35 years old and Iíve had back pain for about 7 years now off and on but lately itís been on more than off, almost constant for the last 1-2 years. Iíve been putting off going to see the Doctor and finding out whatís going on because Iíve been nervous about the results Ö I was trying to convince myself that itíll just heal and Iíll wake up feeling normal again. I finally went to my family doctor a month ago and told her the whole story. When I finished describing to her what was going on she was shocked that I hadnít been in to see a doctor before this. Iíd told her I saw a doctor 2 yrs ago about my lower back and he gave me meds, patted me on the head and sent me on my way. She shook her head and called my old doctor an idiot. She immediately scheduled an MRI.
Just had an appointment with our family doctor and she gave me the results of the MRI. She told me that I had ĎMinor Degenerative Disc Diseaseí 1-2 of my lower discs were degenerated between L5 and S1 she said but the good news was that it was in-fact minor she stressed. She also mentioned that I have a small disc bulge Ö I asked her if that would heal on itís own and she said yes, more than likely it would. She gave me a couple of prescriptions and told me the best thing for me to do at this point would be to see a physical therapist, begin strengthening my back and stomach muscles.
My situation at this point Ö I can be on my feet for maybe 5-6 hours at a time before I risk a back spasm and a lot of pain. Most of the time, on a scale from 1-10 (10 being the most pain) Iím normally around 3-4 constantly Ö sometimes higher depending on how much Iím on my feet or if I sleep wrong, ect. But at this point the pain is manageable Ė most of the time Ö not always tho.
Does anyone have any experienced advice they could give me on this subject? Iím not quite sure what to expect in the future. When I asked the doctor if this condition would stay the same or get worse over time (20-30 yrs from now) and she said thereís no way to tell.
I feel your pain at age 34. I dont really know what advice to give other than do something before you wind up like me. I had a broken ankle around age 23, my right foot points outward when walking. Maryland brain and spine told me that this combined with a car accident and degernative disk disease caused my lower 2 disks to basically fail. Because of the broken ankle, I was putting 20-30 pounds more on my right leg than the left unknowingly, the pivot point mostly in the lumbar area--- 4-5 and 5-1 joints.
A chiropractor told me that correct posture keeps muscles even on both sides of the back and distributes weight properly. This keeps the bones more level with each other so that the load is spread over the entire disk surface. This allows the disk to keep healthy and more "motionful."
After a bunch of injections, prescription heroin for pain, pain management, etc, I am now trying disc decompression. If that fails I am scheduled for artificial disk replacement in Germany next month. (They go in from the front and actually put in mechanical discs between the bones like ball joints.)
Do something before you reach my stage. Degeneration is part of getting older, but you can minimize it with correct posture, lifting techniqus, getting out of bed properly, etc. I would go to a chiropractor and ask them about your posture.
If anyone knows of a later post for drx 9000 posts can you let me know??? TX.
I respectfully disagree with painfulpaul suggesting a chiro. Chiros are not doctors. You need to remain under the care of a spine specialist, ESPECIALLY during this fragile time of trying to get your back as healthy as it can be.
You can not stop the degeneration of your spine, but you can get as healthy as possible to improve the odds of more serious spine issues. It's not a guarantee. I was extremely fit, worked out everyday to include major core exercise. But I still blew out l4/l5 disc 3.5 years ago. I was told other than lifting furniture way to heavy, there was nothing I could have done to prevent it from happening.
There truly is no way of knowing if you back will heal and you have no further problems or not. Many people have DDD and they just get a back ache or never even know their spine is beginning to age. Then there are many of us on here that the DDD went way beyond the norm and caused us much pain and more complications than most.
Go to physical therapy and do what you can to get yourself as healthy as you can. This may require some medication intervention along this route to help you get through the physical therapy. If you hurt, you can't workout. With medications to help ease pain, you can do more with less pain. I would discuss the spasms you are experiencing with your doctor and see what he/she can recommend to help you along with pain medication if you feel you need it.
That disc can heal and you may never have anymore problems. And I do hope that is the case. All the best to you.
"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!
Not trying to defend myself. But I was trying to make the point about correct posture. Any good regular doctor can help do it too, but a good chiro should be an expert on correct posture. He or she can instruct you on how to stand, sit, and walk properly. I never realized that I was putting 20-30 pound more on my right foot, with the fulcrum at lumbar area, and that most my back muscles are pulling to the left, torturing my spine over time, and not causing, but contributing to the back problem.
I definately was not suggesting being cracked up by the chiro. But just as a consult for proper back operation. Sorry for not wording that correctly.