help me please!
Swifty- the mainstay of treatment for degenerative back pain should be physio in the first instance - GET YOURSELF SEEN ASAP- some areas have open access back pain clinics. Surgery is primarily of use for treating intractable leg pain, that has not settled with conservative measures. Surgery does NOT help pain in the back itself, so if your pain is largely in the lower back, surgery is not likely to be of use to you. Many people are told to rest, and avoid excercise - this is not necessarily the best advice- physio will tell you what you can and can't do.
I was diagnosed with a prolapsed disc in March 2010 - the L4 disc. After nearly 18months of not getting anywhere with physios, therapists etc (and the Consultant who performed the MRI was not particularly helpful) I went to see a Chiropractor with an excellent reputation. I have been seeing him for almost 5 months now and the improvement has been (touch wood) miles above and beyond anything else I had experienced previously. To start with, I was seeing him once a week, or every 2 weeks, which is expensive (£30-£40 per session). However, after 8 weeks or so, the i,provement was such that I started seeing him once a month, where he performs manoeuvres, sets exercises etc. I can;t say I am the finished article, but am now running on a treadmill for around 25 minutes comfortably, and hope to increase this. It is imprtant not to go too fast though - I was not allowed to run at all until the end of November.
By the way, epidural seems extreme, although to be fair I don;t know your pain. Mine was bad, at times unbearable, especially turning in bed, sitting up etc. But now I am pain free (touch wood again). I am 26 by the way, also young for a degenerative disc condition.
I hope this helps. In short, I would see a Chiro with a good track record, and don;t run before you can walk!
Lots of myths and what if's and maybe's.
If one epidural doesn't help, I wouldn't hold out my hope that number 2,3 or 4 will. What it's telling you is that you've got a functional issue rather than a structural one. The epidural will affect the structure (inflam around the disc), it won't alter what you do with it (the function). Having had a squirt it's pretty clear that you don't have inflammatory back pain, but most likely mechanical - and that's the issue.
The other chaps you've seen, with the way out there diagnosis haven't really done anything, so don't class that as failed at conservative treatment - you just need some decent treatment to the right bits, not just to the bits....
Get this sorted and you'll not only be back on your feet, but also have a good and long dental career where you can crouch over patients all day......
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