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how does a disc regress?

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Old 02-28-2007, 06:10 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 80
alice77 HB User
how does a disc regress?

Hi all,

Any of you know if a swollen nerve actually prevents a disc from healing naturally? What are the rough timescales?

I'm asking as I'm feeling pretty low (my turn now shawls!) thinking this is never going to end. Since my first injection 3weeks ago, I had a reduction in the sciatic pains, but no change in the stenosis pains, for about 10 days, then it all came back on saturday, coupled with much much much worse stenosis pains. I can only manage 10minutes in a normal (desk/table) chair and about 5mins max of walking/standing, dwindling to 2mins as the day goes on.

I saw the consultant at the hospital yesterday, routine appointment, and I'm booked in for another jab in 2 weeks. So it seems, 5weeks between injections is the norm, even if they have little effect. He said "you've got to remember that discs will always regress naturally, 6-8weeks is normal", seemingly unaware I've had this for 18mths (6mths since its been daily)!

My neurosurgeon was adamant it wasn't the disc but the joint causing the hugely swollen nerve and stenosis, but then wrote in his referral letter to the consulant (2wks later) for the injections, that it was the disc!?.?...

I don't know, I'm just having a pessimistic day, when all I think is I'm just going to be the same in 6mths time, having done all the injections. I keep saying to myself that its just a case giving it time for the disc to heal now...but then all I can think is that the disc should've healed by now or that the neurosurgeon was right first time and its not the disc at all!

Och, I'm just drivelling on. - sorry ..simple question: how does a disc regress and how do the injections help this?

best wishes all from rainy france,

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Old 02-28-2007, 06:23 AM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: New York City
Posts: 96
cythren HB User
Re: how does a disc regress?

Hi Alice,

Sorry you're having a hard time right now.

I have a herniated disc, and have been doing a lot of reading about it over the past three months. From what I understand, bulging discs - those that haven't ruptured and leaked - sometimes can regress through very specific physical therapy exercises such as McKenzie exercises (google it).

Herniated, or ruptured discs (there are different names for it) - when the disc wall has broken open and the inner stuff has been squeezed out - are sometimes gradually reabsorbed by the body's immune system.

I have a book about back problems "Back Pain Remedies for Dummies" that mentions several studies showing that herniated discs shrink over time. If I remember correctly, the authors conducted a study in their own spine clinic on large disc herniations. They found that they shrank an average of 62% over a six month period. They did a before and after MRI to track the changes.

I hope this helps answer your question.

- c

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