problem, either by exercise, weight loss, injections, rest, time, surgery or whatever. The doctors and other professionals there probably won't cure your situation, but they can help you feel better through the process.
I'd say go easy on the bee-line to surgery. There are lots of things to try before that, like: physical therapy, water therapy, acupuncture, chiropractor, yoga, rest, medications, steroid injections, weight loss and so on.
It's easy to feel like you've been punched in the stomach with this new information. This is a great support and resource. Stay in touch.
Did your dr. explain the "slipped" disc to you? Dr.s very in their terminology, meaning that a slipped disc is referred to also as either a bulge or herniation. Do you know if you have a bulge or herniation?
Who gave you your test results, meaning like your primary care dr or a spinal specialist? If it was you primary, you should get a referral to see a spinal specialist who deals only with the spine.
A doctor who only diagnosis your weight as being your only option to pain control, when you clearly have three disc issues, doesn't deserve your attention.
Alot of us here have been there and are still going through back problems. Here you will get alot of support and most questions answered from experienced back pain sufferers.
HI there and welcome to this board. Everyone above has provided some very good information and advice to you.
If a doctor EVER tells you that there is nothing they can do for you.. then they've clearly given you "goodbye" in essence. You need to move on at this point.
I dont know how long you've been dealing with this issue, if it's new, and also what levels are involved.. but regardless you now need to be seeing an ortho or neuro surgeon that focuses on the spine, and a spine specialist is the best.
There are Soooooo many things to try to help you manage your pain. Just because you have bulging or herniated discs does not automatically mean that you are headed to a surgery table. In fact, many discs will heal/resolve on their own with little to no intervention. But this should be closely monitored and dealth with by a specialized doctor that deals with spines.
I have had a bulging (as you say slipped) disc at the lowest level, known as l5/s1 since I was 18 years old. I suffered for many years with horrific pain, but that disc did heal on it's own without any intervention. The bulging disc remains, but is no longer generating any pain. Just to give you an idea.
For others.. many bulging discs not only heal on their own, but also return to their original position.
So dont think all is lost and there is much that can be done, and the conservative way is always best. Exercise obviously aggrevates those discs, BUT with proper Physical Therapy, they can possibly get you exercising in safe(r) ways that you can strengthen your spine and core muscles, which also leads to healing and less pain.
Remove QUICK from your vocabulary going through this process and add in PATIENCE in Big Bold Letters.
This all takes time and you MUST MUST MUST not give up on yourself, stay mentally strong as you can, and continue to fight for wellness. And the biggest of all, is that you have to advocate for yourself. Communication is key to success. You must have good dialogue with your doctors and always ask them to explain anything that you dont understand.
I would get an appointment with a new doctor and get a second, third, or fourth opinion, which will help you decide on the best course of treatment for yourself.
Again welcome and let us know how you are doing.
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt
L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!
Last edited by Justoneofus; 02-27-2007 at 09:12 PM.
[QUOTE=beaconeer;2825946]I have three slipped discs. My doc says there's nothing that can be done except for me to lose weight. But everywhere I go, people keep asking me if i've had surgery or if I go to a "pain management clinic"...what are they talking about?[/QUOTE]
I shattered my pelvis and broke my back in two places in 2001 learn to walk after a year after my surgery. I was in alot of pain I did yoga accupunture rolping that is a really deep tissue work also Chiropractor etc. A lot of my pain is from my muscles being really tight and soar. I learned Hanna Somatics in Thailand it was by far the best thing that i have ever done I don't know where you live but you should googe hanna somatics and find a person the is certified in your area I am going school in S.F to learn this myself. Because it has helped me so much. any question feel free to send a reply
I'm wondering if its really my problem more than the docs. When I wrote this post I had forgotten that I have been sent to physical therapy 2x for my back problems by my doc. Its been a while since so I guess I just didnt remember.
More background info:
1. First diagnosed with 1 slipped disc in 2001 (x-ray)
2. Diagnosed with 3 slipped discs by chiropractor who reviewed new x-rays in 2002 or 2003.
3. Sent to physical therapy in 2002 or 2003 on a short term basis. The PT wanted me to go 2x per week for massage and hot towel treatment which I found helpful but not enough worth it to support the cost of getting there 2x per week.
4. My doctor and I had a conversation after I lost a significant amount of weight (but still not enough) about the fact I was still having back problems. She explained to me that my discs were bulging rather than herniated and so I was better off than most people. She sent me back to physical therapy.
again on a short term basis.This was in 2005.
5. The second time I went to physical therapy the PT gave me exercises to do 3x per day which I found too much of a strain, though I did them 1x per day. The PT told me that since I could do them in his office I should do them 3x a day and that he wouldnt take non-compliance.
I have improved my health since 2002 by taking regular walks and making sure I have the right chairs in my house, vary my position and activities as much as I can (I have Fibro-myalgia and arthritis as well), and so this means I dont have to use crutches to get around more than 1x a month, though my household chores, employability, etc is severely limited.
I've wanted an MRI for neurologic problems but no hospitals within a 4 hour or so radius have a machine that could handle me due to my weight. They say any weight over 250 will break their machine.
I've wanted water therapy but they say its only available for seniors.
Perhaps I have the wrong attitude, its just I dont want to be told that my only option is physical therapy which doesnt help much and whatever help it is is counteracted by the fact they wont listen to me. I've had them laugh at me when doing range of motion tests...I really dont understand what they mean by "stop when it hurts"...I do within an inch or so because thats when it hurts and they laugh at me. But I cant blame the doc for the limits of whats available and what can help.
Well I think that they always hope things will get better and ofcourse always try conservative therapy and they should. With me personally after trying all these things, after waiting and time..it got down to quality of life. And that was what made me decide to go for it.
Ofcourse any extra weight doesn't help our spine, knees anything we all know that. Its awesome you have been able to keep loosing weight and walking. That has got to help!
And I also agree with, what was said, when a doctor says theirs nothing they can do to help you, its goodbye. Sometimes it takes lots of doctors to find the right one. Just don't give up hope, and keep being pro-active about trying to find help, and helping yourself by excersing etc.
[QUOTE=Justoneofus;2826213]I have had a bulging (as you say slipped) disc at the lowest level, known as l5/s1 since I was 18 years old. I suffered for many years with horrific pain, but that disc did heal on it's own without any intervention. The bulging disc remains, but is no longer generating any pain. Just to give you an idea. [/QUOTE]
When you say it is not generating any pain, is that true after exercise as well or do you no longer exercise? I have had two slipped discs (L5-S1 and L3-L4) for nearly two years. It gradually gets better as long as I don't exercise at all, but as soon as I go running or go to the gym, it relapses hard and it takes six months to be pain free again without meds. That's where I am right now (for the third time) and I'm wondering if I will ever be able to exercise without pain again.
Hi, Beaconeer. All the self-questioning you're having now seems common with managing, diagnosing, and trying to fix back problems. I would encourage you to do 2 things:
1) Continue taking the best care of yourself that you can - psychologically and physically. You will be the beneficiary of those efforts!
2) Continue working with the therapists and dr's you currently have so they can personalize their care for you. Sometimes letting them know more about you and your body helps them shape their treatment approach. Or, try someone new. Not every health care professional is suited for every person. No hard feelings, but... your wellbeing is your priority!