Those of you with bulging discs

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 10/23/2010 7:08 PM (GMT -6)   
just wondering what has worked for you as far as pain relief.  What kind of long term prognosis are there?  Is there a cure other than surgery? 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 702
   Posted 10/23/2010 8:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I have 3 bulging discs. I have been walking around like this for awhile prob 5 years. I definitely would not rush to surgery. I take meds and I strongly suggest PT in a warm pool to build up some muscle if you are not active. It really helps
Chronic Lyme Disease,Fibromyalgia, CFS, PCOS, sleep apnea, hypothyroidism, type 2 diabetes, bulging discs to name a few

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 999
   Posted 10/23/2010 11:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Annie, welcome and at the same time sorry to hear that you have been among the chronic pain suffers for over 5 years. The bulging discs are often the start of much more but exactly what the more could be has many factors. Some discs respond to PT and even some drugs. The problem is as we all know that they remain prone to further bulding and herniation. They are doing more disc replacements today than they used to but the last report I saw still showed 50% effectiveness. Each person's journey is also is individualist. The way my body responded to treatment is different from the next person. I had an injury 12 years ago and I saw so many specialists and surgeons, each giving their opinions and prognosis. In the end, I took the words of an older lady orthopedic surgeon and she told me what I thought was the best route. I said that I was not inclined to fump into the operating room as I had heard too many horor stories of people who started that rounte and never seemed to find a finishing point. She said her advise to me was to wait until I had no other choice as surgery was in my future and that truthfully, there were no guarantees that it would make it all better so living with the pain was going to be part of the rest of my life. In the last 3 years I have had 3 surgeries and though they were considered sucsseful, as that wise old doctor told me, I am still learning to live with the pain the rest of my life. Those of us you will find here are the ones that the miracle surgery or treatment did not happen for. The option for us is how to learn to deal with the effects in a way that continues to give us hope and joy. Life does go on. Don't be afraid to get second and even third opionions from doctors who take different approaches.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 10/24/2010 3:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm just beginning the journey, too. I'm at the PT level now. I've been on two steroid packs in the last two months. If I'm off work I have a low pain day, but at work I'm hurting by lunchtime. I've been told my L5-S1 disk is smushed and hanging over the sides. Also that my Facet on each side is degenerative. Thankfully, it's stable right now according to the doctor, whatever that means???

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15871
   Posted 10/24/2010 5:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Annie and welcome to Healing Well's chronic pain forum. Glad you found us but always hate to see another person be afflicted with this lousy condition. At least by coming here you know you are not alone, there are a lot of us on here just like you in pain.

It is really difficult to answer your question on what works best for a person because everyone responds so differently. Most drs will offer conservative care consisting of physical therapy and many times OTC NSAIDS like Ibuprophene or Motrin. I do know they want the patients up moving around and not laying in a bed or chair as the more we move around the better off we are. Use to if a person hurt their back they put you to bed for a week and they no longer do that. They say now that caused more harm than good. If you are under the care of a PM dr then you may undergo different types of injections, its just real hard to guess what different drs will want to do with a patient. Some people use heat/ice packs I prefer heat over cold. Generally, a dr leaves the disc alone unless there is some nerve involvement and its severe enough to warrant surgery.

Anyway wanted to say welcome aboard.
Moderator Chronic Pain Forum

Post Edited (straydog) : 10/25/2010 2:12:59 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 2042
   Posted 10/24/2010 7:56 PM (GMT -6)   
As has been pointed out it is an each to their own type of thing.

Sometimes doing nothing more than resting your back, avoiding lifting, bending forward, etc. will allow the bulges to heal. Sometimes doing physical therapy can help, sometimes steroid injections into the problem areas can help. Sometimes it may be a combo of these that can promote healing and pain relief. Sometimes though it can make it worse too, though more often than not it will either help or not help rather than cause a deterioration.
2 confirmed herniated lumbar discs. Spinal Arthritis. Spinal Stenosis, diabetic peripheral nueropathy.
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