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Date of last update: 8/21/2017.

Forum Name: Rheumatology Topics

Question: Bulging Disk Problem

 OSUMatt - Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:26 pm

I got out of the military 4 years ago. My leg was hurting me for about 2 years after that so I finally got an MRI. The MRI found I had a bulging disk between the L4 and L5. Now this pain is still with me, but has not gotten any worse. It is a mild pain, one that I can easly live with. I am however trying to get back into the military and I will need the bulging disk to go away. Is this possible?

I tried PT once, did it 4 sessions, but never actually followed it, so I would say I have never done any thing to help the problem.

I just recently started correcting my posture, this seems to help some. Now with PT and anti-inflamitories would this make the bulge go away?

I go back to a spine specialist on Aug 9th, but I want as many opinions as I can get.

 keith brookes - Sat Jul 17, 2004 1:48 pm

I suffered with bulging discs for years, PT would normally rectify it (for a while) but it kept coming back. Eventually the pain got so bad i could not walk. Iwas admitted to hospital (in England) had a MRI and was told they will have to operate to remove 2 discs.
3 years later i can walk, but with a limp, and my right foot feels numb and cold.
But it is much better than the pain i endured.
Be very careful with your back.
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Wed Jul 21, 2004 12:31 pm

User avatar Dear Matt,

Are you having other symptoms (burning sensation, numbness, cold or hot feelings of the skin) besides the pain? Where is the exact distribution of the pain and other symptoms if any?

If you don't have other symptoms and the pain is tolerable, i think that a trial of serious physical rehab and exercises to strenghthen the back muscles would be in order after which re-evaluation of the condition should be done.

Sometimes, the findings that are found on the mri have nothing to do with the symptoms. Meaning that you have a disc bulging between l-4 and l-5, if this disc is pressing on a nerve giving you pain, it should be in the distribution of that nerve, otherwise, you will be doing all kinds of things may be even up to surgery on that disc and then you will end up with the same pain that you had after surgery.

So, start with rehab and see how it goes.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.
 danorth2100 - Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:58 am

In Dec. 04 I stepped out of my home to shovel some snow and all I did was picked up a shovel and I hit the ground. My legs just gave out and I sat on my butt in pain. I also went for a MRI and I can’t remember where the budging disk is, someplace low in my back, but I live in pain almost every day. I did have the burning, and numbness going down my right leg and some days I still do off and on. I still have pain on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being the worst. The pain I have on most days run’s from a 7 to a 10, so you can see that this is not something I can just forget about or work through. When I stand in one place for longer than a few minutes my stomach gets upset and I feel as if I’m going to vomit.

I did the PT for a while but this is something that is hard keep up. I don’t like to take pills to cover the pain, but I’m getting to the point where I feel it’s my only option. I seen a Dr. a month ago and he told me that surgery should be the last and final step. He talked about injections of some kind. I’m going to be 37 next month and I can’t take waking up in pain much longer. If I do something today I could really pay for it tomorrow.
Other than just doing the PT is there anything I could be doing that can relieve this pain or discomfort?


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