i have just come back from the drs after being told i may have a slipped disc, i have been getting pain in both legs which turns out to be sciatica and terrible lower back ache. it has not been confirmed as they do not do anything now for 4 - 6 weeks, apart from a pysio referal which i have been waiting for for a long time! i didnt realise with a slipped disc you can still walk around. my mum had one years ago and couldnt move at all. i am in a lot of pain but with pain meds it is barable, does this really sound like a slipped disc i am a little bit wary, any info?
Disc damage (rupture, herniation, or prolapse) exist at different levels of severity. Slipped disc is just a general term for some degree of disc damage that may be causing symptoms. In fact there are many people walking around with disc damage that they don't know about as they have no symptoms. It's important to try and get an MRI so you can get a good "verbal picture" as well as visual picture of to what degree the disc is damaged (rupture, herniation, prolapse, etc)
If you have sciatica then you definately have something pressing on your nerves. I have a slipped/herniated disk at L5-S1 that has never been operated on. It was injured in 2005 and I guess that its not out far enough to press on the nerve. The one that got me was the L2-L3 disk. It was slipped out enough to cause the pain. I could still walk and function and could do most things with pain medicine. It did however get worse and resulted in surgery.
I'm sorry, my geography is not very good but I'm guessing that you are in Europe. It seems the standard of care, in the USA, is to give pain medicine and muscle relaxers and see if it works. It did in the case of my L5 disk. What I found, and it seems to be confirmed by many posts here, is to be persistant with the doctors. I am a police officer and could not stand to be out for years while they make up their mind. I did pain management at the same time as physical thereapy. It speeded up the process for me.
You may find relief in the epidural injections that allow you some pain free time however this is just a bandaid. There are now alot of minimally invasive types of surgery that may be a good option for you versus the traditional cut you open types. I have heard the recovery time is much quicker. My first surgery failed and resulted in the L2-L3 vertebra slipping off of the disk into the spinal canal. I had a fusion in 2009 and am still recovering from it. It's taking much longer this time.
Spine AZ is right. Try to get the MRI and other tests as soon as you can so you can find out exactly what is wrong. Knowledge is power and it is such a relief to find out exactly what is going on. Its almost vindication for yourself. I found myself thinking.. OK I'M NOT CRAZY.
Best of luck to you and keep us posted on how you are doing.
thanx guys its reasuring to know, i am from the uk and it sounds like they do things a lot different over here! it has not been officially diagnosed i ve had so many trips to the gp and its only just been mentioned. i know it sounds stupid but i dont think my boss believes me as she said if it was slipped i wouldnt be able to function (i work in a hospital so i thought she would be more understanding) but i am only relaying what the dr told me. today i have done a 12 hour shift lots of bending twisting etc and i have survived but my god it hurts! my gp has said if the symptoms are still here in 4 weeks time only then will i get a mri, i have been suffering for a long time with this (since before christmas) and am annoyed i now have to wait another month, i have a big trip planned for august (to the usa) and am getting nervous about managing i dont want to cancel the trip as it has been organised for a long time. i am currently taking codeine as i have a very weak resistance to pain meds and most things stronger than paracetamol make me very spaced out!